Cover image for Voice of freedom : Fannie Lou Hamer, spirit of the civil rights movement
Title:
Voice of freedom : Fannie Lou Hamer, spirit of the civil rights movement
ISBN:
9780763665319
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 x 29 cm
Reading Level:
820 L Lexile
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Summary:
Presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
Holds:

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

A 2016 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
A 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award Winner

Stirring poems and stunning collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of equal voting rights.

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil rights from the 1950s until her death in 1977. Integral to the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave a speech at the Democratic National Convention that, despite President Johnson's interference, aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to support the Freedom Democrats. Featuring vibrant mixed-media art full of intricate detail, Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou Hamer's life and legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.


Author Notes

Carole Boston Weatherford has written numerous award-winning books for children, including Becoming Billie Holiday, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, which won a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, and the Caldecott Honor-winning Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, which also won an NAACP Image Award. Carole Boston Weatherford lives in North Carolina.

Ekua Holmes is a fine artist whose work explores themes of family, relationships, hope, and faith. In 2013 she was named to the Boston Arts Commission, which oversees public art projects on city property. Voice of Freedom is her first picture book. Ekua Holmes lives in Boston.


Reviews 4

Horn Book Review

Weatherfords latest picture-book biography (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, rev. 11/06; I, Matthew Henson, rev. 3/08; among many others) chronicles the life of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer, from her beginnings as the youngest child of Mississippi sharecroppers, through the evolution of her political awareness, to her lasting impact on the civil rights movement. Weatherford incorporates direct quotes (indicated by italics and sourced in the endnotes) into her free-verse text, using a conversational, colloquial voice that makes the transitions seamless. The book tackles complex and little-addressed aspects of life under Jim Crow (such as Hamers forced sterilization under a Mississippi law) and of the civil rights movement (such as the battle she waged at the 1964 Democratic convention against proposed compromises that would have weakened the movement). Artist Holmes, in her childrens literature debut, elevates an already-excellent narrative with richly colored collage illustrations that layer meaning upon meaning with scraps of historical photos, newsprint, maps, musical scores, and more. Using shadows, patterns, and alternately vast and intimate perspectives, she adds emotional heft to the contrasts between Hamers public stature and personal experiences. This majestic biography offers a detailed, intelligible overview of Hamers life while never losing the thread of her motivations, fears, and heroic triumphs; and places the civil rights movement in personal, local, national, and international contexts. An extensively detailed timeline, an authors note, source notes, and a bibliography are appended. claire e. gross (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In this stunning biography of Fannie Lou Hamer, we walk beside her through tears and smiles on a remarkable journey of resilience and determination that leaves us transformed. The narrative is organized into a sequence of free-verse poems that stand alone as successfully as they link together. They describe what it was like to begin life under Jim Crow oppression and emerge a national hero. We learn that she cared for her aging mother, married, and adopted children; that she was forcibly sterilized, arrested, beaten, and most important, remained an activist her entire life. Caldecott Honor winner Weatherford (Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, 2006) has rendered Hamer's voice so precisely that it is like sitting at her knee as she tells her story. Holmes' multimedia collages perfectly capture the essence of each poem. Like Hamer's life, the illustrations are filled with light, texture, movement, and darkness. They are both abstract and realistic, brilliantly juxtaposing gentle floral motifs with protest placards and Fannie Lou Hamer's face in bold relief. Ultimately, though this is Hamer's story, it includes the collaborative struggles of others with whom she worked and fought for a different America. Bold, unapologetic, and beautiful.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2015 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-8-This iconographic video expands on Carole Boston Weatherford's exemplary picture book biography of Fannie Lou Hamer by adding narration and simple animation. Janina Edwards's spirited narration conveys the beauty of Weatherford's poetic text and convincingly voices Hamer's perspective. Born in poverty, Hamer became a powerful voice of the civil rights movement. Forced to leave school after the sixth grade, she was in her forties when she first learned of her right to vote. Though registering to vote cost her work and drew death threats, Hamer was undaunted. With her signature song "This Little Light of Mine," she rallied others to register and worked tirelessly on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. Throughout her life, Hamer faced hardships, which are described with candor and sensitivity. In 1963, after she and other civil rights workers sought service at a whites-only café, she was jailed and brutally beaten. Hamer refused to give up hope, though. Ekua Holmes's exquisite collage art depicts Hamer in yellow, symbolic of her Mississippi Delta roots and resilience. The presentation lingers over details in the mixed-media collages: sunflower motifs, snippets of text, and maps on clothes. Folksy guitar and simple animations enliven the presentation: hands clap, heads nod, and a pick-up truck rumbles into view. VERDICT This well-crafted video is an excellent resource to supplement American history studies, especially the civil rights era. Hamer's inspiring life story should resonate with a wide audience.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

A welcome addition to civil rights literature for children. Ask American children to recall a book on Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks, and most can. Fannie Lou Hamer? They will likely come up short. This expansive, richly illustrated biography about the "voice of the civil rights movement" recounts Hamer's humble and poverty-stricken beginnings in 1917 as the 20th child of Mississippi sharecroppers through her struggle to fight for the rights of black people on local, regional, and national levels. Hamer's quotes appear frequently in Weatherford's free-verse poetry, giving readers a sense of how and what she spoke: "Black people work so hard, and we ain't got nothin' / to show for it." The author also includes painful truths, describing the "night riders' " pursuit of Hamer after she attempted to register to vote and a brutal beating at the hands of police following her arrest, from which she suffered lifetime injuries. Hamer's determination, perseverance, and unwavering resolve come through on every page. Holmes' quiltlike collage illustrations emphasize the importance Hamer placed on community among African-Americans. Young readers who open this book with just a vague notion of who Fannie Lou Hamer was will wonder no more after absorbing this striking portrait of the singer and activist. Bold, honest, informative, and unforgettable. (author's note, timeline, source notes, bibliography) (Picture book/poetry/biography. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.