Today we will share the 15 best children’s books about slavery that you should read in 2022.
The basis of the production relations of slavery society is that slave owners possess the means of production, and at the same time directly possess the producers — slaves.
This is an important feature that distinguishes it from other private ownership societies. Politically, slaves were stripped of all power.
There is no personal freedom; economically, slaves are regarded by slave owners as a kind of property, and they are used as tools for speaking, and they are brutally exploited and exploited.
Since the slave owner owns the means of production and slaves, all the products of the slave are owned and controlled by the slave owner.
In order to enable the slave to work continuously for him and continue to exploit the slave, the slave owner only provides a small part of the means of subsistence to maintain the minimum life of the slave.
The basis of the feudal social production relations is that the feudal landlord class owns the means of production such as land and does not fully own the productive laborers — serfs or peasants.
On the basis of feudal ownership, two opposing classes were formed, namely, the feudal landlord class and the peasant class.
Under the feudal system, not only did the feudal landlords exploit the farmers, but the state also exploited the farmers, handicraftsmen, and other laborers in the form of taxation and other financial firms.
The advancement of production tools leads to the development of productive forces, the accumulation of surplus materials, the differentiation of the gap between the rich and the poor, the emergence of class conflicts, the emergence of commodity exchanges, the emergence of the social division of labor, the emergence of the state and supporting military institutions of violence, the emergence of legal systems and administrative institutions, and the development of productive forces.
Lead to the progress of production relations, and the economic base leads to a qualitative change in the superstructure.
History is always going forward with twists and turns, and history will never go backward for a long time.
The slave society developed from the primitive society, which has inevitably determined that the former must be more advanced.
Here we recommend the 15 best children’s books about slavery that you should read in 2022.
Table Of Contents
- Freedom in Congo Square
- Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky
- Many Thousand Gone
- Before She Was Harriet
- Show Way
- Overground Railroad
- The Patchwork Path
- From Slave Ship to Freedom Road
- Trailblazers: Harriet Tubman
- Harriet Tubman (Little People, Big Dreams)
- Henry’s Freedom Box
- Freedom Over Me
- Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt
- A Fine Dessert
- Last Stop on Market Street
- Teaching About Slavery Using Children’s Books
15 Best Children’s Books About Slavery That You Should Read in 2022
1. Freedom in Congo Square
Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford
“They work endlessly, counting the days and looking forward to Sunday, because on Sunday at least half a day can be a short meeting in Congo Square, free to set up an open-air market, sing, dance, and play music.”
If you stand from a critical point of view See, this is similar to compensatory benefits after deprivation of rights, and it cannot touch the root of the inequality of black slavery.
But at that time, this only designated square with half-day freedom must also undertake the possibility of sharing, exchanging, nurturing, and inheriting true freedom.
In the 2017 Caldecott Silver Award picture book, picture books reflecting racial issues are rarely introduced. This is the only picture book on racial issues that have been introduced among Caldecott Award-winning works in recent years.
The description of the hard work and life of black people in this picture book seems to be only to express their desire for freedom and happiness after a short period of freedom. The painting style of the picture book even reminds me of the cave paintings of primitive society, which have a primitive vitality. The first half of the picture book shows the hard work.
The picture uses a lot of natural colors of green, brown, and yellow. It seems that all the colors are depicting reality. The external environment of the painting does not express the emotions of the characters. Although the text is about hard work and oppression, the picture feels a silent vitality.
The second half uses red, orange, and orange to express this vitality. The environment is faded, and the colors are all used to express the emotions of the characters. It seems that only this kind of vitality that erupts in short-term freedom can nourish the music style that is popular in the world.
2. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky
Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold
The main character of Coretta Scott King Award and Caldecott Honor winner Tar Beach takes flight once again, encountering Harriet Tubman and learning about the Underground Railroad.
Cassie, who flew above New York in Tar Beach, soars into the sky once more. This time, she and her brother Be Be meet a train full of people, and Be Be joins them. But the train departs before Cassie can climb aboard. With Harriet Tubman as her guide, Cassie retraces the steps escaping slaves took on the real Underground Railroad and is finally reunited with her brother at the story’s end.
