In order to highlight the “vision, uniqueness, and perseverance” of American women and, “most important,” to convey to boys that “women could be role models or heroes for them,” fine artist Tinari spotlights 24 American women.
Arranged primarily chronologically by birth date, each figure is presented to readers in a double-page spread. On the verso is a quote by or about the woman highlighted (some of these pages feature quotes by men rather than by the women themselves, an oddity that is not explained). On the recto, a fourth-wall–breaking gouache portrait is surrounded by stenciled facts, dates, quotes, and the figure’s name. The verso quote, much of the recto text, and part of the otherwise grayscale portraits are highlighted in a single neon color against a white page, making it extremely difficult to read. Some facts feel pointless (“HENRY DAVID THOREAU took young LOUISA on many nature WALKS”), while others will have readers hungry for more (Sojourner Truth was the “1st BLACK WOMAN to take a WHITE MAN to court AND WIN!!”). The majority of the women are cis, straight (or at least not known to be LGBTQ), white, and not disabled. Four black women, one Japanese-American woman (Yuri Kochiyama), one Apache woman (Lozen), and no Latina women are featured. Black, trans model Tracey Norman is celebrated, and there are four out queer women, although, disappointingly, none of them are named as such. The neuroatypicality of some of the women is included, but no other types of disabilities are mentioned.
More poster series than book; other, similar titles are better designed, more informative, more inclusive, and more intersectional. (Collective biography. 9-12)