-Jaki Shelton Green, poet, winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature
"In this, his third collection of poems, Phillip Shabazz has created a novel in verse that explores the joys, mysteries, and challenges of childhood.Shabazz's poems reach us like raindrops on the skin, some warm, some stinging, but all reminders of how we are connected to each other within one big human spirit."
-Joe Cole, professor of ethics and philosophy at Guilford College, Greensboro, North Carolina, columnist for the Raleigh News & Observer
Told through the eyes of a young boy, When the Grass Was Blue poetically portrays the trials and hardships of growing up in the South during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s.
On the surface, Kathoor, the youngest child in a working-class African American family from Louisville, Kentucky, appears sheltered in a stable home with his working father, faithful mother, and cool big brother. But as dysfunction in his family becomes apparent, Kathoor senses their familial closeness slipping away-and he feels as though he's losing the most important people in his life. Trying to adjust, Kathoor's only option is to search for strength within his own heart.