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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Discover the meaning of pride, struggle, and equality in this extraordinary collection about African-American female freedom fighters. All ten women featured worked hard to battle the evils of racism and knock down any and all obstacles. Their achievements paved the way for future activists and changed the world around them. From Harriet Tubman to Josephine Baker to Rosa Parks, these women are amazing.
In the story of Biddy Mason, we meet a woman born into slavery and passed from owner to owner. When her slavemaster John Smithson travels from Utah to California, Biddy knows she has found her way out. California is a free state where slavery does not exist. Once there, she befriends many free black people who help her petition a judge for her freedom, and she wins. Soon, Biddy is working as a nurse and midwife, saving money and looking toward the future. She becomes one of the first black women to buy a house and land in the United States, and in the process, she helps other blacks to discover the power and freedom of land ownership.
The illustrations accompanying each story are robust and invigorating, a lot like the women they represent. Bright colors and strong brush strokes add to the rich textures. Each portrait exemplifies the work of each woman. For example, the illustration of Biddy Mason depicts her walking through a green field, with a sash full of houses. She pulls them out and scatters them across the field and into the arms of black farmers.
In the introduction, the author explains her desire for the book, and the women featured in it, to reflect something in everyone -- "the fortitude to keep one's eyes on those prizes that will lead to a better world." Young readers are guaranteed to find this both within the book and within themselves.