The Tar Baby and the Tomahawk: Race and Ethnic Images in American Children's Literature, 1880-1939

Mary Effie Lee

Mary Effie Lee (later Effie Lee Newsome) (1885-1979) was an important figure in the emergence of African American children’s literature in the early twentieth century. She was a frequent contributor to the The Brownies’ Book and later served as editor of the children’s column of W. E. B. Du Bois’s magazine, The Crisis, submitting works of both poetry and illustration. Lee’s works were often shaped by an emphasis on the natural world. An anthology of her selected works for children, entitled Gladiola Garden, appeared in 1940.