Finally, a book for children about Fannie Lou Hamer, one of the most influential women in the modern Civil Rights Movement. Voice of Freedom is infused with Hamer’s own quotes and the colloquial style that defined her skill as a speaker. It introduces key events in Hamer’s life: growing up in a sharecropping community, getting involved in the struggle for voting rights, a trip to Africa, and her run for the Mississippi State Senate. The earth-toned hues and collages of Ekua Holmes’ illustrations are a visual feast. Although this is a picture book, it is more appropriate for upper elementary grades, given topics such as Hamer’s forced sterilization.
Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford
Published by Candlewick Press on 2015
Genres: Activism, African American, Civil Rights Movement
Reading Level: Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8
Review Source: Rethinking Schools
Also by this author: Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library, Unspeakable
A 2016 Caldecott Honor BookA 2016 Robert F. Sibert Honor BookA 2016 John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award WinnerStirring 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.