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Black Icons of Colonialism: African Characters in French Children's Comic Strip Literature

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Created as an educational supplement, as the French Monarchy declined, French children's literature quickly put itself at the service of the nation's dominant colonial policy. If the farbrication of icons of African inferiority amused their primary readership, their systematic recurrence subliminally infiltrated the minds of the malleable young public and helped to propagate the political designs of colonial France. Starting with a demonstration of the vicious systematization of the 'grammar' of colonial ideology, I examine the ambiguity found in the European construction of the few existing black characters. I expose their inherent inner-contradictions and the problems caused by the inscription of the subjugated 'other' in all-encompassing hegemonic system.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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