We Speak Your Names: A Celebration

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Random House Publishing Group, Mar 25, 2009 - Poetry - 64 pages
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For centuries, African American women have been remaking the world, giving testament to the power of hope, courage, and resilience. But it took the inspired generosity of Oprah Winfrey to honor fully the many gifts of sisterhood. For three amazing days–from May 13 to 15, 2005–a distinguished group of women was invited to celebrate the enduring achievements of twenty-five of their mentors and role models–and in the process pay tribute to the long, glorious tradition of African American accomplishment.

The brilliant centerpiece of the weekend was the reading aloud of Pearl Cleage’s poem “We Speak Your Names,” written especially for the occasion and appearing here for the first time in this beautiful keepsake book. As deeply moving in print as it was during that weekend of love and praise, the poem names each of the women honored: Dr. Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Diahann Carroll, Toni Morrison, Nikki Giovanni, Rosa Parks, Katherine Dunham, and other legends of the brightest magnitude. With heartfelt eloquence, Pearl Cleage (herself a luminary of the younger generation) celebrates her distinguished elders’ strength, their magic, their sensuality, their loving kindness, their faith in themselves, and the priceless example of their lives. In her introduction, the poet shares: “My sisters, here, there, and everywhere, this poem is for you. Use it, adapt it, pass it on. . . .”


Destined to become a classic, We Speak Your Names is a treasure to keep forever and a precious, inspiring gift for the ones you love.


From the Hardcover edition.

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We Speak Your Names

User Review  - vensona - Overstock.com

This book revealed numerous obscure African American sheroes to those who didnt know them. It is comprehensive and an enjoyable read. Overstock.com is an excellent resource for books and almost everything else. What a great way to shop! Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Pearl Cleage is the author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day. . . , an Oprah’s Book Club selection; Some Things I Never Thought I’d Do, a Good Morning America Read This! book club pick; Babylon Sisters; and the forthcoming novel Baby Brother’s Blues. She is also the author of two works of nonfiction: Mad at Miles: A Black Woman’s Guide to Truth and Deals with the Devil and Other Reasons to Riot. Cleage is an accomplished dramatist as well; her plays include Flyin’ West and Blues for an Alabama Sky.

Zaron W. Burnett, Jr. is a novelist and theatre artist and the award-winning creator of the “Live at Club Zebra!” performance series.

Frequent collaborators, Cleage and Burnett, who are husband and wife, live in southwest Atlanta.

To schedule a speaking engagement, please contact American Program Bureau at www.apbspeakers.com  


From the Hardcover edition.

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