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Praise for Slave Who Went to Congress

About the Book
Gaillard and Rosner bring the struggles and amazing accomplishments of Benjamin Sterling Turner to life in this beautiful text. The authorsí extensive research into the writings of Mr. Turner result in a text that reads like a personal journal written by Turner himself. Readers will leave this text with great appreciation for this former slave who in 1870 became Alabamaís first black member of Congress.
Benjamin Sterling Turner's story is a celebration of imagination, hope, determination, hard work, and most of all, freedom. It has the power to help readers see enslaved people not as a homogeneous group, but as real, relatable individuals with feelings and dreams. Readers will be inspired! A solid choice for home and school libraries.
A little known story of light and hope emerges from a dark period of American history. After the civil war, Benjamin Sterling Taylor, a former slave, overcame racial and political injustice to become a community leader and win the support of his black and white neighbors. In an unlikely victory, he became the first African American congressman elected to the US House of Representatives from Alabama. Taylorís inspiring courage and hard work as well as his gifts for oratory reminds us of the strength and power of the human spirit.
Young readers will be inspired by this unsung American heroís story of strength and courage against impossible odds. Waging a battle against slavery and racism, Benjamin Turner defied -- in his own quiet, determined way -- every slave code, every regulation, and every affront to his humanity. In this remarkable true tale, Turnerís spirit talks to us! Thanks to the authors for expressing his story so beautifully.
Now more than ever comes a necessary chapter in American history we can finally share with young readers. This book is a gem.
Here is a book that tells a lesser-known story as powerful as that of Frederick Douglass. The Slave Who Went to Congress is the inspiring true account of Benjamin Sterling Turner of Alabama, who after living enslaved for forty years became the the second African American to serve in the U.S. Congress. And it was learning to read that altered Turnerís life! Beautifully written and illustrated.
How wonderful to discover an important, but not yet celebrated African American whose life confirms for young readers that anything is possible.