Ibi Zoboi

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Seeing Ourselves: Our Stories Could Fly: The Future of Books for Black Children

I own a well-read copy of Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. It’s a classic in many households, as it should be. It’s not just the stories that I return to over and over again; it’s the magical illustrations by the dynamic duo Leo and Diane Dillon....

Punching the Air: Ibi Zoboi's 2021 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

Firstly, I always have to thank my co-author, Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam, for extending such warmth and grace throughout our process of drafting, revising, publishing, and promoting Punching the Air, a story inspired by Yusef’s experiences as a wrongfully incarcerated teen. We can never truly understand Yusef’s journey. However,...

A Fine Bookshelf

I once taught a rites-of-passage class to a group of African American and Caribbean American teenage girls. The workshops included lessons in history, self-care, and literacy. These classes weren’t supposed to be like school. I was there to help deepen their understanding of their world and their place in it.I...

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