Hey Black Child

by Useni Eugene Perkins and Bryan Collier

First written in 1975 for a children’s theater production, The Black Fairy... read more

First written in 1975 for a children’s theater production, The Black Fairy and Other Plays, this poem of affirmation is well known and often recited within African American communities. Over the years, it has been attributed to Countee Cullen and Maya Angelou, among others, but it was not until the decision to publish it in a picture-book edition was made that the true author was located. Useni Eugene Perkins, now in his 80s, is a Chicago poet, playwright, and social worker whose uplifting words of empowerment from more than 40 years ago still resonate in our times. Bryan Collier’s collage and watercolor illustrations show four specific children who will one day grow up to be an artist, dancer, political leader, and scientist in this moving ode in honor of African American youth and promise. (Ages 3-8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

show less