Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance
Doreen Rappaport & Shane W. Evans (Ils.) 2002 64p 9 x 11
Ever since the first boatload of human cargo sailed to the New World, African-Americans waged a courageous struggle for dignity and freedom. These eleven vinets—each a page or two long—puts the reader in the shoes a real-life slave rebel: 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. This collection spans the period from the early days of slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation.
Recommended for readers age 9-12.