ALL US COME CROSS THE WATER by Lucille Clifton

ALL US COME CROSS THE WATER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I got this teacher name Miss Wills. This day she come asking everybody to tell where they people come from. . . . When it come to me I don't say nothing so she get all mad."" Thus begins Ujamaa's search for his ethnic origins, which is complicated by the fact that he can't say ""what country"" because ""we from all different parts of Africa."" Then ""real smart"" old Tweezer at the Panther Book Shop explains that ""We from all them countries, Ujamaa. All off the same boat,"" and so next day the teacher gets her answer: ""Miss Wills, my name is Ujamaa and that mean Unity and that's where I'm from."" Steptoe's emphatic designs differ from his celebration of black identity in Birthday (KR, 1972) chiefly in the more somber blue-green-purple color scheme; as in Birthday, there's little pretense here to a story for its own sake, but grownups seeking to reinforce black pride will find the lesson affirmatively set forth.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 1973
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston