Title: My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey
Author: Jeanne Walker Harvey
Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Children
Concepts: discrimination, racial inequality, social justice, careers, human resources
Review: As an adult, Romare Bearden became renowned for his striking art, especially his paintings and collages. Some of that artwork was inspired by memories he had as a very young child in North Carolina. The daily indignities and tensions of living segregated lives under the Jim Crow laws led his parents to move the family up to New York City. The move would lead to new opportunities, but it also meant sad goodbyes to great grandparents and to familiar landscapes that changed quickly as the train chugged north.
This book makes a valuable contribution to a growing collection of children's books that address the topic of institutionalized racism in the United States before the Civil Rights movement. Both the text and the illustrations offer an empowering message as they pay homage to this talented artist and his courageous family.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children