We Shall Overcome: A Song That Changed the World


I found this lovely book back in 2010, a few years before The Black History Channel was born, and somehow I neglected to post it here. But it's never too late, so...here it is!

I am always on the lookout for a book that shines rare light on almost-forgotten historical events, or unravels a distant mystery. And when I find such a book, why, I’m in heaven. We Shall Overcome: A song that Changed the World, by Stuart Stotts, is just such a book, and has definitely brought a little bit of heaven to my life.

In We Shall Overcome, Mr. Stott examines the simple yet powerful words of the song that people the world over have come to know:

We shall overcome.
We shall overcome.
We shall overcome someday.
Deep in my heart, I do believe that
We shall overcome someday.

Mr. Stotts tracks this haunting song from its hazy African and spiritual beginnings, through the back-breaking years of slavery, past the shame of the Civil Rights era, to the glorious night Barack Obama won the American presidency.

Illustrated by talented artist Terrance Cummings, Mr. Stotts’ book offers a most unique way of examining the social conditions of the times and the power of simple words to transform those conditions into something new and easier to bear.

Stuart Stotts proves more than an author with this book; he earns the title of historian. Mr. Stotts is also an accomplished songwriter, and includes a CD of the song, We Shall Overcome, for his readers.

Don’t miss out on this thoughtful, well-researched, bitter-sweet book. You’ll be glad you added it to your collection.

Rita Lorraine


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