Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons: An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom by Gwendolyn Hooks
Published: October 2019
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Through Gwendolyn Hooks’s evocative account, the reader comes to know Ona Judge and her fight for freedom. From her childhood in Virginia where she and her family were enslaved, working tirelessly on Mount Vernon alongside others who were also considered the property of George and Martha Washington. To her journey (apart from most of her family) when she was chosen to travel to New York City with the Washingtons when George Washington had been elected president of the United States. Then on to Philadephia, Pennsylvania when the president was relocated, where she started to see free Black people and learned of those who argued against slavery. She saw women there who worked and made their own money, women who “proved freedom was possible.” She needed to run away! It was a risky thing to consider but she did it, “with jumbled nerves and a racing heart, Ona wrapped herself in courage” and with freedom in sight, she did not look back.
Gwendolyn Hooks tells a story of perseverance and Simone Agoussoye breaths a courage into the illustrations that you can’t help but feel. Students who are learning about George Washington do not want to overlook Ona Judge’s story. However, if it weren’t for a book like this, her story might still go hidden as our elementary databases (we primarily use Pebble Go and Wolrd Book Kids) excludes any mention of her or the fact that the first president of the United States was a slaveholder. This is all the more reason to add Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons to your collection. Our copy is courtesy of the efforts of the organizers of Multicultural Children’s Book Day (Co-Founders: Valerie Budayr and Mia Wenjen). We are glad to be able to add this to our library.
“With jumbled nerves and a racing heart, Ona wrapped herself in courage.”
~ Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons:
An Enslaved Woman Fights for Freedom
by Gwendolyn Hooks
Gwendolyn Hooks | https://gwendolynhooks.com/
Simone Agoussoye | https://simoneagoussoye.com/
Capstone Editions | https://www.capstonepub.com/consumer/brands/capstone-editions/