Bold Words From Black Women: Inspiration and Truths from 50 Extraordinary Leaders Who Helped Shape Our World (Dr. Tamara Pizzoli)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Bold Words From Black Women: Inspiration and Truths from 50 Extraordinary Leaders Who Helped Shape Our World, written by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli and illustrated by Monica Ahanonu, a gorgeous collection of black female icons and their wise words.

“To say that in order to be accepted we must be stripped of everything that makes us unique is faulty in its very premise.” – Yara Shahidi. This stirring quote, along with 49 others from the same number of brilliant, bold, brave and beautiful black women fill the pages of this absolutely stunning compendium. Each two-page spread features a colorful portrait of its subject alongside an empowering quote and a short blurb on the woman quoted and the quote’s origin. Readers will meet actors, singers, athletes, writers, scientists, politicians, activists, world leaders and more, and be left feeling encouraged, enriched, and inspired by the final page.

A masterpiece. The combination of this masterfully-compiled group of women, their powerful words, and the incredibly eye-catching art and design is a recipe for a perfect title, and Pizzoli and Ananonu deliver, big time. Pizzoli wisely balances her lineup of subjects; there are women from history and modern icons, household names and lesser-known heroes, and women that not only represent a wide range of professions, but also hairstyles, body types, and skintones. Polymaths are identified as such (such as “Dee Dee Bridgewater / Jazz singer. Producer. Songwriter. UN goodwill ambassador.”). The artwork is absolutely striking, employing pop art and color blocking to create powerful larger-than-life portraits. This one takes longer than a storytime to get through, but the large print and remarkable art makes it a title for all ages; JJ and I both loved it. One quibble: actor Amandla Stenberg, who identifies as non-binary, is misgendered by her inclusion. It would have been nice if her blurb had at least mentioned her gender identity, but it did not. Beyond that, this is a flawless book. And while all readers will have something positive to take away from it, the value that this one has for young black girls is limitless. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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