“Lifting My Voice: A Memoir” by Barbara Hendricks is an enlightening, touching read for readers of middle school age to adults.
Many people may want to relive the long progressive struts through the painful, bumpy, dusty roads of our history and this memoir is a great choice for those who want to travel that journey. The myriad of experiences throughout the book made me feel as though I were walking with Ms. Hendricks, holding hands through her journey and feeling the compassion of her powerful network of family support.
Ms. Hendricks shared vivid moments of many tough experiences she and other people of "Negro" heritage endured from slavery to Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement. As the audience travels with Ms. Hendricks' one cannot help but realize that the walk on the rocky, dry, hot road to recognition was a bloody and brutal one either physically or emotionally maybe taken figuratively as well as literally.
Living in the south, Little Rock, Arkansas for example and being selected to go into battle as part of the first students to desegregate Central High School made the sensation of fight and flight rise up on the highest alert mode.
Barbara Hendricks shared how her magnificent singing voice took her places that were unknown by her peers and others. What impressed me was her strong family and community interventions. They were a constant in shaping her persona and her remarkable career.
The time travel from Barbara Hendricks childhood through adulthood gave me a sense of gratitude. Because of her strength, I felt empowered. It appeared as though she was appointed as my guardian angel encouraging me to go with the flow and soak up all the experiences because the tribulations bring about a dynamic evolution.
The writing style was repetitive. That may have been an editorial issues, but I am not sure.
I truly appreciated the bond of love between family, friends and community that wafted through the book. I value the individuals who have been placed into my life for the many various reasons and I acquire the knowledge these people have for my growth and development.
“Lifting My Voice” is a book of encouragement and unconditional love and faith that miracles happen for everyone as long as the person stays in a receptive frame of mind.
This is a must read!
Growing up African American in segregated Arkansas in the 1950s, Barbara Hendricks witnessed firsthand the painful struggle for civil rights. After graduation from the Juilliard School of Music, Hendricks immediately won a number of important international prizes, and began performing in recitals and operas throughout the world. A Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, she is as devoted to humanitarian work as she is to her music. Always the anti-diva, Hendricks is a down-to-earth and straightforward woman, whether singing Mozart or black spirituals. She challenges stereotypes and puts the music first and presents a warm, engaging, and honest self-portrait of one of the great women of music.