Groundbreaking Book by Late Green Lane Resident at Center of New Historic Germantown Exhibit
Bright April, a book by the late Green Lane resident Marguerite de Angeli that was considered radical at the time it was published in 1946, is at the center of a new exhibit, Inspiring Bright April: Race and Class in 1940s Germantown, that recently opened at Historic Germantown, writes Valerie Russ for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The book tells the story of a 9-year-old Black girl who experiences racial prejudice in Germantown, while she is growing up. It is considered a classic of children’s literature in the 20th century.
It was the first mainstream children’s book that was written by a white author about a Black child experiencing racial prejudice, according to Barbara Dowdall, one of the exhibit’s curators.
To better understand Black families and culture, the author interviewed Black teachers, educators, and other professionals in Germantown. She also interviewed the real-life Jessica Cole, the Black leader of Girl Scout Troop 338, who was partly an inspiration for her main character.
The exhibit includes a drawing desk once used by de Angeli, a children’s room with a 1940s Brownie uniform, and a pupil’s school desk, among many other items.
Read more about the exhibition in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Check out this interview with Marguerite de Angeli.
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