Cover image for Say her name
Title:
Say her name
Uniform Title:
Poems. Selections
ISBN:
9781368045247
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
83 pages : color illustrations ; 19 cm.
Genre:
Added Author:
Summary:
Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls. --
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Summary

Summary

Inspired by the #SayHerName campaign launched by the African American Policy Forum, these poems pay tribute to victims of police brutality as well as the activists insisting that Black Lives Matter. Elliott engages poets from the past two centuries to create a chorus of voices celebrating the creativity, resilience, and courage of Black women and girls. This collection features forty-nine powerful poems, four of which are tribute poems inspired by the works of Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, and Phillis Wheatley. This provocative collection will move every reader to reflect, respond - and act.


Author Notes

Author Bio:Zetta Elliott is an award-winning author, scholar, and activist. Born in Canada, she moved to the US in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. She taught Black Studies at the college level for close to a decade and has worked with urban youth for thirty years. Her poetry has been published in New Daughters of Africa; We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices; the Cave Canem anthology The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South; Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees; and Coloring Book: an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers. She is the author of over thirty books for young readers and currently lives in West Philadelphia. Visit zettaelliott.com to learn more.Illustrator Bio:Loveis Wise is a Freelance Illustrator and Designer from Washington D.C. Her work can be found in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Refinery29, and Buzzfeed. She currently lives in Philadelphia.


Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7--10--Elliott describes herself as a writer of poetry, but not a poet. When she learned that some of her students were unfamiliar with the poetry of Gwendolyn Brooks, she introduced them to the poetry of black women. In her own life, Elliott has often responded to violence and pain through the act of writing. These poems represent her response to victims of violence and racial discrimination, among other atrocities that black Americans have suffered. It is also her way to give a voice to black people who have lived through these circumstances. Some poems include provocative language and situations that may be best read and discussed with adult guidance. For example, the poem "Mouse" describes a street smart girl who gets into a physical altercation and "took one look at the blood/drippin from her friends scalp/pulled out her knife and jabbed him/just like I taught her." Many of the poems echo writers like Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, and Nikki Giovanni; a few of the poets' writings are included in this collection. Titles such as "Black Girl Miracle," "Self-Care," and "Black Lives Matter" pay homage to the strength and power of black girls and women while offering empowerment. Elliott's poetry also encourages readers to act when confronted with injustice, whether through marching or campaigning or responding through writing. VERDICT This collection is inspirational, uplifting, and encouraging for readers of all genders. Elliott may not think of herself as a poet, but her creativity and deft wielding of rich language prove otherwise.--Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH


Kirkus Review

A collection of poems centering the experiences of black women, girls, and femmes.Elliott (Dragons in a Bag, 2018, etc.) offers up a poetic love letter exploring a vast range of topics: Black Lives Matter; microaggressions such as hair touching; violence against black women and girls; the Middle Passage; what self-care and resistance can look like; not fitting into prescribed definitions of blackness; and surviving in the U.S. (a country where, echoing Audre Lorde's "A Litany for Survival," she writes, "you are a miracle / because we were never / meant to survive / not as human beings / yet despite their best efforts / to grind us down / still we rise / we strut / dazzle / defy the odds"). It's clear that Elliott poured not only her talent, but her heart into this collection, which acknowledges race-wide struggles as well as very personal ones. True to the title, several poems allude to black women and young people who have been murdered, though, disappointingly, black trans women are largely absent. Elliott includes a sprinkling of mentor poems that served as inspiration to her and that form an introduction to readers unfamiliar with the poets' works (though why Phillis Wheatley's ode to internalized anti-blackness "On Being Brought From Africa to America" was included without context isn't clear). Art not seen.This empowering collection belongs on every shelf. (notes) (Poetry. 12-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.