Young, Gifted and Black Too: Meet 52 More Black Icons from Past and Present

Young, Gifted and Black Too: Meet 52 More Black Icons from Past and Present

By Author / Illustrator

Jamia Wilson, Andrea Pippins


Representation & Inclusion

Age range(s)



Wide Eyed Editions








In this timely follow-up to the best-selling, genre-defining Young, Gifted and Black, you can meet 52 more Black icons from around the world - this time spanning even more countries and including inspiring figures from as far back as the 1500s right up to present-day heroes.

Featuring the stories of recent changemakers such as Amanda Gorman and Naomi Osaka, as well as historic talents such as Juan Latino and Yaa Asantewaa, Jamia Wilson has curated a new selection of inspiring black icons illustrated by Andrea Pippins' colourful and celebratory artwork.

Covering 52 figures, the book is ideal for educators and homeschoolers studying Black excellence, with a new figure to explore every week of the year. Biographies are ordered chronologically, and the range of figures showcases an even more global selection in line with the movement towards decolonising our history and curricula.

The 52 icons include: Juan Latino, Queen Nanny, Toussaint Louverture, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Olaudah Equiano, Alexander Pushkin, Yaa Asantewaa, Moses and Calvin McKissack, Ann Lowe, Albert Luthuli, Charles Drew, Thurgood Marshall, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, George Washington Gibbs Jr., Jackie Robinson, Bertina Lopes, Frantz Fanon, Hans Massaquoi, Coretta Scott King, Mariama Ba, Gladys Mae West, Chinua Achebe, Alvin Ailey, Miriam Makeba, Annie Easley, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Fela Kuti, John Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Angela Davis, Bob Marley, Octavia Butler, Thomas Sankara, Iman, Prince, Ozwald Boateng, Marcus Samuelsson, Leymah Gbowee, Laverne Cox, Phoebe Robinson, Lewis Hamilton, Michaela Coel, Colin Kaepernick, Kadeena Cox, Aisha Dee, Adenike Oladosu, Naomi Osaka, Amanda Gorman, Chloe x Halle, Ntando Mahlangu, Zaila Avant-garde, Mari Copeny.

Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women's achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream... whatever it may be.   

Discover more empowering books by the same author-illustrator team: Baby Young, Gifted, and Black; Young, Gifted and Black; Step into Your Power; Step into My Power and Big Ideas For Young Thinkers.



This second volume, Young, Gifted and Black Too, is just as attractive as the first (Young, Gifted and Black). Indeed, in hardback, its striking blue cover and jazzy opening pages instantly grab attention. In format, both volumes are similar, but this second has a useful contents list (without photos) and, as the author-Illustrator introduction explains, the featured black icons are ordered chronologically from the 1500s to the present day.

The concluding glossary is more extensive and hints that this sequel will probably engage an older (secondary school) readership. Some KS2 children may choose just to read about their own area of interest (maths, painting, cookery, music) or their own particular heroes. The book certainly lends itself to being browsed in that way. Teachers may want to use it in assemblies or for displays, highlighting aspiration, values or multi-culturalism.

However it is enjoyed, this book will help more young people to see themselves reflected in print and to believe in their own unique potential.

64 pages / Reviewed by Jane Rew, school librarian

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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