When We Say Black Lives Matter

Maxine Beneba Clarke

When We Say Black Lives Matter
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When We Say Black Lives Matter

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Little one, when we say Black Lives Matter,
we’re saying black people are wonderful-strong.
That we deserve to be treated with basic respect,
and that history’s done us wrong.

From birth to the end of school, in joy and in sorrow, on the trumpet and the djembe, at home and in the community, a black child’s parents remind him why Black Lives Matter.

A gorgeous and essential picture book for children of all ages from bestselling and award-winning author Maxine Beneba Clarke.

In When We Say Black Lives Matter, a black child’s parents explain what the term Black Lives Matter means to them: in protest and song, in joy and in sorrow. I see this picture book as an act of Black Love - I was inspired to write and create it when thinking about how to explain the concept of Black Lives Matter to the young African diaspora kids in my extended family, living in over eight different countries across the world - including America, Australia, Germany, Barbados and England. - Maxine Beneba Clarke, on writing WHEN WE SAY BLACK LIVES MATTER

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.


When We Say Black Lives Matter explains to the reader why Black lives matter. It talks about what ‘Black Lives Matter’ means exactly and why it still needs to be said, whispered, sobbed, shouted, and sung. As Maxine Beneba Clarke states within the book, ‘Enough is enough is enough, we need to put things right.’

When We Say Black Lives Matter is written in rhyme and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations, also by Beneba Clarke, who is as incredible with art and illustrations as she is with language. This is not just a book for children of colour, this is a book for all children, and especially for anyone who’s ever questioned or silently wondered why ‘Black Lives Matter’ needs to be said – I urge you to buy it and leave it somewhere they might find it. When We Say Black Lives Matter explains the reason behind the statement in such a straightforward way it’s impossible not to understand.

When We Say Black Lives Matter is ultimately an optimistic book for kids aged 3+.

Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

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