Bring Benjamin Turner's Story to Alabama Schools

For every $25 donated, a signed copy of The Slave Who Went to Congress will be gifted to an Alabama public school!

Kids like Max will be empowered by learning more about Benjamin Turner.

American history contains many complicated truths, particularly for African Americans, as the stain of slavery and Jim Crow pervades our national story to this day. That makes positive accounts like Benjamin Sterling Turner’s as told in The Slave Who Went to Congress all the more meaningful, especially as it concerns the understanding we give our children. As a young boy, born into slavery in Selma, Turner was driven to teach himself to read; would go on to become a successful entrepreneur in his adult life; and became Alabama’s first African American congressman after the Civil War. Significantly, Turner was only the second Black American to win a seat in Congress.

Now, in a book recently published by NewSouth Books, Turner's story is finally told for children, but we need your help in getting copies into the hands of kids who would most benefit from its message. The inspiring illustrated children’s book titled The Slave Who Went to Congress features key moments from Turner’s life, including the forty years he spent enslaved and his rise to prominence in politics. It’s an against-all-odds narrative that shows the power of literacy and the importance of never giving up and having a belief in oneself. Written by the talented Frye Gaillard and Marti Rosner and beautifully illustrated by Jordana Haggard, it reinforces many positive messages kids will be the richer for knowing.

In February of this past year, Congresswoman Terri Sewell, the U.S. representative for Turner’s hometown of Selma, generously donated a copy of The Slave Who Went to Congress to every fourth grader in Selma’s Clark Elementary School. Now we reach out to you for your donation, large or small, to make possible the gift of a copy to every elementary school across Alabama and to every fourth grader in Selma’s many elementary schools. This fundraiser is timed to allow a mailing of these books for Black History Month in 2021.

53711680_1609799448995850_r.jpegCongresswoman Terri Sewell at Clark Elementary School

Give the gift of literacy. Give the gift of history. Give the gift of inspiration. Our children, especially those in economically challenged public elementary schools, have never needed it more. The perks below offer rewards for different tiers of donations, but every little bit counts toward bringing this incredible tale to Alabama’s children. As Congresswoman Sewell told the young students with whom she met, “I stand on Benjamin Turner’s shoulders.” In many ways, we all do.

Thank you in advance for your contribution! All donations, large or small, help us share this amazing story. Here are some additional reasons to give:

• $25 — Your name will be added to a list of crucial donors that is shared with
each school receiving a copy of The Slave Who Went to Congress.

• $100 — Receive access to an exclusive pre-recorded author presentation
from co-authors Frye Gaillard and Marti Rosner.

• $250 — Receive a copy of The Slave Who Went to Congress signed by the

• $500 — Gift a Zoom conference with the authors to your favorite
fourth-grade classroom.

Co-authors Marti Rosner and Frye Gaillard thank you for your generosity!

Personal copies of The Slave Who Went to Congress can be purchased from NewSouth Books .


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  • John Keenum 
    • $100 
    • 4 hrs
  • T. K. Thorne 
    • $25 
    • 16 hrs
  • Molly Merkle 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Edwin Bridges 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Rosalie Turner  
    • $50 
    • 1 d
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Frye Gaillard 
Montgomery, AL
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