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Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls, born and raised as an enslaved person, commandeered a steamer ship with his crew and all of their families. They sailed to freedom, and then won several pivotal battles in the Civil War, which in turn won the freedom of all enslaved people.

This is the true story Great Granddaddy shares with his great grandchildren one evening, from the warmth of his backyard garden in the historic Black Pullman neighborhood. As he helps them choose basil and tomatoes, Great Granddaddy tells them the life story of Captain Robert Smalls. Jelani, Jaleesa, Jaleel - and their new little cousin Izzy - learn how Smalls became a legendary boat pilot.

They also learn how essential each of the crew members were, how they worked as a team, and how Smalls never stopped working to help his people. Hard truths about the realities of slavery are told honestly but gently, and Great Granddaddy uses a vibrant cast of characters to throw in some unexpected comic relief here and there to make each part of the story easier to understand and enjoy. True to history, every member of the crew, and each family member played an important role on this team of real life heroes.

Themes include the love of learning, the joy of family love and the importance of helping each other. This book takes a side in the anti CRT, book ban debate. It is a side that embraces the rich beauty of Black History, telling a story of a group of Founding African Americans that should never be forgotten.

Watch the Teaser Trailer for the Captain Robert Smalls Picture Book