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Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
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Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  78 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus and sparked a boycott that changed America. Harriet Tubman helped more than three hundred slaves escape the South on the Underground Railroad. Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The lives these women led are part of an incredible story about courage in the face of oppres
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 2000)
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Apr 09, 2012 Ryne rated it liked it
Shelves: engl-420
CATEGORY SATISFIED: Nonfiction/Informational

Unless you're more than a casual connoisseur of American history—and I'm not—you probably don't know a lot about Sojourner Truth except for her famous phrase, "Ain't I a woman?" And unless you're an expert in the civil and women's rights movements—and I'm not—you probably don't know who Biddy Mason or Ida B. Wells-Barnett were. I didn't, and so reading Pinkney's brief biographies of black women freedom fighters (accompanied by colorful and inspiring il
Morgan Patton
Mar 16, 2010 Morgan Patton rated it really liked it
Let It Shine is organized chronologically and covers the lives of ten women: Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. The first page of each of the ten biographies are of paintings of each woman. The paintings reflect each freedom fighter's accomplishments.

I do feel that there should have been more pictures to accompany each biography, but I do recognize
Andrew Upchurch
Dec 06, 2015 Andrew Upchurch rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Andrea Pinkney’s inspirational text describes the lives of ten courageous and bold women who ignited a fire of freedom for later generations to experience. Some of the biographies include Harriet Tubman, Ella Josephine Baker, Sojourner Truth, Rosa parks and many more. This informative and educational book highlights the decisions made by ten brave women throughout the course of history. Their actions and choices are displayed in detail throughout the book. The first page of each biography has a ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing
I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be black and what it means to be white. Chimimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian author of Americanah, says in her pod cast, that there is not just one story. I think my path, in the last couple of years, has been to be able to find some of those other stories, so that when I see them I know them.
Let it Shine, Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and beautifully illustrated by Stephen Alcorn and only distributed th
Kaelyn O'Brien
Dec 08, 2015 Kaelyn O'Brien rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspiring-books
The book describes the lives of ten courageous and bold women who ignited a fire of freedom for later generations to experience. Some of the biographies include Harriet Tubman, Ella Josephine Baker, Sojourner Truth, Rosa parks and many more. This informative and educational book highlights the decisions made by ten brave women throughout the course of history. This is another great book to use to show the achievements of African-American people in our nation's history. I would definitely use thi ...more
Apr 27, 2015 Denise rated it really liked it
Informative and educational! Every day that we live, there's an opportunity or chance to learn something new no matter how intelligent or illiterate we believe ourselves to be. While reading this book, I discovered four black women civil right activists I'd never heard of (imagine being 53 years old and the first time that you read of someone is in a children's book): Biddy Mason; Ella Josephine Baker (whom I'd mistakenly believed was the famous Black Parisian singer); Fannie Lou Hamer, and Doro ...more
Lisa Mason
Dec 07, 2011 Lisa Mason rated it really liked it

2.Let It Shine is a lovely collection of ten biographies of black women involved in the fight for racial, political, and economic freedoms. Biographies date from the life of Sojourner Truth in the early 1800’s to that of Shirley Chisholm‘s bid for the presidency in the 1970’s.

3.A. Illustrations B. Stephen Alcorn has created rich and colorful oil based portraits of each woman featured in this biographical collection. The paintings are full of symbolic references of each woman’s accompl
Jul 24, 2009 Shel added it
Pinkney, A.D. (2000). Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. New York: Harcourt, Inc.


Oh, that Pinkney family. One after another, successful children’s authors and illustrators.

A Coretta Scott King Honor book, Let It Shine chronologically shares the stories of ten black woman who have fought for freedom and civil rights throughout American history. The stories are not so much complete biographical accounts of the women, but rather use child-friendly language to share rel
Hallema Mitchell
Nov 18, 2015 Hallema Mitchell rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that helps kids learn about great African American Women. It featured ten strong, African American leaders and give us background about their lives. Its in chronological order which is great because it shows the progress Black women made. Even with the some sensitive nature, it was very appropriate and tastefully put together. The pictures are very beautiful and are direct representations of the story. The author did an amazing job with this book!
May 06, 2008 Barbara rated it really liked it
Summary (CIP): The stories of ten African American women who challenged authority in the freedom issues of their times, arranged chronologically from mid 1800's to modern times.

