Graphic Novel Review: “Strange Fruit Volume II” by Joel Christian Gill

I’m not always good about writing about the graphic novels I read, and I also kind of made it a thing where I’ll only talk about the first one in a series anyway. I’m making a pointed exception in this case, because I think this book and this series (only two volumes right now – hopefully more to come) needs more attention.

Gill has created this volume of short stories, essentially, to tell the stories of remarkable African Americans that are usually overlooked in history. I appreciated the stories shared in STRANGE FRUIT VOLUME I, and was thrilled to find out that Gill continued with more. This actually came out a year ago, and I missed it – so I’m glad I am now caught up.

In this volume, the only story I was vaguely aware of was that of Victor Green, who wrote The Green Book for the Negro Motorist , now subject of the Oscar winning film. (I haven’t seen the film yet). I think my two favorite stories were those of Cathay Williams and Mary Fields. Cathay Williams is the only known female Buffalo Soldier, and Mary Fields drove a stagecoach through a dangerous route, fearless, but also got herself special permission to drink in the town’s tavern (even though she was female) and loved her local baseball team. These are people we should know, and understand that anyone and everyone has it in them to stand up to injustice.

  • Strange Fruit Volume II: More Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History
  • by Joel Christian Gill
  • Fulcrum, 2018
  • 112 pages
  • Source: Library

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