Darkroom by Lila Quintero Weaver


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,...

Details Darkroom

Release DateMar 1st, 2012
PublisherUniversity Alabama Press
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Comics, History

Reviews Darkroom

  • David Schaafsma
    A first book, written in the author's middle age, as a special project for completion of her BA. Sort of came out of the blue for me; a first book, a university press, not a known comics artist, a memoir about the civil rights movement told by an Argentinian-American who grew up in the South in the sixties. . . so I was skeptical, actually; or, I thought this would be earnest and somewhat naive and "unpolished." Snobbish expectations? So I was wr...
  • El
    To give you an idea of the sort of person I am, my boss recently asked me if I wanted to participate in the committee meeting soon to pick a book for everyone on campus to read in the fall semester. As previously mentioned in another review, you can wave a book in my face and I'll follow you to the ends of the earth. Tell me I have the opportunity to be on a committee that tells students, staff, and faculty what to read excites me to no end. Toni...
  • Raina
    When I picked up this book, I was initially skeptical. It's a paperback published by a university press, the cover design isn't awesome, and it's a graphic novel memoir about the southern civil rights movement from the perspective of someone who 1. has never published anything - much less a graphic novel - before, and 2. isn't black. Wow, were those first impressions offbase.Quintero Weaver tells the story of her childhood immigration to Marion, ...
  • Edward Sullivan
    An exceptional graphic memoir. Lila Quintero was a young girl when she immigrated from Argentia to Marion, Alabama with her family in the 1960s where she witnessed segregation and racial violence. A personal story that offers wonderful insights into the immigrant experience and the Civil Rights Movement from a unique perspective.
  • W.
    I ran across this book and author by chance at the Arkansas Literary Festival this past April. It is a rare look at the civil rights movement: from the perspective of Latino immigrants to Alabama. Given Alabama's immigration laws today, this book is a reminder of how the past is prologue.
  • Alisha Fish
    This week I decided on reading another graphic novel because I loved everything about the first one we read. This memoir, in particular, was suggested to me by a previous professor at UGA. I have always been interested in the civil rights movement, and this covers it beautifully. It's about a Latino girl Lila and her family living in Marion, Alabama in the year of 1961. Lila an outsider to segregation because she isn't of African American heritag...
  • Frances
    This was such a good read; I ate it. The story of a young Argentinian girl, immigrating to the Deep South during the civil rights era, was captivating and added a new perspective on a familiar story. The perspective and context of this graphic novel made it relevant to discussions going on today. I found the artwork and different mediums and perspectives used to be "indie" and right but my alley. I am proud to have this book on my bookshelf and I...
  • Hannah Notess
    I picked this up at the library today to fill in the "graphic novel" square on Seattle Public Library book bingo and WOW.This is a beautiful, artful, and full-of-life memoir by a woman who emigrated from Argentina as a child to a small town in Alabama in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement.She has a unique and interesting perspective on these events, with a touch of self-criticism toward her own obliviousness as a child that lends an interesti...
  • Josh
    Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom is an impressive debut work. A memoir in the vein of Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby , Weaver’s mesmerizing tale is matched by her accomplished drawing and design skills. Darkroom is the story of a childhood, of a Latino immigrant family, of the struggle for justice in the Deep South. Weaver’s appealing pencil renderings perfectly capture the book’s themes of being caug...
  • Rosa
    So I have a vague memory of requesting this after reading a review of it before I went on vacation. When I came back and saw it waiting for me I kind of had a huh? moment. I'm actually very glad that I requested it. It is the memoir of a hispanic woman growing up in a small town in Alabama during the Civil Rights movement. At the time as the author puts it, there were no slurs for them in Alabama yet. She talks a little about feeling like she nev...
  • Yamile Méndez
    This graphic novel is a quick read, but it's so deep and layered that I need some time to collect my thoughts. This is the first book that I read by another Argentine American, and her depiction of growing up away from the motherland, and the feelings of going back after many years really resonated with me. Lila's account of the events in Alabama in the 60s is chilling and moving. so applicable to these terrible times in which racism and violence...
  • Araceli Esparza
    This memoir is an awesome telling of the civil rights movement from the pov of a young Latina girl. The graphic novel format works on so many levels for youth and for adults. Marion AL never looked so real to me as it did through this book. Can wait to see more from this intelligent and yet sensitive author!
  • l.
    It's an interesting perspective but tbh.... She's not as progressive as she believes she is. She has some learning to do.
  • Lindsey
