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Above the Rim

2020

by Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison

"Winner of 2021 Orbis Pictus Award! The story of Elgin Baylor, basketball icon and civil rights advocate, from an all-star team Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players, he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA. Above the Rim is a poetic, exquisitely illustrated telling of the life of an underrecognized athlete and a celebration of standing up for what is right." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

Beautiful Shades of Brown

2020

by Nancy Churnin and Felicia Marshall

"Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn't see any artists who looked like her. She didn't see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC's National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured." -- publisher

Biography

Black is a Rainbow Color

2020

by Angela Joy and Ekua Holmes

"A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. From the wheels on a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall's back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and survive. Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words." -- publisher

Beautiful Life

Colin Kaepernick

2020

by Blake Hoena and Sam LeDoyen

"This graphic biography shows readers the moments that have defined Colin Kaepernick’s life as a quarterback and an activist. His talent and determination made him a college football success and brought him to the National Football League. As a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he led his team to multiple playoffs and even competed in the Super Bowl. When outrage over violence against African Americans became a national movement, Kaepernick joined the protests. His decision cost him his career in football, but he gained a voice heard worldwide." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group

Dark Was the Night

2020

by Gary Golio and E.B. Lewis

"The poignant story of Blind Willie Johnson—the legendary Texas musician whose song “Dark Was the Night” was included on the Voyager I space probe’s Golden Record Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing—and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. How does a blind boy make his way in the world? Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song—“Dark Was the Night”—was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the Voyager I space probe’s famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we’re not alone." -- publisher

Biography

Dream Builder

2020

by Kelly Starling Lyons and Laura Freeman

"You've seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it. Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

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