Bright Stars of Black British History

J. T. Williams, Angela Vives

Presents the extraordinary life stories of fourteen Black British people and their contributions to the worlds of literature, theater, journalism, politics, medicine, sport, and music.

Carefully researched and eloquently written by children’s author J.T. Williams, Bright Stars of Black British History brings to life historical figures from Tudor England to the present day. Written in both an educational and entertaining style, the book uses individual stories of important historical figures to lift the voices of enslaved and marginalized people. It makes clear the important influence that Black British people have had in shaping culture, shifting public opinion, and changing British history. It also features sensitive portraits and contextual paintings by award-winning illustrator Angela Vives and is presented in a highly giftable and accessible format, functioning as both a narrative-led story collection and a resource for schools.


The writing is energetic and knowledgeable [and] the remarkable watercolor illustrations beautifully frame the text… A much-needed resource that shines a light on historical figures who deserve to be far more well known.

— Kirkus Reviews


J. T. Williams


J. T. Williams is an author and educator specializing in Black British history. She has a masters in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. Her debut children's book, The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger, was published in 2022.

Angela Vives

Illustrated By

Angela Vives is an award-winning illustrator with an MA in children's book illustration from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. In 2021, she won the Picture Hooks Winter Comforts competition. She was shortlisted for the Cheltenham Illustration Awards 2019 and longlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020.