Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters


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Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppression; about the challenges and triumphs of the battle for civil rights; and about speaking out for what you believe in--even when it feels like no one is listening. Andrea Davis Pinkney's moving text and Stephen Alcorn's glorious portraits celebrate the lives of ten bold women who lit the path to freedom for generations. Includes biographies of Sojournor Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B.Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780547906041
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 01/08/2013
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 136,418
Product dimensions: 8.52(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.33(d)
Lexile: 1000L (what's this?)
Age Range: 6 - 10 Years

About the Author

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the author of numerous award-winning picture book biographies. A former editor at Essence Magazine who now edits children's books, she lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Stephen Alcorn is an acclaimed painter and printmaker who has created artwork for a number of anthologies. He lives in Cambridge, New York.

Table of Contents

The Little Light of Mine ix
Sojourner Truth
Biddy Mason
Harriet Tubman
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Mary McLeod Bethune
Ella Josephine Baker
Dorothy Irene Height
Rosa Parks
Fannie Lou Hamer
Shirley Chisholm
For Further Reading 105

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

 "Pinkney (Silent Thunder) presents eloquent portraits of 10 intrepid African-American activists for the causes of abolition, women's rights and civil rights. Exploring these individuals' childhoods as well as their accomplishments as adults, the author smoothly distills biographical information so as to hold the attention of young readers. Her selection of subjects includes the prominent (Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm) as well as such lesser-knowns as Fannie Lou Hamer, an indefatigable campaigner for African-Americans' right to vote. Pinkney's writing is spiced with colloquialisms ("She didn't shy back for nobody," she says of Sojourner Truth) and useful imagery (describing this same crusader's delivery of her renowned "Ain't I a woman?" speech, the author notes, "She was the only black woman in the place, and when she stepped to the pulpit, some folks looked at her like she was a stain on their purest linens"). Featuring creatively skewed perspective and proportion, Alcorn's (I, Too, Sing America) oil paintings offer allegorical interpretations of his subjects' lives." Publishers Weekly

"Engaging text and glorious art are combined in this collection of sketches celebrating the contributions of 10 women who moved forward the cause of civil rights in America. Following a preface that describes her own family roots in the civil rights movement and their influence on her, Pinkney presents her heroines chronologically, from Sojourner Truth to Shirley Chisholm, in verbal portraits that capture the subjects' spirit and personalities amid biographical highlights. Blending straightforward narrative with a lively storytelling style, the author balances the hardships and racial injustice that these women faced against their faith, strength of character, and determination. They include Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Rosa Parks, as well as Biddy Mason, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, and Fannie Lou Hamer. The book includes many quotes, incidents, and details that lead readers down their personal paths to historical recognition. However, it is Alcorn's vibrant, inspired oil paintings that make this book a standout. A full-page stylized portrait appears opposite the first page of each story; it is filled with symbolic details that are elucidated in the text. A brilliant example is a larger-than-life Harriet Tubman balanced on one knee over a railroad track with arms diagonally outstretched, bridgelike, as tiny travelers make their way up the steep height toward the freedom star. Smaller paintings appear within the stories, carrying the message further. Line, color, and canvas texture give the pictures depth and dynamism, vastly enriching the reading experience. This excellent collection is a must for every library." School Library Journal

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Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Kathdavis54 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It would be hard to write this book. There are so many important people in African American history, how would anyone choose just a few women to write about? Andrea Davis Pinkney has taken this challenge and to me it falls a little flat. When I knew the story a woman she was discussing, the narrative felt too familiar and I learned nothing new. When I knew nothing about a woman Pinkney was detailing, it felt too short and rushed. I would probably only use this as a jumping off point for research with students. It is not something that would give them enough information to really dig deeper.
jamiesque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters is a book valuable for its condensed collection of pioneering African American Women throughout the United States. The women were carefully selected by Andera Davis Pinkney to represent an influencial group of women who span American history from Sojourner Truth born in 1797 to Shirley Chisholm in 1924. Each biography serves as a brief synopsis of the subjects moved forward by the current of how and why civil rights shaped their lives, and in turn, how these women paved the way for others. There are ten biographies in total, eleven if you count 'This Little Light of Mine,' the introduction by Pickny in which she describes her family's involvement with the civil rights movement, their influence on her, and how that perspective urged her to write this book and shead light on the struggle for racial and gender equality. Each vignette is only a couple pages, thus serving better as a brief intorduction to these extrodinary women, hopefully prompting furhter study and investigation. In the back of the book there are two meager pages of further suggested reading. The book fails to offer much depth, nor does it provide a new perspective or information. However, despite adhearing to tried and established fact and format, the last sentence of the book, whether intentional or not, poses a question which warrents further consideration, conversation and and research. "Shirley [Chisholm] was right: America was changing." Using the book as a guide, it would be beneficial to ask students to examine not only how the United States has changed in regards to policies and attitudes towards once marginalized populations, but also is that attitude still evolvinging and in what ways. Are there still groups fighting for their rights? Who are the leaders of today and against whom or what are they fighting?
LiteratureKG More than 1 year ago
Let it shine by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn was an inspiring book about black women through out history and the impact they made for themselves and others. They set examples and gave courage to other women during the civil right to allow their voices to be heard. Each woman, of the ten, has facts about their lives such as birth and death dates on their front pages. I thought this book would be great in the classroom when teaching either about the civil rights or role models. This is a great book for boys and girls to read. It tells the stories of their lives and how they over came diversity. This is a great book for teaching diversity. I thought there was some good vocabulary for students to learn from this book, such as generosity, Free speech, discrimination, and prejudice. This book has many details about these women such as Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks' lives. The age range for a reader of this book would be fourth and fifth grade. It would tie in their history or social studies curriculum.