From an award-winning author and critically acclaimed artist comes a stunning and deeply moving picture book based on the popular spiritual. The classic lyrics have been reworked to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history. A perfect gift or timeless keepsake!
★ "Gorgeous and enlightening."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
This inspirational book encapsulates African American history and invites conversations at all levels. Carole Boston Weatherford’s riveting text and Frank Morrison’s evocative and detailed paintings are informative reminders of yesterday, hopeful images for today, and aspirational dreams of tomorrow.
Stretching more than four hundred years, this book features pivotal moments in history, such as the arrival of enslaved people in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619; Nat Turner's rebellion; the integration of the US military; the Selma to Montgomery marches; and peaceful present-day protests. It also celebrates the feats of African American musicians and athletes, such as Duke Ellington and Florence Griffith Joyner.
Visually stunning and incredibly timely, this book reckons with a painful history while serving as a testament to the human spirit's ability to persevere in even the most hopeless of circumstances. Its universal message of faith, strength, and resilience will resonate with readers of all ages.
The end of the book includes descriptions of the people, places, and events featured, along with a note from the author.
Beginning with images of chattel slavery and ending with spreads showing Black luminaries, the creators offer an absorbing rendition of the legendary spiritual: a legacy in song and portraiture that depicts Black Americans' achievements across an anti-Black history. In Boston Weatherford's four-line verses, those "standing in the need of prayer" describes "families enslaved and sold apart," then "millions on the move in the Great Migration," members of the civil rights movement, and "record-breaking athletes," leading to a contemporary image of children: "It's me, O Lord." Morrison's imagery brings Black history to life, portraying hundreds of years of experiences to the rhythm of a song that moves beyond the religious and into the broadly reverential. Weatherford and Morrison successfully elevate a classic song, rendering it as relevant and profound across time. Ages 6–9.