Parents' Guide to

Inheritance: A Visual Poem

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Celebratory illustrated poem promotes Afro-Latino self-love.

Black women of various skin tones

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This beautiful book makes a bold statement. In Inheritance: A Visual Poem, Elizabeth Acevedo collaborates with illustrator Andrea Pippins on an illustrated version of her spoken word poem "Hair," which went viral on social media. The poem expresses the Afro-Latina narrator's determination to resist pressure to distance herself from her African heritage, both in her refusal to straighten her hair and in her love relationship with a Black man who has African features and dark skin.

The illustration style is influenced by graphic design and resembles poster art. The art does more than just represent the words; it amplifies meaning. For example, the illustration that accompanies the line "Some call them wild curls, but I call them breathing, antecedents spiraling" portrays curly locks of hair as breaths or voices coming out of mouths.

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