Miner’s personality, experiences, and historical context are woven together to create a vivid picture of a remarkable and...

THIS NOBLE WOMAN

MYRTILLA MINER AND HER FIGHT TO ESTABLISH A SCHOOL FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN GIRLS IN THE SLAVEHOLDING SOUTH

An introduction to the life of Myrtilla Miner, a white woman who made groundbreaking achievements in education for African-American girls.

Born in poverty in 1815 to New York farmers, Miner was an unhealthy child who worked hard on the family farm. As she pursued schooling, she noticed stark differences in the education of girls versus that of boys. More interested in academics than homemaking, she became passionate about women’s right to equal education, writing letters to the governor of New York demanding change. An abolitionist and feminist, she accepted a teaching appointment in Mississippi with the goal of learning more about slavery and possible solutions. The horrors of slavery that she witnessed there and her disgust with the moral hypocrisy of slaveholders affected her greatly and ultimately determined her life’s work. Moving to Washington, D.C., she opened her School for Colored Girls in 1851, working to impart a high-quality education as well as ladylike manners. The school carried on in various forms, later becoming the Miner Teachers College, now part of Howard University. The text draws heavily on direct quotations from primary sources that bring individuals to life, and frequent one-page summaries of historical personalities, events, and movements provide further information.

Miner’s personality, experiences, and historical context are woven together to create a vivid picture of a remarkable and little-known woman’s achievements. (resources, notes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-912777-09-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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

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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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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