2 years ago
WordDoctor
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Learn a Piece of African History, In Comics
Probably my favorite graphic history of the past few years is Abina and the Important Men by historian Trevor Getz with art by Liz Clarke. The comic gives us a picture of a piece of African history: an 1876 court trial in which a West African woman named Abina went to court to prove she had been wrongfully enslaved. Getz bases the narrative on the actual court transcript. Combined with the graphic depiction of the events surrounding the trial, this comics gives us a very unique opportunity to experience a part of history long gone in an immersive, real way with multiple dimensions. It really brings Abina's story to life in a way we would have never experienced if it had stayed in that court transcript! They describe it this way on the site: ""I had been sold and I had no will of my own and I could not look after my body and health... that I am a slave and would therefore come and complain." With these words, Abina Mansah described to an unsympathetic courtroom her experiences and her reasons for bringing charges against her former master. The important men in the courtroom may not have listened to her, but her words were recorded so that we can hear them today. In this book, the silencing of so many young, enslaved girls is challenged through the courageous actions and bold declarations of Abina Mansah, and contextualized for use in the classroom or the education of the individual reader." What a perfect example of Learning Graphically! Image credit: abina.org and design.danniver.com
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I came across this comic a while back. It's pretty great! If I remember correctly, there was also a cool section with insights on the transcript and how they went about crafting the story from the research. Very cool!