Black Roses: Odes Celebrating Powerful Black Women

HarperAudio. Mar. 2022. 1:26 hrs. ISBN 9780063135581. $13.99. POETRY
Green, winner of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his self-published debut poetry collection From Englewood, with Love, has created a towering new work of poetry honoring celebrity and everyday Black women who often get little recognition. The book is dedicated to his grandmother, who suggests, “Give me flowers when I can still smell them.” Each ode captures the spirit of the woman. In the rousing “Stacey Speaks,” Green marvels at Abrams turning complex ideas into ballet and working until she fixes the U.S.’s broken system. In “Misty’s Emancipation,” Green’s warmth focuses on Copeland, a Black ballerina with the burden of being among the first, yet demonstrating what an overcomer looks like. In “Kimberly’s Language,” Green’s academic voice introduces translator Bryant, who proves the more languages you know, the more powerful you are. “Jennifer’s Song” emotionally reflects on Hudson, an American Idol with the heart of a survivor. You give like you know what it’s like not to have. The delightful Q&A is hosted by Green’s mother, Lisa.
VERDICT Green’s writing and narration make poetry accessible to everyone.
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