25 Graphic Novels for Black History Month

Cover, African-American Classics (Library Journal)
Cover, African-American Classics (Library Journal)

An increasing number of kids' comics have featured ethnically diverse characters in stories set in the recent past. This year, in celebration of Black History Month, Library Journal has pulled together a list of the forthcoming, recent and backlist titles that ground black comics in history and culture. Here are just a couple. Check out the entire list here.


Figley, Marty Rhodes (text) & Ted Hammond & Richard Pimentel Carbajal  (illus.). The Prison-Ship Adventure of James Forten, Revolutionary War Captive. Lerner: Graphic Universe. 2011. adapt. by Amanda Doering Tourville. 31p. ISBN 9780761370758. pap. $8.95. (History’s Kid Heroes) BIOG
James Forten was a real historical figure, an African American born free in Philadelphia in 1766. He enlisted as a teen in the Revolutionary War and was captured by the British. Treated as a regular prisoner of war by his captors, he also faced the possibility that he could later be sold as a slave. The graphic narrative was adapted from Figley’s “easy reader” Prisoner for Liberty. See art and comparison here.

Helfand, Lewis (text) & Lalit Kumar Sharma (illus.). Muhammad Ali: The King of the Ring. 92p. ISBN 9789380741239.
Helfand, Lewis (text) & Sankha Banerjee (illus.). Nelson Mandela: The Unconquerable Soul. 120p. ISBN 9789380741161.
ea. vol: Campfire, dist. Random. Jan. 2012. pap. $12.99. BIOG
Campfire’s extensive line of all-age graphic novels began with adaptations of classic adventure stories and has expanded into biographies of notables around the world. In its back matter, the Ali volume includes information on how the graphic novel was made plus stories of other prizefighters. The Mandela book has a glossary, a favorite poem of Mandela’s, and facts about South Africa.


Read more at Library Journal.

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