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


  • Safety tips to follow when using gas or charcoal grills

    Following safety procedures when grilling can reduce injury and save lives

    Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for many New Yorkers, and with it, the start of the grilling season. As New Yorkers get ready to fire up their grills this Memorial Day weekend, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) reminds consumers to consider some important safety tips for safe summer barbecues. read more »
  • Tips to help avoid moving scams

    Be aware of deceptive business practices

    For this week’s “Tuesday’s Tips,” the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection provides consumers with important tips to avoid scams when moving. Moving your belongings can be a stressful process, and unfortunately scammers use these situations to defraud consumers out of thousands of dollars by using deceptive business practices. read more »
  • 4 things parents and youth athletes should know about concussions

    Every person and every concussion is different

    Despite the attention drawn to the topic of concussions over the past decade, it can be difficult to find readily available answers about what parents and young athletes should do after sustaining a concussion. read more »
  • How to keep feet and ankles in tip top shape this summer

    Experts offer tips for you and your family

    Summer fun and chores alike come with potential hazards to feet. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, here’s how to protect feet and ankles from the most common seasonal hazards. read more »
  • Confused by nutrition labels? You’re not alone

    How to read the packaging on your groceries

    Shopping for groceries can be like navigating a maze: so many choices in every aisle, food packages covered in marketing claims, and little direction on what is truly healthy and what isn’t. People want to make healthy choices for themselves and their families, but how can they when the information available to them can be so overwhelming? read more »
  • Thoughtful gift ideas for Mother's Day

    Make your mom smile on her special day

    To show your mom just how much she means to you, choose a Mother’s Day gift that reflects her interests and passions. As you’re looking for the perfect gift, consider these thoughtful ideas that will touch her heart. read more »
  • How high-speed internet can help spark community vitality

    Let's get internet everywhere

    Most Americans consider high-speed internet an essential household service. Yet in rural America, an estimated 25% of the population doesn’t have broadband access, limiting their economic growth and access to career opportunities and resources such as education and health care. read more »
  • Girls on the Run launches new curriculum

    Meeting the needs of today's girls

    Girls on the Run International (GOTRI), a nationally recognized nonprofit that empowers young girls, has launched its new research-based curriculum intentionally designed to meet the needs of today's girls. Entitled Hello, Superstar!, the innovative curriculum helps girls build the confidence to be themselves through meaningful and engaging lessons and activities that keep them moving. read more »
  • From awareness to action: Learning.com's commitment to supporting healthy relationships with technology for kids

    Learning.com shares resources aimed at creating positive digital experiences for children

    As the world observes Mental Health Awareness Month this May, Learning.com, a leading provider of digital literacy solutions, is taking proactive steps to address a pressing issue: the need for young learners to develop healthy relationships with technology. Recognizing that banning technology isn't the solution, Learning.com is engaging educators and parents in the conversation and providing free tools and resources during the month of May aimed at supporting the creation of positive digital experiences for children. Through an informative webinar with experts in the field on May 21, Learning.com will foster discussions that aim to help students build healthy relationships with technology. read more »
  • 4 trends showing mental health is a continued challenge for Americans

    People with outward appearances of success, productivity and happiness often still deal with internal struggles. Mental health challenges continue to affect Americans, with nearly 3 of 4 (73%) U.S. adults reporting struggles with mental health in 2023. read more »