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The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World

The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World

The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World

The Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World


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A dynamic collective biography that presents 44 of America’s greatest Black movers and shakers, from Frederick Douglass to Aretha Franklin to Barack Obama, written by ESPN’s TheUndefeated and illustrated with dazzling portraits by Rob Ball.

From visionaries to entrepreneurs, athletes to activists, the Fierce 44 are beacons of brilliance, perseverance, and excellence. Each short biography is accompanied by a compelling portrait by Robert Ball, whose bright, graphic art pops off the page.

Bringing household names like Serena Williams and Harriet Tubman together with lesser-known but highly deserving figures such as Robert Abbott and Dr. Charles Drew, this collection is a celebration of all that African Americans have achieved, despite everything they have had to overcome.

Meet forty-four of America’s most impressive heroes in this collective biography of African American figures authored by the team at ESPN’s TheUndefeated.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781328940629
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/24/2019
Pages: 96
Sales rank: 1,135,037
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 10 - 12 Years

About the Author is a website owned by ESPN that focuses on the intersection of sports, race, and culture.

Robert Ball has been a practicing graphic designer since 2000, and has illustrated throughout his career. His work carries the dynamism of comic-book art, mixed with an eye for the absurd, influenced by a misspent youth poring over the pages of Marvel comics and 2000AD.

Read an Excerpt


Robert Abbott


In 1905, Robert Abbott started the Chicago Defender, one of the most important black newspapers in history, with just twenty-five cents (the equivalent of about seven dollars today). What began as a weekly four-page pamphlet distributed in the city’s black neighborhoods quickly grew into a national publication with a readership of more than half a million.
      The success of the Defender made Abbott, the son of former slaves, into one of the nation’s most prominent black millionaires and paved the way for other successful black publishers.
      At the Defender, Abbott encouraged the Great Migration, in which six million African Americans fled the poverty and racially motivated violence of the South for new lives in the West, Northeast, and Midwest. Many of them settled in Chicago, where manufacturing jobs were opening up as World War I approached.
      Abbott was a natural hustler, which helped his reputation and the paper’s circulation. When the Defender was initially banned by white authorities in the South because it encouraged African Americans to abandon the area and head north, Abbott, who was born in Georgia, used a network of black railroad porters to surreptitiously distribute the paper in southern states. His legacy lives on today in black publications such as Essence and Black Enterprise.

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