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Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  125 reviews
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is an arresting and moving personal story about childhood, race, and identity in the American South, rendered in stunning illustrations by the author, Lila Quintero Weaver.  In 1961, when Lila was five, she and her family emigrated from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Marion, Alabama, in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt. As educated, midd ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by University Alabama Press (first published February 16th 2012)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  585 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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David Schaafsma
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
A first book, written in the author's middle age, as a special project for completion of her BA. Sort of came out of the blue for me; a first book, a university press, not a known comics artist, a memoir about the civil rights movement told by an Argentinian-American who grew up in the South in the sixties. . . so I was skeptical, actually; or, I thought this would be earnest and somewhat naive and "unpolished." Snobbish expectations?

So I was wrong, this is a really really good book, and in the
To give you an idea of the sort of person I am, my boss recently asked me if I wanted to participate in the committee meeting soon to pick a book for everyone on campus to read in the fall semester. As previously mentioned in another review, you can wave a book in my face and I'll follow you to the ends of the earth. Tell me I have the opportunity to be on a committee that tells students, staff, and faculty what to read excites me to no end. Tonight was our first meeting.

We haven't made any fina
When I picked up this book, I was initially skeptical.
It's a paperback published by a university press, the cover design isn't awesome, and it's a graphic novel memoir about the southern civil rights movement from the perspective of someone who 1. has never published anything - much less a graphic novel - before, and 2. isn't Black.

Wow, were those first impressions offbase.

Quintero Weaver tells the story of her childhood immigration to Marion, Alabama from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She talks, d
Brian Bess
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Viewpoint from a rarely heard demographic

I have rarely read any graphic novels or non-fiction and read this at the suggestion of a co-worker. The subject matter is intriguing as it is a true immigrant's story from a different location than one would expect from this ethnic group.

Lila Quintero was a small child when she, along with her father, mother, two older sisters, and younger brother, emigrated from Argentina to the United States, not only to the U.S. but to the small town of Marion, the co
Lila Quintero Weaver's graphic memoir depicts her experience growing up in Alabama during segregation and the civil rights movement. This experience is made even more interesting by the fact that she emigrated from Argentina, which leaves her wondering where she fits in the black/white divide in her town. The spreads here are fascinating - not many speech bubbles and instead more historical facts and recollections of memory - all in black and white. If you're a fan of graphic memoirs (and especi ...more
Hannah Notess
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I picked this up at the library today to fill in the "graphic novel" square on Seattle Public Library book bingo and WOW.

This is a beautiful, artful, and full-of-life memoir by a woman who emigrated from Argentina as a child to a small town in Alabama in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement.

She has a unique and interesting perspective on these events, with a touch of self-criticism toward her own obliviousness as a child that lends an interesting complexity to the narrative. And the art is nea
Edward Sullivan
An exceptional graphic memoir. Lila Quintero was a young girl when she immigrated from Argentia to Marion, Alabama with her family in the 1960s where she witnessed segregation and racial violence. A personal story that offers wonderful insights into the immigrant experience and the Civil Rights Movement from a unique perspective.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
I ran across this book and author by chance at the Arkansas Literary Festival this past April. It is a rare look at the civil rights movement: from the perspective of Latino immigrants to Alabama. Given Alabama's immigration laws today, this book is a reminder of how the past is prologue.
Hannah Garden
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, august-2018
This book is INCREDIBLE. Another where I read the final sentence and burst into tears. It’s just so beautiful and so much its own thing, like a perfect bowl someone carves you out of wood and you can see every thumbprint where they held it while they made it.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This graphic novel was great. I had to read it for my African American literature class.
“Darkroom” is an inspiring coming-of-age story by Lila Weaver, and her upbringing in Alabama as a Latino, during the 1960s. This book is quite illuminating because it is told through pictures and words. Lila’s father was a photographer, so many of her drawings mimic what her dad would have seen. The story is quite interesting because Lila is so transparent about her upbringing. She’s neither white, nor black
Alisha Fish
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This week I decided on reading another graphic novel because I loved everything about the first one we read. This memoir, in particular, was suggested to me by a previous professor at UGA. I have always been interested in the civil rights movement, and this covers it beautifully. It's about a Latino girl Lila and her family living in Marion, Alabama in the year of 1961. Lila an outsider to segregation because she isn't of African American heritage, she often 'passes' as white. This graphic memoi ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I tend to enjoy autobiographical graphic novels when I come across one- this was no exception. From the perspective of Lila whose family moved from Argentina to Alabama during the Civil Rights movement- the perspective she provides as a Hispanic immigrant during a time when she didn't really see very many people that looked like her, where she didn't know how to classify herself since she didn't really see herself as white or black (and those were the two options given.) And also going from bein ...more
Apr 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a good read; I ate it. The story of a young Argentinian girl, immigrating to the Deep South during the civil rights era, was captivating and added a new perspective on a familiar story. The perspective and context of this graphic novel made it relevant to discussions going on today. I found the artwork and different mediums and perspectives used to be "indie" and right but my alley. I am proud to have this book on my bookshelf and I hope many of my students enjoy stumbling upon it; ...more
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom is an impressive debut work. A memoir in the vein of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby , Weaver’s mesmerizing tale is matched by her accomplished drawing and design skills. Darkroom is the story of a childhood, of a Latino immigrant family, of the struggle for justice in the Deep South. Weaver’s appealing pencil renderings perfectly capture the book’s themes of being caught in the middle, witness to (and participant in) one of t ...more
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
So I have a vague memory of requesting this after reading a review of it before I went on vacation. When I came back and saw it waiting for me I kind of had a huh? moment. I'm actually very glad that I requested it. It is the memoir of a hispanic woman growing up in a small town in Alabama during the Civil Rights movement. At the time as the author puts it, there were no slurs for them in Alabama yet. She talks a little about feeling like she never quite fit in but a majority of the book is abou ...more
Heather Johnson
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a result of my quest to purchase more historical texts for the library, as well as upstanding graphic novels, I happened upon this gem by Lila Quintero Weaver. As a self-declared hater of graphic novels, I had to gear myself up for this story, even though it's about a historical topic I love--the Civil Rights Movement. Weaver's book did not disappoint. Her illustrations are stunning, and her storytelling mirrors the innocence and honesty of a child and adolescent experiencing the civil rights ...more
Madeline Kobayashi
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the first graphic novel I've ever read from beginning to end, and actually enjoyed. Everything about this book was beautifully done. I loved the illustrations, which were simple, yet stunning, and all done in black and white. The layout of the text and size of the font were easy on my eyes (which is what's kept me from reading other graphic novels), and the story was pretty remarkable. Themes of belonging, justice, and coming of age make this a great book for middle and high school stude ...more
Yamile Méndez
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vcfa-4-3
This graphic novel is a quick read, but it's so deep and layered that I need some time to collect my thoughts.
This is the first book that I read by another Argentine American, and her depiction of growing up away from the motherland, and the feelings of going back after many years really resonated with me.
Lila's account of the events in Alabama in the 60s is chilling and moving. so applicable to these terrible times in which racism and violence are still in the news every day.
I'll write a mor
A fantastic graphic novel that explores what it meant to be an immigrant in Alabama during the time of civil rights' marches, segregation, and Klan activity. This also provides a glimpse into Argentina and its own racial divide. Beautiful illustrations. Loved this memoir for its window into American History and how it chronicles the immigrant experience.

