Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World” as Want to Read:
Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  89 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, discover over fifty remarkable African American women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation of young people. Perfect for fans of Rad Women Worldwide, Women in Science, and Girls Think of Everything.

Hardcover, 128 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Crown Books for Young Readers
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Brave. Black. First., please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Brave. Black. First.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  89 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Review to come.
Amy Layton
Discussing prominent figures such as Michelle Obama, Misty Copeland, and Simone Biles, Brave. Black. First. also features historical figures that may be lesser known to children of todya's generation, such as Aretha Franklin, Katherine Johnson, and Bessie Coleman.  Each biography is about a page long, accompanied by a full-page illustration of each featured woman. It gives a brief overview of their lives, their accomplishments, their achievements, and either what they are doing now (if they're s ...more
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome read! 52 mini bios of African American women who changed the world. The title says it all! Each two-page spread had a beautiful illustration of the featured woman on one side and a bio on the other. Each bio started with a quote from the woman. I jotted down many of them for inspiration! Then at the end of the book was an extra section with a few bullet points of extra info on each woman, plus any available related photographs. Finally, the authors conclude with a section abo ...more
mango horses
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: america, biography, 2021
Beautiful art.
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very succinct and well selected women. The art was good and the additional notes at the end were nice. A good but brief summary of the achievements of several amazing black women. #BlackGirlMagic
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Brave. Black. First.: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World by Cheryl Willis Hudson, illustrated by Erin K. Robinson, 128 pages. NONFICTION. Crown Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House), 2020. $19
Language: G (0 swears); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.



This collection of one page biographies is a collaboration with the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. Each biography includes an illustration and
Elaine Fultz
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden is featured in here. Woohoo!
Short bite-sized biographies for any reader. Just enough information to start to get to know these brave black first women. Readers will want to learn more about these women and hopefully, they will seek out more information, I know I was hungry for more information. I loved the quotes at the beginning of each biography.

Can be read in order or readers can skip around to their favorites and learn about new favorites. I would have liked to learn a bit more about the women such as how they died, o
Pam Carlson
Mar 11, 2021 rated it liked it
The title says it all. The women recognized here devoted (or still devote) their lives to altering the worlds of politics, social justice, literature, education, dance, sports, music, science, entrepreneurship, and more. Each has one page devoted to her accomplishments and life story. The facing pages contain striking, not always flattering full page illustrations. More information on each is contained in a Learn More section in the back along with those who are represented in the National Museu ...more
The thing that stood out to me in reading about all these women is the communities around them. Communities that saw their potential and worked together to support them and help them reach their goal. And many of the women gave back to the communities and helping the next generation of young dreamers. It's very inspirational.
While I really enjoyed the topic, and learning about all the amazing women throughout U.S. history, I had an issue with writing itself. Each woman had their own one page bi
Read  Ribbet
This is a wonderful anthology of over fifty profiles of women of color. Both historical and contemporary women are featured from the arts, activism, science, government, sports and business. Each profile is about a page in length. It would be a great book to jigsaw with allowing students to choose different profiles to read and share with others. The book ends with a nice collection of bullet point summaries of each woman. It links to artifacts on display at the National Museum of African Americ ...more
Feb 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ownvoices
I would have adored this book of profiles as a middle grade reader! I so appreciate the care Cheryl Willis Hudson takes in all her projects, and particularly her gifts for making collections like this possible. Striking illustrations by Erin K. Robinson, loved the short quote from each woman at the top of each page. A little surprised that there was not more disability and sexuality included (only one profile mentioned the subject coming out as a lesbian), not to mention the lack of trans women, ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Biographies of more than 50 African American women who have made history (herstory!). From Michelle Obama to Serena Williams to Rosa Parks, this book features scientists, singers, dancers, artists, civil rights leaders, politicians, and more. Each bio is accompanied by beautiful portraits.
My favorite quote from Zora Neale Hurston: "Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose."
❄Elsa Frost❄
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is really cool! I thought of a few important African American women not mentioned here (I.e. Gabby Douglas, Tarana Burke, et al.), but this is for sure a great, really comprehensive book covering many historic figures and present day important people.
Erin Logan
Jan 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
What can I say? I'm a sucker for an anthology of amazing women! Each two-page spread features artwork of and a brief history of a bold Black woman and how she changed the world. The artwork is lovely and the writing is compelling. ...more
Jackson Matthews
Feb 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic array of fine women. included is further information about each person, an index, and links to the Smithsonian museum. This is a great start to learn more about more people than we genrally hear of in a typical history class
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Includes a good mix of contemporary women contributing to American society. Very refreshing to see.
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A very beautiful book.
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
A good collection of short biographies.
Amber Brooks Bowie
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I will be buying this ASAP!
Katie (BooksRUs)
I loved the pictures and descriptions. However, I wasn't sure of the organization of the book, though. It's not alphabetical, topical, or by birth year. It would have been better one of those way. ...more
Ms. Arca
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite art / formatting style, but I loved the collection of women chosen and that each one gets art and a one pager.
This one was a 3.5 for me, and I would certainly recommend that classrooms and libraries add it to their collection since it fills an important gap. Middle graders and older readers in search of examples of African-American world-changers will find a great place to start in this volume. Featuring more than 50 women who were artists, singers, dancers, activists, mathematicians, athletes, writers, academics, astronauts, and even librarians, this book will surely inspire young readers to dream big ...more
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Children can graduate from Vashti Harrison's Little Leaders to this. I loved the format and artwork. ...more
rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2021
Willie Conroy
rated it it was amazing
Sep 14, 2020
rated it really liked it
Aug 27, 2020
rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2020
Kelly Lyons
rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2020
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
  • Measuring Up
  • What Lane?
  • Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present
  • The Lies That Bind
  • M Is for Melanin: A Celebration of the Black Child
  • A Voice Named Aretha
  • The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel
  • Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle, #2)
  • Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations
  • Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History
  • The Bone Houses
  • One to Watch
  • I Am Every Good Thing
  • Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington's Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away; Young Readers Edition
  • The Lying Room
  • Elmore
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Related Articles

  Walter Isaacson, it’s safe to say, is not afraid of tackling the really big topics. In 2011, he wrote about our ubiquitous computer culture...
57 likes · 8 comments