Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans by author Wade Hudson is an instructive selection of speeches, letters and stories from more than 30 notable African Americans. This handsome volume, which features an introduction by Marian Wright Edelman, draws on a wide variety of works, from Richard Wright's Native Son to Barbara Jordan's 1976 keynote address to the National Democratic Convention. With chapters like "Antislavery Crusaders" and "The Struggle for Civil Rights," the book spotlights a wide variety of political leaders, authors and entertainers, including Toni Morrison, Lauryn Hill, Alex Haley and Rosa Parks. From colonial days to modern times, the volume reflects the remarkable scope of black thought in America. Sean Qualls' appealing, impressionistic illustrations complement the text. Copyright 2004 BookPage Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2004 Fall
The compiler excerpts significant rhetorical pieces by three dozen influential African Americans ranging from Benjamin Banneker to Lauryn Hill. Brief and useful biographical essays accompany each selection, but the design and two-color illustrations are textbookish. Chronology, source notes. Ind. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2004 February #1
Taken from a variety of sources, including speeches, letters, essays, and poetry, powerful words of eminent African-Americans tell the history of the struggles to achieve freedom and then equality. From Benjamin Banneker's letter to Thomas Jefferson to Lauryn Hill's hip-hop lyrics, the reader is presented with an astonishing array of eloquent, passionate discourse. Because many of the pieces are written in 18th- and 19th-century language and cadence, it might prove difficult for young readers. But Hudson sets the writing in context, and provides a biographical sketch, and includes information about the contemporary response in a four-page spread for each selection. An introduction, conclusion, author's note, time-line, list of sources, and index, all contribute to the wealth of information. Qualls's blue-toned portraits and eye-catching large-print quotes in gold and white on a blue manuscript are visually stimulating. Absorbing. (Nonfiction. 10+) Copyright Kirkus 2004 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Media Connection Reviews 2004 August/September
Drawing from 200 years of African-American history, the author has selected excerpts from speeches, writings (both fiction and nonfiction), poetry, song lyrics, and documents. Divided into 15 sections by time periods, each section begins with a brief description of that period. Each of the 34 individual excerpts begins with background for that piece, and concludes with a brief biographical sketch of the author. Some of the most contemporary individuals include Toni Morrison, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Lauryn Hill. The author specifically chose these excerpts for the ideas, dreams, and hopes that they illustrate, the impact that those words have had, and to show the journey that African Americans have taken in our history. This large format book is illustrated with drawings and is colored in a two-color process throughout. Though the print is large, some of the excerpts may be challenging for elementary students. It includes a chronology of African- American history, a list of sources, and an index. This book can be used in so many ways: to provide information for history, English, and speech courses; to provide information for African-American History Week; and to give curious students a sense of history and inspiration. Highly Recommended. Lee Gordon, Librarian, Sierra Vista High School, Las Vegas, Nevada © 2004 Linworth Publishing, Inc.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 December #4
Powerful Words: More Than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans, ed. by Wade Hudson, illus. by Sean Qualls, with a foreword by Marian Wright Edelman, combines the poetic words of the likes of Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston and the song lyrics of James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" along with excerpts from Thurgood Marshall's Summary of Argument for Brown v. Board of Education; Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech delivered at Lincoln University (June 6, 1961) and Malcolm X's address at the Hotel Theresa in New York City (Dec. 31, 1964). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2004 February
Gr 5 Up-Hudson highlights the words of 36 well-known African-American men and women from colonial to contemporary times. Benjamin Banneker, Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. DuBois, Mary McLeod Bethune, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Thurgood Marshall, and Toni Morrison are among the featured individuals. Marian Wright Edelman provides the foreword and is profiled later on in the book. Hudson bases his book on the writings of the subjects themselves, taken directly from speeches, books, essays, articles, letters, poems, and songs. The passages reflect the culture and conditions of the times, taking into account issues of slavery, discrimination, racism, and the growth and development of the African-American community. Most of the entries include a full-page, black-and-white drawing of the subject. For each one, Hudson gives a brief introduction to set the scene. Following each excerpt is a biographical sketch, as well as individual or public responses. The strength of this book rests on its illumination of the power of words to question, educate, inspire, and empower.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.