Ntozake Shange (1948-2018) was a poet, novelist, playwright, and performer. She wrote the Broadway-produced and Obie Award-winning for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf, as well as numerous works of fiction, including Sassafras, Cypress & Indigo; Betsey Brown; and Liliane.
Kadir Nelson is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Nelson is the illustrator of many beloved, award-winning, and bestselling picture books including, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, winner of the Coretta Scott King and Robert F. Sibert Award; Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award; Ellington Was Not a Street, written by Ntozake Shange, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award; Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life, written by Jerdine Nolen, which won the 2005 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal; and Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli called "stunning" by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. He is also the illustrator of Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan's Salt in His Shoes and Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee's Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. Kadir Nelson lives in Los Angeles.
Gr 3-7-Ntozake Shange's Coretta Scott King Honor book (S & S, 2004), illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is based on the African-American author's poem "Mood Indigo." The poem is told from perspective of Shange as a young girl fortunate enough to grow up in a household where many African-American men "who changed the world"-Paul Robeson, W.E. B. DuBois, Ray Barreto, Dizze Gillespie, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Duke Ellington, and others-would congregate to discuss politics, play music, sing, and more. Kadir Nelson's beautiful, realistic oil portraits enhance the presentation of this poem. Phylicia Rashad's regal narration is paced slowly but spoken with great feeling. Duke Ellington's music is featured in the background. Nelson's skillfully done portraits of each person is followed by a number of photographs as well as excepts of their music where appropriate. The biographical sketch of each man that appears at the end of the book are read aloud. The bonus track of the audio version features the author reading her poem. A wonderful introduction and tribute to the heroes of a past generation.-B. Allison Gray, John Jermain Memorial Library, Sag Harbor, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.