Written by: Blair Imani, Foreword by Patrisse Cullors (BLM Co-Founder)
Illustrated by: Rachelle Baker
For ages: YA Middle Grades, 12 years and up
Topics Covered: Black Culture & Identity, American History, Enslavement, Reconstruction, Historical Figures, Family, Politics, Love.
This book is meticulously researched and fascinating! Author Blair Imani takes readers on a journey through the American history that we don’t typically learn in history books, and discusses the Great Migration decade by decade starting with Reconstruction.
Coupled with gorgeous and very realistic illustrations, this is the type of history book I yearned for as a child. I devoured this book in a single sitting, loving that the historical figures I learned about in college are available to children. I was riveted, the facts weaving together in a way that was not dry or boring but instead ignited the desire to continue reading past my bedtime. There is also an extensive (almost 30 pages!) glossary that explains everyone referenced in the text as well as landmark court cases and activist groups. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read this one as soon as possible!
This book was generously sent to us by our friends at Ten Speed Press, but all opinions are our own.
About the Author & the Illustrator:
Blair Imani is a critically-acclaimed historian, outspoken advocate and activist, and dynamic public speaker. The author of two historical books: Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (2018) and Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and The Black American Dream (2020), she centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community. She serves as the official ambassador of Muslims for Progressive Values, one of the oldest progressive Muslim organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and she dedicates her platform to advocating for the rights of marginalized people around the world.
Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Blair Imani attended Louisiana State University where, in 2014, she founded Equality for HER, a non-profit organization that provided resources and a forum for women and nonbinary people to feel empowered. Her fearless leadership took her to the front lines of anti-police brutality protests and, following her arrest at the protests of Alton Sterling’s murder in Baton Rouge, Blair began building a platform and social media presence to organize and create awareness about injustices in Black, Queer, and Muslim communities.
A highly sought-after public speaker, Blair Imani has appeared on FOX News (“Tucker Carlson Tonight”) and MSNBC (“The Point”), presented at colleges and universities (including Harvard, Yale, and Brown), spoken at progressive conferences around the world, and has delivered powerful talks and speeches for organizations that include GLAAD, TEDx, and LoveLoud. Her viral TEDxBoulder talk, “Queer & Muslim: Nothing to Reconcile”, has sparked important discourse about the intersection of the two identities. In 2019, she was proudly featured in New York City Pride’s campaign honoring the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. She has also been profiled in Teen Vogue, The Advocate, and Variety, on the Today Show, and by Yahoo! News. From the United States to countries like Kenya and the United Kingdom, Blair Imani has inspired audiences around the world.
In 2017, Blair Imani came out as a queer Muslim woman on national television (“Tucker Carlson Tonight”). Since then, she has been a proud public advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her work with the internationally renowned LGBTQ rights organizations Tegan & Sara Foundation, GLAAD, It Gets Better, Trevor Project, and LOVELOUD, continues to elevate the stories of queer people of faith globally.
As an advocate and historian, organizer and public speaker, Blair Imani is dedicated to making the world a better place and amplifying the voices and work of those fighting the good fight.
Rachelle Baker is a multi-disciplinary artist from Detroit, MI with a background in Relief Printing (Screenprinting, Lino/Woodcutting), Illustration, Comic Art, Video Art, and Music. She is inspired by Shoujo manga, anime and comics bad girls, stoic women dancing in the backgrounds of late 90’s/early 2000’s R&B videos, and the sound cats make when they’re yawning. She is a Capricorn with a Scorpio moon.