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Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation Hardcover – November 13, 2009
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Although he hid his reading and writing from the whites, it was harder to keep his skills secret from the other slaves. When war breaks out, Ben is sent to a slave prison, to stay there until sold, where he decides he'd just forget about reading..."it could only lead to trouble."
But one night, the slaves bribe a guard for a copy of the Charleston newspaper, and beg Ben to read it to them. As Ben begins to read, we read along with him the famous words of Lincoln's Emancipation Declaration: "All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free..." The author ends the story with Ben peering at the golden light of daybreak through the slats of the shed...wondering what this new freedom would look like.
This book would not be nearly as effective without the handsome illustrations of illustrator Floyd Cooper, using his signature oil on board technique.Read more ›
Months turned into years as Ben slowly but steadily became literate and helped other slaves to read as well. At a particularly bleak time when he was temporarily being held at a slave prison awaiting sale during the Civil War, he garnered a highly charged and emotional round of applause when he read aloud the Emancipation Proclamation from a Charleston newspaper to the other men.
Pat Sherman's carefully-researched text and the dramatic oil paintings from acclaimed illustrator Floyd Cooper make this new publication an important addition to children's book collections about slavery and the historical South. With its emphasis on child schooling, teachers and parents can use the book to discuss how education can help to promote empowerment, racial equality, and social justice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was a wonderful read so that my afterschool students can have a better understanding of slavery and the things slaves had to endure.Published 5 months ago by RUth E. Terrell
This is a wonderful book. At first I felt it was a little too long for small children but once you get into it its perfect.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer