Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Iconic Talents from Past and Present

Jamia Wilson, illus. by Andrea Pippins. Wide Eyed Editions, $22.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-78603-158-7
With a title drawn from Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” this striking volume highlights 52 black activists, politicians, artists, writers, scientists, and entertainers from around the world. Wilson introduces the figures in succinct biographies that move briskly through their accomplishments, emphasize their impact, and include brief quotations (“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” said Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman in Congress). Wilson’s subjects are weighted toward the 20th and 21st centuries (Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mae Jemison, Steve McQueen, the Obamas, the Williams and Knowles sisters), but earlier trailblazers are also represented, including George Washington Carver, Alexandre Dumas, and Harriet Tubman. Pippins uses dramatic shades of pink, yellow, red, and fluorescent green to create tableaus that suggest a blend of religious iconography and pop art. A luminous and diverse tribute to black movers and shakers across the centuries. Ages 7–10. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/11/2017
Release date: 02/01/2018
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