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5 Books Celebrating Women & African-American Music Appreciation Month

Whether it's the Sweethearts of Rhythm or Sasha Fierce herself, find out more about the African-American women who have made their mark on music. The Fab Five titles listed below feature Harlem's Little Blackbird, the Queen of Gospel, the First Lady of Song, America's #1 All-Girl Orchestra and an R & B Superstar. Celebrate African-American Music Appreciation month by reading, listening and even downloading (--Freegal has 5 free downloads waiting for you with music by Beyonce, Mahalia Jackson and Ella Fitzgerald--) these fierce females who have changed the face of our music and culture forever.


Beyonce: R & B Superstar by Elaine Landau
Amazon Says: You may know that Beyoncé is a gifted R & B star who has made a splash in the worlds of music, dance, and acting. But did you know that Beyoncé: • - was super shy as a chi more...
Amazon Says: You may know that Beyoncé is a gifted R & B star who has made a splash in the worlds of music, dance, and acting. But did you know that Beyoncé: • - was super shy as a child, yet she loved to ham it up in music and dance classes? • - goes by Bee among family and friends? • -once had her toe broken by a bodyguard when he stepped on it while trying to protect her? Want to know more about the life of this talented celebrity? Read on to learn all about Beyoncé's childhood, family, career, true personality, current projects, and more! less...
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Amazon Says: 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 who more...
Amazon Says: 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. less...
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Amazon Says: Mahalia Jackson’s rise from a young choir soloist in New Orleans to America’s most famous gospel singer is a stirring story of social and musical history. Born poo more...
Amazon Says: Mahalia Jackson’s rise from a young choir soloist in New Orleans to America’s most famous gospel singer is a stirring story of social and musical history. Born poor in New Orleans in 1911, young Mahalia Jackson was told to "let it out" when she sang the gospel at church each Sunday. Swaying and clapping her hands, she astonished everyone who heard her powerful voice. As her fame grew, her soulful voice helped introduce gospel music to the world and brought hope to thousands of civil rights workers who marched for equality in the 1960s. Through it all, Mahalia’s faith in God never wavered and her talent remained a shining light. Roxane Orgill’s compelling narrative, accompanied by more than fifty photographs, brings drama, depth, and immediacy to the life of the world’s most famous gospel singer. less...
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Sweethearts of Rhythm by Marilyn Nelson
Amazon Says: In the 1940s, as the world was at war, a remarkable jazz band performed on the American home front. This all-female band, originating from a boarding school in the heart of Mi more...
Amazon Says: In the 1940s, as the world was at war, a remarkable jazz band performed on the American home front. This all-female band, originating from a boarding school in the heart of Mississippi, found its way to the most famous ballrooms in the country, offering solace during the hard years of the war. They dared to be an interracial group despite the cruelties of Jim Crow laws, and they dared to assert their talents though they were women in a ?man?s? profession. Told in thought-provoking poems and arresting images, this unusual look at our nation?s history is deep and inspiring. less...
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Amazon Says: A swinging bio of young Ella Fitzgerald, who pushed through the toughest of times to become one of America’s most beloved jazz singers. When Ella Fitzgerald danced t more...
Amazon Says: A swinging bio of young Ella Fitzgerald, who pushed through the toughest of times to become one of America’s most beloved jazz singers. When Ella Fitzgerald danced the Lindy Hop on the streets of 1930s Yonkers, passersby said good-bye to their loose change. But for a girl who was orphaned and hungry, with raggedy clothes and often no place to spend the night, small change was not enough. One amateur night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Ella made a discovery: the dancing beat in her feet could travel up and out of her mouth in a powerful song —and the feeling of being listened to was like a salve to her heart. With lively prose, Roxane Orgill follows the gutsy Ella from school-girl days to a featured spot with Chick Webb’s band and all the way to her number-one radio hit "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Jazzy mixed-media art by illustrator Sean Qualls brings the singer’s indomitable spirit to life. less...
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