Black History In Its Own Words

8 Overall Score
Art: 8/10
Dialogue: 8/10
Story: 8/10

There's a lot of profound quotes in this volume.

And a few nonsensical ones...

Black History In Its Own Words
Story / Art / Cover: Ronald Wimberly
Image Comics
2017

A look at Black History framed by those who made it. BLACK HISTORY IN ITS OWN WORDS presents quotes of dozens of black luminaries with portraits & illustrations by RONALD WIMBERLY. Featuring the memorable words and depictions of Angela Davis, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kanye West, Zadie Smith, Ice Cube, Dave Chappelle, James Baldwin, Spike Lee, and more.

Reviewing Black History in its Own Words as a comic isn’t a fair thing to do. There’s no real story being told, there’s very little dialogue, and indeed, there’s very little art. It’s not a comic book, it’s an art book by a comic artist. That’s not a bad thing at all, but it might mean the book isn’t for you if you don’t know what to expect.

A black border, a quote, and an illustration of the person who said it. That’s all you get here, and a lot of folks may not be into that. But the people who are into it are going to get a lot of wisdom, a lot of thought, for their money. Sure, there’s quotes and pictures in it, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the story of a struggle, the leaders of that struggle, and of the work still to be done. It’s insight into how far our race relations have come, and despite what any one may think, how much work there is still to be done. It’s not right to call this a comic, and it’s actually a little surprising that Image published it. It’s a bit unlike anything else they do, and that’s what’s beautiful about it.

I think if we’re honest, there’s a disturbingly large market who just aren’t ever going to be interested in this book. There’ll be any number of excuses for not wanting to think about such a difficult topic, and that’s kind of why the rest of us need this stuff. These are (usually) great, thoughful quotes by great, powerful minds… human minds… and there’s wisdom there for all of us, no matter what color you are, or how equal you feel we may be, or not be. Yes, this book will mean a little more to a certain demographic, but that doesn’t make it any less special to the rest of us. As a comic reader, you may not care at all about Black History in its Own Words, but as a human being, I’m glad Image put it out there.

 

 

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Author: Brian Reed View all posts by
"Brian has been a nerd, gamer, and comic book geek since the NES was cool, nerds weren't, and comics cost $0.75. Though his hobbies now cost a fair bit more, he is no less passionate about his escapism. He is proud to be a part of both the Florida Geek Scene and The Nerdstravaganza Podcast."

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