Hello Readers Happy Spring! I wanted to get this review out during Women’s History Month but didn’t get around to finish reading it so I figured I’ll review it during spring. This book was given to me by a brother and mentor Gera Marian during a Rooted In Community retreat.
The book is called Revolutionary Women a Book of Stencils by Queen of the Neighborhood Collective which is “A radical feminist history and street art resource for inspired readers! This book combines short biographies with striking and usable stencil images of thirty women activists, anarchists, feminists, freedom-fighters, and visionaries.”
This book was made by Queen of the Neighbourhood an all-women collective of writers, researchers, editors and graphic designers originally hailing from Aotearoa/New Zealand. This book is a great book for girls who are passionate about the struggle and who are looking for females who are strong and resilient. Willing to fight for their country and their people while standing up for what they believe in. These women will go to the end of the earth to fight for what they believe in and stand right beside or go against their male counter parts. It’s a very dynamic book for budding revolutionaries to see how women have a voice in social change.
The book starts from the 1820s and goes all the way to the 1970s. It has some of the revolutionary heroes you hear about throughout history like Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis and Malalai Joya as well as many other women you might never have herd of like Emma Goldmen, Dame Whina Cooper, and Doria Shafik. Now what I like a lot about this book is that most of these women were just regular people either put into difficult situations or unfair circumstances by their society for being a female.
Take Doria Shafik who fought for women’s rights in Egypt in the mid-1900s. She was just a student at Sorbonne in Paris who decided to write a journal called Bint Al-Nil (Daughter of the Nile) in 1945 as “a vehicle for educating Egyptian and Arab women in the profound sense of that term-awakening their consciousness.” Another example is Dame Whina Cooper (Hohepine Te Wake) who fought for Maori land rights and women in New Zealand in the early 1900s. Whina came from a rural area in New Zealand and being her father’s favorite was promited to go to school. She started her freedom fighting by protest a Pakeha or white New Zealander farmer who was draining an estuary from which Maori used to gather seafood. The farm’s lease was drug through court while Whina and her friends filled in drains as fast as the farmer dug them. The protesters were charged with trespassing but the lease was withdrawn.
These women were just average women who saw injustice in their community and took it into their own hands and made a change for the better. That is something I love and really shows young girls and people in general that you don’t have to have a lot of power or presence you can be the girl from a small town and still have power to effect change all you have to do is recognize that there is an injustice going on and have the willingness and drive to change it.
Some of these women where even during war times and would dress up as men to serve with the them as equals but one women changed this narrative by saying “…I no longer think it’s necessary to prove ourselves as women by imitating men. I have learned that a women can be a fighter, a freedom fighter, a political activist, and that she can fall in love, and be loved, she can be married, have children, be a mother…” Revolution must mean life also; every aspect of life.”
The speeches, writings and accounts of each women’s struggles and triumphs in the end really paints a vivid picture of what it is like to fight for your beliefs.
The stencils add a bonus so you too can commemorate these women and their bold actions through the reproduction of their likeness. With stories of 30 incredible women fighting for the rights of women everywhere this defiantly is a powerful book to spark a light in every little activists mind.
Some of my favorite women from this book are:
Emma Goldman who was an activist/femenist in St. Petersburg during the early-1900s.
Dame Whina Cooper (Hihepine Te Wake) who was a land rights activist and fighter for Maori women’s rights in mid-1900s New Zealand.
Doria Shafik an Egyptian activist for women’s rights in Egypt during the mid-1900s.
Lolita Lebron was a political dissident and longterm prisoner working for liberated Puerto Rico in the late-1940s.
Hannie Schaft was a resistance fighter who helped Dutch Jews, and carried out assassinations and died a matyr at the hands of the Gestapo in 1945.
Haydee Santamaria Cuadrado helped fight in the Cuban revolution alongside one of my personal idols Che Guavera in the late-1900s.
Angela Davis an African American freedom fighter in the ‘60s who was apart of the Black Panthers as well as fighting the prison industrial complex.
Leila Khaled is a Palestinian freedom fighter, a hijacker turned politician.
Anna Mae Aquash was one of the most active and prominent females in the American Indian Movement and was killed at the hands of the FBI in 1976.
Till Next Time Stay Revolutionary & Fight The Powers That Be! ✊🏽