If you like this article, please hit the +1 button below and share with your friends and followers. Help me win one million readers over to the awesome world of comics!
"Black History In Its Own Words" from Image Comics -
Featuring the likes of Angela Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Dave Chappelle, James Baldwin, Spike Lee, Audre Lorde, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Nina Simone, Muhammad Ali, and many others, "Black History In Its Own Words," showcases black American profiles in courage and excellence. Blacks who have changed the world (or are doing their best to do so) through technology, music, entertainment, activism, literature, art, science, sports or military service are profiled here in this lavishly illustrated look at the contributions that several exceptional American black people have made to our society and our world.
Artist and writer, Ronald Wimberly, serves up an important, but breezy, helping of black history with this funky, cool graphic novel, "Black History In Its Own Words"... Although this book is heavy on the graphics and light on the novel. The only narrative that runs through this book is one which shows black American excellence in several of its many forms - from Cathay Williams, a black woman who enlisted in the Union Army disguised as man to fight in the Civil War, to Mykki Blanco, a transgender poet, rapper, performance artist, and activist. Wimberly has taken great pains to be inclusive, ensuring diversity among the influential blacks chosen to be in this book, and not just choosing them solely based on historical precedence. Every person is introduced to the reader with a short bio written by Wimberly, which is then followed by a full page illustration of that person done by Wimberly himself, and a quote that he, she or they uttered in an interview, article, essay, novel, poem, performance, conversation or song. Every illustration is bold, powerful and has a strong, attractive urban dynamism about it that makes it almost seem to be alive:
The quotes, ranging from powerful and moving, to casual and whimsical, give the reader a captivating glimpse into the minds of the luminaries themselves. But, to be clear: This is not a comic book per se - yes there is awesome artwork, and the individual profiles meld in such a way as to tell a story that has an overarching theme of black American excellence; however, if you are expecting a traditional story with beats, and a beginning, middle and end, then you are definitely not going to like this book at all. Me? I dig this book a lot. It sparked some research on my part and made for some excellent family conversations that were really cool. I'd be up for a volume 2, if Ron Wimberly were so inclined to make it happen. "Black History In Its Own Words" will make an excellent addition to my book collection.
RATING: 9 out of 10.