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Bright Stars of Black British History

J.T. Williams, Angela Vives


This richly illustrated collection presents the extraordinary life stories of fourteen bright stars from Black British history – from Tudor England to modern Britain – and charts their ongoing influence

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This important and timely book delves into the life stories of important figures – including Tudor trumpeter John Blanke, storytelling freedom fighter Mary Prince, and Notting Hill Carnival founder Claudia Jones – many of whom are only just beginning to get the recognition that they deserve.

Brought to life through hand-painted illustrations by award-winning illustrator Angela Vives, Bright Stars of Black British History shines a light on the courage, resilience and talent of remarkable individuals who have left a lasting mark on our collective history.

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'At first I thought this would be a perfect book for my kids, then as I started reading it I realised, no - this is for everyone!'
The Voice

'The writing is energetic and knowledgeable [and] the remarkable watercolor illustrations beautifully frame the text... A much-needed resource that shines a light on historical figures who deserve to be far more well known'
Kirkus Reviews

Featured on History Hit with Dan Snow

'Here’s a book which not only is a vital resource full of engaging stories of Black brilliance, but is also a true work of art to take pride of place on a bedroom shelf'

'A superb book and an important one'

'A beautifully written book that tells the tales of inspiring people that have largely been left out of other history books. We highly recommend it!'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Quarterbound (no jacket)

Size: 24.0 x 17.2 cm

Extent: 160 pp

Illustrations: 60

Publication date: 28 September 2023

ISBN: 9780500652923

About the Author

J.T. Williams is an author and educator specialising in Black British history. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway University. Her debut children’s book, Lizzie and Belle: Drama and Danger (Farshore) was shortlisted for Foyle's Children's Book of the Year 2022 and for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2023.

Angela Vives is an award-winning illustrator with an MA in children’s book illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. In 2020 she won the Picture Hooks Winter Comforts competition. She was shortlisted for the Cheltenham Illustration Awards 2019, and longlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020.