The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
This is a perfect blend of writing by Virginia Hamilton (Newberry Medalist), and illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon (Caldecott Medal winners).
Hamilton's retold American Black Folklore captures the desperation of the slaves. As a free people of Africa, they had wings and the ability to fly. Whether the wings are symbolic of freedom or of their spirit, this tale is about the loss of their wings while they were transported to work the cotton fields as slaves. Toby, an old black man, remembers the magic of flying and helps others on the cotton plantation to remember how to fly, in order to flee the torment and oppression of slavery.