It’s time for another book round up! I was super pumped to find out that Gospel Music has a month dedicated to it and I do not think we pay nearly enough attention to it!
Here are three books that I think will give your kids a taste of the amazing heritage of Gospel music.
(Full disclosure: some affiliate links but it won’t change your price. No pressure!) If you chose to shop independent, as always, I urge you to try Powell’s Books.

1. Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens 

Author: Nina Nolan
Illustrator: John Holyfield 
ISBN: 978-0060879440
Buy the Book on Amazon

This book is a look at the life of Mahalia Jackson, the difficulties she faced, and how she became the Queen of Gospel.

Listening: Mahalia Jackson – How I Got Over

2. Clap Your Hands: A Celebration of Gospel

Author: Toyomi Igus, Forward by CeCe Winans
Illustrator: Michele Wood
ISBN: 978-0310769477
Buy the Book on Amazon

Probably one of the best books I’ve ever bought for the music room. This one has gorgeous illustrations and takes readers through a history of Gospel music starting in 1485 with the beginnings of the slave trade in the colonies. Plantations, the Underground Railroad, and more recent events affecting Black Americans. Each page is a poem with an illustration to accompany the text. Even if you cannot use religious music in your classroom, this one has pages you can use such as the pages on Freedom songs and the Civil Rights movement, and Jubilee Day.

Listening: CeCe Winans – Believe For It

3. By and By: Charles Albert Tindley, the Father of Gospel Music 

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford 
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
ISBN: 978-1534426368
Buy the Book on Amazon

The story of Charles Albert Tindley who was born to an enslaved father and free mother. As a child he was sent to work alongside enslaved people where he started learning Bible stories. He learned to read and write, and eventually compose hymns. This book quotes several of his hymns.

Listening: I Will Overcome Someday – This is the song by Tindley that inspired “We Shall Overcome”. This particular video shows images for enslaved people and former enslaved people. Please view before showing your students.

I hope this is helpful!

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