Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wait, Ezra Jack Keats Was White?: White People, Black Stories Continues

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Did you know Ezra Jack Keats -- the famous children's book author who wrote The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie and dozens of other titles featuring Black and brown children -- was White? I only discovered the fact later in life when I started collecting his books for my own children. I just assumed he was Black.

Apparently, lots of people continue to make that same assumption. I found the following You Tube Video that talks about Keats'Jewish heritage and what inspired him to depict children of color in most of his work. You can also check out the Keats Foundation website for more information about this fascinating and prolific storyteller and artist.

Peace!

3 comments:

PatriciaW said...

Wow. I remember being told he was Black by a Black grade school teacher. Never questioned it, never looked it up. Repeated that to my own. Have some correction to do...

Just My Opinion said...

Thanks so much for this post and video! As an aspiring children's book author, I've read many of Mr. Keats' books and appreciated their deliberate depiction of diversity. While I always assumed Mr. Keats was White, I'm embarrassed to say that I never bothered to find out more about what motivated him to write and illustrate beautiful black characters. Now I know the rest of the story. :)

guppie said...

I know that I may be late with this but I just found out that he was not black TODAY. I can't tell you how completely shocked I was! I am truly embarrassed by the fact that I never even thought to look and see whether or not he was indeed black. Well, regardless, I love his work. Always have....always will.