Free at Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation

Doreen Rappaport (Author) Shane W. Evans (Illustrator)


True stories and traditional songs shed light on a lesser known era in African-American history -- the crucial decades between Emancipation and the start of the Civil Rights movement.

An International Reading Association Teachers' Choice

A Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice

A Chicago Public Library Best Book

"Rappaport and Evans reprise the passion and power that informed their 2002 collaboration, shining their spotlight on the progess and struggles of African Americans from 1863 to 1954. Vigorous prose is punctuated by poems, songs, and excerpts from primary sources, all of which illuminate the peculiar experiences of a people freed and still not free." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Back matter includes a list of important dates, an artist's note, sources, resources for further information, and an index.

Product Details

Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish Date
September 12, 2006
9.5 X 0.2 X 11.2 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Doreen Rappaport is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the acclaimed No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance -- the first in what will be a trilogy of books illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Of Free at Last! Stories and Songs of Emancipation, she says, "This period in history was termed 'The New Era' by black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who hoped that the end of the Civil War marked the beginning of equality for black Americans. But this hope for equality quickly vanished with a series of 'legal' injustices, violence, and daily humiliations against black men, women, and children, marking this as one of the most shameful periods in American history. This book traces the courageous struggle of black Americans to re-create family life and economic independence in the face of overwhelming danger and uncertainty."

Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of several children's books, including No More! Stories and Songs of Slave Resistance by Doreen Rappaport. Of Free at Last!, he says, "As in No More!, I was faced with the challenge of making beautiful images out of images that are not always beautiful. There are dark moments in American history -- our story -- that need to be told, need to be known, and very importantly, need to be seen. It has been a welcome challenge and honor to tell these stories in pictures."