Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn it Out!
Games, Songs & Stories from an African American Childhood
collected by Patricia C. McKissack, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2017
“Our earliest toys are our hands, feet, and voices,” says Patricia C. McKassack who collected dozens of hand clap songs and jump rope rhymes, hymns, parables and even performance pieces inspired by African American writers. Each one comes with a history, some Patricia’s history and most others of where and when they came from or how they came to be.
Her research shows that Aesop is thought to be an Afro-Greek storyteller who lived as a slave more than twenty-five hundred years ago. The book shares how original songs were reshaped while people were in slavery. Spirituals originated in the fields and slave quarters of the plantation South. She writes how the songs came to be written down and are still enjoyed today, songs like Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho. The song, Follow the Drinking Gourd, was taught to runaways to help lead them to freedom.
A rich collection of history brought together in one book.