Cover image for
Title:
Ellington was not a street
Author(s):
Shange, Ntozake.
ISBN/ISSN:
0689828845
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 32cm
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Lexile Number:
NP Lexile.
Added Author:
Pub Date:
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2004]
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Audience
Genre
Home Location
Material Type
Language
Shelf Number
Status
Central - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Closed stacks picture book Closed stacks kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Henington-Alief - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Fiction Kids book +E SHANG
Searching...
Fifth Ward - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Johnson - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Moody - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Moody - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Pleasantville - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Vinson - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Vinson - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Young - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Oak Forest - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Oak Forest - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Jungman - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Stanaker - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Henington-Alief - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...
Stimley-Blue Ridge - Houston Public Library Kid/Juvenile Picture books Kids book E SHANG
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In a reflective tribute to the African-American community of old, noted poet Ntozake Shange recalls her childhood home and the close-knit group of innovators that often gathered there. These men of vision, brought to life in the majestic paintings of artist Kadir Nelson, lived at a time when the color of their skin dictated where they could live, what schools they could attend, and even where they could sit on a bus or in a movie theater.
Yet in the face of this tremendous adversity, these dedicated souls and others like them not only demonstrated the importance of Black culture in America, but also helped issue in a movement that "changed the world." Their lives and their works inspire us to this day, and serve as a guide to how we approach the challenges of tomorrow.


Author Notes

Ntozake Shange is a writer, educator, and poet. She was born Paulette Linda Williams in Trenton, New Jersey on October 18, 1948. Shange graduated from Barnard College in 1970 and entered the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, earning a master's degree in 1973. It was while in graduate school that she adopted her African name.

Shange taught writing and took part in poetry readings and dance performances. She taught drama and creative writing at several colleges and universities, including Yale and Howard. In 1983, Shange became associate professor of drama at the University of Houston.

Shange wrote For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, a choreopoem that opened on Broadway in 1976. The show won an Obie Award and was nominated for an Emmy, a Tony, and a Grammy. Shange also wrote the trilogy, Three Pieces, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry in 1981. She also received an Obie in 1981 for her adaptation of Bertold Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. Shange has also published novels, collections of poetry, and a children's book.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3-5. The text of this picture book for older children is a paean to Shange's family home and the exciting men who gathered there, everyone from W. E. B. DuBois and Paul Robeson to Dizzy Gillispie and Duke Ellington. Taken from Shange's 1983 poem Mood Indigo, the words here recall, from a child's perspective, what it was like to listen in the company of men / politics as necessary as collards / music even in our dreams. The evocative words are more than matched by Nelson's thrilling, oversize oil paintings, a cross between family photo album and stage set, featuring this group of extraordinary men interacting--playing cards, singing, discussing. The girl who is always watching them is, unfortunately, portrayed as very young, perhaps three or four, although she appears somewhat older on the beguiling jacket art. Preschoolers are not the audience for this, and despite the helpful notes that introduce the men mentioned in the poem, even older children will need further explanations (e.g., where are the famous women?). Depicting the narrator as a child closer in age to the target audience would have helped bridge the gap between a poem written for adults and a book for children. Still, with words and pictures that are so enticing, this will be embraced by many. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2004 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

At once personal and universal, Shange's poem, "Mood Indigo" (published in her 1983 poetry collection, A Daughter's Geography), serves as the narrative for this elegiac tribute to a select group of African-American men who made important contributions to 20th-century culture. Nelson (Big Jabe) ingeniously sets the events in the home of the narrator, depicted as a curious, winning girl in oil paintings that strongly evoke the period and mood as the renowned visitors start to gather in her convivial, well-appointed house. Presented without punctuation, apostrophes or capital letters, the affectingly wistful verse flows freely and lyrically: "it hasnt always been this way/ ellington was not a street," it begins. Paul Robeson hangs his hat on a coat rack, emphasizing the man's larger-than-life presence and tall, athletic stature ("robeson no mere memory") while "du bois walked up my father's stairs" with the aid of a cane. Nelson conveys the learned man's advancing years but, once seated on the couch, Du Bois exudes wisdom and dignity. The volume culminates in a group portrait of Duke Ellington, percussionist Ray Barretto, jazz great Dizzy Gillespie and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, former president of Ghana, among others; this collective image drives home the point that these legendary figures were contemporaries who defined an era. Brief concluding biographical sketches tell readers more about these engaging personalities and may well lead to further reading. This is truly a book for all ages, lovely to behold and designed to be revisited. All ages. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-8-Nelson illustrates the noted poet's "Mood Indigo," from her collection entitled A Daughter's Geography. The book begins with the opening lines of the poem set against a pale gray page: "it hasn't always been this way/ellington was not a street." Opposite, a full-page painting shows several people walking beneath a green sign that reads Ellington St. A young African-American woman carrying a red umbrella is prominently featured, and readers will soon understand that she is the child narrator, all grown up (the resemblance is striking). In the poem, Shange recalls her childhood when her family entertained many of the "-men/who changed the world," including Paul Robeson, W.E.B. DuBois, Ray Barretto, Dizzy Gillespie, "Sonny Til" Tilghman, Kwame Nkrumah, and Duke Ellington. Both the words and the rich, nostalgic illustrations are a tribute to these visionaries. Done in oils, the skillfully rendered portraits emphasize facial expressions, clothing, and physical positioning on the page, and provide unmistakable insight into the persona of each individual. Although presented in picture-book format, the poem is sophisticated, and therefore it may need to be read aloud and explained to younger readers. A biographical sketch of each man appears at the end, along with the poem reprinted on a single page.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Google Preview