Slavery will forever be a blight on the United States, born as a nation of free men based on radical political ideals; those ideals were not initially applied to all men. The phrase, “that all men are created equal” was not applied to black slaves. While some would rather this dark chapter be ignored or rationalized, sunlight is still the best disinfectant, so openly explaining the consequences of slavery is without question the best policy. This book is an excellent primer on slavery, written from accounts of actual slaves; it explains some of the darkest aspects of the effect slavery had on the social structure. In general, the slave owners did all they could to dehumanize the slaves, yet they were often in fear of a rebellion as a consequence of what they had done. These accounts of the inhumane and sometimes barbaric treatment of other humans may reopen a painful sore, but that is the first step in a healing process. Young people need to know the role slavery had in the United States and this book will open their eyes to the historical reality of slavery.
As noted in the description of this work, "To be A Slave" was a 1969 Newbery Honor Book, An ALA Notable Book, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year and a Smithsonian Magazine Best Book of the Year. Seldom have I read a book that was actually deserving of these awards more than this work, and in my opinion, so many, many more! I must note right up front that even though this work was and is targeted for the 9 to 12 age group, it is applicable and fitting for just about … more
Charlie Ashbacher is a compulsive reader and writer about many subjects. His prime areas of expertise are in mathematics and computers where he has taught every course in the mathematics and computer … more
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To be a slave. To be owned by another person, as a car, house, or a table is owned. To live as a piece of property that could be sold...
This book is about how it felt. The words of black men and women who had themselves been slaves are here, accompanied by Julius Lester's historical commentary and Tom Feelings's powerful and muted paintings,To Be a Slavehas been a touchstone in children's literature for over thirty years.
"It is rare to find a book that enables children to identify as compellingly with slaves as this one does." -Publishers Weekly
"From history-and for our time-there's nothing better thanTo Be a Slave." -The New York Times Book Review
A 1969 Newbery Honor Book An ALA Notable Book ASchool LibraryJournal Best Book of the Year ASmithsonianMagazine Best Book of the Year