FICTION

(H)afrocentric: Vols. 1–4

"Jewels." illus. by Ronald Nelson & Mike Hampton. 120p. PM Pr. Nov. 2017. pap. $20. ISBN 9781629634487.
COPY ISBN
Gr 10 Up—Naima is a student at Ronald Reagan University, where she strives to live up to her dreams of being a revolutionary, black, feminist activist. Determined and confident, Naima brings together the people in her life, such as her best friend Renee, who is queer; her apathetic brother Miles; and their Chicano friend El, to help her change the world. Packed with references to significant counterculture and African American movements, this graphic novel (begun as a webcomic) moves incredibly quickly among genres and topics. Intersectionality and the divide between privileged "enlightenment" and radical race relations are the backbone of the whip-smart, wildly original comic. Satire (an internship opportunity for black interpreters for white people, a protest sign—wielding fairy godmother) simultaneously diffuses and highlights the heavy reality of the issues discussed. The art is approachable but not predictable, with close-ups of angry faces and fluid backgrounds that add to the raw feeling of the work. The result of so many great things packed into a small package is that the book sometimes falters under its own weight, making some pages hard to follow.
VERDICT While cultural references may leave younger teens and those unfamiliar with social justice frustrated, those discovering a desire for activism will be eager to learn from Naima. Highly recommended for collections serving older teens.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month