When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke

Published by Candlewick

When We Say Black Lives Matter: 9780734420428: Amazon.com: Books
When We Say Black Lives Matter: 9780734420428: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  A couple tells their child the many different meanings of saying Black Lives Matter.  It can be whispered, screamed, sung, or sobbed to celebrate the lives of Black people, to remember what was done to them in the past, and to protest wrongs still being done to them.  The rhyming text highlights words with different fonts and shapes.  The illustrations show the baby growing up until the last page, “We see you, Black-child-magic, your radiant Black shine/We hear your Black Lives Matter, and we know we’ll be all right,” shows him in a cap and gown holding a diploma triumphantly in the air.  32 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  The many different facets of the Black Lives Matter movement are addressed here with beautiful watercolor pencil and collage illustrations filled with colors and shapes.  The rhyming text flows smoothly and is well-integrated into the illustrations. 

Cons:  I’d love to see this considered for the Coretta Scott King Award, but the author is Australian, so I don’t think that it qualifies.

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