We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song

Regular price $ 18.99

by Debbie Levy, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Jump at the Sun

12/17/2013, hardcover

SKU: 9781423119548


It only takes a few words to create change. It only takes a few people to believe that change is possible. And when those people sing out, they can change the world. "We Shall Overcome" is one of their songs. From the song's roots in America's era of slavery through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today, "We Shall Overcome" has come to represent the fight for equality and freedom around the world. This important book, lyrically written by Debbie Levy and paired with elegant, collage-style art by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, pays tribute to the heroic spirit of the famous song that encompasses American history.


"This powerful book uses the evolution of the titular protest song to trace the history of slavery, segregation, and the civil rights movement in the U.S.-and beyond. The free-verse narrative adopts the rousing tones of African American preachers and leaders: "Back in slavery times- / when enslaved people worked long days / with no pay and no say, / no freedom, no fairness, / no choice and no chance- / the people sang." Meanwhile, the bold typeface rising over the slaves' heads depicts early versions of the lyrics. The narrative then shifts to the Civil War, lunch counter boycotts, the march on Washington, and so on. The digital and mixed-media artwork showcase important crises in slavery, segregation, and the civil rights movement, all the way up to the inauguration of President Obama. Most intriguingly, the book concludes by showing how countries all over the world have adopted the song for their own freedom struggles. An innovative capturing of history through the lens of a song and a passionate affirmation of human rights." - Connie Fletcher, Booklist

About the Author:

Debbie Levy (www.debbielevybooks.com) is the author of The Year of Goodbyes, Imperfect Spiral, Maybe I'll Sleep in the Bathtub Tonight, and many other books for young readers. A former newspaper editor and lawyer, Debbie is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan Law School. She loves to read, kayak, fish, swim, and take long walks. Debbie lives in Maryland with her husband. They have two grown sons.