Walking Gentry Home: A Memoir of My Foremothers in Verse

Books on Tape. Aug. 2022. 248p. $28.50. ISBN 9780593559079.
Gr 7 Up–Her ancestry, as it can be traced with names, goes back to Amy Coleman, an enslaved woman who bore her white enslaver’s child. Young appeared seven generations later, her lineage explored in a mesmerizing memoir-in-verse “about girlhood and how the world scoffs at the way Black women come of age...because Black girls begin being called women far before they know what women really are.” Poetry, she insists, is “the only way to tell this story.” Performing her own history, her very life, Young’s impassioned delivery channels centuries of abuse and joy, pain and hope, suffering and forgiveness, and most of all, unconditional, unrelenting love. Young is just 19, a Swarthmore College student, and Youth Poet Laureate of the Southern United States.
VERDICT Young’s double debut—as writer and narrator—is an inarguable achievement, her prodigious success a promise of further recognition to come.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing