On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals by Nikki Giovanni
Candlewick Press, 2007, 116 pp., $18.99
In casual, opinionated, and passionate language, On My Journey Now: Looking at African-American History Through the Spirituals examines the deeply complex past of Africans on American soil. Beginning with the kidnappings of Africans in their homeland and concluding with the Fisk Jubilee Singers at one of America’s first African-American universities, Nikki Giovanni highlights how the development of soulful melodies connected and carried an entire population through a treacherous, but, ultimately, triumphant journey from the bonds of slavery to the freedom of the future.
The brief book recounts African-American history with the creative aid of interspersed spirituals to tell the story of capture, passage, escape, and freedom. Giovanni also includes the complete lyrics of nearly 50 spirituals, as well as the names and descriptions of influential African-Americans throughout history.
A suitable source for learning the storytelling power of song, this text would be a suitable supplement to language arts, social studies, and music curriculums.