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“I set the North Star in the heavens and I mean for you to be free…”
Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman hears these words from God one summer night and decides to leave her husband and family behind and escape. Taking with her only her faith, she must creep through woods with hounds at her heels, sleep for days in a potato hole, and trust people who could have easily turned her in.
But she was never alone.
In lyrical text, Carole Boston Weatherford describes Tubman’s spiritual journey as she hears the voice of God guiding her North to freedom on that very first trip to escape the brutal practice of forced servitude. Tubman, courageous and compassionate, and deeply religious, would take nineteen subsequent trips back South, never being caught, but none as profound as this first.…[more]
Young John Coltrane was all ears. And there was a lot to hear growing up in the South in the 1930s: preachers praying, music on the radio, the bustling of the household. These vivid noises shaped John’s own sound as a musician. Carole Boston Weatherford and Sean Qualls have composed an amazingly rich hymn to the childhood of jazz legend John Coltrane.
Before the legend of Billie Holliday, there was a girl named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holliday, possibly one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Eleanora’s journey into legend took her through pain, poverty and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing! Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era’s hottest big bands. Billie Holliday sang as if she lived each lyric and in many ways she had.
Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet, Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan’s metamorphosis into Billie Holliday and the dream she pursued with passion.
Ovella’s one-room school is not much to speak of, so when town gets word that a man named Julius Rosenwald, the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., is donating money to help them build a brand-new school, Ovella can hardly believe her ears. No more leaky roofs, wind whistling through the walls, or a sheet that splits the classroom into two. But in order to have a new school, the community will have to raise a lot of money and build the school themselves.
How on earth will poor people find money to give away? Ovella wonders.
Based on the true story of the Rosenwald schools, which empowered thousands of African-American communities to build schools for their children in the 1920s and 30s, Dear Mr. Rosenwald is a powerful and uplifiting story for anyone who has ever dreamed of a better life.
Inspired by Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, the son of an immigrant and the president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., donated millions of dollars to build schools for African-American children in the rural South.