Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is an arresting and moving personal story about childhood, race, and identity in the American South, rendered in stunning illustrations by the author, Lila Quintero Weaver. In 1961, when Lila was five, she and her family emigrated from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Marion, Alabama, in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt. As educated, middle-class Latino immigrants in a region that was defined by segregation, the Quinteros occupied a privileged vantage from which to view the racially charged culture they inhabited. Weaver and her family were firsthand witnesses to key moments in the civil rights movement. But Darkroom is her personal story as well: chronicling what it was like being a Latina girl in the Jim Crow South, struggling to understand both a foreign country and the horrors of our nation’s race relations. Weaver, who was neither black nor white, observed very early on the inequalities in the American culture, with its blonde and blue-eyed feminine ideal. Throughout her life, Lila has struggled to find her place in this society and fought against the discrimination around her.
About the Author
Lila Quintero Weaver received her BA from New College at The University of Alabama. She and her husband,Paul, live in Northport, Alabama. Darkroom is her first book.
“A vivid, insightful, and moving illustrated graphic memoir by Weaver, who emigrated from Argentina to the American South as a young girl in 1961, recounting her impressions of her family’s new and unexpected life in racist, rural Alabama during the civil rights movement. 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.”--Publishers Weekly
“Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is remarkable for its truth-telling about two important issues concerning Alabama’s past and present: the civil rights movement and immigration. These stories, rendered through the words and eyes of a young Latina girl who came from Argentina to Marion, Alabama, are made vivid and immediate through Weaver’s highly accessible drawings and dialogue. This is a book—about maturation, family, education, and social change—every schoolchild, parent, and citizen should experience.”—Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife, Four Spirits, and Adam Eve
“A truly incredible look at the civil rights movement. Darkroom offers a double view of that movement. A gem.” —Nikki Giovanni, author of Gemini and On My Journey Now