Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History (Hardcover)
An inspiring and radical celebration of 70 women, girls, and nonbinary people who have changed—and are still changing—the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.
With a radical and inclusive approach to history, Modern HERstory profiles and celebrates seventy women and nonbinary champions of progressive social change in a bold, colorful, illustrated format for all ages. Despite making huge contributions to the liberation movements of the last century and today, all of these trailblazers come from backgrounds and communities that are traditionally overlooked and under-celebrated: not just women, but people of color, queer people, trans people, disabled people, young people, and people of faith. Authored by rising star activist Blair Imani, Modern HERstory tells the important stories of the leaders and movements that are changing the world right here and right now—and will inspire you to do the same.
About the Author
Blair Imani is a critically acclaimed historian, author, educator, and influencer. The New York Times praised her unique ability to create “progressive lessons with vibrant visuals and a perky, quirky delivery.” Her viral microlearning series Smarter In Seconds demonstrates her signature style of making abstract concepts more concrete in a well-researched, well-presented, and concise manner. She is the author of Read This to Get Smarter about Race, Class, Gender, Disability, and More; Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream; and Modern HERstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People Rewriting History. Her work centers women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQ community. As an educator and influencer, semi-retired organizer, and public speaker, Blair Imani is dedicated to making the world a better place and amplifying the voices and work of those fighting the good fight.
“Activist, journalist, and founder of the non-profit Equality for HER, Imani’s book is the one we need during the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements…This collection would be a welcome addition to any introductory women’s, gender, and sexuality studies course. It should also be shared among feminists and those passionate about fighting oppression based on class, disability, gender, race, and sexuality.”
– Library Journal (starred review)
“Blair Imani is an agent of social change who uses her background in grassroots activism to tell the stories of revolutionaries, both past and present, who are the catalysts of change our world so desperately needs, but you don’t have to take my word for it.”
–LeVar Burton, actor, educator, and activist
“Modern HERstory should be required reading for everyone.”
–Tegan and Sara
“Blair Imani educates readers about the HERstory of unsung heroes who work tirelessly to make the world a better place for all, while simultaneously blazing a trail of her own as a pioneer in activism for the next generation. Today, so many young women and LGBTQ people lack positive role models, and this book is an important step to inspiring the next generation of people to aim high and be proud.”
–Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD
“Blair Imani has given us an encyclopedia not just of the often overlooked in history, but also of the people who are changing the direction of our country today—this is who to follow, watch, celebrate, and emulate. We need these role models and fighters—and this book!”
–Dawn Laguens, executive vice president and chief brand officer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
"Modern HERstory shines a remarkable light on important figures from our past, while inspiring new generations to be bold, courageous, and unafraid to stand up for what is right."
–Andrew Aydin, National Book Award–winning author of March and Run
“Through powerful storytelling and bright images, Blair Imani sends a clear message to next-generation activists and changemakers--this is their moment, they are the present, the now, and yes, the future. Instead of waiting to be passed the proverbial torch, the heroes in Imani's book claim their role as torchbearers whose lights are blazing inspiring trails for each of us to follow.”
–Jamia Wilson, executive director and publisher of Feminist Press
“I had chills while reading this entire book. THE ENTIRE BOOK. I was moved, inspired, and informed by the stories of these unbelievable people. I was also indignant: how could my history classes not have included such important pioneers?! Run out immediately and purchase multiple copies to send to your friends. I promise, they'll thank you.”
–Claire Wasserman, CEO and founder of Ladies Get Paid
“Changing society’s narrative often requires us to look back over our historical mosaic; admit what we got wrong; recognize who was silenced, marginalized or erased; and then reorganize and rewrite. Modern HERstory offers an inclusive approach to this kind of truth-telling.”
–Monica Lewinsky, anti-bullying advocate
“Modern HERstory is an empowering and educational read, filled with the stories of activists you should know and names that should fill our history books. In these turbulent political times, Blair Imani's first book reminds us that the change we need will only come from a coalition of activists working across differences and movements.”
–Sarah McBride, author of Tomorrow Will Be Different
“Blair Imani's Modern HERstory is a major contribution to the exhausting and endlessly important project of broadening our shared narrative. I wish I had a book like this growing up.”
–Lauren Duca, award-winning journalist
“Blair Imani's book is essential reading. These powerful stories of activism and bravery will amaze and inspire. This book opens our ears to the neglected voices of herstory. May those voices--and many more--be heard!”
–Emma Sulkowicz, artist and activist
"Blair Imani's Modern HERstory is like a woman's heart. Filled with compassion, understanding, and acceptance, the book embraces women of diverse experiences, including transwomen like myself, in order to inspire people to aspire and work for a happier and more inclusive society for all. When you feel like giving up, you have got to read this book!”
–Representative Geraldine Roman, first openly transgender member of the Philippines Congress
"With Modern HERstory, Blair Imani provides readers with crucial insight to understanding modern social justice movements in a way that is both vital and accessible. By shining a light on contemporary women and nonbinary people who are making history in real time, some lesser known than others, Imani reminds readers that heroes can emerge from anywhere, that activism takes many shapes and forms, and that history is not simply a matter of the past but something occurring in real time and in powerfully unexpected ways. The people presented here do not represent a new type of activism; rather, they represent people who've long been present in freedom movements and are too often overlooked."
–Bree Newsome, artist and activist
"Modern HERstory is a necessary part of any budding revolutionary’s library. Blair Imani has compiled over 70 stories of self-actualization from figures across a wide array of faith traditions, cultural origins, and social strata. It’s a major and inspiring feat that is necessary for our times. Everyone should feel represented, and Imani’s work elevates and preserves the history of women and femmes in a way that is empowering for diverse women/femmes everywhere. As a grassroots community organizer, I’m using this book as a resource so that I am grounded in all the ways women/femmes have fought for our collective liberation. This is a clear reminder of the power that all women/femmes have, and of the magical ways in which, despite the forms of violence we face, we exist, resist and create together.”
–Rana Abdelhamid, CEO and founder of MALIKAH, gender justice organizer
"A lively collective portrait of passionate, pioneering women and nonbinary people."
". . .accessible, awe-inspiring. . . .a new textbook of history’s heroes, free of erasure and white-male bias. . . .Imani’s collection is galvanizing and hopeful, leaving the radicals of tomorrow with proof that all people—no matter their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or abilities—can change the world."
–Booklist (starred review)
". . .an important introduction to social justice work, specifically that which pertains to racial, sexual, religious, and ableist discrimination and oppression. It provides a quick and accessible reference source for anyone interested in how change can be effected from various levels, from the academic front to grass-roots movements. It will show readers that activists are not monolithic and that they themselves are never too young, small, or different to work toward change. A crucial message of inclusivity and sensitivity is present throughout. This engaging work is about movers and shakers—folks who made moves and shook up the status quo for the betterment of all."