WILLIAM STILL and HIS FREEDOM STORIES: Father of the Underground Railroad
By Don Tate (author and illustrator)
Picture book ages 5-10
Setting: Philadelphia and places on the Underground Railroad
Themes: Underground Railroad, Black American History
The story begins
at a time when the United States
was split in two.
In the North,
Black people were free.
In the South,
they were enslaved by whites.
Slavery was a nightmare-
Backbreaking work under the scorching sun.
Threats of lashing-or worse.
Children were separated
from their mommas and poppas,
brothers and sisters.
Sold away at auction,
never to be seen again.
Don Tate has brought us the story of a remarkable yet mostly unknown American hero. William Still’s father bought his freedom and managed to make it to the North. His mother escaped with his two sisters, leaving two older brothers behind. William was born in freedom but life for a black family was not fair nor easy. William worked and managed to get an education. While helping a runaway slave, William found his life’s purpose. He worked with the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society raising money, planning rescues, and helping former slaves begin their new lives.
One day, a man came to Still’s office trying to find his long-lost family. William realized that this man was his older brother and that there were many others also searching for their families. He began recording details of the men, women, and children he met and was able to reunite families using this valuable information as well as document the black history of this time.
This is an incredible book powerfully illustrated about a brave man who overcame many difficulties and became known as the “Father of the Underground Railroad.”
WILLIAM STILL and HIS FREEDOM STORIES: Father of the Underground Railroad should be required reading for every American.
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