As he did for Black women in Black Roses, Harold Green III, poet and founder of the music collective Flowers for the Living, now honors the Black men he most admires—groundbreakers including Tyler Perry, Barry Jenkins, Billy Porter, Chance the Rapper, LeBron James, Colin Kaepernick, and John Legend—and celebrates their achievements which are transforming lives and making history.
Black men are changing society and the world through mastery, innovation, and inspiration at a pace never seen before. In awe of the myriad ways in which Black men are using their vision and power to remake culture and society, spoken word artist Harold Green began writing odes recognizing the extraordinary accomplishments of a series of Black men, which heshared on his Instagram account—tributes that went viral and became a social media sensation. Black Oak brings together many of these popular odes with original works written for this collection.
Divided into five sections—bravehearts, champions, dreamers, guardians, and humanitarians—Black Oak features iconic men who are spearheading movements, fighting for equality, challenging the status quo, embracing fatherhood, providing a transformative model of masculinity for our children, inspiring a new generation of creators, and more. Through these beautifully written verses, Harold does not simply place the Black men in this book on a pedestal, he transcends even the most positive stereotypes to view these men and their accomplishments in a new light, and creates meaningful connections between these beloved figures and the lives and experiences of readers of all backgrounds.
Featuring full-color illustrations by Melissa Koby, Black Oak includes odes to Barry Jenkins, Big K.R.I.T, Billy Porter, Black Thought, Chance the Rapper, Charles Booker, Colin Kaepernick, Dwyane Wade, Edmund Graham III, Eric Hale, Excell Hardy Jr., Harold Green III, Harold Green Jr., Harold Green Sr., Hebru Brantley, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Jamaal Bowman, Jason Reynolds, Jericho Brown, John Legend, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Kevin Fredricks, Killer Mike, Kyler Broadus, LeBron James, Mahershala Ali, Marc Lamont Hill, Matthew Cherry, Orlando Cooper, Pharrell, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Rev. Dr. William Barber II, Ryan Coogler, Swizz Beatz, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Theaster Gates, Tobe Nwigwe, Tristan Walker, and Tyler Perry.
Harold Green III is an ever-evolving and internationally admired artist and the author of Black Roses and Black Oak. Using poetry as his central art form, he is a highly sought-after talent, bandleader, and event producer. He earned the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award for his self-published debut poetry collection From Englewood, with Love. Green was a featured artist at the Chicago Mayoral Inauguration and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and has appeared on TEDx and at Aspen Ideas Festival. He has created commissioned work in partnership with major brands and organizations, including Nike, Lululemon, Jordan, Google, Chicago Public Schools, and the Chicago Transit Authority. Green has featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, online on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Blog, Ebony Web, Black America Web, Windy City Live, and Black Enterprise Web. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.