Orchard Books Before the Ships: The Birth of Black Excellence Orchard Books Before the Ships: The Birth of Black Excellence
Orchard Books Before the Ships: The Birth of Black Excellence Orchard Books Before the Ships: The Birth of Black Excellence

Before the Ships: The Birth of Black Excellence

By Maisha Oso


Publication Date: August 6, 2024

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Ages 4 to 8, Grades P to 3

Before the Ships is a powerful and poetic celebration of the early roots of Black history. The great achievements and accomplishments across Africa prior to the Transatlantic slave trade are told through melodious text and evocative illustrations, that culminate into the strength and resilience of modern-day Black people.For so many of us, the first introduction to Black history begins with lessons about slavery. While slavery is a crucial part of African-American history, it is not the beginning. In fact, there is a rich history tied to the continent of Africa that deserves to be told and to be marveled at-- which is exactly what Maisha Oso does in Before the Ships. With sparse yet moving text, Maisha takes us back in time to before the advent of the Transatlantic slave trade. We see the grandness of African royalty, the bravery of warriors like the Queen of Kush, and stories being told in song with griots and drums. Candice Bradley's gorgeous and reflective illustrations illuminate the strength of Black history and Black joy, reminding readers about the power within us all.

About the Author

Maisha Oso is the author of Buster the Bully, Welbeck Kids 2021, and the forthcoming picture books, My Hair Is a Book, Harper Collins 2024, and Before the Ships, Scholastic 2024. She writes stories to empower, entertain, and encourage emotional intelligence in young children. A former strategy & analytics professional from New York City, Maisha is currently working in her most challenging role to date: a stay-at-home mom of three tiny humans. When she is not writing, you can find her wrangling her kids, binge-watching an unhealthy amount of reality television, or belting out lyrics from the Hamilton soundtrack. After living abroad for several years in Africa, Maisha and her family have recently moved back stateside to Alpharetta, Georgia.

Candice Bradley is a self-taught author and illustrator, from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her passion today has evolved into a love for storytelling in all its various forms and has led to her most recent studies of Film and TV at NYU's Tisch School of Arts. Candice's hope as an artist is to support the movment of writers and storytellers, redeeming the narrative for minorities and people of color.

Format: Hardcover

Length: 40 pages

Publisher: Orchard Books

Publication Date: August 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781338849974

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