Now or Never! Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry’s War to End Slavery ... by Ray Anthony Shepard

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Last year we enjoyed promoting the publishing of Now or Never! (Calkins Creek), which tells the enthralling, little-known stories of Philadelphia native George E. Stephens and James Henry Gooding of New Bedford, Mass., two courageous Black men who enlisted in the Union Army to defend freedom.

Shepard’s biography, which ranked #6 in Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Nonfiction of 2017, chronicles the choices and challenges Stephens and Gooding faced as Civil War soldiers, as well as their resolve to right the wrongs they encountered. Their extraordinary determination led to equal pay for Black soldiers and liberation of the four million enslaved African Americans imprisoned on Southern slave plantations.

We are bringing Ray back to the area a final time later this month! On Saturday, February 24 from 1PM - 3PM, he will be a featured author (in uniform as a member of the 54th Reenactors Regiment) at the African American Museum in Philadelphia’s Black History Month Celebration Finale! Don’t miss this book signing and conversation with the author of one of 2017’s most important titles (701 Arch St., Phila., PA).

Lamarr Nanton