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Bessie Stringfield: Tales of the Talented Tenth, no. 2

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Winner: Kirkus Reviews, Best Historical Teen Book of 2016 Imagine a five-foot-two-inch-tall woman riding a Harley eight times across the continental United States. Now imagine she is black and is journeying across the country in the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1930s and ’40s. That is the amazing true story of Bessie Stringfield, the woman known today as The Motorcycle Queen Winner: Kirkus Reviews, Best Historical Teen Book of 2016 Imagine a five-foot-two-inch-tall woman riding a Harley eight times across the continental United States. Now imagine she is black and is journeying across the country in the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1930s and ’40s. That is the amazing true story of Bessie Stringfield, the woman known today as The Motorcycle Queen of Miami and the first black woman to be inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame and the Harley Davidson Hall of Fame. Stringfield was a pioneer in motorcycling during her lifetime; she rode as a civilian courier for the US military and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club in Miami, all while confronting and overcoming Jim Crow in every ride.


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Winner: Kirkus Reviews, Best Historical Teen Book of 2016 Imagine a five-foot-two-inch-tall woman riding a Harley eight times across the continental United States. Now imagine she is black and is journeying across the country in the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1930s and ’40s. That is the amazing true story of Bessie Stringfield, the woman known today as The Motorcycle Queen Winner: Kirkus Reviews, Best Historical Teen Book of 2016 Imagine a five-foot-two-inch-tall woman riding a Harley eight times across the continental United States. Now imagine she is black and is journeying across the country in the pre-Civil Rights era of the 1930s and ’40s. That is the amazing true story of Bessie Stringfield, the woman known today as The Motorcycle Queen of Miami and the first black woman to be inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame and the Harley Davidson Hall of Fame. Stringfield was a pioneer in motorcycling during her lifetime; she rode as a civilian courier for the US military and founded the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club in Miami, all while confronting and overcoming Jim Crow in every ride.

30 review for Bessie Stringfield: Tales of the Talented Tenth, no. 2

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dave Schaafsma

    The second in a series by Gill about remarkable African Americans you never heard about. A story for young people with brightly colored art about a woman who was a pioneer in motorcycling in the thirties and forties. A black woman that rode all over the country in a time when there were greater dangers for black women than now, maybe. She founded he iron Horse Motorcycle club, was a civilian courier for the U.S. military. A time of Jim Crow, so a little cornily, the KKK have crow heads. It's mor The second in a series by Gill about remarkable African Americans you never heard about. A story for young people with brightly colored art about a woman who was a pioneer in motorcycling in the thirties and forties. A black woman that rode all over the country in a time when there were greater dangers for black women than now, maybe. She founded he iron Horse Motorcycle club, was a civilian courier for the U.S. military. A time of Jim Crow, so a little cornily, the KKK have crow heads. It's more images of her radiant face, and lifelong recurrent dreams she has, not enough actual anecdotes, stories, not even enough motorcycling! But it's a good and important series for kids.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Marjorie Ingall

    I think some of the negative reviews are from people who wish this were a book for adults. It isn't. It's a *children's book,* and it's one that I think could appeal to reluctant readers. Bessie Stringfield was the first black woman inducted into the Harley Davidson Hall of Fame -- she rode her Harley cross-country in the 1930s, under full-on Jim Crow. What a story! And the art is simple, clean-lined, bold and welcoming. (I hate saying it's cute, but it's also cute.) The graphic novel format wor I think some of the negative reviews are from people who wish this were a book for adults. It isn't. It's a *children's book,* and it's one that I think could appeal to reluctant readers. Bessie Stringfield was the first black woman inducted into the Harley Davidson Hall of Fame -- she rode her Harley cross-country in the 1930s, under full-on Jim Crow. What a story! And the art is simple, clean-lined, bold and welcoming. (I hate saying it's cute, but it's also cute.) The graphic novel format works so well for this narrative, and I think could draw in kids who otherwise would never be drawn to historical non-fiction.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    This is an interesting and well illustrated read. I think this series is perfect for kids. Grade school age and up.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    What a cool lady!! I only wish this had more information, but it is for a younger audience, so I guess it's just right. :) What a cool lady!! I only wish this had more information, but it is for a younger audience, so I guess it's just right. :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marina

