title: Black Women Who Dared
author Naomi M. Moyer
date: Second Story Press
Middle Grade nonfiction
Naomi M. Moyer is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. In 2015, she created a mixed media series featuring images of lesser known, radical Black women. Second Story Press contacted her in mid 2017 to create a book that would feature seven prints from the original series, and include three additional prints along with a story of the individual in the artwork. In an online interview, Moyer states, “I wanted to celebrate people who really love other Black people and did anything and everything to empower their own people.” Her work resulted in a collected of lesser known changemakers, including activists, business leaders and community organizations from either Canada and the United States. Her work is centered on empowering women’s voices as a collective rather than creating super beings who achieve grandiose success without any connection to their community, a very western, individualistic concept.
I liked the bright colors that Moyer uses to design her pages. The women that she draws are proud warriors. She takes such care in detailing their hair, faces and adornment. The layout provides one page for the image and another for the text. Jackie Shane, The Coloured Women’s Club, Sylvia Estes Stark, The Hour-A-Day Study Club, Rosa Pryor, Sherona Hall, Black Cross nurses, Mary Miles Bibb, Chloe Cooley and Blockorama are names most of us don’t know (I didn’t!). Moyer not only makes us familiar with their names, but she reminds us that we don’t have to be Twitter fabulous or Facebook trending to make changes to benefit our communities. The changes we bring about are important, not the fame. Most will probably finish the book and simply realize that black women in America (yes!! Canada AND the United States) did do a lot to make a difference. I think Moyer wrote this book to remind us all of the power of Black women.
Despite its size, this is not a picture book in the traditional sense. I think this informational text will be more effective as a book that young people can read on their own. Do add it to your library!
Prints from the book are available on the author’s website. https://www.naomimichelle.com/productsn