Rebecca Hall & Hugo Martinez

Author of
  • WAKE
    37 Ink/Atria/S&S

WAKE: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts is a groundbreaking graphic novel about historian Rebecca Hall’s quest to recover the lost stories of enslaved women warriors.

Rebecca Hall is a scholar, activist and educator. She is a graduate of Swarthmore and Berkeley Law, and received her Ph.D. in History with a minor in Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, including the American Historical Association award-winning article on women and slave revolts, titled “Not Killing Me Softly: African American Women, Slave Revolts, and Historical Constructions of Racialized Gender.” She is the granddaughter of slaves.

Hugo Martínez is an independent comic artist depicting narratives of struggle and resilience in the lives of people of color. He is based in New Orleans.

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The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

An historical and imaginative tour-de-force, WAKE brings to light for the first time the existence of enslaved black women warriors, whose stories can be traced by carefully scrutinizing historical records; and where the historical record goes silent, WAKE reconstructs the likely past of two female rebels, Adono and Alele, on the slave ship The Unity.

WAKE is a memoir that gives us invaluable insight into the struggle to survive whole as a black woman in today’s America; it is a historiography that illuminates both the challenges and the necessity of uncovering the true stories of slavery; and it is an overdue reckoning with slavery in New York City where two of these armed revolts took place. It is, also, a transformative and transporting work of imaginative fiction, bringing to three-dimensional life Adono and Alele and their pasts as Ahosi women warriors of Dahomey. In so doing, WAKE illustrates the humanity of the enslaved, the reality of their lived experiences, and the complexity of the history that has been, till now, so thoroughly erased.

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