Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

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Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Author: Kadir Nelson
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 108
Cover Price: $ 19.99

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The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it's about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it's about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It's a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation's most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement.

Written in the voice of an "Everywoman," an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, heart and soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice--the true heart and soul of our nation.

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Background Information

Race relations between Americans of European origin and others, including Africans, Indians, and Asians, have been an issue since colonial days. Jim Crow laws were designed to deny their civil rights in the South, either directly or by indirect consequences. The principle of "separate but equal" education, a mainstay of segregation in the Deep South, was overturned by the Supreme court in the case of Brown v. Board of Education. Slavery was introduced into America during colonial times in order to produce crops such as tobacco. The civil rights movement, which aimed to deliver the rights assured black Americans in the post-Civil-War amendments, reached its peak of activity in the 1960's.