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Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee…
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Harlem's Little Blackbird

by Renee Watson, Christian Robinson (Illustrator)

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This beautiful story about a little black girl who loved to sing and use her voice for justice. The author described Florence’s life as a daughter of former slaves who lived in a teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy house in Washington, DC, and how she became a famous singer and performer in many countries . In this short story the author shows Florence’s stubborn character when she was a child. She refused to perform at a whites-only club until her black friends can enter the club and see he, “ If they cannot go in there, I am staying here!” , she even did not give up when she knew that many people in London did not want to see black performers on their stage. “ Florence took a deep breath, opened her mouth, and sang… . The audience was amazed.” After she became the leading in Dixie to Broadway, many people invited her again in London. Florence’s favorite son was Blackbirds because she wanted her voice to cry for equal rights.
This excellent colorful illustration in this book will attract children to read and enjoy Mills’ story. children will learn from this great character many useful things. They will learn that even when she became famous, she did not forget the other people who need help. She was a generous person and went to visit many patients in hospitals, and gave food and money to poor people. In addition, this story will inspire children to follow their dream and be strong when the face any obstacle in their lives.
  aalhomed | Nov 18, 2016 |
A young African American daughter of former slaves finds her voice in a big way. The girl born in 1896 goes from a teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy house in Washington DC to performing on international stages as a wonderful singer and dancer. Florence Mills finds fame and is invited to perform on the big stage in Broadway. She decides to use her voice for equality and stays on smaller stages to help unknown black singers and actors. Florence sang "I'm a Little Blackbird looking for a Bluebird" that became her favorite song to perform as it was a cry for equal rights. Florence was not only a wonderful performer but she was a giving person. She would disguise herself and visit hospitals to deliver flowers to patients. She also gave money and food to beggars. Florence died on November 1, 1927 without ever being recorded or filmed. At Florence's funeral, more than 150,000 mourners from different backgrounds and classes paid tribute to her. ( )
  maryalvarez | Oct 18, 2016 |
This book was a great example of the biography genre, because of the way it covered the major events that occurred in Florence Mills life. I was amazed at how much she had to overcome and the amazing things she did to further civil rights. A truly talented woman. I originally picked up this title because of the title and illustrations. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more and found myself immersed in Mills story and wanting to learn more about the woman herself. Very well depicted story and beautifully illustrated. Media: Mixed Media
  wcarlisle15 | Apr 6, 2016 |
This was a very cute biography of Florence Mills, a singer and dancer during the Harlem Renaissance who came from almost nothing. It's a very inspirational story about sticking to your dreams and I enjoyed it a lot, especially since I had never heard of her before. I wish I could hear her music, but we find out during the author's note that her music was never recorded.

The illustrations were very cute and colorful, which I think will appeal to children very nicely. The reading level is younger elementary students, but this is a good book for all ages. Another great book for a history lesson, especially for learning about the Harlem Renaissance, segregation or biographies. ( )
  NRedler | Feb 4, 2016 |
A little girl, coming from almost nothing, knew from a young age that her strongest powers were in her vocals. Following Florence's journey to stardom, one automatically wants to dance and sing along (even without hearing her voice). Standing up against racist times, Florence helped pave the way for other talented souls through her tenacity. With a song like a bird, nobody could resist the allure of her ballad. Touching the hearts of over a hundred thousand people through her enchanting voice, the tale of her influence lives on. ( )
  dbuster | Jan 14, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Renee Watsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Robinson, ChristianIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375869735, Hardcover)

Zora and Langston. Billie and Bessie. Eubie and Duke. If the Harlem Renaissance had a court, they were its kings and queens. But there were other, lesser known individuals whose contributions were just as impactful, such as Florence Mills. Born to parents who were former-slaves Florence knew early on that she loved to sing. And that people really responded to her sweet, bird-like voice. Her dancing and singing catapulted her all the way to the stages of 1920s Broadway where she inspired songs and even entire plays! Yet with all this success, she knew firsthand how bigotry shaped her world. And when she was offered the role of a lifetime from Ziegfeld himself, she chose to support all-black musicals instead.

Fans of When Marian Sang and Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of a Vocal Virtuosa will jump at the chance to discover another talented performer whose voice transcended and transformed the circumstances society placed on her.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:08 -0400)

A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.… (more)

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