Review of the 2024 Boston Globe–Horn Book Special Citation

Special Citation

The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter to Black Families
by Karida L. Brown and Charly Palmer
Chronicle    208 pp.
10/23    9781797216829    $40.00

This inspiring and impressive volume is a tribute to the original Brownies’ Book: A Monthly Magazine for Children of the Sun (an offshoot of W. E. B. Du Bois’s The Crisis, it was published from 1920 to 1921 with the intention to uplift and center Black children). Co-editors Brown and Palmer “invited some of the most talented Black writers and artists of our time to contribute original works — from short stories, artwork, and poetry to plays — as a personal expression of their resounding Love for you: the Children of the Sun.” Chapters cover a wide variety of aspects of Black life and history: family; schooling and HBCUs; folklore; influential Black women (from Shirley Chisholm to Althea Gibson to Nikki Giovanni); living and dying. One chapter is entirely devoted to Langston Hughes, who published his first work in The Brownies’ Book; Brown and Palmer reprint all those original pieces, from poems to short stories to his first play. A sumptuous book design showcases the full-color art, which appears on practically every double-page spread; also notable is the book’s extra-generous trim size and use of white space. Contributors, both for text and art, are a mix of well-known names (James Ransome, April Harrison, Alice Faye Duncan) and newcomers (including several recent graduates of Fisk University). Appended with contributor bios. MARTHA V. PARRAVANO


The 2024 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners and honors were announced on June 20th, 2024. For reviews of the other winning titles and more, click on the tag BGHB24.

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