Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Recommended! Roy Boney's "Tell It in Your Own Way" in WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES

When you read through We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson, you're probably going to do a double take when you get to this image:

It is by Roy Boney. He's Cherokee. His essay, "Tell It In Your Own Way" is one of the many splendid items in this terrific volume:

Roy Boney is one of the coolest people on the planet. I've written about his work before. He's done some excellent work in the Code Talker series, published by Native Realities. And--kidlit folks--if you're organizing a conference, invite him to sit on panels! I was blown away by the panel that he, Arigon Starr, and Lee Francis did at Returning the Gift last year.

In his essay for We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, he writes that he's a full blooded Cherokee and grew up hearing Cherokee spoken aloud. In school, people noticed that he liked to draw and thought he should draw Native people like the ones in westerns, but he didn't like that because (p. 60):
...those types of images didn't express what my life was like. My family never ran around in buckskins, and we never lived in tipis. We drove cars, lived in houses, and watched TV like everybody else. And we laughed a lot! If I was going to make art, it would be art that I enjoyed and that expressed my experience as a Cherokee person living in the modern era.
I love reading that, and think Native kids who read his essay will rise, too, to resist mainstream expectations of who we are, what we look like, what we should do...

Here, again, is the illustration Roy Boney did, to go with his essay:

About that illustration, he says:
The actual piece is called Simpquoyah, and it is a cartoonized version of Sequoyah based on a popular television illustration style. [...] The caption in the drawing is written in Cherokee and translates as "Do you understand Cherokee?" The background is made up of the Cherokee syllabary as originally designed by Sequoyah himself! In the corner is my signature written in Cherokee. This is one of my favorites pieces because it combines several loves of mine: the Cherokee language, humor, cartoons, and digital illustration.

I highly recommend We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson. Published in 2018 by Crown Books for Young Readers, it is easy to see why it is getting starred reviews from mainstream reviewers.

1 comment:

Ava Jarvis said...

Ah, another awesome book to get.

I'm putting in a book order for myself for the first time in ages. Especially books with multiple essays and/or stories are ones I can probably cope with these days. (Longer texts tend to leave me lost, as ability to concentrate was one of the first things to go as my health decreased.)