Book of the Week - Bronzeville Boys and Girls

There is a certain bite to Brooks poems. As if she is holding back on her more political feelings for the sake of a children’s book. Surprising was the copyright date, 1959, which says a lot about those poems. One could see the anger seething beneath the surface. Righteous anger. ‘John, who is poor’ is a prime example of that sadness; a real downer of a poem, and one can feel Brook’s anger behind it, because there is more to this poem than just about a little boy who is poor. ‘Eldora, who is rich’ was also a telling poem. Upon a first reading, I noticed immediately the implications that they assumed this girl who was rich would be white, and were pleasantly surprised that she was not. Brooks has an easy to follow writing style, but more interesting than that is the subject matter and the era in which they were written.