Review of Black Gold

Black Gold
by Laura Obuobi; illus. by London Ladd
Primary    Harper/HarperCollins   40 pp.
10/22    9780063015760    $18.99

Reminiscent of creation myths collected in Virginia Hamilton’s In the ­Beginning (1988), Obuobi’s tale tells how the universe created a Black child. “When the Universe decided to create you, / she drew you from the earth— / rich / dark / and full of everything that gives life.” She shapes the child’s body, skin, lips, and hair. The sun and moon give the child light and wisdom. Finally, “the Universe wrapped her arms around you, / filling you with love.” Ladd’s mixed-media-collage ­illustrations beautifully complement Obuobi’s lyrical text. The closing illustration features a Black child with arms opened wide, surrounded by dark purples, reds, and greens. Small dots of white and yellow represent the stars, highlighting the child’s connection to the universe. This original creation story will appeal to fans of Spillet-Summer and Goade’s I Sang You Down from the Stars and Charles and ­Collier’s All Because You Matter (rev. 11/20).

From the January/February 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

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