    I loved every little things about this graphic novel. The story deserve to be known by a larger audience, the drawing is simple and true and BB was simply a Badass.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    This was quite a biography! What an amazing woman, was Bessie Stringfield. A trailblazer in many ways and a woman who lived her fullest life until the very end. Inspirational. While there was a bit more depth to the illustrations of this than in Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, it still didn't quite "do it for me" artistically. The story is so wonderful though that it is well worth the read. This was quite a biography! What an amazing woman, was Bessie Stringfield. A trailblazer in many ways and a woman who lived her fullest life until the very end. Inspirational. While there was a bit more depth to the illustrations of this than in Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History, it still didn't quite "do it for me" artistically. The story is so wonderful though that it is well worth the read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A biographical sketch that manages to provide only a modest introduction to what seems to be a bold and spirited figure in African American history. Unfortunately for the pacing, motorcycles are not even introduced until about a third of the way through the book and some of Stringfield's major accomplishments seem to get glossed over in the final twenty pages while her five marriages are basically dismissed with a sentence. Too much time is wasted in weak framing and dream sequences. Also, the a A biographical sketch that manages to provide only a modest introduction to what seems to be a bold and spirited figure in African American history. Unfortunately for the pacing, motorcycles are not even introduced until about a third of the way through the book and some of Stringfield's major accomplishments seem to get glossed over in the final twenty pages while her five marriages are basically dismissed with a sentence. Too much time is wasted in weak framing and dream sequences. Also, the artwork was too quirky for my tastes, with the artist choosing to not show the faces of a large number of the secondary characters (the framing sequence interviewer, Stringfield's parents and adoptive mother) and placing crow heads on racist characters like members of the KKK and those who enforce Jim Crow laws. Mostly we're just left with page after page of Stringfield's big smiling face; so much so that she starts to seem more like a brand mascot than a person. Despite the above, Stringfield's giant personality keeps the book afloat and may help it appeal to children.

  8. 5 out of 5

    LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)

    This is a short graphic biography about Bessie Stringfield, badass motorcycle maven and the first African-American to ride solo across the United States. I liked the artwork and learning about Bessie, but I just wish there was more. She seems like a really fascinating woman!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Arca

    I want to know SO MUCH more about her now! I was so intrigued that I couldn't put this one down.. I want to know SO MUCH more about her now! I was so intrigued that I couldn't put this one down..

