Heart and Soul
The Story of America and African Americans
Publication Date: September 2011
List Price: $19.99*
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The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; its about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; its about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. Its a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs.
Kadir Nelson, one of this generations most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an Everywoman, an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justicethe true heart and soul of our nation.
Kadir Nelson began his professional career as an artist, publishing his work and receiving commissions from publishers and production studios such as Dreamworks, where he served as the lead conceptual artist for Steven Spielberg s Amistad and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sports Illustrated, Coca-Cola, The United States Postal Service and Major League Baseball, among others. Presently, almost twenty illustrated books are in print, including Debbie Allen's DANCING IN THE WINGS, Ntozake Shange s Coretta Scott King Award-winning book, and Carol Boston Weatherford s MOSES: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom, for which Nelson won a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, a Caldecott Honor and an NAACP Image Award. Most recently, Nelson released his authorial debut, WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Jump at the Sun/Disney), a New York Times best-seller.
The American Library Association granted its 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award to Kadir Nelson for his children's book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. The award goes to authors who promote an appreciation of all cultures. Host Michel Martin speaks with Nelson, plus Chrystal Carr Jeter of the award committee. More at NPR.org
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As in WE ARE THE SHIP, Nelson knits together the nation’s proudest moments with its most shameful, taking on the whole of African-American history. He handles this vast subject with easy grace. [Nelson’s] jaw-dropping portraits radiate determination and strength. A tremendous achievement.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The dramatic oil paintings heighten the dignity of this story, whether they are of well-known historical figures, common folk or landscape…This intimate narrative makes the stories accessible to young readers and powerfully conveys how personal this history feels for many African-Americans.
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Nelson…adds to his notable titles with this powerful view of African American history. Illustrated with 44 full-page paintings, this handsome volume is told in the fictionalized, informal voice of an African American senior looking back on her life and remembering what her elders told her.
-Booklist (starred review)
Provocative and powerful, this book offers a much-needed perspective for individuals of all ages seeking to understand America’s past and present.
-School Library Journal (starred review)
Nelson effectively creates a voice that is at once singular and representative. A tour de force in the career of an author/artist who continues to outdo himself.
-Horn Book (starred review)