Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as a lantern. You, an object. An object to sell. In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that can't be bought or sold - dreams.
Coretta Scott King Award winner Ashley Bryan adapted this charming tale from a story told by the Ilaspeaking people of Zambia. All the birds in the forest are jealous of Blackbird, whose black feathers glisten and shine colorfully in the sunbeams. The other birds are a single color from head to foot, and none of them have even a spot of black on their feathers. Blackbird tells them that true color is on the inside, but still the birds long for black feathers. So Blackbird brews a batch of blackening to decorate all his friends.