Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold (Crown, 1991).
There is an invisible line that stretches from Umbrella by Taro Yashima in my childhood to Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold in my early adulthood.
I can fly— yes, fly. Me, Cassie Louise Lightfoot, only eight years old and in the third grade, and I can fly. That means I am free to go wherever I want for the rest of my life.
And those lines have a lot to do with how important this book was for me, even as an adult. Seeing Cassie fly through her world, claiming buildings as “hers,” was like an instruction manual for how I could approach my own empowerment as a woman of color in the U.S.
Something I wish for kids (of all ages) reading the book today.
(Image Source: Explore 0-4)