Graphic Novel Review 112/365: Black History In Its Own Words

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!  Or hit up #GN365 on Twitter.

I’m going to try my best this week to bring you some books that capture America’s social situation.  What does that mean?  I’m not sure, but let’s read together this week, and maybe by next Sunday night, we will have a better understanding and maybe even a Twitter chat if you all want.

Title: Black History In Its Own Words

Author(s): Ronald Wimberly

Publisher: Image (2017)

Age Rating: 13+

This book is simple and awesome!

Ronald Wimberly has collected (for the 2017 version of the book) 39 individuals based on their “spirit and bravery.”  Individuals “whose words and lives spoke to [him] personally,” and he juxtaposes a brief bio on the left page with a portrait/quotation on the right page, creating an inspiring encyclopedia of historical figures destined to be explored further by anyone seriously reading this book.

If you do not know the art of Ronald Wimberly, go look him up.  My first exposure to Wimberly was Prince of Cats, a graphic novel telling of Romeo & Juliet, set in current times, Shakespearean language, told through the eyes of Tybalt….so DOPE!  We might be seeing that title later in the week…

This book needs to be in the classroom, if anything, as a jumping off point for students to explore prominent African American figures.  I see students creating short comics from these figures featured in this book.  I see presentations.  I see students finding their own figures that speak to them as these figures have spoke to Wimberly.

Please go buy this book.  If you don’t use it, give it to a Social Studies or English teacher that you know will.  It’s fantastic and a great way to discover American heroes that might be under your radar.

Happy reading!


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