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Posted on: March 29, 2021

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

Freedom Over Me

by Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan's poetic portraits, inspired by an original estate-appraisal document from 1828, give voices to 11 enslaved individuals by imagining not only their daily lives but their hopes for the future. Bryan is as prolific as he...

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Posted on: March 29, 2021

The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life

The Playbook

by Kwame Alexander

This short book weaves together inspirational quotes, bios, and poetry to talk about life and its challenges through sports metaphors. While it's not entirely about basketball (Kwame talks about his own experience playing tennis...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project
Posted on: March 29, 2021

The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives

The Women Who Caught the Babies

by Eloise Greenfield; illustrated by Daniel Minter

In this story in verse, Eloise Greenfield paints a vivid portrait of Black midwives across hundreds of years. Paired with artwork by Daniel Minter, readers follow the history of midwifery, including Greenf...

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Posted on: March 29, 2021

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks

by Alice Faye Duncan; illustrated by Xia Gordon

This biography in verse introduces us to the brilliant poet Gwendolyn Brooks. Author (and school librarian!) Alice Faye Duncan weaves her own poetry with poems by Brooks to paint a picture of childhood on the...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project
Posted on: March 29, 2021

Words With Wings

Words with Wings

by Nikki Grimes

Words With Wings is a captivating, beautifully written work of fiction by Nikki Grimes that conveys an entire novel’s worth of events, emotions, and milestones through a series of short illuminating poems. In this novel, daydreame...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project
Posted on: March 29, 2021

The Black Flamingo

The Black Flamingo

by Dean Atta

This coming of age novel, told in verse, tells the story of Michael Angeli as he navigates his cultural identity as well as his emerging sexuality. Throughout the course of this inspiring quick read, Michael enters college and discovers the Dr...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project
Posted on: March 29, 2021

Punching the Air

Punching the Air

by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

A beautiful and gnawing narrative poem written in verse, Punching the Air is the personal perspective of Amal Shahid, an artist and a poet, who is tried as an adult and wrongfully convicted of a crime at the age of sixteen.

Exa...

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Posted on: March 29, 2021

Long Way Down

Long Way Down

by Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is one of those authors whose every word is placed precisely where it needs to be. Long Way Down is the kind of story you feel in your chest the whole way through, packaged in a simple, elegant, perfect frame narrative. You...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project
Posted on: March 29, 2021

Every Body Looking

Every Body Looking

by Candice Iloh

Candice Iloh tells the story of a girl we know as Ada — a mixed race dancer in contemporary America. As a semi-autobiographical work, Iloh's story focuses on Ada's internal processing as she deals with the troubl...

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Posted on: March 29, 2021

A Wreath For Emmett Till

A Wreath for Emmett Till

by Marilyn Nelson; illustrated by Philippe Lardy

A Wreath for Emmett Till is a collection of fourteen interlinked sonnets; the last line of one becomes the first line of the next. The author creates a wreath of remembrance of suffering while celebrating li...

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Posted on: March 29, 2021

Never Forgotten

Never Forgotten

by Patricia McKissack; artwork by Leo & Diane Dillon

Presented in verse poems accompanied by powerful illustrations, Never Forgotten tells the story of a Mende blacksmith who raises his son with love and the help of the four elements — Earth,...

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Find in our catalog Black Voices Poetry Project