by Ibi Zoboi; illustrated by Loveis Wise
Poetic text by National Book Award Finalist Ibi Zoboi and expansive art by Loveis Wise bring the seven principles of Kwanzaa to life in The People Remember. Honoring the oral tradition of Black history being passed through generations, this story begins in Africa "in a time of war" naming the nations "The Ashanti and the Fulani, the Empire of Mali..." and more, whose histories were forever changed by enslavement. In the new world, people of these nations come together in the principle of Umoja (unity). The people are sustained by Kuumba (creativity), Imani (faith), and Nia (purpose). Kujichagulia (self-determination) is shown as Harriet Tubman leads people to freedom. Readers and listeners are told about free Black communities that grow from Ujima (collective work and responsibility) and Ujamaa (cooperative economics). The story sweeps through the hardships and hard-won progress of the 20th century and into the 21st century, acknowledging that "...the people remember that it happens again and again" yet also "The people know that there will be a time of peace."
A poignant and triumphant book to share all year long, we particularly recommend this text as Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26th to January 1st.
See the Jones Library Antiracism Book List for recommended titles for all ages.