3. Many Thousand Gone
Many Thousand Gone: African Americans from Slavery to Freedom by Virginia Hamilton
Unavailable for several years, Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning companion to The People Could Fly traces the history of slavery in America in the voices and stories of those who lived it. Leo and Diane Dillon’s brilliant black-and-white illustrations echo the stories’ subtlety and power, making this book as stunning to look at as it is to read.
“There is probably no better way to convey the meaning of the institution of slavery as it existed in the United States to young readers than by using, as a text to share and discuss, Many Thousand Gone.” — The New York Times Book Review.
4. Before She Was Harriet
Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
We know her today as Harriet Tubman, but in her lifetime she was called by many names. As General Tubman, she was a Union spy. Like Moses, she led hundreds to freedom on the Underground Railroad. As Minty, she was a slave whose spirit could not be broken. As Araminta, she was a young girl whose father showed her the stars and the first steps on the path to freedom.
This lush, lyrical biography in verse begins with a glimpse of Harriet Tubman as an old woman and travels back in time through the many roles she played throughout her life: spy, liberator, suffragist, and more. Illustrated by James Ransome, whose paintings for The Creation won a Coretta Scott King medal, this is a riveting introduction to an American hero.
5. Show Way
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
The artistic expression of this book is also very beautiful, and it is very enjoyable to watch. Tells the history of black America’s quest for freedom through the fate of black girls across generations. I really liked one of the pages. Under the dark starry sky, the phantom black mother took care of the little girl and told her, “There is a way here, child, there is a way here.”
Soonies great-grandma was just seven years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her ma and pa, and with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She pieced together bright patches with names like North Star and Crossroads, patches with secret meanings made into quilts called Show Waysmaps for slaves to follow to freedom. When she grew up and had a little girl, she passed on this knowledge. And generations later, Sooniewho was born free and taught her own daughter how to sew beautiful quilts to be sold at the market and how to read.
From slavery to freedom, through segregation, freedom marches, and the fight for literacy, the tradition called Show Way has been passed down by the women in Jacqueline Woodson’s family as a way to remember the past and celebrate the possibilities of the future. Beautifully rendered in Hudson Talbott’s luminous art, this moving, lyrical account pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughter’s lives.
6. Overground Railroad
Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome
Climbing aboard the New York-bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North — one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.
Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields to give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view.
As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own — until finally, the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possibility.
James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers, and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom.
Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.
7. The Patchwork Path
The Patchwork Path: A Quilt Map to Freedom by Bettye Stroud
The images stitched into Hannah’s patchwork quilt lead to secret signposts on the Underground Railroad as she and her father take flight from slavery on a perilous path to freedom.
The wagon wheel. The bear’s paw. The flying geese. These are some of the squares in the quilt Hannah’s mama helped her to sew — before Hannah’s sister was sold to another plantation and before Mama died of a broken heart.
Now that Hannah’s papa has decided to make the run for freedom, this patchwork quilt is not just a precious memento of Mama — it’s a series of hidden clues that will guide them along the Underground Railroad to Canada, where they’ll finally be free.
A fictionalized account of fascinating oral history, THE PATCHWORK PATH tells the story of a brave father and his young daughter, two of thousands who escaped a life of slavery and made the dangerous journey to freedom — a story of courage, determination, and hope.
8. From Slave Ship to Freedom Road
From Slave Ship to Freedom Road by Julius Lester
Rod Brown and Julius Lester bring history to life in this profoundly moving exploration of the slave experience. From the Middle Passage to the auction block, from the whipping post to the fight for freedom, this book presents not just historical facts, but the raw emotions of the people who lived them.
Inspired by Rod Brown’s vivid paintings, Julius Lester has written a text that places each of us squarely inside the skin of both slave and slaveowner. It will capture the heart of every reader, black or white, young or old.
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- 15 best children’s books about slavery that you should read in 2022