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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
Just by reading the introduction of Words with Wings, you know you're in for something extraordinary. This amazing book is a compilation of words and images from African-American poets and artists. Spanning generations, the book includes well-known greats such as Langston Hughes and Alice Walker as well as hopeful and intense newcomers. Belinda Rochelle, the book's editor, chose the pieces for the statement they make about African-American culture. She also went to great lengths to match each poem to a fitting work of visual art. Alice Walker's poem "We Alone," for example, is paired with Henry Ossawa Tanner's The Banjo Lesson. The result is a breathtaking duo that improves with every read.
Some of the topics explored by these great works are racism, black pride, poverty, and struggle. While the theme is African-American culture, the human core of all the poems and illustrations will inspire readers of any heritage. The poem "Legacies" by Nikki Giovanni reminds us of the everyday words that we speak and the way no one ever says what they mean; we often remain unaware of the fear and love that surrounds us, Giovanni suggests. Particularly touching is the matching painting, "Saving Prayers" by Horace Pippin, which offers a glimpse into a very private moment between a mother and her children, illuminated even further by Giovanni's powerful words.
The poetry and art represent various styles and formats. From traditional rhyme to free verse, from watercolor to charcoal, these works speak of the human condition with compassion and strength. Readers young and old will revel in the power of a word and the impact of a single brushstroke.