Sarah's Reviews > My People

My People by Langston Hughes
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Jan 25, 11

bookshelves: african-american-rll-528, poetry

At first glance, with very minimal text on each page, the story seems exceedingly simple. The pictures are sepia-toned black and white. There are no lush vivid colors to help convey the story. Yet it is this simplicity that allows the reader to focus on the true meaning of Langston Hughes’s poem. The division of the text helps us to savor each phrase, drawing it out. The warm sepia tones of the photographs enhance the variety chocolate tones of the African American faces featured in the story. The illustrator’s decision to use cropped headshots rather full-body shots draws our focus to the unique expressions and personal characteristics of each individual, indeed reflecting Hughes’s celebration of the beauty of his fellow African Americans.

A unique use of this book would be to have upper elementary students (or older) find another poem by another author and to have them take their own photographs to demonstrate their understanding of a poem. This could then be put into small books or presented as power points or posters. This would be a way to incorporate technology skills as they conveyed comprehension of poetry and its unique language.
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Chezon Excellent suggestion!


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