The Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

“This is for the unforgettable. The swift and sweet ones who hurdled history... read more

“This is for the unforgettable. The swift and sweet ones who hurdled history and opened a world of possible. The ones who survived American by any means necessary.” This is for those with “undeniable” strength, unforgettable” achievements, “unflappable” courage. This is for “unspeakable” pain that was endured. Kwame Alexander’s powerful ode, a celebration of African American survival, achievement, creativity, and resilience, is brimming with references to historical and contemporary people and cultural touchstones and incorporates direct quotes that speak to past (“we shall not be moved”) and present (”black lives matter”). Events and individuals are further illuminated in Kadir Nelson’s stirring oil-on-panel artwork that expands the emotional resonance of the arresting poem that is also a celebration of the promise of every Black youth today: “This is for you. And you. And you. This is for us.” An author’s note is followed by brief information about each of the individuals and events referenced in the narrative and artwork. (Ages 8 and older)

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

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