Featured Reads: Women’s History

“Books about Real African Women”

 One Plastic Bag : Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of The Gambia .Miranda Paul, Miranda and Elizabeth  Zunon (illus.) Minneapolis, MN: Millbrook Press, 2015.

In Njau, Gambia, discarded plastic bags littered the roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. But Isatou Ceesay found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community.

Seeds of Change : Planting a Path to Peace. Jen Cullerton Johnson and Sonia Lynn Sadler (illus.) New York: Lee & Low Books, 2010.

Wangari Maathai : The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees. Franck Prévot, and Aurélia Fronty, (illus.) Watertown MA: Charlesbridge, 2015.

A picture book biography of Kenyan environmentalist and political activist Wangari Maathai.

Middle and High School

Abina and the Important Men : A Graphic History.  Trevor R.Getz and Liz Clarke (illus.) New York: Oxford University Press, 2012.

Based on an 1876 court transcript and told in comic-book format, this book tells the story of a West African woman named Abina Mansah, who was wrongfully enslaved, escaped to British-controlled territory, and then took her former master to court.

Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kathleen Sheldon. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2005.

Includes nearly 1,000 entries on notable African women in history, politics, religion, and the arts; African women’s organizations and publications; and a range of topics important to women in general and of special importance for African women, such as marriage, fertility, market women, and goddesses

May I Have This Dance. Connie Manse Ngcaba, South Africa: Cover2Cover Books, 2015. 

Connie Manse Ngcaba tells her story of growing up in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, where she became a nurse, community figurehead and a leading voice of dissent against the apartheid regime, culminating in her being detained for a year without trial at the age of 57.