ages 4 +up— From Anti-Racism for Educators
A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this moving and powerful anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on.
Red is a rainbow color.
Green sits next to blue.
Yellow, orange, violet, indigo,
They are rainbow colors, too, but
My color is black . . .
And there’s no BLACK in rainbows.
From the wheels of a bicycle to the robe on Thurgood Marshall's back, Black surrounds our lives. It is a color to simply describe some of our favorite things, but it also evokes a deeper sentiment about the incredible people who helped change the world and a community that continues to grow and thrive.
Stunningly illustrated by Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Award winner Ekua Holmes, Black Is a Rainbow Color is a sweeping celebration told through debut author Angela Joy’s rhythmically captivating and unforgettable words.
An ALSC Notable Children's Book 2021
An NCTE 2021 Notable Poetry Book
A 2021 Notable Social Studies Trade Book of the NCSS/CBC
A New York Public Library Best Book of 2020
A Washington Post Best Book of 2020
A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year
A 2020 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Honoree
About the Author
Angela Joy was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Minnesota, she attended New York University and Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia—where her heart will forever reside. Angela traveled abroad extensively as a background vocalist, also working in television and movie soundtracks. She currently lives in southern California with her husband and two children, writing from a small hallway desk where the walls are painted a royal shade of purple. Black Is A Rainbow Color is her first book.
Ekua Holmes is a native of Roxbury, MA and a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is the recipient of the 2013 NAACP Image Award, a Brother Thomas Fellowship, and a 5-year appointment to the Boston Art Commission. Her picture book illustrations include the Caldecott Honor book Voice of Freedom and the Coretta Scott King Award winners Out of Wonder and The Stuff of Stars. Holmes serves as Assistant Director of MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and manages sparc! the ArtMobile, the institution’s vehicle for community outreach.
“Joy’s words and Holmes’s art are a perfect pairing where the verse is as vivid as the paints and collage. Children (and parents) of all colors will be rereading this one plenty.” —Washington Post, "Best Books of 2020"
“Both a beautiful celebration of black culture and an excellent first black history book for young children.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A treasure trove of positivity, strength, and pride for anyone seeking to uplift and educate young people.” —Horn Book, starred review
“A beautifully told and illustrated celebration of African American people and ethnology, Black Is a Rainbow Color thoughtfully explores what the Black experience means to a child . . . A must-have for children's collections.” —Booklist, starred review
“With Black Is a Rainbow Color, debut author Angela Joy pens a loving tribute to all the ways black is beautiful. Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ekua Holmes's brilliant collage illustrations elevate the text's themes of resilience and strength.” —Shelf Awareness