Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution
Answering the Cry for Freedom: Stories of African Americans and the American Revolution
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Annotation: Provides the chance for young readers to learn about the death-defying attempts of black Americans to gain the inalienable rights promised in the Declaration of Independence.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #135345
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: c2016
Illustrator: Christie, R. Gregory,
Pages: 239 p.
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-629-79306-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-629-79306-1
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2016932168
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Liberty is a difficult concept to define and becomes even more complex in the context of American history. Woelfle, an award-winning author of nonfiction, examines the challenges and contradictions of life for African Americans in the founding era time period supposedly defined by its quest for freedom. Short biographies of 13 eighteenth-­century figures fill thematic sections on soldiers, women, and activists. The people included range from the obscure, such as patriot sailor Paul Cuffe, to the infamous, such as Sally Hemings, slave and mother of some of Thomas Jefferson's children. Using these biographies as archetypes, Woelfle asserts that African Americans were not the one-dimensional slave figures so often painted in history books, but rather represented a range of vocations and political philosophies. This outstanding book is not just a history of African Americans but rather an honest look at the complicated, often hypocritical definitions that Americans have ascribed to the idea of liberty from our earliest days.
Kirkus Reviews
Biographical sketches tell of 13 remarkable black men and women, including a double agent, a traveling female preacher, an admired poet, and a successful whaling captain. While some may be known to readers, most will not. Information on John Kizell, for example, has only recently been uncovered. Many of their civic or military accomplishments are impressive, making it unclear why Sally Hemings is among the 13; although her story is notable, her primary contribution was ensuring the freedom of her children. Divided into four parts, the book moves from three men who fought in the Revolution to three slaves in Boston, three female slaves in the South, and, finally, four men and women who were born or became free and went on to advocate for others’ rights. Almost all overcame great odds to influence their world. Elizabeth Freeman sued for and won her freedom from slavery in 1781 Massachusetts. Prince Hall, a former slave, organized the first branch of black Freemasons, of which there are now 300,000 in lodges named after him. Richard Allen bought his freedom for $2,000, received the first copyright granted to an African-American, and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The well-told stories, illustrated with striking silhouettes by Christie, can be read independently of one another. An open design, pull-quotes, and frequent headings add to the appeal. Accessible, inspiring accounts of courageous men and women. (notes, timelines, bibliography, index) (Collective biography. 9-13)
School Library Journal
Gr 4&11;9&12; There is a dearth of resources available to students interested in the history and inner lives of free and enslaved African Americans in early U.S. history. This informational text uncovers a bit of that lost history through accounts and stories of 13 individuals who lived through or fought in the Revolutionary War while grappling with their own lack of freedom and autonomy. Through the use of personal testimonies, Woelfle presents an approachable but detailed narrative. Pull quotes in bold and simple but telling illustrations allow the work to flow like a storybook. Individuals profiled include Boston King, Agrippa Hull, James Armistead Lafayette, Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, Prince Hall, Mary Perth, Ona Judge, Sally Hemings, Paul Cuffe, John Kizell, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee. Each short profile examines the subject's family history, personal life, and fight for freedom. In the back matter, each individual covered receives an author's note, time line, bibliography, and source notes&12;encouraging readers to go further in their own exploration. VERDICT Researchers and history fans alike will surely appreciate this work that brings attention to a missing part of U.S. history. Recommended for libraries and classrooms that serve middle school students.&12; Nikitia Wilson, Queens Library, NY
Voice of Youth Advocates
The dry facts of history come alive through the personal stories of thirteen black people who lived through the events covered in this title. Author Woelfle and illustrator Christie share the stories of African American patriots of the American Revolution, an important and interesting part of history that is not often covered in texts. The book contains the stories of men and women, free and enslaved, who fought for their own freedom and the freedom of others. Some were born in Africa, others in America; some lived in the North and others in the South. All heard the cries of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," and wanted it to become a reality. Woelfle includes some stories of people who will be familiar to readers, like Phillis Wheatley and Sally Hemings, alongside the stories of people who are not as well known.Answering the Cry for Freedom is a well-researched book that will make history relatable for students. The personal stories will inspire and guide many who are forging their own path for equal rights today. The back matter includes extensive information on each individual profiled.Charla Hollingsworth.REFERENCE
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographic references (p. 213-231) and index.
Word Count: 39,027
Reading Level: 7.7
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.7 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 185709 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 1040L

Uncover the lives of thirteen African-Americans who fought during the Revolutionary War.   

Even as American Patriots fought for independence from British rule during the Revolutionary War, oppressive conditions remained in place for the thousands of enslaved and free African Americans living in this country. But African Americans took up their own fight for freedom by joining the British and American armies; preaching, speaking out, and writing about the evils of slavery; and establishing settlements in Nova Scotia and Africa. The thirteen stories featured in this collection spotlight charismatic individuals who answered the cry for freedom, focusing on the choices they made and how they changed America both then and now. These individuals include: Boston King, Agrippa Hull, James Armistead Lafayette, Phillis Wheatley, Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, Prince Hall, Mary Perth, Ona Judge, Sally Hemings, Paul Cuffe, John Kizell, Richard Allen, and Jarena Lee. Includes individual bibliographies and timelines, author note, and source notes.

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