Tip your hat to fashion designer and civil rights icon Mae Reeves in this picture book biography written in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture!
A fine introduction to a determined trailblazer. -The New York Times
Mae had a dream to make one-of-a-kind hats. But the path for a Black female designer was unclear, so Mae made a way, leaving her home in the segregated South to study at the Chicago School of Millinery.
Mae had the skills, but craved the independence to create her own styles. So Mae found a way. In Philadelphia, she became the first Black woman to own a business on South Street. Whether you were Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Anderson or a lady from the neighborhood, Mae wanted you to look good and feel special in one of her original hats.
A mother, a successful entrepreneur, and a community advocate, Mae led the way.
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, acclaimed author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Two Naomis) and award-winning illustrator Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair) bring the life of fashion entrepreneur and civic organizer Mae Reeves to the page. And when you are done reading, explore Mae's store and styles in person at her permanent exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Made in collaboration with the Smithsonian, where the subject's shop has been partially re-created, this picture book offers a comprehensive, sincere history of Philadelphia milliner Mae Reeves (1912-2016), an extraordinary Black woman who "made a way out of no way." Beginning with Reeves's childhood and young adulthood in segregated Georgia, the creators chronicle how she became both a successful entrepreneur--her "Mae of Philadelphia" hats crowned celebrities and countless church ladies--and a force for change, working for the NAACP and turning her shop into a polling place. Pippins's editorial-styled vignettes and portraits, as stylish as their subject, portray the intersection of Reeves's domestic and professional lives in flat, blocky hues, while lengthy text by Rhuday-Perkovich foregrounds the figure's history and legacy, "Black women were often treated as though they were invisible.... Hats were a way for these queens to be SEEN, shining a light on the dignity they always had." Back matter includes interviews with Reeves's daughter and a museum's head of collections. Ages 7-10. (May)Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.