Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Raul Colón, is the biographical story of a young black girl from Mississippi, growing up in the 1930s. As a child, she admired opera singer Marian Anderson, and soon began performing in piano recitals and singing in church. Because of rampant racism at the time, the prospect of having a successful stage career seemed out of reach for a black girl. But Leontyne soon beat the odds, becoming a world-famous singer and starring in performances on Broadway, world tours, and the Metropolitan Opera.
This is a great book about perseverance, determination, and overcoming obstacles to realize a dream. It also comes at a time of high emotions and discussions about racism in our country. It’s important for children to know about history, and this book provides some insight into the struggles of African=Americans in pre-Civil Rights movement America. In a time with plenty of bad news and heated discussions about race, it’s refreshing to read about a good outcome, where Leontyne overcomes her obstacles and makes her dreams come true.
Leontyne’s story goes beyond racial constraints. It can inspire people to overcome all kinds of obstacles to reach their goals—poverty, education, fear, and more. With hard work, perseverance, and dedication, Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century shows kids that they, too, can do anything they set their minds to.