This stylish survey places African-American writers in a social and political framework. The approach is lively: An elderly...

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SWEET WORDS SO BRAVE: The Story of African American Literature

This stylish survey places African-American writers in a social and political framework. The approach is lively: An elderly man tells his granddaughter about the literature and history of their people, his voice folksy and idiomatic (he joined in the genealogy craze launched by Alex Haley's Roots: ""I tickle myself sometimes just thinking about it""). For the most part, the voice of this five-chapter book works, blending well with the personal tone of reprinted snippets from pieces by well-known writers (Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, and others) and allowing for a nicely shaped ending: The old man turns over the telling to his granddaughter, asking her to make stories he can carry around in his pocket. Butler's illustrations, in full-spread paintings resembling murals and incorporated with historical photographs and portraits, vibrantly wrap the book together.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 1996

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Zino

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 1996