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    A remarkable woman by anyone's standard Published in 2016 by Fulcrum Publishing. Artist and author Joel Christian Gill is writing and illustrating a series of graphic novels that look into the lives of lesser known, exceptional African Americans. His inspiration is this quote from W.E.B. DuBois: "The Talented Tenth rises and pulls all that are worth saving up to their vantage ground." In other words, some will rise up and inspire/lead the rest. This is Gill's way of providing inspiration. Bessie St A remarkable woman by anyone's standard Published in 2016 by Fulcrum Publishing. Artist and author Joel Christian Gill is writing and illustrating a series of graphic novels that look into the lives of lesser known, exceptional African Americans. His inspiration is this quote from W.E.B. DuBois: "The Talented Tenth rises and pulls all that are worth saving up to their vantage ground." In other words, some will rise up and inspire/lead the rest. This is Gill's way of providing inspiration. Bessie Stringfield (1911 or 1912 to 1993) was a remarkable woman by anyone's standard. Throw in the tough Jim Crow laws of the day and she is more than worthy of the accolades she has received from various motorcycle-based organizations. The motorcycle was her true passion. At the age of 19 she received a motorcycle as a gift and hit the road for the better part of twenty years. She traveled, she raced and she performed in carnivals. Sometimes, she spread out the map of the country, tossed a penny up in the air and then headed off to the location where the penny landed. It was a tough time for African Americans so she hit the road with a copy of the "Green Book" - a guide to restaurants, hotels and gas stations that welcomed African Americans. The book addresses racial issues in a couple of clever ways. Whenever the word n***** is used, a stylized caricature of a man in "blackface" is inserted. Secondly, whenever Stringfield is confronted by racists, they are partially or completely illustrated as crows with angry red eyes. There are crows driving trucks, crows telling her to go other places, crows wearing KKK outfits. Stringfield ends up using her motorcycle skills as a courier for the military during World War II. After the war, she rides outside of the United States as well, but eventually settles down in Miami, Florida. She was called the Motorcycle Queen of Miami. As a teacher... Read more at: https://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2019...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I read a book, a while back, that had Bessie Stringfiled in it, and that was how I found out that she was real, so it is wonderful to find this book about this Black woman motocycle rider from the 1930-1950s. The drawings are a lot of fun, and the attitude shown in the book is great. There is a section where she is running away from the KKK, and she takes a flying leap with her motocycle, and escapes, and all she thinks is, wow, that was fun. When asked why she didn’t do more for the Civil Rights I read a book, a while back, that had Bessie Stringfiled in it, and that was how I found out that she was real, so it is wonderful to find this book about this Black woman motocycle rider from the 1930-1950s. The drawings are a lot of fun, and the attitude shown in the book is great. There is a section where she is running away from the KKK, and she takes a flying leap with her motocycle, and escapes, and all she thinks is, wow, that was fun. When asked why she didn’t do more for the Civil Rights movement, she said, she was going her part, out running the KKK and JIm Crow people who wanted her hide. SHe was the only black woman in the army motocycle core, and rode across the United States 8 times, before the Interstate freeway system was built, so that is an amazing feet. Some of the other reviews complained that we didn’t find out enough about her, but this is a kids book, and it does provide a good overview of her amazing life. Highly recommend this for libraries, home libraries and schools. What a great woman to teach about, for Black History month, or all year round. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Wooohooo! Reading about Bessie Stringfield, the Motorcycle Queen of Miami, gave me such a rush. Told in an oral history recounting, Stringfield shares her memories of her orphaned childhood and her years criss-crossing the country, working in carnivals, serving in the military, and finally settling down. I could have used some more facts about her life, but this is a solid graphic biography for middle grades.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    A 3+ star read for me. Interesting comic that provides a high level view of the fascinating life of motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield. I liked the folk art style of the illustrations and found much of her story pretty interesting. A lot of things get glossed over pretty quickly (her marriages, what she lived on when she wasn't working for the circus or the Army, etc.), especially in the second half of the book, and I really wanted more. Hopefully, this will inspire more work about her. A 3+ star read for me. Interesting comic that provides a high level view of the fascinating life of motorcyclist Bessie Stringfield. I liked the folk art style of the illustrations and found much of her story pretty interesting. A lot of things get glossed over pretty quickly (her marriages, what she lived on when she wasn't working for the circus or the Army, etc.), especially in the second half of the book, and I really wanted more. Hopefully, this will inspire more work about her.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Camee

    This is No. 2 in a series I have to get my hands on more of. I loved reading about Bessie Stringfield, a black woman who rode her motorcycle all over the U.S. and the world, defying racial and gender stereotypes as she rode. She lived an incredible life, and this short graphic novel was full of information about her. Well illustrated and easy to read without being too simplistic.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Great Books

    This is a remarkable graphic novel and true story of the life and adventures of motorcyclist, Bessie Stringfield. Bessie, also known as “The Motorcycle Queen of Miami,” was the first African-American woman to ride solo across the U.S.A. in 1927. reviewer 21

  16. 4 out of 5

    Don Kathke

    Good read about an extraordinary lady. Amazing that a black lady survived riding a motorcycle in the country during some very harsh times. Well worth reading for those interested in either motorcycle or black history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A fast introduction to an amazing woman's life. I wish that there was more information but hopefully this graphic novel will lead others to read more about the astonishing Bessie Stringfield. A fast introduction to an amazing woman's life. I wish that there was more information but hopefully this graphic novel will lead others to read more about the astonishing Bessie Stringfield.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Pop Bop

