Before Black Lives Matter, Six Days in Cincinnati: A Review


Robin Bridges

Six Days in Cincinnati recounts the riots in 2001 that ignited the Black Lives Matter movement.

Robin Bridges, Editor in Chief

The police-involved shooting of 19-year-old Timothy Thomas in April 2001, sparked days of riots and protests in Cincinnati, OH. The riots occurred specifically in and around the predominantly poor black neighborhood of Over-The-Rhine.

“Six Days in Cincinnati: A Graphic Account of the Riots that Shook the Nation a Decade Before Black Lives Matter” is a graphic-journalist account by Daniel Moore. The book tells the story of the days before and after the civil unrest that resulted from the shooting of Timothy Thomas.

The second release of the limited print book is set to hit shelves in June 2017. The book was first printed in 2002 with the title “Mark Twain Was Right.” That title was taken from an unknown protester’s sign that read, “ Mark Twain was right; Rodney King 1991; Timothy Thomas 2001.”

The sign refers to the quote attributed to Mark Twain in which he said, “If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there 10 years later.”

The book is pulled straight from the headlines of that fatal day, featuring a new personal testimony to map out each day. Moore mixes his own experience living in the area with these testimonies to create a comic that lays the foundation for the events of those six days.

For those unfamiliar with the 2001 riots, the book can be hard to follow. This works to the book’s advantage. News surrounding police-involved shootings and subsequent protests can also be hard to follow.

To the same end, the book references similar police-involved deaths which add to the convoluted nature of the book.

I would recommend the book to anyone. It’s a great graphic representation of events leading up to the riots and a perfect example of some of the events that led to the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.

For me, the book was not my cup of tea, but it provides a learning tool and introduction for understanding and growth.