This visually stunning collection of bold portraits of Black icons paired with quotations started as a Black History Month project by Ronald Wimberley in 2015 for an online political comics newsletter, The Nib.
Each double page spread has a high impact black and white comic book style portrait set on a colored background with a quotation incorporated into the illustration. On the facing page, there is some biographical information, sometimes straightforward, sometimes quite sophisticated. There is also usually the source of the quote. The order of the portraits is a little random – done by date of production and no other discernible organization.
The author has selected his subjects as “people whose words and lives spoke to me personally” and these include Civil Rights notables, such as Angela Davis and Sojourner Truth, and cultural figures including Spike Lee, Prince, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Barack Obama are notably omitted while more obscure figures, like punk rocker Poly Styrene, are included.
However, though the majority of quotations have sources and dates, there are a handful that don’t, and the Works Cited at the back of the book is in unreadably miniscule font.
Thought-provoking browsing for teens and adults.