    A fantastic graphic novel that explores what it meant to be an immigrant in Alabama during the time of civil rights' marches, segregation, and Klan activity. This also provides a glimpse into Argentina and its own racial divide. Beautiful illustrations. Loved this memoir for its window into American History and how it chronicles the immigrant experience. Loved it!
  • Ryan
    A deeply moving and personal story about racism and identify in the American South in the 50's. Well drawn and intimately told this book brings you straight to the point of view of the author as a young girl.
  • Michelle
    I'm beginning to be convinced of the value of graphic novels as literature...this was beautifully done.
  • Sally
    An unusual perspective on the Civil Rights movement by an Argentinan who moved to Alabama during grade school in 1961. I enjoyed reading it.
  • Heather Johnson
    As a result of my quest to purchase more historical texts for the library, as well as upstanding graphic novels, I happened upon this gem by Lila Quintero Weaver. As a self-declared hater of graphic novels, I had to gear myself up for this story, even though it's about a historical topic I love--the Civil Rights Movement. Weaver's book did not disappoint. Her illustrations are stunning, and her storytelling mirrors the innocence and honesty of a ...
  • Sabrina Osman
    Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is a chapter book that is about experiences the author went through during the Civil Rights Movement. Weaver at the age of five uprooted from Buenos Aires, Argentine to Marion, Alabama with her Latino middle-class family in 1961. In this book, we learn about her witnessing aspects of the Civil Rights Movement and her personal struggles as a Latino immigrant in a very segregated time of society. Additionally, ...
  • Natalie Alicea
    Darkroom is a graphic narrative about the author's experience as a child. As she grew up in Louisiana as an immigrant from Latin America, her experience is very unique and differs from the experiences of many others during the civil rights era. The memoir is very detailed in explaining experiences from her childhood-including interactions she has with people in her community through school and her own family. Weaver does a very good job at illust...
  • Sirius Black
    Lila Quintero Weaver narrates the story of black and white conflict in Darkroom which is based on her memories and her father’s pictures. She goes back both her own story and racial movement history. She tries to find out her own identity, the border between black and white while she interacts with both races. But the border becomes problematic since, as a child, she tries to understand what happens around her. The story is narrated mostly by f...
  • Madeline Kobayashi
    This is the first graphic novel I've ever read from beginning to end, and actually enjoyed. Everything about this book was beautifully done. I loved the illustrations, which were simple, yet stunning, and all done in black and white. The layout of the text and size of the font were easy on my eyes (which is what's kept me from reading other graphic novels), and the story was pretty remarkable. Themes of belonging, justice, and coming of age make ...
  • Brian Bess
    Viewpoint from a rarely heard demographicI have rarely read any graphic novels or non-fiction and read this at the suggestion of a co-worker. The subject matter is intriguing as it is a true immigrant's story from a different location than one would expect from this ethnic group.Lila Quintero was a small child when she, along with her father, mother, two older sisters, younger brother, emigrated from Argentina to the United States, not only to th...
  • Emilia P
    An interesting, if not entirely engaged memoir about growing up in the segregated south as an Argentinian immigrant -- culturally other but not *quite* racially othered, in a really uncomfortable, weird, and sad place. It's interesting to see that from an outsider's eyes, and a child's, but also... I dunno, it didn't all come together into a there was a really good reason to recount this particular experience. It wasn't boring but it also wasn't ...
  • Paul Hankins
    Memoir and graphic novel come together to bring out the author's experiences as a young, third cycle immigrant to the United States. Arriving in 1960s Marion, Alabama, the memoir brings in significant events within the Civil Rights Movement lending the book to further conversations around the subject. The artwork itself becomes symbolic throughout the book and will present opportunities to discuss how illustrations and artwork can be used as inte...
  • Anna Acosta
    What a phenomenal graphic novel! A beautiful story about a Latina girl living in the south during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She sees the hate around her while battling with identity issues of her own. The illustrations are amazing. Her story weaves both the Civil Rights Movement and Immigration story in such a beautiful way.
  • Ariel Caldwell
    Gorgeous illustrations and fascinating story: this is one I plan to bring to the youth at one of the places I visit as a librarian. I think this would be interesting to bring up now, in light of the upcoming US election, and the continued civil unrest. It's also a story newcomer youth will relate to - learning to keep a home world and a school world separate, and learning to live between them.
  • Trent Mikesell
    With some graphic novels, the art seems secondary, but this graphic novel has beautiful, well-done illustrations. I also loved the idea of it--an immigrant family from Argentina coming to Alabama during the Civil Rights era. A really cool concept.
  • Judyspadoni
    Loved the illustrations along with the words. Conveyed so much meaning
  • Judy
    Wonderful graphics. Interesting story.