A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl is a fictional diary written by Patricia C. McKissack. It is the fourth book in Scholastic's Dear America series. The book was first published in March 1997 and reissued in January 2011. It has also been republished in the My Story and Mon Histoire series. In 1999, a television film based on the book was released.
- "Honoring Lizzie Passmore my great-great-great grandmother who dared to learn and teach"
- "Day or two later
Freedom is one of the first words I teached myself to write. Down in the Quarters people pray for freedom—they sing 'bout freedom, but to keep Mas' Henley from knowin' their true feelings, they call freedom "heaven." Everybody's mind is on freedom. But it is a word that aine never showed me no picture. While fannin' this afternoon, my eyes fell on "freedom" in a book William was readin'. No wonder I don't see nothin'. I been spellin' it F-R-E-D-U-M. I put the right letters in my head to make sure I remembered their place. F-R-E-E-D-O-M. I just now wrote it. Still no picture...."
- "My name is Clotee. This is my story....
Twelve-year-old Clotee, a slave, has the most wonderful, terrible secret. While doing her job of fanning her master's son during his daily lessons, Clotee has taught herself to read and write. She knows that if she shares this secret with the wrong person, she will face unimaginable consequences. Soon she discovers that the tutor, Ely Harms, has a secret of his own. In a time when literacy is one of the most valuable skills to have, Clotee is determined to use her secret to save herself and her friends. Her journey to freedom is wrought with the intrigue and disloyalty of spies and traitors, the celebrations of life, the bonds of family, and the anguish of death and slavery."
- "Day or two later
Freedom is one of the first words I teached myself to write. Down in the Quarters people pray for freedom—they sing 'bout freedom, but to keep Mas' Henley from knowin' their true feelings, they call freedom "heaven." Everybody's mind is on freedom. But it is a word that aine never showed me no picture. While fannin' this afternoon, my eyes fell on "freedom" in a book William was readin'. No wonder I don't see nothin'. I been spellin' it F-R-E-D-U-M. I put the right letters in my head to make sure I remembered their place. F-R-E-E-D-O-M. I just wrote it. Still no picture..."
- "In 1859 it's illegal for slaves to read and write, but Clotee is teaching herself in secret. "Freedom" is just another word she's learned to write. Then she finds out about the Underground Railroad, a network of people who help runaway slaves, and discovers that freedom is more than just a word..."
- "Partage le journal intime de Clotee, et vis avec elle l'esclavage dans une plantation de coton en Virginie.
Dimanche de Pâques. Liberté. C'est peut-être le premier mot j'ai appris toute seule. Ici, les gens, ils prient pour la liberté, ils chantent sur la liberté, mais pour pas que Maître Henley connaisse leurs vrais sentiments, ils appellent la liberté <<cieux>>. Tous, ils ont l'esprit fixé sur c'mot: liberté. Mais c'est un mot qui me parle pas, que j'ai encore jamais pu voir."
- Main article: List of A Picture of Freedom characters
- Main article: Dear America: A Picture of Freedom
A Picture of Freedom was adapted into a short television film in 1999. The film was produced by Scholastic Entertainment and aired on HBO. It was released on video cassette the same year. Shadia Simmons starred in the film as Clotee.
- Main article: Patricia C. McKissack
- ↑ https://www.amazon.com/Picture-Freedom-Belmont-Plantation-Virginia/dp/0590259881/
- ↑ https://www.amazon.com/Dear-America-Patricia-C-McKissack/dp/0545242533/
- ↑ https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/products/1701
- ↑ https://www.amazon.fr/Je-suis-une-esclave-1859-1860/dp/2070570371/ (French)
- ↑ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slave-Girl-Story-Patricia-McKissack/dp/1407115162/
- ↑ https://shop.scholastic.co.uk/products/95108
- ↑ https://www.amazon.fr/Suis-une-Esclave-Patricia-Mckissack/dp/2075077371/ (French)
- Interview with Patricia McKissack about A Picture of Freedom at Scholastic
- A Picture of Freedom Discussion Guide at Scholastic
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