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




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