True vignettes and traditional verse, set against starkly powerful images, tell the story of enslaved Africans in America as it has never been told before.A man who cannot swim leaps off a slave ship into the dark water. A girl defies the law by secretly learning to read and write. A future abolitionist regains his will to live by fighting off his captor with his bare hands: "I will not let you use me like a brute any longer," Frederick Douglass vows. Drawing from authentic accounts, here is a chronology of resistance in all its forms: comical trickster tales about outwitting "Old Marsa"; secret "hush harbors" where Africans instill Christian worship with their own rituals; and spirituals such as "Go Down Moses," whose coded lyrics signal not just hope for deliverance, but an active call to escape. Boldly illustrated with extraordinary oil paintings by award-winning artist Shane W. Evans, and meticulously researched by Doreen Rappaport, this stunning collection - spanning the period from the early days of slavery to the Emancipation Proclamation - is an invaluable resource for teachers, parents, libraries, students, and people everywhere who care about what it means to be free, what it is to be human.