    Get Your Motor Running Bessie Stringfield is such an interesting and admirable character that almost any biography starts out with a high likelihood of being successful. But that said, the biographer still faces the challenge of capturing the personality and pioneering style of this fascinating woman. Joel Christian Gill wrote two entirely different sorts of graphic novels about Stringfield, and each works well in its own way. The most recent book by Gill is a graphic book aimed at younger readers Get Your Motor Running Bessie Stringfield is such an interesting and admirable character that almost any biography starts out with a high likelihood of being successful. But that said, the biographer still faces the challenge of capturing the personality and pioneering style of this fascinating woman. Joel Christian Gill wrote two entirely different sorts of graphic novels about Stringfield, and each works well in its own way. The most recent book by Gill is a graphic book aimed at younger readers. It follows Bessie as a young girl, and very cleverly focuses on her desire to ride bicycles, and to ride them Fast!. That book, "Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield's First Ride", has a colorful, almost impressionistic, art style, and tells Bessie's story crisply and with a strong inspirational flavor. The book works so well that it would be appealing even if "Bessie Stringfield" were a fictional character and the book was a fictional adventure. Of course it isn't fiction, as Gill makes clear in his endnotes. And this brings us to this longer, earlier published, book. This one is a full graphic biography, although it seems to be aimed at middle school and early YA, (like those old "You Are There" sorts of books), and so is still mostly intended to touch the high points and a brief sketch of Bessie's life. (Since Bessie Stringfield reveled in promoting various fantabulous and romantic personal histories, the idea of a "full" biography is rather fluid. Call this one the "Jamaican version".) We start with young Bessie leaving Jamaica with her parents, losing her mother, being abandoned by her father, being raised in an orphanage, and ultimately being adopted by a childless woman doing her "Christian duty". Wow, and that's before any motorcycles even make their appearance. Once that cycle shows up, Bessie takes off. At this point, because the narrative is set up as Bessie being interviewed by a reporter, the narrative becomes all first person. This works well because we get a sense of Bessie's style and personality as she tells her own story. My bottom line was that this was an effective way to tell Stringfield's story to a younger audience, and an especially effective way to get across the grit and independence of this pioneering woman. The "Talented Tenth" series is a great way to introduce the personal stories of compelling but often overlooked African Americans, and this book is an especially fine and inspirational entry in the series. (Please note that I received a free advance will-self-destruct-in-x-days Adobe Digital copy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wayne McCoy

    'Bessie Stringfield' by Joel Christian Gill is the second entry in his Tales of the Talented Tenth series. This is my introduction to the series and I really liked this story aimed at younger readers. We meet Bessie Smith late in her life, and hear her story from her. She immigrated to America from Jamaica and lost her father and mother in Boston. She adopted by a kind woman amd moved to Florida. Her interest in motorcycles led her to cross the United States 8 times. She served as a civilian cour 'Bessie Stringfield' by Joel Christian Gill is the second entry in his Tales of the Talented Tenth series. This is my introduction to the series and I really liked this story aimed at younger readers. We meet Bessie Smith late in her life, and hear her story from her. She immigrated to America from Jamaica and lost her father and mother in Boston. She adopted by a kind woman amd moved to Florida. Her interest in motorcycles led her to cross the United States 8 times. She served as a civilian courier for the US Army during World War II. The story is fun and positive. The illustrations are colorful and the story, while having it's darker moments, never stays there, but show how Bessie overcame things. I especially love the image of her zooming away from a truck full of crow-headed racists. I received a review copy of this graphic novel from Fulcrum Publishing and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review this graphic novel.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    I almost skipped over this book, but I'm so glad I didn't! This deceptively simple looking graphic novel is so enjoyable. The author is focused on shining a spotlight on talented names in black history who might not be as well known as their white counterparts. I was really taken aback by how positive and uplifting this graphic novel feels. Gill uses illustrations and symbols to stand in for hateful slurs and racial injustice (ie: crow-like people for Jim Crow in the deep South). To me this was I almost skipped over this book, but I'm so glad I didn't! This deceptively simple looking graphic novel is so enjoyable. The author is focused on shining a spotlight on talented names in black history who might not be as well known as their white counterparts. I was really taken aback by how positive and uplifting this graphic novel feels. Gill uses illustrations and symbols to stand in for hateful slurs and racial injustice (ie: crow-like people for Jim Crow in the deep South). To me this was far more powerful than using these words or some censored form of them. Bessie lived a hard life, but her story exudes strength, positivity, and optimism leaving me wanting to know more about the real Bessie Stringfield. My favorite quote from this collection: " But I was blessed in other ways. I think we should focus on those blessings" (pg. 64).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Theediscerning

