Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Q&A with Carole Boston Weatherford



Carole Boston Weatherford is the author of the new children's picture book You Are My Pride: A Love Letter from Your Motherland. Her many other books include Unspeakable. She is a professor of English at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.


Q: What inspired you to write You Are My Pride, and why did you decide to write it in the voice of Africa?


A: I have always loved creation stories whether from the Bible, folklore or James Weldon Johnson. As a child, I was fascinated by paleontology and anthropology, particularly discoveries at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. To center Africa on the evolutionary landscape and timeline, I have Mother Africa narrate this ode to creation. She reminds humankind of our common African origins.


Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: The text is a poem and the title comes from the text. The title suggests that humans are Mother Africa's masterpiece--the crown of creation.    


Q: What do you think E.B. Lewis's illustrations add to the book? 


A: Though E. B. and I go way back, You Are My Pride is our first collaboration. E. B.’s masterful watercolors imagine the Motherland and early humans at the dawn of civilization. I sense that the art reflects his love of Africa. I could not be prouder of what E. B. and I have created together.


Q: What do you hope kids take away from the book about human evolution and about humanity’s connections to Africa?


A: I hope that the text and back matter will deepen readers' understanding of human evolution, their appreciation of Africa as the cradle of civilization, and their consciousness of our common origins.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I am collaborating with my son, illustrator Jeffery Weatherford, on Kin, a middle-grade verse novel set on and around the Maryland plantation where Frederick Douglass and our ancestors were enslaved. 


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Coming this spring is How Do You Spell UNFAIR? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee, illustrated by Frank Morrison.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb. Here's a previous Q&A with Carole Boston Weatherford.

No comments:

Post a Comment