Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic History of Women’s Fight for their Rights

If you’re looking for a graphic history (aka “comic book style”) book that explains the fight for women’s rights, Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall and illustrated by A D’Amico, is the book. 

The plot entails a class of young women, who disagree with what the women’s movement is, receiving a tour through history from a purple artificial intelligence. 

They cover historical figures from multiple countries, as well as an outline of different systems of rights in different places and times. 

They cover suffrage, equal rights, and how women’s rights movements intersect with minority rights, the labor movement, white supremacy, child labor laws, eugenics, misogyny, the civil rights movement, LGTBQIA rights movements, and many other important points in history. 

I think Fredrick Douglass might be the only man mentioned by name. 

They also cover historical activist figures you may not hear about elsewhere — especially Black, Native American, and Indian folks. I learned more names in this book than I did in 12 years of education. (Admittedly, that education was in the 80s and 90s. Hopefully we’ve come a ways since.)

Because it’s a survey more than a textbook, most of what you get is a name and maybe two paragraphs about a person or an event. It’s enough to pique interest and send the reader back to the library. (It’s also probably a good “pick one person from the book to do a report on” resource for teachers.)

I see this book making a place for itself on bookshelves for historians young and old, women who want to know they’re not fighting alone, and the home of anyone who wants to better understand how women fit into the history of the human race.

The Nib

The Nib is a daily comic publication and political magazine.

Okay, that doesn’t quite capture it, let me try again.

The Nib is a website that delivers a daily political comic. It also publishes a print magazine. But it’s not a words-magazine, it’s a comics-magazine.  By that I mean the whole magazine is the size of a short graphic novel, with various sections covering infographics about that issue’s topic, short comics related to the topic, feature (longer) comics about specific items, a “letters to the editor” of one-panels on a related topic or question, etc. etc.

It’s what you’d get if you converted a political magazine from strictly words and the occasional image to sequential art and then published it on a regular basis. For me, it’s about a 45 minute read per issue.

In the first three issues (I bought the back issues from Topatoco after I subscribed to the magazine), themed Death, Family, and Empire, they cover topics from how the Day of the Dead is merging with Halloween in Latino communities to the current humanitarian crisis at our borders to Filipino cheese pimento. In other words not only do these issues teach me about the politics of the world I live in, they educate me about the people I don’t see or hear from on a daily basis. And that’s pretty damn cool.

The Nib does a fantastic job of providing context to where we are and why we’re here, without being a five-thousand-word article. It makes politics approachable for young adult and adult readers. It definitely has a position, and that position is that we’re all in this together, on one earth, and families and working together and not being toxic assholes matter.

Readers can subscribe to the daily comic email for free, or become a member at a couple of different tiers.