Harlem's Little Blackbird (Hardcover)
Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.
Fans of "When Marian Sang" and "Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa" will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.
About the Author
Renee Watson grew up in Portland Oregon (where this story is set), came to New York for her degree in writing, and now teaches poetry in the New York City Schools. This is her first book.
Christian Robinson likes to stay indoors on rainy days and look out the window while drinking a big cup of hot cocoa. He has illustrated this book, as well as a few others, while staying indoors on rainy days. Christian lives in San Francisco, which has more fog than rain. You can visit him online at www.theartoffun.com.
Starred Review, Booklist, June 2012:
“With a text that stylistically sings yet is packed with information, the book introduces a woman who, though part of the Harlem Renaissance, is not well remembered by history.”