Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester

Straight to the point, as the title says Let’s Talk About Race.
The story begins, “I am a story. So are you. So is everyone.” This
means to me that we all have a background and a past, each and
everyone of us and that in itself makes us similar.

The author does this many times throughout the book to emphasize
the point….that if we took off our skin, our bones would be the
same, and we would be alike. He adds the words “yours” to
many of his sentences to get that point across:
My story begins the same way yours does;
Many people and many events are part of my story – and yours, too;
My story and yours have many elements;
There’s something else….part of my story. It’s part of yours,too.
That’s what race we are.

When I was reading this I had the feeling that I was reading a poem
(that didn’t rhyme). The words and sentences were arranged on the page
as if you were reading a Dr. Seuss book.

I wasn’t quite sure about the illustrations. I feel that the pictures didn’t help me follow the story line (or the message). Instead I thought I was looking at Hieroglyphics….lots of heads, lots of people in stationary positions (sideways and upside down), and lots of eyes. I know
that the idea was to show all kinds of shapes of eyes people have, but I thought I had gone back into time.

As I looked at the illustrations of the people without skin (as the author was emphasizing that we are the same if we took our skin off) it reminded me of a Halloween picture. Not scary to me but maybe for younger children.

I decided to see what other people thought of the illustrations and I stumbled across a few reviews from children. One said that the illustrations were scary. I can now understand that.


  1. The illustrations are unique. I had a difficult time interpreting some of them. A few of the pages have a person floating horizontally at the top of the page. I was wondering what that meant. I was also curious about the butterfly.

  2. I can see why a young child might be scared of some of the illustrations. At least in the picture with the skeletans, all of the people are smiling. It is interesting that I picked out the word "my" and you picked out the word "your" as far as the author's choice of words. These illustrations leave me wondering and asking a lot of questions.