Sweet Words So Brave: The Story of African American Literature

by Barbara K. Curry, James Michael Brodie, and Jerry Butler

A fictional grandfather relates the history of African-Americans in North America... read more

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)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1996

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