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Ellington Was Not a Street by Ntozake Shange

Ellington Was Not a Street

by Ntozake Shange

Other authors: Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)

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Although I didn't look up the summary of the book, it seemed interesting because its title had Ellington in it. I had read a Duke Ellington book for the biography assignment and figured this would be a good book to choose. I wasn't aware that the book had started until I was on the third page. I had to go back and reread from the beginning. There was no punctuation or capitalization in this book at all. On some pages, there were more than one sentence, but there was no punctuation to indicate where the new sentence started. I was already halfway through the book and still hadn't understood what the book really was about. There were many random names listed on just about every age, but I didn't know who they were. It wasn't until I finished the book that I realized it was actually a poem, called Mood Indigo, broken up to have different illustrations to go along with the names of people from black history. Although the book/poem was very hard to understand, the illustrations are almost lifelike. The details really make the characters and people in the book come alive. ( )
  CharleneMartin | Feb 5, 2017 |
Gorgeous. Pull up 'mood indigo' (note the title on the album the girl is holding) and listen before and after reading this. Read about all the 'men who changed the world' that this woman was lucky enough to meet, in the note at the end, after seeing each line of the poem richly illustrated with images of these men. I can't recommend strongly enough that every school library should own a copy of this. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
From the view of a young girl whose parents are highly involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960's. She see's great activists and of course hears What the say and Duke Ellington, which is not a street.
  shep7 | Jun 4, 2016 |
The illustrations in this book were beautiful and offered a realistic interpretation of the events that took place. Nelson included the main character, Ntozake Shange, in all but two of the pictures, since she is the voice of the story. Shange is drawn as a young girl, who is reflecting on all of the memories she had in her home that involved many well-known African Americans who helped change the world we know today. Nelson's variation of horizontal, vertical, and curved lines in his art make the images appear to be three-dimensional. The variation of lines also helped depict the age and emotions of each character. The illustrations appeared to have a lot of depth. You could see the rough texture on the brick buildings and smooth texture on the staircase. There weren't a lot of bright colors. Nelson mostly used earth tones, which I felt created a more homey feeling. Altogether, Nelson did a wonderful job bringing out the best in each memory, young Shange had with her numerous visitors. ( )
  srmorgan | Jan 29, 2016 |
The illustrations in this book are beautiful and the story is simply written. It’s written from a little girls perspective watching her father and a group of his friends and the changes being made on ellington street. During a time “when the color of your skin dictated where you could live”. ( )
  JPEmmrich5 | Nov 30, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ntozake Shangeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nelson, KadirIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0689828845, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:29 -0400)

A tribute to select African American men including Paul Robeson, William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois, Ray Barretto, Earlington Carl "Sonny Til" Tilghman, John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, Dr. Kwane Nkrumah, Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, Virgil "Honey Bear" Atkins, and the Clovers.… (more)

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