Big surprises can come in small packages.
When I ordered a review copy of “Over the River…Life of Lyia Maria Child,” by Constance L. Jackson, I thought I was ordering a book with a companion DVD. What I received is a truly historical and epic documentary about Child — and the times in which she lived — with an accompanying book of background statements, quotes and photos in support of the DVD.
Along the course of my education, I learned only small bits about two very important happenings in U.S. history: slavery and women’s suffrage. I learned about President Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War, of course, but those were covered in a broad sweep and with little scrutiny.
So it was with eagerness tat I watched “Over the River” and learned about Child’s prolific writings — powers, books, letters, newspaper articles in support of abolition and her never-ending drive to see that justice and freedom were given all people in the U.S. She was a major force in the antislavery movement of the 1800s and in support of women’s’ rights.
I thought all she had ever written was a famous poem, turned in a favorite holiday song:
Over the river, and through the wood,
to Grandfather’s house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.
I’m now more aware of some of the darkest hours of our republic. I recommend this DVD and book to every home, school, classroom, museum and library. Expect to learn, not to be entertained.
by Karen Gallagher
Daytona Beach News Journal