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Our intention is to acquire and make available ALL picture books featuring Indigenous people and people of color published in the U.S. since 2002, including reprints. Inclusion of a title in the collection DOES NOT EQUAL recommendation. See our related readings page for suggested links for evaluating books.

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The people could fly

2015

by Virginia Hamilton, Diane Dillon and Leo Dillon

Resplendent, powerful paintings by these two-time Caldecott-winning artists bring new life to the title story from the late Hamilton's 1985 collection, The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales . Making dramatic use of shadow and light, Leo and Diane Dillon (whose half-tone illustrations also graced the original volume) ably convey the tale's simultaneous messages of oppression and freedom, of sadness and hope. "They say the people could fly. Say that long ago in Africa, some of the people knew magic," opens the narrative, as the full-color artwork reveals elegant, beautifully clothed individuals with feathered wings serenely ascending into the sky. On the following spread, images of the Middle Passage set a fittingly somber tone, depicting Africans who "were captured for Slavery. The ones that could fly shed their wings. They couldn't take their wings across the water on the slave ships. Too crowded, don't you know." The picture-book format allows room for the relationship to develop between Sarah, who labors in the cotton fields with an infant strapped to her back, and Toby, the "old man," who utters the magic African words that give her flight. Toby helps others take flight as well (a stunning image shows seemingly hundreds linking hands and taking to the skies)- and eventually does so himself, sadly leaving some of the captives "who could not fly" behind to "wait for a chance to run." Art and language that are each, in turn, lyrical and hard-hitting make an ideal pairing in this elegant volume that gracefully showcases the talent of its creators. All ages

Cross Group Folklore Oppression

The journey of York

2019

by Hasan Davis and Alleanna Harris

Thomas Jefferson's Corps of Discovery included Captains Lewis and Clark and a crew of 28 men to chart a route from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. All the crew but one volunteered for the mission. York, the enslaved man taken on the journey, did not choose to go. Slaves did not have choices. York's contributions to the expedition, however, were invaluable. The captains came to rely on York's judgement, determination, and peacemaking role with the American Indian nations they encountered. But as York's independence and status rose on the journey, the question remained what status he would carry once the expedition was over. This is his story.--Provided by publisher

Biography Cross Group Oppression

Someday is now

2018

by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich and Jade Johnson

Presents the life of Clara Luper, an African-American teacher and local civil rights leader who taught her students about equality and led them in lunch counter sit-in demonstrations in Oklahoma City in 1958.

Biography Oppression

Undocumented

2018

by Duncan Tonatiuh

Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex--accordion fold--format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive. Though he is able to get a job as a busboy at a restaurant, he is severely undercompensated--he receives less than half of the minimum wage! Risking his boss reporting him to the authorities for not having proper resident papers, Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community.--Amazon.com

Beautiful Life Cross Group Oppression

Henry’s freedom box

2007

by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson

A fictionalized account of how in 1849 a Virginia slave, Henry "Box" Brown, escapes to freedom by shipping himself in a wooden crate from Richmond to Philadelphia

Cross Group Oppression

Many of the cover images on this site are from Google Books.

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