New book illustrates Black history like never before

Designer George McCalman joins CultureShift to talk about documenting iconic and unseen historical figures with 145 unique portraits.

colorful book cover for 'Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen' by George McCalman

Book cover for 'Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen' by George McCalman.

It was a shock for illustrator and designer George McCalman when he realized six years ago that no one had yet created a visual guide to some of the most influential Black poets, artists, athletes and activists through US history.

McCalman is an acclaimed illustrator with the San Francisco Chronicle and a senior lecturer at the California College of Art. His new book is called Illustrated Black History and features 145 unique, original portraits of well-known and lesser-known but equally important Black Americans who have changed history.

He joins CultureShift to talk about how the process of creating the book changed him.

“I became a new person through working on this project. I gained a deeper appreciation for black lives, for our community’s lives.” – George McCalman, illustrator and designer.

Book cover courtesy of George McCalman.

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  • Amanda LeClaire
    Amanda LeClaire is an award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. She’s a founding producer of WDET’s flagship news talk show Detroit Today, and a former host/reporter for Arizona Public Media. Amanda is also an artist, certified intuitive and energy healer, and professional tarot reader.