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Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans
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Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  122 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Still I Rise is a critically acclaimed work with an impressive scope: the entire history of Black America, told in an accessible graphic-novel form. Updated from its original version—which ended with the Million Man March—it now extends from the early days of colonial slavery right through to Barack Obama’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Compared by many to Art Spie ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Sterling
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 357)
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Apr 29, 2014 Mariah rated it it was ok
I feel horrible to say this but this was probably the worst book I've read since the dictionary. It was dry and boring. For a quick summery it literally takes you through the African-American history of them being enslaved here in American and shipped, the transition from indentured servants to slaves. Then onto the liberation of slaves that lead to the segregation that was followed up by the fight for equality. Then obviously coming full circle back to the present day with Obama being the first ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Ladyiconoclast rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I was recommended this book because of its introduction, which is a cursory history of African American comics and comic creators, do read the introduction if this subject interests you.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in African American history, but not much background in the subject. This is not a all encompassing history, but in my ignorance of the full breadth of the subject, this felt like a good overview.

A good comic history on a subject that needs less
Meg Petersen
Apr 07, 2009 Meg Petersen rated it really liked it
I would recommend this to every teacher I know and I am passing it on to my children. The beginning part of the book is really excellent. The perspective is definitely African American, and helps students see how slavery evolved. It is especially good at showing the resistance to slavery and contextualizing the Civil War as part of an on-going history of resistance.
The ending, however, was rushed. I wish more recent times could have been covered more thoroughly. Obama's campaign and eventual el
Nov 18, 2013 Luke rated it it was ok
Still I Rise was an interesting concept for a book but not well executed. It had a lot of good information and I learned a lot about African-American history but it was a graphic novel that was obviously written by someone who doesn't do graphic novels. A good graphic novel you should be able to get the gist from just looking at the pictures, here, it was pretty much only people standing at the bottom of a panel with their mouths open and titanic blocks of text. It took me about five minutes to ...more
Aug 28, 2015 Beverly rated it it was amazing
Still I Rise by authors Roland Laird and Taneshia Nash Laird and illustrator Elihu “Adofo” Bey takes us on a graphical journey of African American history from before slavery was formalized in this country until the election of the first African American President. The book starts off with a foreword by Charles Johnson discussing the challenges faced by black comic artists and the legacy passed on to future black artists. This sets the tone for the rest of the book. At the start of the graphical ...more
Aug 12, 2010 Jesse rated it really liked it
kinda weirdly capitalist, but easy read and informative. good to refer folks without previous education on black history & movements.
Feb 06, 2014 Lauren rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. The graphic novel format allows the reader to swallow history. I like that the book high-lights African American History by not only including notable historical figures but also introducing the audience to new strong figures.

My only complaint is that for a Graphic History there is quite a bit of slanted telling. The two narrators do an excellent job of balancing views and content. There are just a few comments that slide in that I felt were unnecessary.

Overall, this is an
Dec 21, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
I love graphic novels. I love having visual representations, so I’m always excited about reading graphic novels and finding more interesting way to experience topics like history. Still I Rise is the history of African Americans, presented in a graphic format. Though it wasn’t always the most engaging or well-crafted read, I certainly learned a good deal from it.

The novel starts off explaining the reasons the first black slaves were brought to the U.S. From there a very detailed tale of how Afri
Jan 23, 2012 Lashawn rated it really liked it
Very interesting to read. Two "elders", man and woman, tell the history of African Americans from slavery to modern times in graphic novel form. I liked how the elders sometimes bickered with each other as they told the story, and thus illustrating that there are differing opinions on what happened in history. It was also interesting to see that there is no clear-cut absolutes. Wealthy white slaveowners were depicted as greedy pigs, but some were also portrayed sympathetically. Black people were ...more
Mocha Girl
Oct 22, 2009 Mocha Girl rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Still I Rise is a graphical novel (aka "comic strip" style) structured around the history of America and the complex, interwoven African American contributions and sacrifices to its success and greatness. Two unnamed characters remain prominent serving as narrators providing supplemental commentaries setting the stage of the eras' social and political climates enhancing the history lessons within the pages. Opening in pre-Colonial times, it traces the events and issues surrounding indentured ser ...more
Aug 21, 2014 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Very good for what it is and the space it has for an introductory piece - unfortunately, although it is dense, it doesn't good much into detail about a lot of things/I felt a lot was missing. To be fair though, it would have been basically impossible to include everything.
Feb 22, 2009 OOSA rated it it was amazing
A Horse of a Different Color

"Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans" aims high, and does everything right! It's a moving, entertaining and informative experience. It is unique in that it doesn't just focus on African American males and their achievements, but also focuses on women. In addition, it highlighted many others significant in the historical struggle that many may not be aware of. "Still I Rise" is well appreciated, outstanding and exciting. I felt like I was reading an ep
Apr 01, 2015 Ame rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully intensive graphic novel depicting the history of African Americans from the beginning until the election of President Barack Obama. There are plenty of historical facts and individuals that I had no idea about, so yay for new knowledge!
Feb 27, 2009 Teddy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those interested in American History and African American History
Shelves: read-in-2009
A Graphic History

'Still I rise' is a graphic history book about the struggles, heroic, and triumphant history of African Americans. It mentions all of the largely known history but it also tells of more little known facts and of important people who helped shape how America is today.

