Skip to main content

Voice of Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

The full title of this book is Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford with illustrations by Ekua Holmes.  I'm not sure how I came across this book.  It might have been reviewed recently in BookPage, or I may have come across it on Amazon while looking at other books.  I can't remember.  It's juvenile non-fiction, and I have another book from the easy reader section that I will probably be reviewing soon too.  I'm branching out a little bit in what I'm reviewing partially because I have classes starting again soon, and I'm not sure how much time I will have to read adult fiction or non-fiction.  And also because we got a few new easy reader children's books here at the library that I really (really) loved and wanted to tell people about them.  Voice of Freedom is one of those new books that I really liked.  It's told in verse and is accompanied by some stunning illustrations.

The book is told in first person verse from Fannie Lou Hamer's perspective.  Weatherford tells Hamer's story starting with Hamer's birth as the twentieth (!!!) child born to sharecropper parents in Mississippi and following her journey to adulthood and civil rights activism.  These haunting verses tell of the tragedy, struggles, prejudice, discrimination, threats, and intimidation that characterized Hamer's life as a black woman in the South.  And yet no matter how many threats, how much intimidation, or how many physical beatings Hamer suffered, sometimes for such actions as daring to register to vote at the county courthouse (an experience and achievement that took months and years and was not without its own challenges and obstacles), she endured, and she would not be deterred from her work registering black people to vote and educating them about their rights.  Weatherford's verses paint Hamer as a woman of grace, dignity, and quiet, steadfast courage.

In addition to Hamer's story, this book also sheds light on the experiences of sharecroppers, a feudal type system that supplanted slavery in the post-civil war South, and a system that Weatherford in her verses points out was just another form of slavery by a differen name.  I cannot recommend this book enough, and I think anyone from children to adults would enjoy reading it because I think even though it is in the juvenile non-fiction section that adults would get as much out of this book as children.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie


Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at does not offer any insi…