I mentioned before that there is a series of books about successful black people. It’s depressing that you need a special series, but it’s wonderful to find books which inspire black children. As Malorie Blackman said when we met, they need to know, because it’s not at all as obvious as it may seem to someone who is white.
Here Verna Wilkins tells the story of Benjamin Zephaniah, who had a sad and difficult start to life, but who is now a tremendous role model. He is really ‘very cool’, which is almost at odds with the fact that he is so gentle and down-to-earth.
You have to admire the man for what he is. And his poems are fabulous, and even a non-poetry person like me enjoys them. Best served read by Benjamin himself, but the poems in this Tamarind book will serve as a good starting point.
And then you can read his novels about black children and teenagers.