Loved it!
Araceli Esparza
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chicano-latino
This memoir is an awesome telling of the civil rights movement from the pov of a young Latina girl. The graphic novel format works on so many levels for youth and for adults. Marion AL never looked so real to me as it did through this book.
Can wait to see more from this intelligent and yet sensitive author!
It's an interesting perspective but tbh.... She's not as progressive as she believes she is. She has some learning to do.
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A deeply moving and personal story about racism and identify in the American South in the 50's. Well drawn and intimately told this book brings you straight to the point of view of the author as a young girl.
An unusual perspective on the Civil Rights movement by an Argentinan who moved to Alabama during grade school in 1961. I enjoyed reading it.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm beginning to be convinced of the value of graphic novels as literature...this was beautifully done.
Marta Ilieva
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Take from parts of book analysis for grad school:

The graphic novel, Darkroom: A Memoir in Black & White by Lila Quintero Weaver, details a true story of the author’s experience when she and her family moved to Marion, Alabama from Buenos Aires, Argentina at the beginning of the civil rights movement. This account is personal and direct as Lila recounts her growing awareness that she’s neither white nor black, a barrier that set her apart in the growing racial tensions in the civil rights era.

Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is a memoir that chronicles the author's migration from Argentina to the Alabama during the period of Civil Rights unrest in the South. As an outsider to the nation and a racially ambiguous person in a society divided into black and white, Weaver offers fresh insight in the period that preceded and followed the Civil Rights Act in the United States. Given this subject matter, it is a work that pairs well with Howard Cruse's classic "Stuck Rubber Baby." If this is the main topic of the ...more
Sabrina Osman
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chapter-book, history
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is a chapter book that is about experiences the author went through during the Civil Rights Movement. Weaver at the age of five uprooted from Buenos Aires, Argentine to Marion, Alabama with her Latino middle-class family in 1961. In this book, we learn about her witnessing aspects of the Civil Rights Movement and her personal struggles as a Latino immigrant in a very segregated time of society. Additionally, it was a graphic novel too and that helped to furt ...more
Michelle Tuite
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading 2020
Book 32: Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White by Lila Quintero Weaver

A graphic novel I found on some list about must read books. This book was beautifully drawn all in black and white.

In 1961, Lila's family emigrated from Argentina to Marion, Alabama. From Amazon " As educated, middle-class Latino immigrants in a region that was defined by segregation, the Quinteros occupied a privileged vantage from which to view the racially charged culture they inhabited. Weaver and her family we
Sirius Black
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lila Quintero Weaver narrates the story of black and white conflict in Darkroom which is based on her memories and her father’s pictures. She goes back both her own story and racial movement history. She tries to find out her own identity, the border between black and white while she interacts with both races. But the border becomes problematic since, as a child, she tries to understand what happens around her. The story is narrated mostly by focusing on color, social relations and geography.
Natalie Alicea
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Darkroom is a graphic narrative about the author's experience as a child. As she grew up in Louisiana as an immigrant from Latin America, her experience is very unique and differs from the experiences of many others during the civil rights era. The memoir is very detailed in explaining experiences from her childhood-including interactions she has with people in her community through school and her own family. Weaver does a very good job at illustrating her experiences, including a variety of dif ...more
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