for Sweet Words So Brave by Barbara K. Curry, James Michael Brodie, and Jerry Butler
A fictional grandfather relates the history of African-Americans in North America to his granddaughter by telling her about early storytellers and writers as well as some of recent literary activists. He points out that centuries ago a black person who picked up a book and learned to read was both defiant and brave. The narrative pays homage to enslaved and oppressed people who kept their heritage alive through deed and word and to those who continue in this tradition. Thirty published writers are featured in the visually exciting, multi-dimensional presentation linking texts, photographs, varied uses of type sizes, page designs, and paintings in bold colors. The writers include Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Ralph Ellison, Olaudah Equiano, Nikki Giovanni, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes (from whose poem the title originated), Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, and Richard Wright. A glossary and list of selected readings accompany a volume tall in more than one way. (Ages 9-16)
CCBC Choices 1996. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996. Used with permission.
This illustrated book introduces readers to African American literature by telling the story of the men and women who contributed to this body of work. The book begins by recounting the Africans' journey into slavery and how they kept their stories alive by telling them to one another, and by handing them down from generation to generation. Although African slaves were forbidden to read and write by their masters, some slaves learned to read, and they then wrote about their lives. One early writer was Phillis Wheatley, who wrote the first book of poetry ever published by an African American. The book profiles Frederick Douglass, discusses the "Jim Crow" laws, and proceeds to consider the works of modern African American writers, such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Gwendolyn Brooks (the first African American author to win the Pulitzer Prize), James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou. Although focused on the literary figures and authors, the book also examines the historical and cultural background of African Americans in today's United States, and shows the influence of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. The book concludes with a glossary which explains terms such as abolition, places such as the Cotton Club, and groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Panthers. A list of selected reading materials about the authors and artists is attached. (NKA)
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.