An International Reading Association Teachers' Choice
A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice
A Chicago Public Library Best Book
"Rappaport and Evans reprise the passion and power that informed their 2002 collaboration, shining their spotlight on the progess and struggles of African Americans from 1863 to 1954. Vigorous prose is punctuated by poems, songs, and excerpts from primary sources, all of which illuminate the peculiar experiences of a people freed and still not free." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS (starred review) Back matter includes a list of important dates, an artist’s note, sources, resources for further information, and an index.
Using song, poetry, memoir, letters, and court testimony, history is brought down to the personal level as we live the experiences of African Americans between the years of their emancipation and the 1954 Supreme Court decision that declared "separate but equal" to be illegal in the United States. The stories of families fighting for their children, stories of the "new slavery" and stories even of slave reunions that disappoint give us the ability to experience the hardships, the devastation, the prejudices as though we ourselves are living them. Shane Evans illustrations reflect the harshness and include a lynching. A powerful, revealing book that makes history come to life with a hope that the past will not be prologue.
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com