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We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World
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We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  28 ratings  ·  11 reviews
“We Shall Overcome” isn’t a complicated piece of music. The first verse has only twenty-two words, most of them repeated. The melody is straightforward. The chords are basic. Yet the song has had a profound effect on people throughout the United States—and the world.

In clear, accessible language Stuart Stotts explores the roots of the tune and the lyrics in traditional Af
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published January 18th 2010 by Clarion Books (first published 2010)
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Ran across this book while I was looking for information about Pete Seeger, but thought it might tie into a unit we do in 7th grade on Jim Crow and Civil Rights. It's a good overview of the history of the song and how it evolved. There are good discussions of the Labor movement and the Civil Rights Movement to help young people better understand the background in which the song was written as well as the process of it evolving from Black church music and other folk traditions. Period pictures il ...more
Though it's a children's book, it is a really fascinating history of the song "We Shall Overcome," and how it has evolved over time, from slave spirituals to songs of freedom. Stotts also shows how it has been used in the U.S. as a song of unity during Civil Rights, a song of protest during the late '60s about Vietnam, and a song of hope after 9/11. He also explains how it has been used around the world through different protest movements: South Africa during apartheid, China during the 1988 Tia ...more
This was an interesting look at the evolution of the song We Shall Overcome as well as the ways it's been used to unify people. I knew next to nothing about the song and how it has been used in our past. It was really interesting to see in action the power that music has to help people come together over a cause. Sometimes the narrative didn't all flow together as well as it could, but it will certainly be interesting to tweens or teens who love music. Full review at One Librarian's Book Reviews ...more
Tom Mueller
Includes the title song on CD performed by Pete Seeger. Wonderfully written History of not only the Song, but the movements highlighted by the Song. From slavery, union organizing, Civil Rights and anti-war movements. The use of the Song as a healing tool after September 11. 2001 are looked at, as well as the singing of WSO with Obama (as candidate) for the 2007 commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.
An update to this book could include the prominence the song received at the Obama Whi
Interesting history of a song with a life of it's own. Love the vibrant black, white and red illustrations that remind me of old 30's labor union illustrations. Also includes a CD of Pete Seeger singing the song as well as providing the introduction.
Excellent childrens book about the influence of specific songs on the American civil rights movement.
Wonderful book. Gave a lot of insight. The illustrations are beautiful as well.
Stuart Stotts presents the background behind the song "We Shall Overcome," tracing it back to African American spirituals as well as folk singers like Pete Seeger who adapted it or added lyrics. The book also shows how the song evolved to be the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and then, to a lesser degree, a song of the anti-Vietnam War Movement. It concludes with interesting information about how the song has spread worldwide.

This book didn't quite flow as well as I would like; the differe
Courtney Burns
Interesting junior nonfiction about the history of the song "We Shall Overcome" with some additional thoughts on the power of music to unite, strengthen, and provide hope.
I know I'm biased...afterall, my husband wrote this, but it is an EXCELLENT book!
Grace Poole
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