Prophet Against Slavery: The Story of Benjamin Lay — with David Lester

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David Spaner
Benjamin Lay
Mecca Normal
Prophet Against Slavery
Am Johal
Below the Radar
SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement
Community Engagement

David Lester is the author and graphic designer of Prophet Against Slavery, Benjamin Lay: A Graphic Novel and he is the illustrator of 1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike. David is also the guitarist for the bands, Mecca Normal and Horde of Two. This episode explores the subject of the book, Benjamin Lay, the radical Quaker who used guerrilla theatre to shame slave owners and traders, as well as the intersection of political activism and art in David’s personal and professional history.This episode features the song “Malachi” by the band Mecca Normal.

The episode ends with a look at David’s future projects and the legacy of racism and how it continues to haunt contemporary America.



David Lester is a musician, graphic designer and graphic novelist. His most recent book is Prophet Against Slavery: Benjamin Lay, A Graphic Novel (Beacon Press) created with Marcus Rediker and Paul Buhle. He also illustrated "1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike", (published in English, German and French editions). 1919 was co-winner of the 2020 CAWLS Book Prize. Lester's poster of anti-war protester Malachi Ritscher was exhibited at The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He is the guitarist in the rock duo Mecca Normal, cited as an influence on the founders of the feminist social movement Riot Grrrl. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.


David Lester website:

Prophet Against Slavery Benjamin Lay: A Graphic Novel:

1919: A Graphic History of the Winnipeg General Strike:

Mecca Normal:

Horde of Two:

Durruti: A Life in 8 Parts:

Horde of Two: "I Knew I Was a Rebel Then: CD:

Book: Horde of Two: "I Knew I Was a Rebel Then:

Emma Goldman graphic novel in progress:

HEROIN: An Illustrated History by Susan Boyd:

Solidarity: Canada's Unknown Revolution of 1983 by David Spaner:


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Johal, Am. “From Dialogue to Action — with David Lester” Below the Radar, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement. Podcast audio, June 14, 2022.