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Nobody Gonna Turn Me 'Round: Stories and Songs of the Civil Rights Movement

Overview

A powerful trilogy concludes with a look at both famous and lesser-known forces in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

In the summer of 1955, Moses Wright braved mortal danger to testify against three white men accused of murdering Emmett Till — a brutal event that helped to spur the American civil rights movement. Nine black teenagers in Little Rock, Arkansas, headed out to a formerly white high school, despite warnings that "blood will run in the streets." James Lawson ...

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Overview

A powerful trilogy concludes with a look at both famous and lesser-known forces in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

In the summer of 1955, Moses Wright braved mortal danger to testify against three white men accused of murdering Emmett Till — a brutal event that helped to spur the American civil rights movement. Nine black teenagers in Little Rock, Arkansas, headed out to a formerly white high school, despite warnings that "blood will run in the streets." James Lawson trained activists not to fight back with fists or words, no matter how many billy clubs rained down on them. Through ten turbulent years, black southerners filled jails and public places with the songs and strength passed down from their ancestors. This final book in a trilogy about the African-American experience is a tribute to the crusaders for equality and peace in America, a crusade that continues to this day.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
Kwanzaa brings a chance to reflect on the Seven Principles or, in Swahili, Nguzo Saba, of African culture that can help contribute to the building of family, community and culture. This title exemplifies the principles of unity and self-determination. In the face of loss and fear, African Americans fought steadfastly in the late 1950s and ‘60s for the rights accorded all Americans under the Constitution. By including lesser known figures with heroes such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks, the author emphasizes the importance of everyone who participated. Powerful, indeed, were 8-year-old Sheyann Webb, marching in Selma, Alabama, and Fannie Lou Hamer, a sharecropper who lost home and job trying to register to vote and went on to work for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Rappaport, who taught in a Mississippi freedom school in 1965, punctuates her text with the freedom songs that served as a rallying force, whether sung in jails, in churches or during protest marches. Illustrator Evans bears eloquent testimony to the struggle with images that range in mood from the grief of mourners at the open casket of murder victim Emmett Till to the determination of women organizing boycotts of segregated buses to the vibrant courage of marchers with upraised fists on the front cover. A compelling rendering of a turning point in American history.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-This is the concluding book in a trilogy that chronicles the black experience in America. Rappaport draws on songs, poems, memories, letters, court testimony, and first-person accounts to provide a moving portrayal of the experiences of African Americans from the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott to the Voting Rights Act in July 1965. The book introduces little-known as well as famous figures and incidents in a way that is fresh and informative. One example is the story of Mose Wright, who testified in the Emmett Till murder case-a black man who had never spoken up against a white man, but is determined to tell the truth today. Evans's earth-toned oil paintings enhance the stories with images that are by turns poignant, sad, hurtful, resigned, determined, hopeful, and triumphant. In a concluding artist's note, Evans eloquently states: "...as you read the words and gaze at the images in this `ourstory,' put yourselves in the shoes of these people who fought and loved so hard, for they are all of us." A wonderful resource to enhance curriculum units on African-American history.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Following on the heels of No More! (2002) and Free at Last (2004) is the third in this striking trilogy documenting African-American history. Rappaport and Evans follow the pattern already established, presenting a conventional narration interwoven with present-tense accounts of individuals' experiences, songs, and an occasional poem; the whole is stunningly illustrated with Evans's monumental oils, which represent the incidents described in the text with almost iconic fervor. For all its strengths, however, this offering pales in comparison to the first two installments in the trilogy, perhaps because this era has been so relatively well-covered in other works for young people. The technique of "recreating" incidents from first-person accounts in particular has a tendency to fall flat-as these accounts are so readily available and powerful in their own right, one must question why so few activists are allowed to speak with their own voices. Rather than increasing the immediacy of the experience, as it did in the earlier volumes, it serves to distance the reader from people and events, which is a pity considering its beauty. (timeline, source notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763619275
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 10/10/2006
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.81 (w) x 11.63 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Doreen Rappaport

Doreen Rappaport is the author of numerous books for young readers, including MARTIN'S BIG WORDS: THE LIFE OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., illustrated by Bryan Collier, and THE SCHOOL IS NOT WHITE! A TRUE STORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, illustrated by Curtis James. She lives in Copake Falls, New York.

Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of several children's books, including HOMEMADE LOVE by bell hooks and OSCEOLA: MEMORIES OF A SHARECROPPER'S DAUGHTER by Alan Govenar. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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