Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Hester Bass
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Seeds of Freedom documents the journey to desegregation in Huntsville, Alabama, between January 1962 and September 1963. It may seem like a short amount of time, but to the African American community who suffered discrimination, a consistent lack of educational resources and unequal opportunities, and protested only through non-violent means, it probably seemed like eternity. The people of Huntsville combined non-violence, dignity, cooperation, and courage in order to grow the seeds of freedom.
E.B. Lewis uses a mix of colorful watercolor and black and white illustrations to portray the tense yet hopeful times of desegregation for the African American people in Huntsville, Alabama. Seeds of Freedom clearly defines words particular to the civil rights movement, including segregation, sit-in, warrant, integration, and reverse integration. This book would be appropriate for introducing children at home or in school to the civil rights movement. Hester Bass’s powerful lines such as, “ducks don’t care what color hand feeds them,” will help children to understand the severity of inequality for the time period and give them a desire to treat people with love no matter their skin color.