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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
I See the Promised Land: A Life of Martin Luther King JR.
by Arthur Flowers
Age Range: 9-11
I See the Promised Land is an extraordinary version of the life of Martin Luther King Jr and the Civil Rights Movement. The dialogue combines two very different traditions – the narrative of Arthur Flowers, an African American writer, performance poet, musician and griot storyteller whose narrative style is reminiscent of King’s African ancestry with its cadences of oral storytelling and the visual traditional Patua scroll artwork by Manu Chitrakar.
As well as telling the story of King, the author weaves the entire history of enslavement of black Americans while the powerful illustrations translate it into the vivid and colourful idiom of Patua art that is so striking and rich in colour.
This is the first book by Patua Graphics, an imprint of Tara Books and it is different from the conventional Western graphic novel format. Guglielmo Rossi’s graphic layout intersperses black pages on which King’s quotes are set in large white type and together with the Patua scroll art it makes this a very powerful book, and one that is ideal for use in the classroom.