Telling a People's Story: African-American Children's Illustrated Literature

April 3 - 30, 2023

The Fletcher Free Library is pleased to host the content of the original, groundbreaking 2018 exhibition, Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature. The Traveling Panel Exhibition, curated by Miami University Art Museum (Oxford, OH) and featuring 12 panels with 120 reproduced illustrations, will be on display in the Main Reading Room of the Main Library  at 235 College Street from April 3-30, 2023.

For the first time, African-American children’s illustrated literature is the focus of a museum exhibition featuring art produced for book illustrations. The presentation of this genre offers a lens into the cultural, historical, and social makeup of African-American cultural identity, while also shedding light on the long-neglected world of African-American authors and illustrators in the pantheon of children’s literature.

Until the 1960s, and mostly the 1970s, African-American children rarely saw themselves depicted in children’s books from the perspective of African-American authors and illustrators. Telling A People’s Story is a celebration of the power of illustrated children’s books that showcases their story.


Click here to schedule tours for school groups


Associated Programming

Educators, families, and students ages 10+ are invited to join featured TaPS artists for two evening events:

April 4, 6:00 PM  Exhibit Opening Reception with featured artist Ekua Holmes   Main Reading Room

April 12, 6:30 PM "Step Into the Studio" talk with featured artist James Ransome   Main Reading Room

  • Featured artists Ekua Holmes and James Ransome will also be presenting to Burlington students on April 5th and April 13th

April 23, starting at 11:00 AM: Three films about Black artists:  Black Is the ColorBlack Art: In the Absence of Light, and I Know a Man ... Ashley Bryan. Pickering Room

April 23, 2:00PM: The Power of Telling A People's Story

Books by TaPS illustrators on display through April 30: 




Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Organized by the Miami University Art Museum through a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation

Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF)

Vermont Humanities Council

Burlington Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Committee (REIB)

Hotel Vermont


The Library will be closed on Friday, August 16 for Bennington Battle Day.