A well-illustrated and meticulously researched story of the inextricably intertwined lives of two important African-American historical figures.
From its opening poem, “You Are Here,” printed on a simple watercolor map of a road, to its backmatter about the history and art behind the story, this historical account of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. and spiritual contralto vocalist Mahalia Jackson delivers inspiration and information equally. Focusing on the gift that each had for gospel, Andrea Davis Pinkney emphasizes the vocal and musical talents that each gained through the church as young people. Brian Pinkney renders Martin’s pages in greens and blues, Mahalia’s pages in oranges and reds, and the scenes where they come together, as they did in the 1968 March on Washington, in purples and oranges, blending their respective colors to represent their unity and the merging of their talents for the sake of social justice. The visual motif of the white dove, which appears throughout, stands in contrast to the opposition and conflict their work often sparked. Maps of curved streets with directional arrows on which appear words such as “segregation” and “This way to freedom” give the visually rich pages a sense of constant motion.
Sure to become an indispensable part of annual Black History Month celebrations and library nonfiction collections on important African-Americans. (Informational picture book. 6-12)