Cover image for No man can hinder me : the journey from slavery to emancipation through song
No man can hinder me : the journey from slavery to emancipation through song
Thomas, Velma Maia.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown, [2001]

Physical Description:
39 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
Song list: Drumming -- Kum ba ya -- Lord, how come me here? -- John Henry -- Balm in Gilead -- Ride on King Jesus -- Were you there? -- Witness -- Baby in a Guinea-blue gown -- Trampin' -- Ham bone, ham bone -- Little Sally Walker -- Mr. Rabbit -- Wade in the water -- Swing low, sweet chariot -- John Brown's body -- Down by the riverside -- Fare ye well.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3556 .T51 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In an extraordinary book and CD package, the talented, charismatic author of Lest We Forget chronicles the harsh realities of slavery and brilliantly brings to life the spirit of a people determined to be free. A vibrant legacy of the past and an expression of hope for the future, African-American songs and spirituals formed an oral history during the perilous era of slavery. Illustrated with photographs, drawings, and reproductions of original documents, No Man Can Hinder Me traces the spiritual from its arrival in America to its importance as a mode of secret communication, to its role after Emancipation. Celebrated author and lecturer Velma Maia Thomas not only tells the story of these songs, she presents more than a dozen glorious examples-many of them never-before-recorded arrangements-on a CD specially created for this book. With performances by Thomas and other well-known vocalists, including members of the Morehouse College Glee Club as well some of Atlanta's foremost gospel singers, the CD evokes a sense of community and the dream of earthly and spiritual freedom that sustained African-Americans through the ordeal of slavery.

Author Notes

Velma Maia Thomas, an ordained minister, is the creator & curator of the Black Holocaust Exhibit. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Adult/High School-The story of Africans in their homeland, in captivity on slave ships, and in North America until shortly after Emancipation is the subject of this brief but powerful book. The accompanying audio CD has 18 selections, several of which are beautifully sung by the author. Reading the text, studying the historical images, and listening to the outstanding music comprise an intensely moving multimedia experience. The book and music start with West Africa, explaining how song and dance were not only entertainment but were educational, sacred, and healing activities as well. Separate chapters are devoted to work songs, spirituals, biblical story songs, love songs, lullabies and children's songs, rebellion and freedom songs, military songs, and emancipation/jubilee songs. The author discusses the importance of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University in helping to preserve the Negro Spirituals. There's a wealth of research material here; unfortunately, there is no index. The attractive layout features lavish illustrations, foldout pages of supplementary text, and wide almost square pages.-Joyce Fay Fletcher, Rippon Middle School, Prince William County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.