“Not only a riveting tale of Black women’s leadership of slave revolts but an equally dramatic story of the engaged scholarship that enabled its discovery.”—Angela Y. Davis, Political Activist and Professor Emerita, Departments of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

“Dr. Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martínez connect the past and the present in a moving and exciting narrative that brings to light the history of slavery in the United States. Showing how enslaved women resisted slavery, even though their participation in rebellions remain largely absent from written records, WAKE will be a crucial tool to introduce students to the problematic nature of slavery primary sources.”—Ana Lucia Araujo, Professor of History, Howard University

WAKE is a revelation. Hall’s prose intersects with Martinez’s beautiful woodcut-styled illustrations to show the power of visual narratives and hearkens back to graphic masters like Lynd Ward and Frans Masereel. The stark play of light and dark in Martinez’s work is a powerful index for the spiritually surreal and transcendent energy in every panel. Hall’s writing cleverly flows between the reality of her research on Black women-led slave revolts and speculative imaginings that uncover the spectrum of human experience and resilience.”—John Jennings, Eisner Award-winning illustrator of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Parable of the Sower graphic novels

“In this beautiful and moving graphic novel, historian Rebecca Hall unearths a history so often overlooked: the significant role Black women played in leading slave revolts. Through Hugo Martinez’s vivid graphics, combined with Hall’s brilliant insights and powerful storytelling, Wake transports the reader to a moment in time when a group of Black women set out to overturn the institution of slavery in British North America. Their courageous story, told with remarkable skill and elegance, offers hope and inspiration for us all.”— Keisha N. Blain, award-winning author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom and co-editor of the NYT Bestselling 400 Souls

“I was born to tell these stories,” Rebecca Hall writes. “Our memories are longer than our lifetimes.” Haunted, she bears witness to this transformative fact. The text is spare, informed, tuned to vibrating feeling and thought about historical and contemporary Black women’s agency and actions in resistance and rebellion. As powerful as the text are the astonishing graphics. Page after page, the black and white line drawings layer space to probe pasts, presents, and futures in repeating mirror effects. These drawings brought me to tears, recognition, fury, gratitude, solidarity. In both pain and joy in struggle, Hall gives her readers “ancestry in progress.” Consequences flow from living in the wake, admitting the haunting power of histories. Tuned to needed futures, Hall knows, “They await our signal.” —Donna Haraway, Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department and Feminist Studies Department, UCSC

“Knowing differently is key to the movement as we newly reckon with what has been memorialized in our past. We are lucky to be in Rebecca Hall’s wake as we look again toward the future, with fresh eyes from visualizing a deeper relationship to the revolutionary black feminist spirit that brought us here.”—Gina Dent, Associate Professor in Feminist Studies, UC Santa Cruz

“In Wake, Rebecca Hall and Hugo Martinez use the graphic medium to stunning effect. More than just a history, Wake is a meaningful engagement with a living past. Read this book slowly. Savor the visual metaphors. Let them take you back in time while Hall’s narration pins you to the uncomfortable present. Make your reading a shared journey with friends or classmates who can help you uncover the deep meanings and cope with the emotions it raises. This book will haunt you the way that the legacies of slavery haunt this country.”—Trevor Getz, Professor of African and World History and author of Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History

Rebecca Hall has done something quite important in WAKE The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts. She makes accessible the historian’s craft in the service of telling the powerful stories of women-led slave revolts. With the moving illustrations of Hugo Martinez and the impressive storytelling of Hall, we are transported into 1712, 1708, and the 400 year history of the Black Atlantic, gaining a deeper sense of women-led uprisings. Mincing no words, Hall captures the fierceness of Black women’s resistance. Infusing the text with her personal story and a sharp historical imagination, Hall never waivers in giving life to this history. She lifts the veil on enslaved women’s leadership in the relentless pursuit of freedom. She brings into the present stories that must be read and passed on.—Rose M. Brewer, Professor, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

“We that live in the wake of centuries of white supremacy feel the hidden history of our ancestors ‘ struggle to survive uncovered in this book. In its pages we not only feel their sorrow in bondage, but also their elation when they finally broke free.”–Ben Passmore, author of Your Black Friend and Other Strangers

A lot of Black history is uncelebrated narratives, but even within that history there are narratives that are especially overlooked; these tend to be the stories of Black women. Rebecca Hall’s diligent research and intelligent storytelling has flipped that script to celebrate the brave enslaved Black women who fought and died for their freedom with dignity. Hugo Martinez’s expressive art brings these women to vivid life on the page.—Joel Christian Gill, author of Strange Fruit and Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence