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When We Say Black Lives Matter

Regular price $ 16.99

by Maxine Beneba Clarke

Candlewick Press

8/7/2021, paperback

SKU: 9781536222388


In a powerful, poetic missive, award-winning author-illustrator Maxine Beneba Clarke celebrates the meaning behind the words Black Lives Matter.

 Little one, when we say Black Lives Matter,
we're saying Black people are wonderful-strong.
That we deserve to be treated with basic respect,
and that history's done us wrong. . . .
Darling, when we sing that Black Lives Matter,
and we're dancing through the streets,
we're saying: fear will not destroy our joy,
defiance in our feet.

In this joyful exploration of the Black Lives Matter motto, a loving narrator relays to a young Black child the strength and resonance behind the words. In family life, through school and beyond, the refrains echo and gain in power, among vignettes of protests and scenes of ancestors creating music on djembe drums. With deeply saturated illustrations rendered in jewel tones, Maxine Beneba Clarke offers a gorgeous, moving, and essential picture book.

Target Age: 6 to 9


"With assured rhythm and poetic grace, Clarke offers this stirring epistle from a couple to their growing Black child, patiently enlightening them on the meaning of Black Lives Matter. . . At once a solemn eulogy, stirring paean, and tender triumph of a book." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Clarke's text is poignant and mesmerizing, with design elements that raise the text to an artistic level, shaping it around the art and highlighting active and emotional words in color: enough, dancing, radiant, precious. The art is truly outstanding, gripping the heart from the very first spread and not letting go. . . . This slim book contains a necessary and healing exploration of our current moment that will remain relevant for decades to come. An astonishing work of art and a crucial addition to every bookshelf." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)