True vignettes and traditional verse, set against starkly powerful images, tell the story of enslaved Africans in America as it has never been told before.
A man who cannot swim leaps off a slave ship into the dark water. A girl defies the law by secretly learning to read and write. A future abolitionist regains his will to live by fighting off his captor with his bare hands: “I will not let you use me like a brute any longer,” Frederick Douglass vows. Drawing from authentic accounts, here is a chronology of resistance in all its forms: comical trickster tales about outwitting “Old Marsa”; secret “hush harbors” where Africans instill Christian worship with their own rituals; and spirituals such as “Go Down Moses,” whose coded lyrics signal not just hope for deliverance, but an active call to escape.
Boldly illustrated with extraordinary oil paintings by award-winning artist Shane W. Evans, and meticulously researched by Doreen Rappaport, this stunning collection — spanning the period from the early days of slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation — is an invaluable resource for teachers, parents, libraries, students, and people everywhere who care about what it means to be free, what it is to be human. Back matter includes important dates, a bibliography, resources for further information, and an index.