A gripping graphic novel looks at four infamous days in our history



The story of prisoners' stand at Attica in 1971

A gripping graphic novel looks at four infamous days in our history


Big Black: Stand at Attica

This graphic novel, written from an ex-prisoner's point-of-view, Frank Big Black Smith, is a raw and powerful look at the four days of uprising at the Attica State Prison in upstate NY. The illustrations are graphic and, at times, horrific. Inhumane treatment of the prisoners, constant racial slurs, and the views of our government at the time will make you cringe…and think.

This is a must-read for all teens and adults. 

It shows the stark reality of just how prejudice has affected this country from the top to the bottom.  A great opener to all kinds of discussions that are difficult but should absolutely be had with your kids.

Publisher Simon and Schuster post on their site: “In the summer of 1971, the New York’s Attica State Prison is a symbol of everything broken in America – abused prisoners, rampant racism and a blind eye turned towards the injustices perpetrated on the powerless. But when the guards at Attica overreact to a minor incident, the prisoners decide they’ve had enough – and revolt against their jailers, taking them hostage and making demands for humane conditions. 

READ MORE: The Graphic Novel - Modern Stories in Pictures

Frank “Big Black” Smith finds himself at the center of this uprising, struggling to protect hostages, prisoners, and negotiators alike. But when the only avenue for justice seems to be negotiating with ambitious Governor Nelson Rockefeller, Big Black soon discovers there may be no hope in finding a peaceful resolution for the prisoners in Attica.”

I read this book from cover to cover in just one sitting. 

The story is compelling and truly makes one think about how we treat people who are different from us today. These men experienced horrific torture at the hands of police. All they really wanted was to be treated humanely. With one shower a week, a bar of soap and roll of toilet paper a month, they were hardly able to live with dignity at all. 

With all the political unrest and social injustice in our country right now, we need to see more books like this.

You can buy this book on Simon and Schuster or Amazon.

Find Big Black: Stand at Attica on Facebook and Twitter

About the authors:

Frank “Big Black” Smith was a prisoner at Attica State Prison in 1971. He, along with other prisoners, led a rebellion against the injustices of the prison system which remains one of the bloodiest civil rights confrontations in American history. After the riots, he became one of the leading voices in the court case the prisoners brought against the state of New York.

Jared Reinmuth. has worked as an actor, writer, teacher, director and songwriter. He began his collaboration with Frank “Big Black” Smith in 1997 while assisting his step-father, famed Attica attorney Dan Meyers. In 2017 he paired up with Pearl Battle Smith and artist Ameziane to create Big Black: Stand at Attica.

Bios from Simon and Schuster website and book




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • 5 tips to help you land a new job

    A solid interview can help you close the deal

    With so many job openings these days, you may think you’ll have an easy time sliding into a new role. Not so fast. Because of the huge number of options available and plenty of workers contemplating changes, you’re likely to encounter some competition to land the job you want. read more »
  • Healthy habits for your home

    5 tips to help you out

    If you’re like most Americans, health is an important aspect of your resolutions when each new year rolls around. While factors like diet and exercise are keys to healthy living, so are the ways you care for your home and belongings. read more »
  • 5 heart health tips for the holidays

    Keep your family safe during this festive season

    Food, drinks, gifts and time with family make the holidays a merry occasion for people across the country. However, all that celebrating can sometimes become a distraction from maintaining heart health. read more »
  • 10 health resolutions doctors encourage you to make today

    These actions you can take are some of the most important

    The New Year represents a fresh start and is the perfect time to invest in your health. However, you may be unsure what resolutions will have the biggest impact. Doctors say that the easy, tangible actions you take are some of the most important. read more »
  • 5 tips to help families manage holiday stress

    The holiday season can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed

    ’Tis the season for holiday parties, travel, hosting and more. While it is a joyous time of year, the never-ending to-do lists and school being out of session can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed, children included. read more »
  • A foil packet meal for sweet fall simplicity

    Delicious and easy dinner with sweet potatoes

    Fall provides almost endless opportunities to gather friends and family around great food. From tailgates and family events to those precious last outdoor meals before winter sets in, the scenery of autumn is a perfect backdrop for sharing meals together. read more »
  • 5 steps for better meal prep

    Eat healthier and save time

    Eating healthier and saving time around the house are common goals for many families, and there’s one solution that can help attain both: meal-prepping. By planning and preparing meals in advance of each week, you can practice better portion control while creating free time for normally hectic mornings, afternoons and evenings. read more »
  • How to keep pets happy and healthy this holiday season

    7 tips to help you spot potential hazards for your furbaby

    The holiday season means fun and festivities for all, but getting wrapped up in all the excitement and celebrations can lead to forgetting about safety and precautions, especially for pets. read more »
  • Thanksgiving traditions and memory-making meals

    2 mouth-watering recipes everyone will love

    Starting with parades and ending with family meals, Thanksgiving provides all-day opportunities for celebrating life’s special moments with those nearest and dearest to your heart. read more »
  • How to protect your home and valuables this holiday travel season

    Protect your assets when you hit the road

    Whether you’re visiting your in-laws or taking a tropical vacation over the holidays, you’ll likely be leaving your house and the majority of your belongings unattended while you’re gone. Recent research suggests that if you’re like many Americans, you may not be doing enough to protect your assets when you hit the road. read more »