Inheritance: A Visual Poem (Hardcover)
This is a window poem. It speaks to experiences I will never have, but would like to understand as best I can. Inheritance is about the physical manifestations of ancestors, specifically through Black hair. How many Black women have been told to ‘fix’ their hair, to whiten it and themselves. It is a celebration of self love in the face of a society hell-bent on encouraging self-hate to anyone who doesn’t fit in a white little box.
They tell me to “fix” my hair.
And by fix, they mean straighten, they mean whiten;
but how do you fix this shipwrecked
history of hair?
In her most famous spoken-word poem, author of the Pura Belpré-winning novel-in-verse The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo embraces all the complexities of Black hair and Afro-Latinidad—the history, pain, pride, and powerful love of that inheritance.
Paired with full-color illustrations by artist Andrea Pippins in a format that will appeal to fans of Mahogany L. Browne’s Black Girl Magic or Jason Reynolds’s For Everyone, this poem can now be read in a vibrant package, making it the ideal gift, treasure, or inspiration for readers of any age.
About the Author
ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Poet X, which won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Carnegie medal, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award. She is also the author of With the Fire on High—which was named a best book of the year by the New York Public Library, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal—and Clap When You Land, which was a Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor book and a Kirkus finalist. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her loves.
"An incredible amount of reflection appears in this slim volume, making this a wonderful choice for group discussions. Brave, sharp, and powerful." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"In this small book, every square inch of every page is full of color and visual depictions of the poem's evocative lines. The palette in Pippin's illustrations—every shade of brown and warm terracotta earth tones—echoes the poem's sentiments... [a] beautiful, inviting presentation of Acevedo's poem." — Booklist (starred review)
"In spoken-word lines that explicate the tension between what people say and what they mean, Acevedo (Clap When You Land) confronts the cultural specter of hair-related prejudice through the lens of colonial history and Afro-Dominican identity." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)