Something I certainly didn't learn in my school history books was that of indentured servitude which lead to slavery. I didn't enjoy my history classes back in grammar school or high school because the text books w
Marta Asensio
Jan 21, 2016 Marta Asensio rated it really liked it
Interesting, informative, entertaining! Lots of things I didn't know, history is very well explained and the drawings are very accurate and sweet.
May 24, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok
I had high expectations for this book and unfortunately Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans just didnt do it for me. Although I appreciated how much research was presented, I didn't like how information was presented. The history is told by two unnamed elders. The two characters don't develop at all throughout the entire book, making for a really bland narration. There may as well have been no narration at all and have strictly facts. Following along with such a rich and heart w ...more
Emilia P
Nov 13, 2013 Emilia P rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
This was a lot denser and had a lot more new and interesting information than I was expecting. You can really phone something like this in for graphic novel publication purposes, and this did not do that one bit. It's on the indie history side so sort of zine-y in illustration quality, production value, hard and fast and super-documented research and so on. But it's super-dedicated to its mission and I was pretty wowed. Also it was pretty hard on Dubois and his Talented Tenth, which I feel is th ...more
Feb 01, 2010 Will rated it really liked it
A really quite good non-fiction comic book outlining the horrible struggle and slowly gained triumphs/acceptance of African Americans. I really appreciated the two narrators who didn't always agree and took opposing sides on certain arguments. It added a real depth in contrast to most of the whitey history books that tell a tale of complete agreement in not only how events unfolded, but also a simple-minded "these are good guys doing the right thing and these are the bad guys doing the wrong thi ...more
Dec 21, 2011 Lyf rated it really liked it
The history of the African American people is a fascinating one. And the authors here did a great job of distilling the important information into easy to digest chunks. The artwork is great too. My one, not complaint per se, but an area where I think they could have done better is to allow some pictures to tell stories without any words. Some panels are just way tooooo cluttered.

If the history of the Black people in the USA interests you in any way, then I highly recommend this graphic novel!
Jan 29, 2011 Paul rated it it was ok
I give the historical content four stars, but the art by Elihu Bey gets one star and brings the overall rating way down.

The drawings are never better than serviceable, and some pages/panels are just horrendous (like the depiction of the Harlem Renaissance on page 160: It's a bunch of people in hats walking around in front of geometric shapes that are supposed to be a lively Harlem street). I like to draw myself, so I respect Bey's effort, but the material was clearly beyond him.
Ryan Miller
Jan 30, 2013 Ryan Miller rated it it was amazing
Roland Laird has created a wonderful examination of African-American history, using short, graphic vignettes to chronicle the individual and institutional racism that has been one of the bedrocks of our nation. Because of the format, the art, and Laird's narrative style, this history may be accessible to some racism naysayers in ways that other texts are not.
Dec 05, 2009 Kirsten rated it it was amazing
This is a graphic novel depicting the history of African Americans from early colonial days to the present. Incredible format and packed with information. Really fascinating. The end gets a little scattered and loses focuses, but overall, this is a really great read.
Aug 19, 2009 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
So far this book is wonderful. I'm going to talk it up to some of the teens I work with. They could learn a lot, and enjoy doing it! This is excellent - it should be required reading in history classes in high school, but probably more likely college.
May 31, 2010 Linda rated it really liked it
Moving, entertaining, and occasionally graphically beautiful look at African American history. Like other reviewers, I found the ending a bit rushed, but I appreciated the nuanced portrayal of the viewpoints of controversial historical figures.
Jul 06, 2010 Julia rated it really liked it
A graphic “novel” (What is a graphic novel called that is not a novel?) depicting and in words the history of African Americans from 1618 to the election of Barack Obama. It’s an impressive feat.
Feb 01, 2010 S rated it it was amazing
Just finished this great graphic novel about African-American history... from about the 1600's til now. Highly recommended, a balanced look at United States' lovely history.
Zier Mccollum
Nov 22, 2011 Zier Mccollum is currently reading it
still i rise is a
graphic novel that sends a strong message about how african americans lived through the tough times of slavery and have prevailed over the years.
Apr 13, 2010 Richard rated it it was ok
This comics-history of African Americans is remarkable for its depth and scope. Unfortunately no one involved seems to know anything at all about comics or cartooning.
Jul 23, 2011 Peacegal rated it liked it
Great historical information that will keep readers intrigued. The quality and style of the illustrations, however, are very inconsistent and oftentimes just plain bad.
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