Black Bird Bookstore

Illustrated Black History

by George McCalman

Illustrated Black History is a breathtaking collection of original portraits depicting black heroes—both famous and unsung—who made their mark on activism, science, politics, business, medicine, technology, food, arts, entertainment, and more. Each entry includes a lush drawing or painting by artist George McCalman, along with an insightful essay summarizing the person’s life story.

The 145 entries range from the famous to the little-known, from literary luminary James Baldwin to documentarian Madeline Anderson, who produced “I Am Somebody” about the 1969 strike of mostly female hospital workers; from Aretha Franklin to James and Eloyce Gist, who had a traveling ministry in the early 1900s; from Colin Kaepernick to Guion S. Bluford, the first Black person to travel into space.

Beautifully designed with over 300 unique four-color artworks and accessible to readers of all ages, this eye-opening, educational, dynamic, and timely compendium pays homage to Black Americans and their achievements, and showcases the depth and breadth of Black genius.

in Our Country, Our Culture
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384 pages

published by HarperOne

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“I have always gotten such a lift from George McCalman’s work—both spiritual and visual. His charming, informed, and always heartfelt art says so much about Black American life and history that he is now an essential part of the dialogue. What a gift this book is.” — Hilton Als, critic for The New Yorker, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism