As we look for ways to raise the voices of our Black sisters and brothers, I turn to poetry, of course. And there is a rich, long history of poetry by African American poets (see the list below), with new poets emerging all the time. In 2020 alone, I know of 10 books of poetry by Black poets-- offering powerful history and painful struggle, as well as celebrating identity, family, and everyday joy. And this is just a beginning!
- Brantley-Newton, Vanessa. 2020. Just Like Me. New York: Knopf.
- Browne, Mahogany L. 2020. Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice. New York: Roaring Brook Press.
- Elliott, Zetta. 2020. A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart. Ill. by Noa Denmon. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
- Elliott, Zetta. 2020. Say Her Name. Ill. by Love is Wise. New York: Jump at the Sun.
- Grimes, Nikki. 2020. Southwest Sunrise. Ill. by Wendell Minor. New York: Bloomsbury
- James, Nancy Johnson. 2020. Brown. Ill. by Constance Moore. Cameron Kids.
- Johnson, Angela. 2020. A Girl Like Me. Ill. by Nina Crews. Brookfield, CT: Lerner/Millbrook.
- Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2020. Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom. Ill. by Michele Wood. Somerville, MA: Candlewick.
- Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2020. By and By, Charles Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music. Ill. by Bryan Collier. New York: Atheneum.
- Weatherford, Carole Boston. 2020. RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. Ill. by Frank Morrison. New York: Atheneum.
Now, let's see what others are thinking about this Poetry Friday hosted by Margaret Simon at her blog, Reflections on the Teche. See you there!
Thanks for sharing this rich collection of 2020 Poetry books by African American poets–Seeing all these here reminds me of how much I'm missing my library that's closed, for there are probably many from this collection waiting to be discovered there… Thanks also for your list of African American poets.
Love this post! I've decided that my main role in this time is to share, buy and use resources. This helps me in my journey. Thank you, Sylvia!
These look wonderful! Thank you for sharing them.
What a wonderful list of poetry books and poets! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you, Sylvia - so many favorites here!
LOVE this! Thanks so much!
"Black Poetry Matters" -- Yes! Yes! Yes! Among the "and others," I just wanted to give a shout out to Jason Reynolds. Long Way Down affected me deeply.
Thank you! So grateful for this list. There are many poets I haven't read yet on this list.
Three new books by Carol Boston Weatherford? She has already taught me so much. This is a wonderful list. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for this resource. This is a post I will be returning to.
Thank you all for your kind words and for joining me in celebrating Black poets and poetry. I've added Jason Reynolds (and can't believe I forgot him!). Let's keep seeking out poetry by poets of color and help spread the word about the beautiful voices here!
Thanks, Sylvia, it's a wonderful list. I've read a few, and look forward to others. I wish I could buy them all, but do purchase a few & like Michelle above, waiting for my library!
Thank you, Sylvia, for this rich source of mentor texts that can be used in classrooms for a gentle conversation on Black Poetry Mattering. I am going to share your resources with my grad students this summer.
I love your title, Sylvia. Black Poetry Matters. I saw a sign the other day that said, "No lives matter until Black lives matter. Then all lives matter."
I know your list is books by Black poets in 2020, but I just want to say that one of my first favorite books by a black poet for children is HONEY, I LOVE AND OTHER LOVE POEMS by Eloise Greenfield, illustrated by Diane and Leo Dillion (1986)
Thank you for this list, Sylvia. I'll be sharing this list with my colleagues and am looking forward to exploring the 2020 releases.
Thank you for this, Sylvia. I'm trying to be more consciously diverse in my reading, so this list will really help! I can't wait for my library to open...someday!
Thanks for sharing this post, Sylvia. I'll be sharing it on the padlet that I curate for our grandparents' group. I have to give a shout out to the Poetry for Young People series and its book, African American Poetry. I wrote about this book for Black History Month and loved the poems I already knew in this book and the newly discovered ones as well.
Great list! Thanks!
Thanks, Linda and Carol! Yes, there are so many great books of poetry by Black authors and I wish we could get our hands on ALL of them! Keep on...
Appreciations. I am especially excited about Vanessa Brantley-Newton's poetry collection, which she also illustrated, after hearing her sing during the recent #KidLit4BlackLives event.
These all sound like winners.
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