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The Great Migration: Journey to the Northby Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist
Synopses & Reviews
"We were one family among the many thousands. Mama and Daddy leaving home, coming to the city, with their hopes and their courage, their dreams and their children, to make a better life."
When Eloise Greenfield was four months old, her family moved from their home in Parmele, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C.
Before Jan Spivey Gilchrist was born, her mother moved from Arkansas and her father moved from Mississippi. Both settled in Chicago, Illinois. Though none of them knew it at the time, they had all become part of the Great Migration.
In this collection of poems and collage artwork, award winners Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchrist gracefully depict the experiences of families like their own, who found the courage to leave their homes behind and make new lives for themselves elsewhere.
"Frequent collaborators Greenfield and Gilchrist (Brothers & Sisters: Family Poems) shape an evocative portrait of African-Americans who moved North during the Great Migration between 1915 and 1930 to escape Ku Klux Klan — fueled racism and to secure better lives. In forceful free verse, travelers bid farewell to what they've known. One man is conflicted about leaving his rural home ('Saying goodbye to the land puts a pain on my heart'), a woman can't wait to get away ('Goodbye, crazy signs, telling me where I can go, what I can do'), and a girl prepares to leave her mother ('I'm a little scared. I'm a lot scared. Off to the big city by myself, with just the church up there to lean on'). Chronicling the journey by train, lilting poetry and pictures capture a sense of both apprehension and hope: 'Going to make it. No matter what.' Making intriguing use of photographs of people, news headlines, maps, and painted elements, each of Gilchrist's collages has a distinctive look and lighting, ranging from conventional portraits of the travelers to more abstract images. Ages 3 – 8. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
Eloise Greenfield is the author of an illustrious list of books for young people, including The Friendly Four, a Texas 2x2 Reading List book; In the Land of Words, an NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts; and How They Got Over: African Americans and the Call of the Sea, winner of a Bank Street Children's Book Award — all illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. She is a recipient of the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award; the Coretta Scott King Author Award; the Award of Excellence from the Washington, D.C., branch of the National Writing Project; the Milner Award; the Hope S. Dean Award from the Foundation for Children's Literature; and the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Ms. Greenfield lives in Washington, D.C.
Jan Spivey Gilchrist illustrated the Coretta Scott King Award Book Nathaniel Talking, the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Night on Neighborhood Street, and Me & Neesie, all written by Eloise Greenfield. She wrote and co-illustrated My America with Ashley Bryan, which was named a Parents' Choice Recommended Award winner. An inductee into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, Ms. Gilchrist received an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College and a doctoral degree in English from Madison University. She lives near Chicago, Illinois.
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