Light For The World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope (Hardcover)

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Light For The World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope By Kwame Alexander Cover Image

Light For The World To See: A Thousand Words on Race and Hope (Hardcover)


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From NPR correspondent and New York Times bestselling author, Kwame Alexander, comes a powerful and provocative collection of poems that cut to the heart of the entrenched racism and oppression in America and eloquently explores ongoing events.   A book in the tradition of James Baldwin’s “A Report from Occupied Territory,”  Light for the World to See is a rap session on race. A lyrical response to the struggles of Black lives in our world . . . to America’s crisis of conscience . . . to the centuries of loss, endless resilience, and unstoppable hope.   Includes an introduction by the author and a bold, graphically designed interior.

Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-two books, including The Undefeated; How to Read a Book; How to Write a Poem; Solo; Swing; Rebound, which was shortlisted for the prestigious Carnegie Medal; and his Newbery Medal–winning middle grade novel The Crossover. He’s also the founding editor of Versify, an imprint that aims to Change the World One Word at a Time. Visit him at

Product Details ISBN: 9780358539414
ISBN-10: 0358539412
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Pages: 96
Language: English

"The widely acclaimed author of nearly three dozen books for children, Alexander turns his poetic attention to three milestones in recent U.S. history: the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis, the kneeling protests of Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem before NFL games, and the election of Barack Obama. Alexander works through these events in reverse chronological order, committing one long poem apiece to each of the three turning points. The poems are defined as much by their direct language and stark imagery ("we can’t hold a gun / we can’t stop that whip / we can’t wear this skin") as by the highly stylized typography: much of the text appears on yellow banners against black backgrounds, mimicking police tape at crime scenes. Other pages include broken chains in grayscale and the American flag with its stars replaced by X's. One of the most powerful passages occurs when Alexander lists the names of Black individuals murdered by police and white vigilantes and stirs his readers to action. A brave intervention by a talented writer of conviction...Alexander's uniquely designed poems offer a useful entry point for conversations about racism in America."--Booklist   "This collection poignantly captures the pain, rage, injustice, and resistance that mark this moment in American history."--School Library Journal