As this picture e-book love letter to Black kids everywhere opens, a couple anticipates the birth in their child. “You had been dreamed of,” reads writer Tami Charles’ text, “like a knapsack full of wishes, carried at the backs of your ancestors.” Even the sky knows that this child’s life will matter, as we see a celebrity shoot across the sky within the baby’s honor, a precursor of the celestial symbolism that fills the e book. We follow those identical parents, mainly the boy’s mother, as we examine approximately the milestones within the child’s lifestyles—the baby’s first steps and words, as well as his first encounter with a e book, one that mirrors the boy’s own skin shade and “dreams.”
As the boy grows older, he starts to encounter and question racism, from microaggressions in his study room to injustice and brutality he sees on the news. In one spread, he sits with his grandfather watching reports of huge protests. But web page after page depicts the boy being cherished and supported by way of his own family, and depicts his own family reminding him of his self-worth.
Illustrator Bryan Collier consists of proud Black faces into his remarkably textured collages and employs flower petals as a recurring motif. In a last note, Collier writes that those petal shapes are influenced by way of his grandmother, a quilter who in part raised him. “Did you know which you are the earth?” reads a spread as a flower blooms in the back of the boy, Black faces from each past and the prevailing searching out from vividly coloured petals.
Charles weaves connections between Black children these days and the ancestors who came before them. Boldly, fantastically and cosmologically, it also connects them to the very introduction of the universe itself, driving home how strongly the “strength, power, and beauty” in their lives matter. All Because You Matter is a powerful, poetic manifesto that is required reading for every circle of relatives in America.