HUSH HARBOR by Freddi Williams Evans


Praying in Secret
Age Range: 5 - 9
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When enslaved Africans were brought to the United States, they brought with them their cultures and traditions. Slaveowners worked diligently to strip them of both, but the Africans found ways to maintain their history and evolve in their new environment; worshipping together secretly in remote locations was one of them. “When the oil lamps went out in the big house and the overseers’ cabin, folks who had a mind to go stole away one by one, with Uncle Sol leadin’ the way.” A young boy narrates the tale of one such illicit prayer meeting, his joy and fear of discovery both clear in text and illustrations. Banks’s oversized, almost muralistic figures reflect the strength of the Africans’ spirits and their tremendous physicality. The red outlines used throughout evoke both warmth and danger as the characters steal away to their meeting place. Evans handles the issue with clarity, understanding and pride, briefly touching upon Africans’ attempts to escape the slavery system. The author’s note provides additional information for interested readers. This is a fine addition to any collection. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8225-7965-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2008