Six Days in Cincinnati: A Graphic Account of the Riots That Shook the Nation a Decade Before Black Lives Matter
by Dan Méndez Moore Author
A comics journalism account of the first major urban unrest of this century
This is the graphic history of the 2001 Cincinnati riots, told for the first time from the perspective of the participants. When Timothy Thomas, a 19 year old black man, was fatally shot by police, the city broke out into nonviolent civil disobedience that was met with further police violence. This was the first major uprising of the 21st Century, matched only the LA riots a decade before and the protests in Ferguson over a decade later. Author and illustrator Dan Mendez Moore was 17 at the time and participated in the six days of protests that shook the city between Thomas's death and his funeral. Mendez Moore's comics journalism account sensitively captures a fiery moment in U.S. history through interviews with protestors, community leaders, bystanders, and a frustrated looter. He portrays the tension of a city boiling over, political leaders taking advantage, and an inner-city community coming together. Six Days in Cincinnati is an all-American story of systemic racism and the power of popular movements, more relevant today than ever before.
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Comments & Reviews
"...an incredible valuable contribution and presents a history that might otherwise be lost in an engaging way."
“...personal, heartbreaking and relevant.”
"the inclusion of first-hand interviews accompanied by physical drawings of the interviewees gives a greater sense of inclusion than one usually finds in a more traditional historical text."
"...moving, informative, and provides an immediacy and emotional urgency to the story that text alone rarely conveys."
"immediate and thorough enough to help contextualize the long history of black reaction to police violence."
"The author has captured, through illustrated journalism, a burning moment of the recent history of the United States."
"...introduces readers to an event that in a few years may be representative of the recent reemergence of community demonstrations against excessive police violence. "
"With no end to police violence in sight, a work like Six Days in Cincinnati makes both an appropriate fit for the genre and the modern day."
"...a perfect example of some of the events that led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement."
"...a story about individual human beings and how we choose to act when faced with seemingly insurmountable forces."
"Kudos to Moore for documenting this episode in the on-going civil rights battle"
"...The book gives the reader the opportunity to look back on this forgotten (by some but surely not all) event and judge with their own eyes. My judgment? Despair, resignation and finally hope."
"Mark Twain Was Right is both intimate and educational,"
-Claire Glass, Gapers Block
"The Cincinnati riots are a major moment in recent American history and the roots and causes of the anger and sadness that took over that city for days deserve your attention as much as anything on a comic store shelf. It’s one of those rare instances where comics aren’t just telling this important story better than other media, comics is the only one telling it. Support a unique voice, support a worthwhile book, and get yourself a great book all at the same time. "
Matthew Rosenberg, The Daily Planet
"Moore reports some of the story from his direct observation, and the rest through a series of flashback interviews with others who were directly involved. Moore and the other narrators are unflinchingly honest, revealing their mistakes and regrets along with the passion for justice that motivated their actions."
"Dan P. Moore’s ’zine-like graphic comic book Mark Twain Was Right: The 2001 Cincinnati Riots, a 92-page paean he calls “journalism as narrative” that chronicles, in back-and-forth time travel mixing memoir, first-person narrative and interviews, the week preceding Thomas’ shooting death.
MTWR is as much Moore’s coming-of-age story as it is Cincinnati’s and OTR’s."
-Kathy Y. Wilson, Cincinnati City Beat
I honestly had no idea that for a week back in 2001 Cincinnati was embroiled in some intense race riots over excessive (and repeated) abuse from the police. I mean, the city was nearly under martial law while thousands protested in the streets, busted into city hall, demanded justice, and basically got all socially aware on the powers that be. This book documents it all in comic book form, and it’s a good read I gotta say. History is always way more fun when it’s in comic book form...The story tends to play out in more of an oral biography, taking the stories and experiences of a wide range of citizens involved in some way or another with what happened.
"his journalistic instincts and story-telling chops make this graphic novel a compelling account of an important event in U.S. race relations. Like Joe Sacco's Footnotes in Gaza, Moore doesn't let us forget the smaller, forgotten battles in the larger struggle."
"you can feel the almost palpable forward energy of this story on nearly every page. [...] Mark Twain Was Right is a great example of comic as reportage, and comics as a way to convey complex ideas in a way that no other artform can convey them."