We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World

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9780547182100: We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World

“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 African music and Christian hymns. He demonstrates the key role “We Shall Overcome” played in the civil rights, labor, and anti-war movements in America. And he traces the song’s transformation into an international anthem. With its dramatic stories and memorable quotes, this saga of a famous piece of music offers a unique way of looking at social history.
Author’s note, bibliography, source notes, index.

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About the Author:

Stuart Stotts is a singer, songwriter, storyteller, and author. He performs regularly throughout the Midwest and is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops for teachers, parents, and librarians. We Shall Overcome is his first book with Clarion; his three previous books focus on Wisconsin lore and history. He and his family live just outside Madison, Wisconsin.



Terrance Cummings is an award winning illustrator, an art director, and a former teacher at Parsons School of Design. He has illustrated several books and has a studio in New Jersey where he lives with his wife and two sons.

From Booklist:

“We Shall Overcome” is best known as the anthem of the civil rights movement, but what are the song’s origins, and how did it come to be such a powerful piece, both in its own right and as a musical metaphor? Stotts traces the song’s roots and evolution, beginning with a violent scene endured by a group of Freedom Riders. The blacks and whites attempting to integrate a bus terminal were about to be stormed by a vicious mob, yet they grasped hands and sang “We Shall Overcome.” From this drama, the story moves back in time to explore various types of music, including slave songs and church hymns, that may have been this tune’s basis. The song as we know it was shaped at the Highlander Folk School, whose workshop attendees included Rosa Parks. Ways in which the song has been adapted by other groups is also well chronicled. This smart, effective telling has few missteps. From the informative black-and-white photographs to the solid back matter to the CD sung by Pete Seeger, it is a complete package. Grades 5-8. --Ilene Cooper

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Book Description CLARION BOOKS, China, 2010. Mixed media product. Book Condition: New. Terrance Cummings (illustrator). Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 African music and Christian hymns. He demonstrates the key role We Shall Overcome played in the civil rights, labor, and anti-war movements in America. And he traces the song s transformation into an international anthem. With its dramatic stories and memorable quotes, this saga of a famous piece of music offers a unique way of looking at social history. Author s note, bibliography, source notes, index. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780547182100

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