To Be a Slave

Front Cover
Turtleback Books, 2000 - Juvenile Fiction - 176 pages
7 Reviews
The words of black men and women who had themselves been slaves are here, accompanied by Julius Lester's historical commentary and the powerful, muted paintings of Tom Feelings. To Be a Slave, a Newbery Honor Book, has been a touchstone in children's literature for over 30 years.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
2
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
1
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - engpunk77 - LibraryThing

Very good compilation of memories of actual slaves, StoryCorp style organized with Lester's own skilled narration. Much of it was not new to me, but would be to an audience of 7th-12th grade students ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - MrsLee - LibraryThing

Interesting, informative and very sad. Where Booker T. Washington had a hopeful outlook for the future, this author seems mired in the bitterness of the past, and who can blame him? Washington was a ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2000)

Julius Bernard Lester was born in St. Louis, Missouri on January 27, 1939. He received a bachelor's degree in English from Fisk University in 1960. He moved to New York to become a folk singer. He performed on the coffeehouse circuit as a singer and guitarist. He released two albums entitled Julius Lester in 1965 and Departures in 1967. His first published book, The Folksinger's Guide to the 12-String Guitar as Played by Leadbelly written with Pete Seeger, was published in 1965. In the 1960s, Lester was closely involved as a writer and photographer with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He traveled to the South to document the civil rights movement and to North Vietnam to photograph the effects of American bombardment. He also hosted radio and television talk shows in New York City. He wrote more than four dozen nonfiction and fiction books for adults and children. His books for adults included Look Out, Whitey!: Black Power's Gon' Get Your Mama, Revolutionary Notes, All Is Well, Lovesong: Becoming a Jew, and The Autobiography of God. His children's books included To Be a Slave, Sam and the Tigers, and Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue, which won the American Library Association's Coretta Scott King Award in 2006. He also wrote reviews and essays for numerous publications including The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, Dissent, The New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. After teaching for two years at the New School for Social Research in New York, Lester joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1971. He originally taught in the Afro-American studies department, but transferred to the Judaic and Near Eastern studies department when Lester criticized the novelist James Baldwin for what he felt were anti-Semitic remarks. He died from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on January 18, 2018 at the age of 78.

Bibliographic information