Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy

by Tony Medina, Javaka Steptoe, R. Gregory Christie, and Ekua Holmes

Fourteen poems—the 13 brief poems referenced in the title plus a longer introductory... read more

Fourteen poems—the 13 brief poems referenced in the title plus a longer introductory offering—affirm the lives and experiences of Black boys and young men. Across the collection, the poems and accompanying illustrations move from very young childhood (“mama’s little butterfly” in “Anacostia Angel”) to middle childhood (“My granny made me this suit / so I can look nice for God” in “Little Mister May”; “Summertime on stoop / Forehead sweat like ice cream tears” in “Lazy Hazy Days”) to adolescence and young adulthood (“Know how many times / I done miss this broke-down bus” in “Athlete’s Broke Bus Blues”). The final poem is in the voice of a young Black man who has returned to his childhood school as a teacher (“Givin’ Back to the Community”). Each poem is illustrated by a different Black artist, showcasing an arresting array of visual styles, media, and depictions of Black boys. Notes from the poet and about each of the artists conclude this slim, essential volume. (Age 8 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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