The age-old question of Who Are Your People? is asked in Bakari Sellers picture book. And the answer is not what you would expect. The narrator does not say the people are from Kenya or South Africa. OR that they are Irish or Icelandic. They do not even go general and say from Asia or South America. The voice goes to a more broadly specific place.
The place the characters are from are from a long line of people who fought, struggled, quietly sat instead of using violence, and had voices that spoke out. Images of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Maya Angelou are side-by-side of the people who sat because they wanted to eat lunch at a counter, but instead suffered humiliation.
The Reggie Brown illustrations are known. You have seen them before. Maybe not him personally, but the style of people in different shapes, sizes, and ages. Colors pop on the page, they are comfortably sitting there, and they make the details seen in lights and shadows. The artwork is cozy, familiar, and well done.
The overall tone is poetic, sweet, maybe a bit too sweet for some tastes, but it is using hopeful terms, emotions, and situations even while we see such images as slaves and protestors. There is a lightness to the feeling of the story, while dealing with a serious subject. This story is in the line of being proud of who you are, being proud of the family you come from and the community that supported you before you were born, while you are here, and the one you will add too.