Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History

Abrams . Sept. 2021. 48p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781419748752.
K-Gr 2–A celebration of Black excellence that highlights numerous notable figures throughout history and their accomplishments. Black history begins on the continent of Africa where their language and culture flourished. Williams covers, in picture book form, the arrival in 1619 of European slave traders who took Africans away from their homeland and stripped them of their families, their names—even their language. Thankfully, they didn’t let not knowing the language of others who were enslaved deter them, and they came up with a brand-new language called Pidgin. The enslaved ancestors retained their music as a connection to Africa, an art form that would one day play an important role in their escape to freedom. People such as Robert Smalls and Harriet Tubman appear in the text; so do brilliant inventors like Benjamin Boyd and Henry Montgomery who were not allowed to take credit for their creations while others reaped the benefits. That didn’t stop them and others like them from continuing to innovate. This picture book recounts different points in African American history and does so in a way that is understandable to a picture book audience without watering it down or lessening the impact. The African ancestors’ resilience is awe-inspiring, and this book does an outstanding job of telling their story and honoring them. Each page spread is a piece of artwork worthy of a museum. The blend of colors and media draws readers in to appreciate every detail.
VERDICT A celebration of African ancestry with enthralling artwork and a compelling and easy-to-understand story that belongs in every collection.

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