The #SchomburgCenter’s @professormdc is one of the curators of "Before Yesterday We Could Fly." The exhibition is inspired by Virginia Hamilton's legendary retellings of the Flying African tale. https://t.co/L2c15gdUfF— SchomburgCenter (@SchomburgCenter) February 3, 2022
Friday, February 4, 2022
African Diaspora at Internet Archive: The People Could Fly
Earlier this week I wrote about Virginia Hamilton's Ring of Tricksters, and when I saw this tweet from the Schomburg Center last night, I knew I wanted to write about her book The People Could Fly in today's blog post!
There are multiple copies of both versions of this book available at Internet Archive. First, there's the 1985 anthology which contains 24 folktales: The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales.
Then, in 2004, shortly after Virginia Hamilton's death in 2002, the illustrators, Leo and Diane Dillon, published a picture book version of the title story: The People Could Fly: The Picture Book.
The Dillons worked closely with Virginia Hamilton over the years, and they open this book with a lovely tribute to her:
In both the 1985 and the 2004 books, you will see the Dillons' instantly recognizable style. The anthology has black-and-white illustrations; the picture book is in color:
I've featured many books with illustrations by the Dillons previously; you can find all those posts here: illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon.
And here is a link to the stories in the anthology, story by story: there is such a great variety here, and Hamilton's writing is marvelous:
He Lion, Bruh Bear, and Bruh Rabbit / Doc Rabgit, Bruh Fox, and Tar Baby / Tappin, the Land Turtle / Bruh Alligator and Bruh Deer / Bruh Lizard and Bruh Rabbit / Bruh Alligator Meets Trouble / Wolf and Birds and the Fish-Horse / The Beautiful Girl of the Moon Tower / A Wolf and Little Daughter / Manuel Had a Riddle / Papa John's Tall Tale / The Two Johns / Wiley, His Mama, and the Hairy Man / John and the Devil's Daughter / The Peculiar Such Thing / Little Eight John / Jack and the Devil / Better Wait Till Martin Comes / Carrying the Running-Aways / How Nehemiah Got Free / The Talking Cooter / The Riddle Tale of Freedom / The Most Useful Slave / The People Could Fly
So, enjoy the beautiful stories and enjoy the beautiful artwork; Hamilton's anthology is one of the best you will find, and the picture book is perfect to share with younger readers. It's all just a click away at Internet Archive, and they have multiple copies of both books too!