Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White

Lila Quintero Weaver. Univ. of Alabama, $19.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8173-5714-6
The deep South of the early 1960s was a world with a deep division between black and white, a time explored in this debut autobiographical graphic novel. When the Quinteros, immigrants from Argentina of mixed Indian and Spanish extraction, settle in Marion, Ala., they fit on neither side of that divide. Lila is at first anxious to blend in, refusing to speak Spanish in public or reveal that her family’s breakfasts don’t consist of grits and bacon. The turning point for both Lila and American society comes in 1965, as the civil rights movement inspires African-Americans to demand their voting rights. A brutal, bloody crackdown on an assembly in the Marion town square ensues, resulting in the shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson, whose death spurs the march from Selma to Montgomery. As a witness to injustices and cruelty, and influenced by her pastor father, Lila becomes more reconciled to her differences and hostile to overt and systemic racism in Marion. In beautiful gray-shaded drawings, Weaver depicts the reality of the segregated and newly integrated South and her struggle to position herself as an ally to her black classmates, only to find that it’s a path fraught with pitfalls from both sides of the divide. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2011
Release date: 03/01/2012
Genre: Comics
Ebook - 265 pages - 978-0-8173-8619-1
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