Bound For Glory – Spirituals & Calligraphy

Bound For Glory

Bound For Glory
Celebrating the Gift of African American Spirituals
Through Expressive Calligraphy
Author/Illustrator: Timothy R. Botts
Reflections: Patricia Raybon
Publication Date: November 2011
ISBN Number: 978-1-4143-5453-8

These miracle songs are an example of how God
Can take our deepest pain and, in response to our faith,
Create something beautiful.
Timothy Botts

I have always loved spirituals – inspirational songs sung by African American slaves who embraced faith and clung to hope during the darkest of hours. There is something incredibly moving about these lyrics and melodies that touch our hearts. These songs, passed from generation to generation, transcend time and culture. Today, they are sung by people all around the world.

Every tone was a testimony against slavery,
And a prayer to God for deliverance from chains.
Frederick Douglass

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that Tyndale House Publishers had commissioned renowned calligrapher Timothy R. Botts and award-winning author Patricia Raybon to collaborate on a special project to celebrate the rich history of these religious folk songs.

Them Dry Bones

Them Dry Bones by Timothy R. Botts
One Of My Favorite Illustrations In The Book!

Bound For Glory – Celebrating the Gift of African American Spirituals through Expressive Calligraphy is a beautifully illustrated hardcover book that takes you on a transformative spiritual journey through the spirituals and Scripture.

The book categorizes the 52 spirituals into four parts:

  • The Bible Story
  • Times of Trouble
  • True Testimony
  • Heaven Bound

The spirituals are presented on two-page layouts that feature the song lyrics, a Bible verse, a reflection, and an artistic interpretation of each songs.

Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen

Another Example of Timothy R. Bott’s Work!

The artwork – which Timothy Botts calls “the most difficult artwork I ever created” – is stunning. His words, colors, contrast and movement bring new life to each song.

Patricia Raybon’s reflections shed new insights into the spirituals. They form a bridge from the past to the present and deepen both our understanding and emotional response to the songs. One of my favorites is her powerful poetic accompaniment to the well-known spiritual, Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen:

Why hide
When God knows everything about you
So He understands
Deep hurt
And a bruised body
And the pain of hunger and the sting of sorrow when
Folks betray you and leave you
Alone in the world to die.
And here’s the reason He knows:
He’s been there too.

Reading this book was a deeply moving experience. I found myself wanting to savor each and every lyric, Scripture, meditation, and piece of artwork before me.

I highly recommend this book, particularly for gift-giving and devotional use.

Overall Rating
Five Stars

More Great Resources

For more inspirational books, visit Create With Joy – Book Reviews.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers for review. I did not receive any form of monetary compensation and was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.


18 Responses to “Bound For Glory – Spirituals & Calligraphy”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Amanda says:

    I am definitely going to have to keep an eye out for this book, it looks absolutely gorgeous, the art work is amazing! Thanks for sharing the review, will check out some of the others you have done. Have a blessed week, Amanda

  2. Sally says:

    Your view of this book makes me feel like I need to read it. Thanks for sharing

  3. Michael Ann says:

    Wow, that is amazing art and the words….took my breath away.

  4. HillyG says:

    That definitely looks like a cool coffee table book. My aunt might like it for Christmas – thank you for posting about it! I love how words turn into art – it’s very modern!

    I’m your newest follower from the Mama-Press blog hop! Keep up the great reviews!

  5. Sennie says:

    Gorgeous!! I think I’ll have to check it out, my in-laws might enjoy it..
    Here from Time Travel Tuesday!

  6. Chari says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us! What a great review, I am definately going to look into this book!

    Stopping by from the Blog it Forward Blog Hop!

    Many Blessings!


  7. Millie Morgan Media says:

    Hi There! Cute blog. I am your newest follower. I’d appreciate it if you came over to my blog and followed me back. I am currently doing a giveaway so come check it out. Thanks!

  8. Charlotte says:

    Terrific review. I think it will become very popular. Than k you for sharing.

  9. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles says:

    Those are very pretty. Happy holidays!

  10. Renee says:

    Great review of this book and beautiful art work. Wow…Absolutely stunning!

  11. Brenda TN says:

    These are beautiful and I love hearing them also

  12. Pamela says:

    What a beautiful book! My husband is a calligrapher and he will love this book. Amazon has it for five dollars off. Thank you so much for highlighting it.

    Blessings, friend.

  13. Wow! That is awesome. Thanks for such an interesting and inspiring post this week 🙂

  14. patsy
    Twitter: Patsypat

    Thank you for sharing about the book, the calligraphy is fantastic! Patsy from HeARTworks


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