Black Artists Shaping the World

Sharna Jackson, Zoé Whitley

Dedicated to the work of contemporary Black artists from around the world, this book is an exuberant introduction to artists from Africa and of African descent for young readers.

Written by award-winning Black children’s author Sharna Jackson, this engaging book introduces young readers to twenty-six contemporary artists from Africa and of the African diaspora, working in everything from painting, sculpture, and drawing to ceramics, installation art, and sound art.

These include prominent American artists Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, portraitist to Michelle Obama Amy Sherald, and Kehinde Wiley; British Turner Prize–winning painters Lubaina Himid and Chris Ofili; renowned South African visual activist and photographer Zanele Muholi; Nigerian sound artist Emeka Ogboh; Sudanese painter Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq; Kenyan-British ceramicist Magdalene Odundo; Afrofuturist-inspired performance artist Harold Offeh; and moving image artist Larry Achiampong, among others.

Sharna Jackson’s experience as an award-winning children’s author combined with the curatorial expertise of Dr. Zoe´ Whitley, co-curator of the groundbreaking exhibition “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power,” make this an essential introduction to Black artists working today. This volume will serve as revelation to a new generation of aspiring young artists.


A necessary collection for artists and art lovers, this anthology highlights twenty-six Black contemporary artists. Offering recognition and praise for artists routinely locked out of mainstream art conversations, this book highlights their stories, their specific styles, and reproduces one of their signature works.

— Book Riot

Best Middle-Grade Nonfiction of 2021 Delivers a magnificent assemblage of Black artists we all need to know and cherish.

— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

This fascinating illustrated biography illuminates the work of 26 contemporary Black visual artists from a variety of national origins.

— People

Shining a light on Black artists and their incredible works, this title would make an excellent addition to art and biography collections for children.

— Booklist

A beautifully designed short encyclopedia of contemporary art… Enlightening.

— The New York Times Book Review

This inspiring, accessible collection praising Black people's contributions to art is an ideal gift for budding young artists.

— Shelf Awareness


Sharna Jackson


Sharna Jackson is an award-winning children's author and curator. She is the author of four books for children, including High-Rise Mystery and Mic Drop.

Zoé Whitley


Dr. Zoé Whitley is the director of London's Chisenhale Gallery.