    This is a very pleasantly presented, and very worthwhile, read about a pioneer from the unsung corners of USA. Bessie's father abandoned her and her dying mother, but she was lucky to be fostered by a woman generous enough to give her a prime birthday wish – a motorbike. Never before had a black woman been so prominent on two wheels – she lived on the road, did wall of death rides and other stunts in the circus, then became a civilian bike courier for the WW2 effort – and mostly in the racist so This is a very pleasantly presented, and very worthwhile, read about a pioneer from the unsung corners of USA. Bessie's father abandoned her and her dying mother, but she was lucky to be fostered by a woman generous enough to give her a prime birthday wish – a motorbike. Never before had a black woman been so prominent on two wheels – she lived on the road, did wall of death rides and other stunts in the circus, then became a civilian bike courier for the WW2 effort – and mostly in the racist south, where coloured citizens needed a Green Book itemising safe dossing, eateries and itineraries. In being very much a child-friendly volume, it will like as not be bought by more school libraries and churches than home audiences, but either way it's worth a place on your 'read' list. Four and a half stars.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Libby

    I wasn't sure I would like this, mostly because I have absolutely no interest in motorcycles. But I found it to be a quick, illuminating, and positive biography of a figure from American history I had never heard of before. I particularly liked the way that Stringfield's experience of the Jim Crow South was portrayed in light of the fact that she always stayed ahead of those who wanted to do her harm, that the ugliness of racial epithets was conveyed without using any swearwords (the "n-word" is I wasn't sure I would like this, mostly because I have absolutely no interest in motorcycles. But I found it to be a quick, illuminating, and positive biography of a figure from American history I had never heard of before. I particularly liked the way that Stringfield's experience of the Jim Crow South was portrayed in light of the fact that she always stayed ahead of those who wanted to do her harm, that the ugliness of racial epithets was conveyed without using any swearwords (the "n-word" is portrayed through a pictorial icon), and that several of her growing-up experiences (being raised first by Catholic nuns, then by a woman who was "doing her Christian duty") were shown to be positive rather than how such situations are normally thought of. The fact that it was a quick read will appeal to kids, and even I liked the motorcycle by the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Travis

    I enjoyed reading about the life of Bessie Stringfield. The story was very basic. I actually wished it was longer. The art is also very basic, with lots of large panels. It felt like a huge swath of her life was skipped, but presumably it was a much less interesting portion than her adventurous youth. When I described the escape from the KKK to my coworker she wrote down the name of the book to the recommend to her nephew. The most notable aspects to me were the pop culture references. Her dream o I enjoyed reading about the life of Bessie Stringfield. The story was very basic. I actually wished it was longer. The art is also very basic, with lots of large panels. It felt like a huge swath of her life was skipped, but presumably it was a much less interesting portion than her adventurous youth. When I described the escape from the KKK to my coworker she wrote down the name of the book to the recommend to her nephew. The most notable aspects to me were the pop culture references. Her dream of falling looked a lot like the movie "Get Out" and her blanket eyes looked like Little Orphan Annie (very fitting since she was effectively an orphan). Her bike jump from the KKK looked like E.T. The book definitely achieved its goal of educating me about an unheralded figure in African American history.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Reba

