Inheritance: A Visual Poem

HarperCollins/Quill Tree. May 2022. 48p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062931948.
Gr 7 Up–This latest publication by award-winning The Poet X author Acevedo is a bold spoken word journey through the history of Black oppression as seen from the proverbial salon chair. The ways in which Black women have been goaded to “fix” their hair are countless, and reach back into history as far as the slave ships. “But how do you fix this shipwrecked history of hair?” she asks. Full of hard questions directed at people of both past and present, Black, white, and Latinx, Acevedo’s work is a declaration of peace with her Afro-Dominican heritage and offers a model for representation for herself and future children. “From the moment they leave the womb, they will be born in love with themselves.” Pippins’s full-color art perfectly matches the bold voice and tone of the text, serving as a current on which the language rides with increasing strength and force. While many books of the same theme have been published in the kids’ space in recent years, this one is a standout for its appeal to the young adult audience and the fusion of fury and realization it portrays. Because “you can’t fix what was never broken.”
VERDICT A powerful proclamation of resistance and resilience over cultural oppression. Purchase for YA poetry collections, especially where spoken word is in demand.

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