REVIEW: Pinkney includes a personal preface that traces her family background growing up in the civil rights movement and its effects on her. The selection of familiar and not so well known women lets the women speak in their own words with many quotes and includes personal details. Blending bibliographic information with
Jozef Syndicate
Jan 03, 2015 Jozef Syndicate rated it really liked it
A challenging collection of biographies masterfully illustrated for middle grade or advanced lower grade readers. Each story tells about a dynamic woman who was instrumental in gaining freedom from slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, or sexism. From the most recognizable women like Sojourner Truth to the more obscure Freedom Fighters like Biddy Mason, "Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women" presents in detail the challenges and successes of ten women. Andrea Davis Pickney again delivers a great read ...more
sweet pea
Feb 05, 2010 sweet pea rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, herstory
don't know how i missed this one. it has several of my favorite people in it, notably Ida B. Wells, Ella Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm. the author chose a good mix of well-known and moderately-well-known womyn. the biographies give a good overview of the womyn's lives. but the prose is sometimes flowery. i'm always perplexed by what details young adult biographies leave out. she does mention Rosa Park's previous NAACP activism. but she don't mention the predecessors that were thr ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Mackenzie added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I chose this book because I think it would be good to have if we were learning about history of women or if the kids had to do a project of something in this topic
It lost a half star because it needs to be updated, but otherwise a very good book for children in grades 3-6.
A series of brief bios about African American women who worked to challenge inequality, oppression, and prejudice. The ten entries include some well known names in history such as Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman while some women readers may only recognize by name such as Fanny Lou Hamer and Mary McLeod Bethune.

The writing is excellent! The tone is that of a storyteller. These short entries contain enough information for bio projects and great read alouds, especially during Black History Month or
Oct 16, 2012 Glenna rated it really liked it
This is an excellent historical fiction book that won the 2001 Coretta Scott King Honor Book. It describes the lives of ten outstanding African American women. This book is geared for 5-8th graders due to it's content and wording. The appeal of this book is created through its vivid imagery and strong sense of voice in each brief biography. For example, each biography is introduced with an oil portrait of the featured women with her accomplishments reflected through additional imagery.
Lana Hoffman
Oct 01, 2008 Lana Hoffman rated it it was amazing
The stories in this book were incredibly inspiring. These women are wonderful role models. Their strength and determination in the face of real evil and terror is moving. Pinkney was able to take a heartbreaking piece of history and bring it to life with her descriptive stories. The language she uses is powerful. As a reader you can't help but react to these stories. This is quality literature, because it is original and provides awareness to an important time in our history.
Julie Suzanne
Absolutely perfect in length and reading level for a very short, in-class biography unit at the middle school level. Perfect for Black History Month. If you have one copy, it'd be fun to pass around, each student choosing a different woman on which to focus, get a class set, or even better, a few copies for small reading groups to pass around, each student focusing on a different woman and sharing with the group.
Sandy Brehl
The ten African American women profiled include a few iconic names but several others who are less well known, especially by young readers. Although predominately text, there are symbolic illustrations, inspiring quotations, and detailed references in the back matter. Each short biographic profile serves as a launching pad to exploring the individuals and time in history.
There can never be enough books about powerful women! I think having a number of famous women and their stories all wrapped into one text is wonderful. The illustrations are bold, colorful and very visually appealing. Each woman's story is a couple of pages long, as to not overwhelm you with facts, but provides the most important information about these Freedom Fighters.
This was a look at the lives of ten amazing women. I appreciated learning more about these leaders. Several of them were unknown to me. Dorothy Irene Height, Fanny Lou Hamer, Biddy Mason, and Ella Josephine Baker were names I hadn't heard before this week. I am so glad that we have this book at our school so I can share the lives of these women with our students.
Apr 20, 2011 Chenice rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this book. It's so easy to read and has some excellent information featured in it.

As it is men apart from Rosa Parks who are taught in History classes across the nation regarding Civil Rights; this book gives an interesting insight to the black women who impacted Civil Rights in unforgettable ways.
Sep 10, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
I don't usually count children's books, but this one is short on pictures and long on words (over 100 pages), so I'm counting it. A great introduction to some of the amazing black women heroes. I especially liked the style that broke away from stilted to biography and had depth and character.
Becca Dewey
Biographies of Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Lola Bravo, Carrie Weems, Elsa Dorfman, and Cindy Sherman, including many of their pictures. This book will allow your students to get to know black women freedom fighters and understand their struggles.
Aug 11, 2012 Nativida rated it it was amazing
This would lend itself well to a discussion of authors point-of-view in nonfiction writing. A wonderful collection of stories about 10 African-American women whose lives impacted US history.
Jul 01, 2012 Donalyn rated it it was amazing
An outstanding look at the lives and work of 10 black women who influenced the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these women are unknown, although their contributions were far-reaching.
Robert W.
Stories of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Ella Josephine Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, and six other African American women, compelling histories written for adolescents.
Kathy Erskine
Feb 26, 2012 Kathy Erskine rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to some well known and less known African American women who made a difference in their world.
Little T
Lol Athena really!!
Michaela marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
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Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Duke Ellington, illustrated by Brian Pinkney; Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award; and Alvin Ailey, a Parenting Publication Gold medal winne ...more
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