    For, me, this was too brief! I wanted to know so much more about Bessie Stringfield. I also felt like a lot of content was glossed over. This is where I am kind of stuck with a rating. Obviously, this is aimed at younger readers, and it is not meant to be exhaustive. However, maybe it could have gone a little deeper in parts? I did like the question asked of Mrs. Stringfield towards the end of the book about her part (or lack of a part) in the Civil Rights Movement. I also respect her answer. Ov For, me, this was too brief! I wanted to know so much more about Bessie Stringfield. I also felt like a lot of content was glossed over. This is where I am kind of stuck with a rating. Obviously, this is aimed at younger readers, and it is not meant to be exhaustive. However, maybe it could have gone a little deeper in parts? I did like the question asked of Mrs. Stringfield towards the end of the book about her part (or lack of a part) in the Civil Rights Movement. I also respect her answer. Overall, I love that these series are highlighting these little known heroes and heroines of Black history.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Bessie Stringfield is badass and awesome and keeps popping up in my life lately. The first black woman to be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Stringfield was stubborn and clever and so so cool. Gill does a great job of showing her life from her early youth to her badass elderly lady-ness, framed as Stringfield telling her own life story to a reporter. I liked this better than the Bass Reeves one, I think because it was more coherent and also because I knew what was going on with the Jim Bessie Stringfield is badass and awesome and keeps popping up in my life lately. The first black woman to be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Stringfield was stubborn and clever and so so cool. Gill does a great job of showing her life from her early youth to her badass elderly lady-ness, framed as Stringfield telling her own life story to a reporter. I liked this better than the Bass Reeves one, I think because it was more coherent and also because I knew what was going on with the Jim Crow symbolism this time around. They're both still great books for middle-grade kids, great stories about great people. Essentially, Bessie Stringfield is the best and you should read about her.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I knew basically nothing about Bessie Stringfield before reading this, which is a damn shame. She is fascinating, and this all-ages comic really brings her story to life. I feel like she is one of those people that everyone should hear about. This was just on display at my local library, and I am so glad that I grabbed this copy to read. I also realise this is book two in the series, and I am pumped to read the book about Bass Reeves (although the library does not have a copy yet). Definitely re I knew basically nothing about Bessie Stringfield before reading this, which is a damn shame. She is fascinating, and this all-ages comic really brings her story to life. I feel like she is one of those people that everyone should hear about. This was just on display at my local library, and I am so glad that I grabbed this copy to read. I also realise this is book two in the series, and I am pumped to read the book about Bass Reeves (although the library does not have a copy yet). Definitely recommended!

  27. 5 out of 5

    E

    I love this graphic novel format for learning history. I had only known a little bit about Bessie Stringfield beforehand. This broadened my understanding, and made me want to learn more about who she was, and what she encountered as she traveled on her motorcycle. The illustrations brought her story to life, but it was really told in a broad overview, in a comparatively slim volume of a graphic novel. I really think the graphic novel format served the story well. Especially when handling tougher I love this graphic novel format for learning history. I had only known a little bit about Bessie Stringfield beforehand. This broadened my understanding, and made me want to learn more about who she was, and what she encountered as she traveled on her motorcycle. The illustrations brought her story to life, but it was really told in a broad overview, in a comparatively slim volume of a graphic novel. I really think the graphic novel format served the story well. Especially when handling tougher topics, like the racism she encountered in the Jim Crow era South.

  28. 4 out of 5

    emma

    Bessie crisscrossed the US eight times on her motorcycle, and she was the only woman in the US Army's Civilian Motorcycle Courier Unit- and she did all of this as a black woman, in the age of Jim Crow. This comic follows her from her tragic childhood as an abandoned immigrant child, through her adventures on the road, in a circus, and into the army. This is amazing! I loved learning about such a badass, adventurous woman, and the way her faith wove into everything she did. Bessie crisscrossed the US eight times on her motorcycle, and she was the only woman in the US Army's Civilian Motorcycle Courier Unit- and she did all of this as a black woman, in the age of Jim Crow. This comic follows her from her tragic childhood as an abandoned immigrant child, through her adventures on the road, in a circus, and into the army. This is amazing! I loved learning about such a badass, adventurous woman, and the way her faith wove into everything she did.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Mcavoy

    Bessie Stringfield’s life was one of adventure. Possessed of an indomitable spirit she lived life on her terms. Inspiring, fun and eye-opening. Gill deftly handles the racism of the time, Bessie’s six marriages and inability to have children in an age appropriate way - keeping the focus on what Bessie did, rather than what might have hindered her. The book appears based on an interview and Bessie’s crackling vitality comes through.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue Doherty

    Great account of the life of a little-known figure from both women's and African American history. Bessie was way ahead of her time as an independent woman who set her own course and adventures, and also extremely brave to be traveling alone across the US and into the Deep South during the Jim Crow era. The graphic novel is a great introduction to her life, and it left me wanting to learn more about her. Great account of the life of a little-known figure from both women's and African American history. Bessie was way ahead of her time as an independent woman who set her own course and adventures, and also extremely brave to be traveling alone across the US and into the Deep South during the Jim Crow era. The graphic novel is a great introduction to her life, and it left me wanting to learn more about her.

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