Published in 2010 by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.
Illustrated by Tim Ladwig.
Author Carole Boston Weatherford is a prolific writer for children. Usually, she writes books featuring African Americans on a wide variety of themes, including jazz, African American fathers, the Tuskegee Airmen, baseball, NASCAR and a lot of religious themes.
In this book, Weatherford tells the story of the African American struggle for equal rights through the prism of the Beatitudes, a sermon given by Jesus that is in the Book of Matthew. She begins with these words:
Matthew 5:3-12 King James Version
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
As the reader turns the pages they are treated to a two page spread of art and a few lines describing it. At the bottom of the page, almost like a continuous scroll, are Jesus' words.
Technically, this is a book intended for small children. But, I think it would be an amazing tool to use with older kids in a Bible study and applying it to everyday life. Also, it is a powerful reminder that faith played a big part in African American survival through the worst of times and moving the Civil Rights agenda forward.
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5. It can be found on Amazon.com here: THE BEATITUDES: FROM SLAVERY to CIVIL RIGHTS by Carole Boston Weatherford.