cover image Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem

Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem

April Ryan. Amistad, $27.99 (190p) ISBN 978-0-06-321019-6

Journalist Ryan (The Presidency in Black and White) mixes memoir and history in this passionate look at how Black women leaders combat racism and sexism in “a world that wasn’t built for them but needs them more than ever.” Praising a litany of “sheroes” for their leadership, sacrifices, and commitment, Ryan notes that three Black women—Vice President Kamala Harris, Supreme Court justice Ketanji Brown-Jackson, and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre—currently hold positions at the highest levels of government. Ryan also reflects on Black women’s strength as a crucial but unacknowledged building block for American democracy; details grassroots efforts to combat “micro- and macro-aggressions inside and outside the home”; reflects on her own battles against sexism and racism as a single mother and the only Black woman in the White House press corps until 2018; and profiles historical figures (abolitionist Harriet Tubman; presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm) and contemporary leaders (gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams; California congresswoman Maxine Waters). At times, Ryan’s prose reaches a prayer-meeting fervency, extolling Black women as “truth-tellers” who “mobilize the conscience of a country that is too slow to act on what’s right.” Forceful and inspired, this is a rousing praise song for strong Black women. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Ultra Literary. (Oct.)