African Icons

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Heroic full-color portraits illustrate the stories of ten people who helped shape the African continent from ancient times through the tumultuous sixteenth century. In a richly designed work including profiles of rulers, educators, inventors, scholars, and explorers with additional maps and graphics, an award-winning author introduces reader to underrepresented stories of Black history.

“In African Icons, Baptiste engages in the hard work of unveiling the myths about the African continent to young readers . . . This is a great beginner’s guide to pre-colonial Africa.”

—Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist

Meet ten real-life kings, queens, inventors, scholars, and visionaries who lived in Africa thousands of years ago and changed the world. 

Black history began long ago with the many cultures and people of the African continent.

Through portraits of ten heroic figures, author Tracey Baptiste takes readers on a journey across Africa to meet some of the great leaders and thinkers whose vision built a continent and shaped the world. Illustrator Hillary D. Wilson’s brilliant portraits accompany each profile, along with vivid, information-filled landscapes, maps, and graphics for readers to pore over and return to again and again.  Ages 8 to 12.