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Descrição da editora
The revolutionary life of an 18th-century dwarf activist who was among the first to fight against slavery and animal cruelty.
Prophet Against Slavery is an action-packed chronicle of the remarkable and radical Benjamin Lay, based on the award-winning biography by Marcus Rediker that sparked the Quaker community to re-embrace Lay after 280 years of disownment. Graphic novelist David Lester brings the full scope of Lay’s activism and ideas to life.
Born in 1682 to a humble Quaker family in Essex, England, Lay was a forceful and prescient visionary. Understanding the fundamental evil that slavery represented, he would unflinchingly use guerrilla theatre tactics and direct action to shame slave owners and traders in his community. The prejudice that Lay suffered as a dwarf and a hunchback, as well as his devout faith, informed his passion for human and animal liberation. Exhibiting stamina, fortitude, and integrity in the face of the cruelties practiced against what he called his “fellow creatures,” he was often a lonely voice that spoke truth to power.
Lester’s beautiful imagery and storytelling, accompanied by afterwords from Rediker and Paul Buhle, capture the radicalism, the humor, and the humanity of this truly modern figure. A testament to the impact each of us can make, Prophet Against Slavery brings Lay’s prophetic vision to a new generation of young activists who today echo his call of 300 years ago: “No justice, no peace!”
Lester (1919) captures the overlooked legacy of a fiery abolitionist who became "the most disowned Quaker of his era" in this raw graphic biography. In the early 1700s, the Quakers branded member Benjamin Lay (1682 1759) a "troublemaker" for his tirades against slavery, and protests such as smashing tea cups ("torture" sweetened) in Philadelphia commons. The text that Lester adapts is drawn from a biography by historian Marcus Rediker, who provides context in an in-depth afterword, which helps guide the reader chronologically through impressionistic comics. Lay clashed with colonial American society due to his politics, his class, and his body (he had dwarfism). Living on a sugar plantation in Barbados, Lay observed firsthand the horrors of slavery and spoke out against white plantation owners who called themselves Christians: "Slavery is the devil's work and you are his agents." In documenting a life rife with cruelty and passion, Lester's artwork is aptly grim and features rough linework that's splashed with gray washes and black ink blots that evoke blood, smoke, and shadows; though digital font clashes with the hand-drawn quality. Lay spent his life fighting for abolition, women's rights, and equality causes that he never saw come to light. But, in a coarse hand, Lester captures Lay's slogan "No justice, no peace!" and how it reverberates across time.