DOUBLE VICTORY

HOW AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN BROKE RACE AND GENDER BARRIERS TO HELP WIN WORLD WAR II

From the Women of Action series

The role of African-American women in World War II, both at home and abroad, has not been explored as fully as other aspects of that war, and Mullenbach here addresses this deficit.

The women who tried to participate struggled against multiple obstacles: prejudice against women, segregated institutions and deep-seated discrimination against blacks in the United States. Despite these realities, many African-American women were determined to have a role in the war effort and to use their struggles to push the country toward greater inclusion for all. This exploration makes clear how hard they fought on their own behalf and how resistant U.S. society was to change, even in wartime and even as its leaders sought to galvanize the country around “four essential human freedoms.” Mullenbach effectively weaves this narrative by presenting a wide variety of individual stories of struggle, some victorious, others discouraging, many accompanied by period photographs. Whether she is describing a boycott of segregated Independence Day celebrations at an overseas Red Cross club or the indignities of Jim Crow travel for uniformed women, their dogged determination to fully engage is revealed. One of the many strengths of the book is the range of areas affected, including journalism, manufacturing, troop support, military nursing and many others. Ultimately, their unstinting efforts during World War II helped pave the way for the civil rights movement and major societal change.

A valuable asset. (notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction 14 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-56976-808-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today.

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THEY CALLED US ENEMY

A beautifully heart-wrenching graphic-novel adaptation of actor and activist Takei’s (Lions and Tigers and Bears, 2013, etc.) childhood experience of incarceration in a World War II camp for Japanese Americans.

Takei had not yet started school when he, his parents, and his younger siblings were forced to leave their home and report to the Santa Anita Racetrack for “processing and removal” due to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. The creators smoothly and cleverly embed the historical context within which Takei’s family’s story takes place, allowing readers to simultaneously experience the daily humiliations that they suffered in the camps while providing readers with a broader understanding of the federal legislation, lawsuits, and actions which led to and maintained this injustice. The heroes who fought against this and provided support to and within the Japanese American community, such as Fred Korematsu, the 442nd Regiment, Herbert Nicholson, and the ACLU’s Wayne Collins, are also highlighted, but the focus always remains on the many sacrifices that Takei’s parents made to ensure the safety and survival of their family while shielding their children from knowing the depths of the hatred they faced and danger they were in. The creators also highlight the dangerous parallels between the hate speech, stereotyping, and legislation used against Japanese Americans and the trajectory of current events. Delicate grayscale illustrations effectively convey the intense emotions and the stark living conditions.

A powerful reminder of a history that is all too timely today. (Graphic memoir. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-60309-450-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Top Shelf Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 5, 2019

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