|Your legacy : a bold reclaiming of our enslaved history|
Author: Williams, Schele
Beginning in Africa before 1619, Your Legacy presents an unprecedentedly accessible, empowering, and proud introduction to African American history.
School Library Journal (+) (00/10/21)
Booklist (+) (09/15/21)
The Hornbook (00/01/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2021 *Starred Review* This is an inspiring exhortation for young African Americans to honor the amazing gifts that come from their ancestors. The book begins with descriptions of the rich cultures that thrived in Africa until 1619, when European slave traders first arrived. The following pages tell how enslaved people were torn from their families and forced into back-breaking labor. Throughout, the text speaks only to the deep, powerful qualities that allowed enslaved Africans to survive: love, as they created new families to protect one another; intellect, as they learned how to communicate through secret messages; strength and determination, as they devised ways to escape. Pages list African American inventors and entrepreneurs, gifted musicians, performers, and athletes who, readers are told, made many sacrifices and walked in grace. Young African American readers are told that they can honor this legacy by holding their head high and changing the world. Bright, brilliant, page-filling illustrations perfectly capture the joyous tone, and an author's note explains how Williams wrote this book with humility and gratitude for the sacrifices made by my enslaved ancestors. Not focused on recrimination or placing blame, this book is a celebration of perseverance and dignity that deserves a wide audience. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2021 K-Gr 2—A celebration of Black excellence that highlights numerous notable figures throughout history and their accomplishments. Black history begins on the continent of Africa where their language and culture flourished. Williams covers, in picture book form, the arrival in 1619 of European slave traders who took Africans away from their homeland and stripped them of their families, their names—even their language. Thankfully, they didn't let not knowing the language of others who were enslaved deter them, and they came up with a brand-new language called Pidgin. The enslaved ancestors retained their music as a connection to Africa, an art form that would one day play an important role in their escape to freedom. People such as Robert Smalls and Harriet Tubman appear in the text; so do brilliant inventors like Benjamin Boyd and Henry Montgomery who were not allowed to take credit for their creations while others reaped the benefits. That didn't stop them and others like them from continuing to innovate. This picture book recounts different points in African American history and does so in a way that is understandable to a picture book audience without watering it down or lessening the impact. The African ancestors' resilience is awe-inspiring, and this book does an outstanding job of telling their story and honoring them. Each page spread is a piece of artwork worthy of a museum. The blend of colors and media draws readers in to appreciate every detail. VERDICT A celebration of African ancestry with enthralling artwork and a compelling and easy-to-understand story that belongs in every collection.—Myiesha Speight, formerly at Towson Univ., Baltimore - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.