Skip to Main Content

The Undefeated

Kwame Alexander, poet, educator, host and producer of the literary variety/talk show Bookish, cofounding director of the LEAP for Ghana initiative, and founding editor of VERSIFY, an imprint of HMH Books for Young Readers, in conversation with artist Kadir Nelson. Moderated by Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor-in-chief, ESPN’s  

In this conversation held on April 6, 2019, at the National Gallery of Art, award-winning artists Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson share inspiration and read excerpts from their newly released picture book The Undefeated. Originally performed for ESPN’s website, this illustrated poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. With references to lyrics and lines originally shared by our most celebrated heroes, Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, the poem offers deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. The Undefeated brings together race, sports, culture, and art. Kevin Merida, senior vice president and editor-in-chief of ESPN’s, moderates the discussion.