Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

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Part graphic novel, part memoir, Wake is an imaginative tour-de-force that tells the story of women-led slave revolts and chronicles scholar Rebecca Hall’s efforts to uncover the truth about these women warriors who, until now, have been left out of the historical record.

Women warriors planned and led slave revolts on slave ships during the Middle Passage. They fought their enslavers throughout the Americas. And then they were erased from history.

Wake tells the story of Dr. Rebecca Hall, a historian, granddaughter of slaves, and a woman haunted by the legacy of slavery. The accepted history of slave revolts has always told her that enslaved women took a back seat. But Rebecca decides to look deeper, and her journey takes her through old court records, slave ship captain’s logs, crumbling correspondence, and even the forensic evidence from the bones of enslaved women from the “negro burying ground” uncovered in Manhattan. She finds women warriors everywhere.

Using in-depth archival research and a measured use of historical imagination, Rebecca constructs the likely pasts of Adono and Alele, women rebels who fought for freedom during the Middle Passage, as well as the stories of women who led slave revolts in Colonial New York. We also follow Rebecca’s own story as the legacy of slavery shapes life, both during her time as a successful attorney and later as a historian seeking the past that haunts her.

Illustrated beautifully in black and white, Wake will take its place alongside classics of the graphic novel genre, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis and Art Spiegelman’s Maus. The story of both a personal and national legacy, it is a powerful reminder that while the past is gone, we still live in its wake.

Title:Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts
ISBN:9781982115180
Format Type:

    Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts Reviews

  • Steph

    Have you ever seen something out of the corner of your eye, but when you turn to focus, it's gone? Like invisible forces have shaped everything around you, but you've lost the words to describe the...

  • Alexander Peterhans

    Dr. Rebecca Hall, an African-American historian, has done a lot of intensive research into the underreported or completely forgotten aspects of slavery. In this book we follow part of her research, as...

  • human

    Thank you to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.'Wake' tells the important stories of forgotten female-led slave revolts through a tasteful combina...

  • Jenny Lawson

    Part memoir, part history. So many stories I hadn't heard before....

  • Sheena

    Wake is part memoir and part historical events. Rebecca Hall is a professor doing research on women leading slave revolts. It depicts her struggles and road blocks in trying to find this information w...

  • Riley

    This book needs to be in every school library. Not only was the art phenomenal throughout the graphic novel but the way that story wove between the research of Rebecca and the historical images and te...

  • Chad

    Wake is a graphic memoir about Rebecca Hall's research into slave revolts led by women. It's a difficult story to tell. Both because of the awful subject manner and the lack of records from that time....

  • Kate Savage

    Warning: reading this book opens you to the hauntings of history.All of the past is still right here. It echoes in the waters of the ocean, hides in the reflections of puddles, moves right outside the...

  • Michelle

    Rebecca Hall is a lawyer and historian. Wake is the result of many years of research looking into the history of female slave revolts. I love that this is also telling her story. It gives the reader i...

  • Jessica Haider

    Rebecca Hall is a lawyer and a history professor who ended up going down a rabbit hole while researching one of her cases. She became fascinated with women who led slave revolts in New York. These wom...