Let My People Go
Bible Stories Told by a Freeman of Color
Publication Date: October 1998
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"Come join me as I take you back to Charleston, South Carolina, to my father's forge in the early 1800's. Sit with me on the woodpile as he tells a tale of faith, hope, or love."
In this extraordinary collection, Charlotte Jefferies and her father Price, a former slave, introduce us to twelve best loved Bible tales, from Genesis to Daniel, and reveal their significance in the lives of African Americans--and indeed of all oppressed peoples.
When Charlotte wants to understand the cruel injustices of her time, she turns to her father. Does the powerful slaveholder, Mr. Sam Riley, who seems to own all that surrounds them, also own the sun and moon? she wonders. Price's answer is to tell the story of Creation. How can God allow an evil like slavery to exist? she asks. Price responds by telling the story of the Hebrews' Exodus -- and shows Charlotte that someday their people, too, will be free.
With exquisite clarity, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack and James Ransome -- a Newbery Honor winner and all Coretta Scott King Award winners -- brilliantly illuminate the parallels between the stories of the Jews and African-American history. Let My People Go is a triumphant celebration of both the human spirit and the enduring power of story as a source of strength.
Our hope is that this book will be like a lighthouse that can guide young readers through good times and bad....The ideas that these ancient stories hold are not for one people, at one time, in one place. They are for all of us, for all times, everywhere.
--from the Authors' Note to Let My People Go
winner; "The Honest-to-Goodness Truth; Let My People Go, " written with her
husband, Fredrick, and recipient of the NAACP Image Award; "The Dark-Thirty, " a Newbery Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Award winner; and "Mirandy and Brother Wind, " recipient of the Caldecott Medal and a Coretta Scott King Honor Book. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
James Ransome's work has appeared in nearly fifty books for children, including Uncle Jed's Barbershop, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, and This Is the Dream. His highly acclaimed illustrations for Let My People Go: Bible Stories Told by a Freeman of Color won the NAACP Image Award. He teaches illustration at Syracuse University and lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his family.