Author Jasmine Holmes loves history. It’s easy to tell.
Her writing exudes an enthusiasm to share the discoveries she’s made of the stories of godly Black women and the legacy they left behind. Her research was challenging, as the search for information about these women was limited.
In her upcoming release, Carved in Ebony: Lessons from the Black Women Who Shaped Us, she shares the stories of ten women. Women whose histories were tentatively buried by the passage of time, whose resolve, talents and faith intersected to influence change in the world around them: Women such as Elizabeth Freeman, Amanda Berry Smith, Maria Stewart, and Nannie Hellen Burroughs.
These women stepped courageously into their world - some born as slaves, others in privilege - surrounded by judgement, persecution and hardships, using the gifts given to them for the good of others and ultimately, to the glory of God. They shaped their students, their readers and their communities by teaching relentlessly, advocating for what they knew was right, and traversing oceans to carry out the gospel.
Jasmine writes about how these women “mean so much to me as a young Black woman not because of the supremacy of blackness or Americanness, but because of the faithfulness of God.”
This is a lesson for us all.
As we learn the stories of the saints who’ve gone before us, particularly those who’ve endured suffering and racial injustice, we’re vividly reminded of God’s constant presence and how he worked in their lives for his purposes, whether it was effecting national policy, or a local school. Whatever our sphere of influence, God would have our eyes fixed on him and our hands and feet ready to carry his good news.
What I really appreciate about Jasmine’s writing, is her conversational style and vulnerability. She reflects on the lives of these women, how she’s similar or dissimilar, how their passion inspires her own life and how God’s faithfulness to them motivates her vision.
The biographies of these woman are an encouragement and a challenge for us, to continue persevering in the midst of trials, to engage boldly with the truths of scripture and communicate those to the world around us, in however the Lord has blessed and gifted us.
If you’re looking for a set of short biographies I’d highly recommend this book!
# of pages: 192
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 4 stars!
*A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review!