The work of more than 60 writers, poets, painters, photographers and historical figures forms this richly diverse and well-chosen introduction to African American culture. Accompanying a loose chronology of political milestones from the colonial era to the present are songs of the field and chain gang, a Benin bronze and folk sculpture and more. Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois and Jacob Lawrence shine brightly here, as do paintings by John Copley, George Bellows and Thomas Eakins, representing a sympathetic white viewpoint. Captions for the old photographs attest to hope prevailing in bad times, but ultimately the pride inherent in Martin Luther King Jr.'s ``I Have a Dream'' speech and Florence Griffith Joyner's Olympic medals succumbs to frequent hints that matters are worsening for many of today's African Americans. Concluding this lovingly produced volume, Gwendolyn Brooks's poem, ``To the Young Who Want to Die,'' becomes a moving plea to live for a brighter day. All ages. (Nov.)
An impressive and select assemblage of culturally representative photographs, paintings, sculpture, poetry, lyrics, excerpts from speeches and other artful expressions comprise this engrossing anthology. Biographical notes on the artists precede the lists of illustrations and acknowledgements conclude this compilation of a seemingly inexhaustible Mr. Sullivan. Horace Pippin, one of the African-American artists featured in Children of Promise didn't begin painting until he was 43 years old. Intermediate-grade and older can learn more about him in Mary E. Lyons' biography, Starting Home, which is illustrated with photos and reproductions of his "primitive" works.
Gr 4 Up-- This presentation of literature and art for young people is elegant, appealing, rich, and dramatic with moments from African-American history. Its contents touch all periods from slavery to the present. It claims 100 poems, folk songs, and other literary excerpts that accompany more than 80 historical photographs and reproductions of paintings and sculptures. While the index is not inclusive, this is an aesthetically gratifying book that deserves wide distribution.-- Helen E. Williams, formerly at University of Maryland, College Park