CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — “Several of my books have been banned” says Kwame Alexander, including his recent New York Times best-seller, “The Undefeated.”

“In Texas, in many states.”

But, Alexander, who attended Campostella Elementary, Crestwood Middle and Great Bridge High in Chesapeake, easily changes the mood as he speaks of how “The Undefeated,” a 2019 poem aimed at inspiring and encouraging Black communities, have been well-received by audiences, young and old.

“The beauty is – kids are still going to find their way to these books. The other thing I would say to
some of these people who are Americans, just like me, who are mothers and fathers and brothers, sisters and
lovers, and human beings just like me, who have hearts, just like me, I would say that — stop trying to
handcuff history.”

Alexander’s history is fascinating. He was born in New York City, but grew up in Chesapeake. His father is a
scholar and book publisher, and his mother is an educator. According to his bio, while attending Virginia Tech, his focus on premedical studies got redirected to writing and literature during a class with award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni.

36 books later, one of Alexander’s works is being turned into a TV series on Disney+.

“I am the executive producer of that along with someone whom you may have heard of. His name is LeBron James.”

“The Crossover” is currently in production.

Alexander’s newest book is titled “Light for the World to See: A Thousand Words On Race and Hope.”

“I wanted to talk about the tragedy that brought Africans to this country. And to talk about the
triumph that allowed us to make it to not only survive but thrive.

Alexander is back on the road, speaking to children all over the country. He encourages them
to tell their own stories.

“I posit that the mind of an adult begins in the imagination of a child. So let’s make sure that we can
fill and still fulfill these imaginary world(s) of a kid so they can make this place better than we’re leaving it.”

To find out more about Kwame Alexander and his books, just click on the link.