These People Can Fly by Virginia Hamilton
Before being captured into slavery, many African people could fly. At some point, however, they lost their wings and forgot about their secret powers.
We open on a young woman named Sarah. Sarah is working in the fields with her baby on her back, exhausted and emotionally beaten down. Her child starts to cry, drawing the attention of the cruel Overseer and merciless Driver. The Driver whips Sarah and her child until she collapses.
Just as all hope seems lost, a man named Toby appears and rekindles Sarah's flying powers. And with that, they're gone, soaring away in the clouds like Superwoman and Superbaby, a crime-fighting team that we just made up and now need to see turned into reality.
The next day, people are collapsing left and right due to the heat. Luckily Toby whispers the magic words to each one of them just in the nick of time and they fly away, too. When the bad guys finally wise up, Toby shouts his incantations at the few remaining stragglers and flies away himself.
Sadly, there are a bunch of slaves without the ability to fly left behind. Although they'll have to suffer through slavery for some time longer, they too will ultimately become free. And when they do, the story of the people who could fly will become one of their all-time favorites