I See the Rhythm of Gospel beautifully relates the history of gospel music as reflected through the journey of African Americans from their arrival as slaves in America to the election of the United States' first black president, Barack Obama. Readers of all ages will be captivated by this informative and inspirational blend of poetry, art, and music. Bonus CD included with book.
Toyomi Igus is the author and editor of several books for children, including Two Mrs. Gibsons and the award-winning books Going Back Home and I See the Rhythm. A former Editor and Publications Director for UCLAs Center for African American studies, Toyomi has been honored for her work in promoting literacy among children. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Michele Wood is an artist whose work defies all boundaries. As a painter, illustrator, designer and writer, she has gained wide recognition in the United States. She has been honored with the prestigious American Book Award for her first book, Going Back Home and by the American Library Association with the 1999 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for her book, I See the Rhythm. Her work, which has been exhibited in major venues nationally, reflects an essential sense of history and place. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. www.michelewood.com
Gospel music---its origins and its effects on the souls and stories of African Americans---gets a strong, loving treatment here. Wood and Igus, who collaborated on I See the Rhythm (1998), once again join forces, with Igus providing the stirring text and Wood the inventive folk art. After an introduction explains the elements of gospel, the book begins with the coming of slaves to America and follows the music as it moves through specific periods in history---slavery, Reconstruction, the Great Migration, the civil rights movement---and becomes meshed with other forms of music, including holy hip-hop. The prose poetry, appearing in varying colors and fonts, features strong, memorable phrases---Gospel women turn city streets into sacred spaces---and is matched by intricately detailed paintings executed in strong colors. Adding to the books usefulness is a terrific CD with five songs spanning the history of gospel music. A solid package for those already familiar with the strains of gospel or those getting into it for the first time.
Reprising the vibrancy of their Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, I See the Rhythm (1998), Wood and Igus celebrate African-American gospel music along its historical transit from the Middle Passage to 21st-century Holy Hip Hop. Double spreads explore gospels evolution through slavery, the post-Reconstruction migrations north and west, gospel quartets on radio and vinyl and much more. Theres a whole lot going on, including the rhyming verse, a timeline of cultural and historical events and captions elucidating the accompanying paintings. The color-saturated art pulses with symbolic patterns and raw emotion. Display type alters with each page turn, and borders and spot art construed from facing paintings complete each teeming layout. Gospels symbiosis with Christian spirituality---and the artists own deep devotion---are key: One painting, both compelling and disturbing, depicts the crucified Christ nailed to a slave ships joists, flanked by men bound and contorted by chains. An accompanying CD contains five songs representing selected musical eras, with the Golden Gate Quartet and---spectacularly---Mahalia Jackson, the clear standouts. (foreword, quotations, suggested song list) Kirkus Reviews 12/2010
This comprehensive, energetic book (which includes a CD) addresses the gospel communitys passionate endeavor to engage ever-changing political and cultural influences while remaining true to its cultural roots.
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