How They Got Over
African Americans and the Call of the Sea
Publication Date: January 2003
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African Americans have been drawn to the sea for hundreds of years. In this collection of biographies, Eloise Greenfield examines how that connection to the sea has influenced generations of African Americans -- from a shipbuilder-businessman during the American Revolution to the first woman and African American to hold the highest-ranking position in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps. The lives of the extraordinary men and women included here create a stirring image of the powerful tie between African Americans and the water that has both bound them and set them free. Jan Spivey Gilchrist's artwork is as evocative as the profiles of the people it illustrates.
Eloise Greenfield is the author of an illustrious list of books for young people, including The Friendly Four, a Texas 2x2 Reading List book; In the Land of Words, an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts; and How They Got Over: African Americans and the Call of the Sea, winner of a Bank Street Children's Book Awardall illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. She is a recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award; the Coretta Scott King Author Award; the Award of Excellence from the Washington, D.C., branch of the National Writing Project; the Milner Award; the Hope S. Dean Award from the Foundation for Children's Literature; and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Ms. Greenfield lives in Washington, D.C.