Review: Seeds of Freedom

Posted on February 9, 2015

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black history bannerFebruary is Black History Month

In observance of Black History Month, Advice from a Caterpillar spotlights new releases in nonfiction picture books that celebrate achievements of African Americans and the heroic deeds of two Africans who changed the world. In today’s selection, Hester Bass shares a lesser-known chapter in the civil rights movement.

Seeds of Freedom coverSeeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama
Written by Hester Bass
Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Candlewick Press
January 2015
32 pages

During the 1960s, riots broke out all over the South as blacks and whites clashed over the civil rights movement. In the quiet town of Huntsville, Alabama, the “Space Center of the Universe,” a different kind of uprising was occurring. Individuals in the black community demanded equal rights along with their brethren across the country. But they were committed to non-violence. They staged sit-ins at restaurants and public parks. Instead of buying new Easter clothes at the local shops, members of the black community wore their blue jeans to church in what was known as Blue Jean Sunday. The peaceful protests were so successful that within a few months public places and businesses were open to everyone – blacks and whites. But the greatest goal challenge lay ahead. Was it possible for black children and white children to attend the same schools without violence?

Throughout this engaging story about Huntsville’s peaceful uprising, Bass skillfully intertwines the history of the civil rights movement. Lewis’s watercolor illustrations portray momentous events like snapshots in a photo album. Seeds of Freedom is a stirring revelation of how the skirmishes and successes of one community caused a giant ripple across the nation.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Peggy Tibbetts

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Posted in: book review