First Things

Something Historic

Coloring book features Black female ‘firsts’
Your Turn: African American Women of Kalamazoo

A new interactive coloring book honors Black History Month with a local twist. Your Turn: African American Women of Kalamazoo was created by the Merze Tate Explorers, a program for girls in fourth to 12th grade that emphasizes travel, writing, and media and career exploration.

The coloring book highlights such women as Monique Grayson, Kalamazoo’s first African American female pilot, and actress, vocalist and civil rights activist Abbey Lincoln, who grew up in Cass County. Artist Jerome Washington created the cartoon images, and Merze Tate members developed profiles of 16 women who were local firsts in career fields from business to entertainment. In addition to the coloring book, the Explorers created mini-documentaries of the women that are available to view through the Public Media Network.

Your Turn: African American Women of Kalamazoo is $5.95 and available on . Proceeds from sales of the book will go toward scholarships for Explorers. For more information on bulk orders, contact Sonya Hollins at 359-7895.