Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 26, 2022

Book Giveaway: FREE AT LAST by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

Award winning poem has a new picture book, FREE AT LAST, illustrated by Jonny Lambert and published by Union Square Kids. USK’s has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Sojourner and Alex.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments By Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!


This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today.

After 300 years of forced bondage;
hands bound, descendants of Africa
picked up their souls—all that they owned—
leaving shackles where they fell on the ground,
headed for the nearest resting place to be found.

Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and honor a holiday whose importance reverberates far beyond the borders of Texas.

Check back for Sojouner’s BOOK JOURNEY:

Here is her award winning poem:

General Granger brought the news to Galveston:
The war is over!
The Emancipation Proclamation has declared,
All who live in bondage here shall be free.


Every year in the land of the Lone Star State,
Resounding from sea to sea,
the sons and daughters of those who were held
shout:, “Free at Last, Hallelujah, I’m free.”


Leaving their shackles where they fell on the ground,
after 300 years of forced bondage; hands bound,
descendants of Africa picked up their souls
departed for the nearest resting place.


Some went no further than the shack out back
hard ground for a bed hard labor to stay alive
Them that stayed said, “This is my home
Even though I can’t really call it my own.”


Some went to the nearest place of worship
perhaps to a clearing in the grove
or some hollow place in the underbrush
Said “Jesus, Thank you for delivering me”.


Some ran as fast as they could
into the service of another man
Working for a meager pittance
one backbend short of being a slavehand.


Some went to the closest speakeasy
toasted the Union and Lady Luck,
patted each other on their whip-marked backs,
drank themselves into oblivion.


Some swam the way of the river
following the Rio Grande or the up-flowing Mississip
Hastening to get as far away as they could
Thrusting their futures into unknown sanctuary.


Some went straight to the promise land,
heart couldn’t take this earthly joy no more.
Some kept running forever
like a stone unable to grasp the firmity.


No matter where they went
They said, “I an where my soul wants to be”.
I will always remember; I will never forget
Now I can shout “Hallelujah, I”m free”


© June 2001 by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle. All Rights Reserved


Sojourner Kincaid Rolle is poet, playwright, an environmental educator and a peace activist. She was selected as i Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA and served a two-year term. (2015-2017). Her book of poems for young people, The Mellow Yellow Global Umbrella: La Sombrilla Global, Amarillo y Apacible was published by Lucky Penny Press (2015). Her other books include Common Ancestry (Millie Grazie Press, 1999) and Black Street, (Center for Black Studies Research – 2009). Her poems have appeared in the publications California Quarterly, Coffee Press, Squaw Review and others, and in the following anthologies: The Geography of Home (Heyday Books, 1999), Rivertalk 2000, Poetry Zone I, II & III, The Poetry of Peace (Capra Press), A Crow Black as the Sun (Green Poet Press, 2011) and “Corners of the Mouth: Celebrating 30 Years of the SLO Poetry Festival (2014 ) Rare Feathers(Gunpowder Press 2016, and What Breathes Us Gunpowder Press 2016 . She has engaged young poets through her “Song of Place Poetry Project” and her work with City At Peace, Speak for the Creeks, the Annual Young Writers Poetry Contest and the MLK Poetry and Essay Contest.

She hosted a monthly poetry event, The Poetry Zone, for several years  and has organized an annual tribute to poetry icon Langston Hughes since 2002.  Rolle is a two-time recipient of the California Arts Council’ Artist-in-Residence program and for eight years led poetry workshops in schools throughout the South County as a part of the Santa Barbara Public Library’s Elli program Sojourner Kincaid Rolle holds B.S.( UNC-Charlotte, 1978) in Criminal Justice with emphasis in Juvenile Delinquency and a J.D. (UC-Berkeley, 1981). She has taught creative writing through UCLA Extension in the California Arts In Corrections program(1992-1999) and African American Literature at UCSB(2007, 2009). She has been leading poetry workshops for young people in the schools and throughout the community since 1992. Rolle is the author of seven books of poetry and six plays. Her arts reviews and commentaries have appear in local and regional publications. Links to additional articles, reviews, video, and recordings at


Alex Bostic’s artwork is the newest USPS Black Heritage Forever Stamp, click here to read.

Alex has quite an impressive list of schools he attended. He has an M.A in illustration from Syracuse University. A B.F.A. in Illustration from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and a A.A.S.  Communication Arts, Sullivan County Community College, Loch Sheldrake, NY. It is Easy to see how he honed his skills.

Alex Bostic – Art Department professor in home painting studio – for Our People feature. (photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, he developed a love for the arts, attending lessons at Pratt Institute on the weekends. He soon understood what it meant to have a career as an artist. Alex used his imagination to create art from 2D to 3D. At the time, he was interested in comic book characters and began to develop his own. Alex went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from Pratt Institute in 1979, and received his Master of Arts in Illustration from Syracuse University, in 1994. With more than forty years as an illustrator, Alex decided to become a traditional figurative artist and is a nationally award-winning realist painter. He lives and works in the state of Mississippi and is guided by his love for painting the human figure, mainly focusing on portraits that visually narrate the lives of everyday people.

Sojourner, we look forward to reading your book journey when you get better. It is a beautiful book. Full of emotion and gorgeous pictures that help tell the journey of the African Americans in our country. It is book everyone will want to read and to keep. Very moving. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. ❤ … to put it simply.


  2. Please enter me into your giveaway. Thank you!


  3. This beautiful book is inspiring and will build empathy and unity for all readers. I’m an email subscriber and shared:


  4. This book looks stunning! I hope I see it being shared with all young readers.


  5. This book looks beautiful, and very powerful. I’d love to have a copy. Thanks for the chance to win it.
    I’ve shared:, and tweeted:
    I also follow daily by email: crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    Thanks again for the chance to win, have a super day everyone!!


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