STARRED REVIEW
August 2015

A leader for us all

By Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Fannie Lou Hamer was a tireless champion of civil rights, from the moment she attempted to register to vote in 1962 until her death in 1977. Malcolm X called her “the country’s number one freedom-fighting woman.” In 1964, Hamer came to prominence at the Democratic National Convention, where she delivered a speech that aired on national television. An older white man once expressed what many felt, telling her that she did “what he was afraid to do.”
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BookPage Children's Top Pick, August 2015

Fannie Lou Hamer was a tireless champion of civil rights, from the moment she attempted to register to vote in 1962 until her death in 1977. Malcolm X called her “the country’s number one freedom-fighting woman.” In 1964, Hamer came to prominence at the Democratic National Convention, where she delivered a speech that aired on national television. An older white man once expressed what many felt, telling her that she did “what he was afraid to do.” 

Voice of Freedom

Award-winning poet Carole Boston Weatherford and debut artist Ekua Holmes bring Hamer’s courage and legacy to life in this striking volume. The large, attractive format shares Hamer’s life story through powerful, first-person poems and colorful, detailed collage illustrations. The poems often incorporate Hamer’s own words, and source notes, a timeline and bibliography are included in the back matter.

Voice of Freedom 2As Weatherford tells us in her author’s note, Hamer was an unlikely heroine. Born in 1917 into a large sharecropping family, she married Perry “Pap” Hamer in 1944 and worked with him on a plantation. She first became active in voting registration efforts after realizing she didn’t even know she had the right to vote. Being arrested and beaten only solidified her resolve, and she became a leader and inspiration to others. 

“All my life I’ve been sick and tired. Now I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” said Hamer. Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer is a fitting tribute to her unforgettable spirit.

 

Illustrations © 2015 Ekua Holmes. Reproduced by permission of Candlewick.

Deborah Hopkinson’s next book, Courage & Defiance, will be released this fall.

This article was originally published in the August 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763665319

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