Monday, December 7, 2009

We Troubled The Waters. Ntozake Shange Rod Brown

We Troubled the Waters by Ntozake Shange paintings by Rod Brown
This is a collection of 18 poems, from freed to the civil rights. Beginning with Booker T Washingtion School, 1941. About the first one room school for Black children and their teachers from Tuskgee.

There's a poem about Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Brown's painting of Dr. King is amazing. Overall, Brown's art made me pause and take notice. They are simply could be hanging in a museum beautiful.

The three poems that stand out for me - Crying Trees, The Ku Klux Klan and Brother Malcolm.

Crying Trees - Is about Black men being lynched. Shange's words are enough to touch a readers heart. Though for this particular poem I noticed Brown's art first. A picture is worth a thousand words is a saying for a reason. Black men hanging from trees is an ugly truth of this countries past.

The Ku Klux Klan - This poem stood out for me for two reasons. 1. Like lynching, I think the Klan tends to get overlooked. 2. The last line is lovely.

"hatred dies hard death and the Klan aint dead yet"

Brother Malcolm - Malcolm X, seems to be excluded or forgotten from children's books. I am not sure which.

Fans of Ntozake Shange and Rod Brown will love We Troubled The Waters. This is a wonderful place to begin for people unfamiliar with their work. This collection will make you think, remember, teach and lead to discussions.
Ages 10 up


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I can't decide if this sounds really good or really depressing or both!

Doret said...

Jill - Its really good.