REMEMBER THE BRIDGE by Carole Boston Weatherford
Kirkus Star


Poems of a People
Age Range: 9 & up
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Some define poetry as the distillation of complex themes into specific images. In just 29 poems, Weatherford (The Sound That Jazz Makes, 2000) brilliantly summarizes the broad span of African-American history, with short poems that follow a complete timeline from prehistory (“Mother Africa Speaks to Civilization”) to the present through the inclusion of current sports stars (“The All-Time, All-Sport, All-Star Team”). Her collection begins with “Remember the Bridge,” honoring links to the past, and ends with “I Am the Bridge,” a stunning metaphorical view of African-Americans standing strong together like a bridge of steel. Several poems graphically describe the capture, transport, sale, and mistreatment of slaves (with one accompanying photograph showing a horrifying image of a slave’s scarred back), other poems focus on famous African-Americans, and other works focus on aspects of culture both past and present, including the civil-rights movement. Almost all of these poems are rhymed, with many fairly shouting to be read out loud with a strong beat. Each poem is paired with a vintage photograph or illustration, augmented by an attractive page design with the titles set in brown. Some of the poems will work for younger children, such as “Martin’s Letter” or “Soul Food,” while other selections will find a place in middle school and high school classrooms. This is a collection for every library, offering all readers a bridge toward understanding and acceptance. (author’s note) (Poetry. 9-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23726-7
Page count: 56pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2001


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