White All Around

White All Around

Written by Wilfrid Lupano & Art by Stéphane Fert

WHITE ALL AROUND is a historically based graphic novel about courage, allyship, and the threat of racism in an even liberal-leaning environment. Beautifully written and illustrated. It draws the reader into a story that examines the darkest period of the U.S., and the courage of those who nearly two centuries later continue to shine.

WHITE ALL AROUND is recommended for ages 12 and up.

WHITE ALL AROUND is based on the life of Prudence Crandall, an American schoolteacher at the Canterbury Female Boarding School and activist. Crandall had what is considered being the first integrated classroom and later operated the first school for black girls (“young Ladies and little Misses of color”) in the United States. The story also follows her students, Sarah Harris Fayerweather, a curious girl with a quick mind and desire to learn, (a teacher’s dream) her sister Mary Harris, and Mary Elizabeth Miles.

The author also created supporting characters vivid and impactful, most notably the nameless boy that terrorizes the community with his recitals of the “Confessions of Nat Turner.” Reminding all that Nat Turner’s violence was a response to the violence of slavery.

The story opens in Canterbury, Connecticut, a city with a significant population of Blacks who were free while slavery flourished in the south. However, the town’s people are ill at ease., a year prior, the Nat Turner revolt in Southampton County, Virginia continued to send shock waves throughout the land.

 Nat Turner was a slave, a preacher, a rebel who became a cult leader, most disturbing about Turner, was that he was a slave that could read.

Prudence Crandall arrives and establishes a school for girls that become successful. It is when she is open to allowing Harris, a black girl into her school that sets in motion events with an outcome that is painful, shocking but all too familiar.

Wilfrid Lupano tells a story of Prudence Crandall’s heroism with empathy and balance.

Stephane Ferte’s art is engaging, capturing the range of emotion of characters with a lush pallet of colors.

It is noteworthy, this powerful tale was published by French publisher Dargaud, and distributed by Europe-Comics.

The last six pages are dedicated to Prudence Crandall, the school and the Black students she empowered.

 Stories like WHITE ALL AROUND are important to remind Americans and the world beyond that its promise of a land free for all is a promise worth fighting for and a fight that one should expect.

AJ Harper is the author of YA series Tales of Urban Horror

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