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Ellington Was Not a Street

by Ntozake Shange

Other authors: Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

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3364455,691 (3.97)3
In a reflective tribute to the African-American community of old, noted poet Ntozake Shange recalls her childhood home and the close-knit group of innovators that often gathered there. These men of vision, brought to life in the majestic paintings of artist Kadir Nelson, lived at a time when the color of their skin dictated where they could live, what schools they could attend, and even where they could sit on a bus or in a movie theater. Yet in the face of this tremendous adversity, these dedicated souls and others like them not only demonstrated the importance of Black culture in America, but also helped issue in a movement that "changed the world." Their lives and their works inspire us to this day, and serve as a guide to how we approach the challenges of tomorrow.… (more)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
I loved this book -- the rhythm of the language, the little girl protagonist, the introduction to historical figures who were actually real people to the little girl, and now, to the reader. I would have wished for more women! But otherwise it was perfect. ( )
  adaq | Dec 25, 2019 |
In the art of poetic junction and meter, Ntozake Shange pens a poetic masterpiece that vividly tells the story of the contributions of black men in our 2oth century history. Men like Duke Ellington, W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Robeson to mention a few are beautifully depicted in such subtle but poignant illustrations that they leave a mark and tell the story with detail. The book opens with a street sign 'Ellington' and the poem begins 'it hasn't always been this way, ellington was not a street.' You notice first off that not one of the sentences start with a capital letter and my second grade students would be quick to point that out, but I feel this would be a good point to pass into a segment on types of poetic meter and when not to use syntax for impact. Each page contained two lines and that was all and in those two lines there was so much context. I would love for my students to see this and be able to practice this as well, by writing two lines that rhyme that would depict best some moment in their life. ( )
  W.Arute | Oct 19, 2019 |
Author, Ntozake Shange, takes her poem and turns it into a beautiful story that actually is about her father's house and all the famous musicians who came through to visit. My favorite, Kadir Nelson, does the illustrations - which are always beautiful. ( )
  NDeBlieux | May 8, 2019 |
This book is one of culture; a book of power and knowledge. Persons of all ages will enjoy reading this book and becoming enlightened on prominent African American figures of the era. It gives different biographies of these people while displayed beautiful imagery to accompany the flowy text of the book. Overall, this book is one of knowledge and people should read it to understand more behind the culture of African Americans. ( )
  rrasco1 | Mar 11, 2018 |
A poem about the men who have changed history for African Americans. Ellington was not a street shows that once these great men were just mere company and didn't amount to anything. These great men made this street famous and now their legacy lives on. ( )
  mcsuane | Oct 5, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ntozake Shangeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nelson, KadirIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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In a reflective tribute to the African-American community of old, noted poet Ntozake Shange recalls her childhood home and the close-knit group of innovators that often gathered there. These men of vision, brought to life in the majestic paintings of artist Kadir Nelson, lived at a time when the color of their skin dictated where they could live, what schools they could attend, and even where they could sit on a bus or in a movie theater. Yet in the face of this tremendous adversity, these dedicated souls and others like them not only demonstrated the importance of Black culture in America, but also helped issue in a movement that "changed the world." Their lives and their works inspire us to this day, and serve as a guide to how we approach the challenges of tomorrow.

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