Free at last : a Juneteenth poem

by Kincaid-Rolle, Sojourner,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 10 Libraries 10 of 10 copies
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Baldwin Borough Library Juvenile Non-fiction J 811.6 KIN
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Summary
This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today.



After 300 years of forced bondage;

hands bound, descendants of Africa

picked up their souls--all that they owned--

leaving shackles where they fell on the ground,

headed for the nearest resting place to be found.



Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and honor a holiday whose importance reverberates far beyond the borders of Texas.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "This picture book celebrates Rolle's 2004 poem "Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem." The first line takes readers back to June 19, 1865: "The news arrived in Galveston: / The war is over!" As Rolle describes how formerly enslaved people responded to emancipation, her effortless lines flow with a soft, steady cadence: "After 300 years of forced bondage, / hands bound, descendants of Africa / picked up their souls--all that they owned-- / leaving shackles where they fell on the ground, / headed for the nearest resting place to be found." The soulful illustrations in a muted palette align seamlessly, portraying events in a dignified, momentous style. In her author's note, Rolle acknowledges that there is no official ending date for slavery, and that many individuals remained enslaved long after the Emancipation Proclamation. She also explains how Juneteenth, now a federal holiday, became the symbolic representation of freedom and how her poem is linked to the annual celebration. These lyrical verses are perfect for reading out loud, and the full-page illustrations will be easy to share. This lovely offering serves as powerful affirmation: "Wherever they went alone or abreast / at the end of their journey, they cried, / 'I've done my best.'""
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Kincaid Rolle and Bostic's foray into Juneteenth's history opens without preamble, centering the enslaved Black residents of Galveston, Tex., as news of freedom arrives via the Emancipation Proclamation: "ALL WHO LIVE IN BONDAGE/ HERE SHALL FROM/ NOW UNTIL/ BE FREE." Realistic oil illustrations depict portraits and landscapes in the time and place, while sometimes-rhyming text traces individual reactions: "after 300 years of forced bondage,/ hands bound," some people rest, while others sing and dance, give thanks, and decide whether to stay or go elsewhere. Soon, images transition to show a contemporary America, where children "of the ones who were held.../ celebrate the day their forebears could shout/ 'FREE AT LAST!' " A largely earth-toned color palette distinguishes Bostic's art, which tenderly portrays brown-skinned characters' detailed facial expressions across environments and generations. Together, the creators emphasize the value of freedom embodied by the "symbolic holiday." A contextualizing author's note concludes. Ages 4--8. (May)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Juneteenth -- Juvenile poetry.
African Americans -- Texas -- History -- Juvenile poetry.
Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States -- Juvenile poetry.
African Americans -- Anniversaries, etc. -- Juvenile poetry.
African Americans -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile poetry.
Children's poetry, American.
Juneteenth -- Poetry.
African Americans -- Poetry.
Slaves -- Emancipation -- Poetry.
African Americans -- Anniversaries, etc. -- Poetry.
Poetry.
Texas -- History -- Poetry.
Free verse.
Publisher New York :Sterling Children's Books,2022
Contributors Bostic, Alex, illustrator.
Language English
Description 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm
ISBN 9781454943747
1454943742
Other Classic View