Illustrated Black History

In a first of its kind achievement, artist, author, and graphic designer George McCalman has created a book that reimagines our idea of Black History and brings to the fore a vivid array of pioneers. From determining the subjects, to the design of the pages, to illustrating the portraits and images throughout, he has created a book reflective of his subjects who paved the way when no road existed.

McCalman first began crafting the portraits of Black pioneers in honor of Black History Month more than six years ago, an obsessive artistic endeavor that would evolve into a carefully curated collection of soulful portraits celebrating Black icons throughout America’s 400-year-old history. Creating equal space to celebrate legends and discover Black heroes who have gone unseen, McCalman’s comprehensive work features trailblazers we recognize and those we should know. This is American history.

ILLUSTRATED BLACK HISTORY (HarperOne; Hardcover; September 27, 2022) is a beautifully illustrated keepsake collection. Each of the 145 Black heroes celebrated in this book is revealed by a dazzling painting or drawing and an insightful short biography of the remarkable pioneer’s contribution to activism, science, politics, business, medicine, technology, food, entertainment, or the arts. The book also features essays by Emil Wilbekin (Editor in Chief, Vibe), Bryant Terry (Author, Black Food), Patrice Peck, (Editor, Cosmopolitan magazine) Oriana Koren (Editor, For the Birds Trapped in Airports) and Marvin K. White (Poet, Glide Memorial). Among the remarkable individuals illustrated and profiled are:

ILLUSTRATED BLACK HISTORY is a one-of-a-kind project about unique subjects by a triple-threat artist, author and designer that pays homage to Black Americans and their historical achievements and recognizes the breadth and abundance of Black excellence.

Booker T. Washington Event (Details TBA)

Booker T. Washington Community Center

San Francisco, CA

Feb 24th


In Conversartion with Sherri McMullen

Hosted by Change Cadet x Soho House


Oakland, CA

Feb 23rd


Living for the City Interview

WBAI Radio

Feb 22nd

8am PT

Illustrating Black History

Moderated by Miriam Thompson

The Battery

San Francisco, CA

Feb 21st


Moderated by Marvin K. White

Documentary screening and talk

Koret Auditorium

de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA

Feb 18th


WGN-TV News Interview



Feb 13th

7:15am PT

Book Signing

Marcus Books

Oakland, CA

Feb 12th



Feb 7th

10am PT

In Conversation with Dr. Akilah Cadet

Hosted by Change Cadet

McMullen Pop-Up

Detroit MI

Oct 26th

6pm CT

“They heard me but they weren't listening. And they didn't understand.”

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