An African American girl comes of age during the Civil Rights Movement in April Sinclair's hilarious, insightful novel that was named Book of the Year (Young Adult Fiction) for 1994 by the American Library Association.
Jean "Stevie" Stevenson lives in Chicago's South Side, a neighborhood that acutely feels the social changes of the 1960s. Curious and witty, bold but naïve, Stevie ponders questions such as what makes good hair and which skin shade is better in light of "black is beautiful". Amid the War on Poverty; the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; race riots; and the Black Power movement, Stevie grows into a socially aware young adult with a burgeoning sexuality and pride in her identity. Learning as much from her mother's strictness, her father's steady encouragement, and her grandmother's strength as she does from her wild friend, Carla, and her white teacher, Nurse Horne, Stevie makes the sometimes harrowing, often hilarious, always enthralling journey into adulthood.
Coffee Will Make You Black received the Carl Sandburg Award from the Friends of the Chicago Public Library.
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