Written By: Malaika Adero
Illustrated by: Chanté Timothy
For Ages: YA (Middle grades and up)
Topics Covered: Black Culture & Identity, Historical Figures, Growing Up, Women in Leadership, Feminism, Racism.
Before I get into heaping praise on this book, let me make clear that this book is about women but it’s for everyone. The quote that Malcolm X said in 1962 still rings true today: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.” This book celebrates trailblazing Black women and I’m here for it!
You all know I share a lot of books that celebrate different collections of accomplishments. They’re usually one page summaries of a young person’s life or activism. This book, meant for older readers, gives each one of these extraordinary women 2-3 pages to go more in-depth about their childhood, career path, and perseverance towards their goals. Reading this book I learned more details about the lives of Alice Coltrane, Patricia Bath, Xenobia Bailey, Glory Edim, and so many more badass women that made the world what it is today. The book doesn’t shy away from the hardship, racism, and oppression that Black women are subjected to (beginning in utero). I don’t know about y’all but I didn’t learn about most of these historical figures in school, and I’m glad we have books such as this to supplement the lacking education we received about Black historical trailblazers. It has bright and colorful illustrations and a list of resources in the back. This book is brilliant, informative, timely, and required reading!
This book was kindly sent by Downtown Bookworks, but all opinions are my own!
MALAIKA ADERO is author of Up South: Stories, Studies and Letters of This Century’s African American Migrations and coauthor of Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston. Her decades long career in book publishing includes working with critically acclaimed and bestselling authors. Most recently she wrote The Mother of Black Hollywood with Jenifer Lewis. She has served such institutions as the Kennedy Center, The Schomburg Center, PEN and MAPP International. She lives in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia.
Chanté Timothy is an Illustrator, born and based in London, England. Chanté (Pronounced Shan-Tay) creates illustration thought provoking imagery with a comical twists.
She primarily works in editorial illustration, but is keen to also work with clients to serve their design needs. Publishing, advertising as well as merchandising i.e greetings cards etc.
Chanté has recently published her first Zine “Great Minds Don’t Think Like Me” which collates images made from her Draw Every Day (2016) project,
She is also willing to be anyone’s cake tester.