After hearing Gwendolyn Brooks read her poetry in person aloud once in her 72nd year of life, I learned to listen for her voice as I read her poems. Blacks contains a large selection of her work from 1945-1971, poems vividly depicting particular black people with lots of interesting, individual characters in particular settings doing particular things characteristic of themselves . . . like word video portraits. I own this volume and return to it now and then . . . always glad to spend a little time with a former Poet Laureate of my home state of Illinois. Gwendolyn Brooks was an admirable woman of words and remains so beyond her lifetime thanks to her poetry.