• Heart and Soul

  • The Story of America and African Americans
  • By: Kadir Nelson
  • Narrated by: Debbie Allen
  • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (80 ratings)
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Heart and Soul  By  cover art

Heart and Soul

By: Kadir Nelson
Narrated by: Debbie Allen
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Publisher's summary

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country.

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation's most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of an "Everywoman," an unnamed narrator whose forebears came to this country on slave ships and who lived to cast her vote for the first African American president, Heart and Soul touches on some of the great transformative events and small victories of that history. This inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice - the true heart and soul of our nation.

©2011 Kadir Nelson (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What listeners say about Heart and Soul

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uplifting history lesson of black Americans.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES.see book and listen. powerful!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Heart and Soul?

made me realize how little I know and nee.d to check on

What about Debbie Allen’s performance did you like?

Kadir used family experiences. to make it real. The reader was wonderful. You must see the book to be really touched.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Black experience told passionately and made real for all. Exceptional!

Any additional comments?

This audio and book experience should be a MUST for children and adults. The pictures are awesome. Get it, Enjoy!

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3 people found this helpful

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inspiring historical narrative

What did you love best about Heart and Soul?

Kadir Nelson is best known for his beautiful, stunning paintings, but this narrative is wonderful. This history of America is told from the point of view of an African American grandmother telling the story of her country and her people. Debbie Allen brings this to life, just as Kadir's paintings do. The words, the tone, the spirit soar. Wonderful for family listening - absolutely inspiring and heartfelt.

What other book might you compare Heart and Soul to and why?

The tone and spirit of Debbie Allen's narration reminded me of listening to Lynne Thigpen narrate The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, by Ernest Gaines.

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3 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Book!!

We listened to this with our kids ages 9 and 7 and we all enjoyed it thoroughly!!

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Amazing

I have listen to this book several times now and decided to use it for a book club with my fifth graders. They love it!
My only wish now would be to have Kadir Nelson for an author’s visit in my school….

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Wonderful Overview for All Ages

Despite its brevity, this audio presentation delivers a great package of American history, and it is American history, via beautiful and direct narration by an elder female relative to her young African American family member.

African Americans can be deeply proud of their huge impact on this nation and European and other Americans Like my self benefit from the stitching together of multiple critical milestones in this nation’s history and in African-Americans journey toward freedom and respect due. I thoroughly enjoyed this and I’m amazed at how much clearer I am now on the experience of African Americans beyond just enslavement.

Can definitely be listened to by children but perhaps children under 10 might especially benefit from family discussion along the way. Depends on the kid, of course!

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Heart and Soul

Listened a little at a time to enjoy. lives the narrator, brought to life.

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Awesome

I had purchased this book about a year ago, I'm glad I got to finally finished it. I'd laughed and cried, and got mad nevertheless I know that is our country's violent history. Change is still coming we as a people will never stop fighting for our freedom.

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Inspirational

This story and the art that accompanies it is inspiring. I enjoyed this as much or more than my children. We have the physical book and the artwork is breathtaking but as a white parent of white children I felt it important to also have the audible version. I wanted my children to hear these stories of struggle and strength spoken by someone who has personal experience dealing with struggle and strength because of race.

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10 ⭐️ for Performance!

If I could, I’d rate 10 ⭐️ for performance! Listened to this with my children, ages 12 and 10. Had them entranced!

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