Standing in the Need of Prayer


The only thing more lovely than the song, Standing in the Need of Prayer, is the picture book created to accompany it. From amazing picture book author Carole Boston Weatherford and mega-talented illustrator Frank Morrison comes the stunning new picture book, Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual.

The moment readers open this over-sized picture book, their senses are inundated with haunting images of African Americans enduring relentless oppression and refusing to let go of the hope that their prayers will be heard by the living God. There is the image of the haughty slaver wielding a whip as a shackled African American stands before him, head bowed. This is followed by African Americans in despair stand on ships or slave blocks, harnessed and chained as they await their fate.

Thankfully, not all the images are of the enslaved. There are glorious images of early preachers who shared words of comfort and hope, and images of hopeful African Americans gazing at the words included in the Emancipation Proclamation -- words most of them could not even read. There is a cameo of African Americans fleeing the south during the great migration, and other images too, like the Tuskegee Airmen who so bravely served our country, and Duke Ellington, the performer, who paved the way for other African American entertainers.

The illustrations in this lovely book span the history of the African American experience, and include Ruby Bridges making her way through a hostile crowd of whites so she can attend school, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. preaching hope and equality, and even athlete Colin Kaepernick who took a knee to decry police brutality.

The prose in this book is sure to touch children and adults alike. Use this book to discuss everything from citizenship to family to the amazing power of prayer.


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