Reviewed by SUSAN E. RICHARDSON
If you’re looking for strong role models for upper elementary girls, search no further than Women in Black History by Tricia Williams Jackson. The author presents the stories of fourteen women who faced poverty, prejudice, and other obstacles, and overcame them through persistence and the power of faith. In the end, all refused to let their experiences turn them to hatred and left an indelible mark on history.
Some of the women, like Coretta Scott King or Mahalia Jackson, may already be familiar. Others, especially from earlier in history, like Phillis Wheatley, may not be. Some were activists. Some simply wanted to use the abilities God had given them, whether for music, literature, or athletics.
No book of this kind can avoid touching difficult issues. The author does an excellent job of speaking the truth about these women’s lives without sensationalizing or condoning what happened. She simply reports what most people accepted as the status quo when each person lived.
Jackson adds a section after each woman’s biography guiding readers to think, imagine, and get creative with specific questions, thought starter, and ideas. Faith remains a central aspect of each story as well.
Readership is not limited to girls, of course, and certainly not limited by race. Christian schools or home schoolers would do well to consider the title to enhance their curriculum. These stories of “courage, faith, and resilience” leave the reader with a greater appreciation of how God can use just one life to change things for everyone.