A Visit From the Poet Professor

Unspeakable:The Tulsa Race Massacre

A Visit From the Poet Professor

Michelle Henry-Rodriguez, Student Writer

Carole Boston Weatherford, children’s author, Professor and poet.



On February 16, 2023, Houston Public Library hosted award-winning African American children’s author, Carole Boston Weatherford, for a famed Author Visit at the Alice McKean Young Neighborhood Library. She met with the middle school students of neighboring community school, KIPP Liberation Middle School, to introduce her Caldecott Honor and 2022 Coretta Scott King Award winning book, Unspeakable: The Tulsa Massacre. With a powerful voice and commanding presence, she provided an educational presentation and tour of the history of Black Americans and the many disturbing events that surrounds the culture of Black people in America.  This led into her book reading segments of Unspeakable. The students asked many questions and were able to connect her introductory presentation to much of the meaning and atmosphere of the book. One student stated that they knew it was hard for Black people but did not realize the danger of just being Black. Each child received an autographed copy of her book and a smile denoting they met a profound author and teacher. She, in turn, was gifted with the KIPP school packet of an honorary t-shirt, backpack and lanyard for her invitation and as a belated February birthday gift.

Black children’s book author, Carol Boston Weatherford, at the Alice McKean Young Neighborhood Library.

Living in North Carolina she is known as the Poet Professor. She teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, an historically black university. She began writing poetry and stories at the age of 6, but did not publish her first book until later in life. Weatherford has since published a number of books, poetry, historic books and commentaries. Her stories come from things that inspire her, things she finds great interest in family stories and remembrances rich in black history and traditions. Books such as “Moses”, “Freedom on the Menu”, “Box:Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom”, “Schomburg: The Man Who Built A Library”, “Be A King” and more opens the eyes of children to the varying culture of Black America. Her children’s books about difficult topics such as segregation and civil rights incidents comes from her belief that she “trusts children to ask the right questions”. Growing up surrounded by stories of her family’s history, she felt compelled to share her experiences. She feels that it is the truth that children deserve.