Black Is a Rainbow Color

With Black Is a Rainbow Color, debut author Angela Joy pens a loving tribute to all the ways black is beautiful. Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ekua Holmes's brilliant collage illustrations elevate the text's themes of resilience and strength.

This multifaceted look into varying definitions and descriptions of what black is begins with the literal ("Black is a crayon, tangled in a box... Black is the dirt where sunflowers grow") before moving into more figurative explorations ("Black is history... Black is the love that lives inside of me"). Some of these examples are explored in depth in comprehensive back matter that includes an author's note, a themed playlist, poetry, a bibliography and "A Timeline of Black Ethnonyms in America" which shares the evolution of terms used for black people throughout the history of the United States.

Holmes's (What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?) deft hand unifies snippets of old newsprints, boldly colored patterned paper, demure cityscapes and figures outlined in thick, black lines. One particular spread epitomizes Holmes's graceful blending of textures: four "cornerstones... of the modern Civil Rights Movement" are pictured, the women (Mamie Till-Mobley, Ella Baker, Marian Wright Edelman and Fanny Lou Hamer) puzzled together as stained-glass windows framed by solidly defined stonework, all placed atop a misty, muted rainbow. With its charming simplicity, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a great way to begin unpacking a wide spectrum of connections and ideas behind the layered definitions of black. --Breanna J. McDaniel, freelance reviewer

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