DON’T HOLD ME BACK by Winfred Rembert

DON’T HOLD ME BACK

My Life and Art
by with illustrated by
Age Range: 10 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The story of Rembert’s life and late-developing artistic career is most significant as a first-person account of the racism still faced by African-Americans nearly 100 years after the abolishment of slavery. Illustrated by his own paintings on leather, Rembert’s frankly told story appalls. Growing up in 1950s rural Georgia, he was given at age three to his great-aunt to rear because of “troubles at home”; he spent his childhood as a field worker, and eventually was thrown in jail after he fled from police during a demonstration and stole a car. His justifiable anger is plainly expressed: “When white people started shooting, we all started running.” Ironically, it’s in jail that Rembert first discovers his talent, by watching a trustee create designs in leather. Rembert’s release, move to New York State, marriage to a woman he met while he was in prison, and self-taught artistic achievements are discussed only briefly, but his hard-won success leavens an otherwise bitter tale of growing up black in rural mid-century America. (Picture book/nonfiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-8126-2703-2
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Cricket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2003




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