Black & Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes
The first collection of its kind, Black & Irish is an exciting non-fiction book that celebrates many iconic Black Irish people and their achievements. With actors, writers, fashion influencers, doctors, activists, musicians, sports stars, academics, and many more, this book acts as a tribute to several inspirational figures of all ages.
Each chapter delves into the life, goals, and perspectives of each person, uncovering what it means to them to be both Black and Irish. Some particularly engaging biographies include justice campaigner for survivors of state institutions Christine Buckley, LGBTQIA+ activist Beryl Ohas, Afro hair specialist Manni the Barber, and actor Patrick Martins to name a small few.
This is an incredibly well-researched, engaging read from beginning to end. Each chapter consists of an expertly curated biography, highlighting notable achievements, and often concluding with the person’s interpretation of what it means to be Black and Irish. Reiterated throughout the book is the importance of the sense of community among Black Irish people. It emphasises the wide range of perspectives of important topics, particularly regarding racism in Ireland.
A particularly nice detail is how many chapters close with parting words from these heroes to young Black Irish readers, with advice, encouragements, and reminders of what is important. The illustrations by Jessica Louis are delightful, incredibly vibrant, and so full of life – a perfect fit for this book.
This book is a triumph in showcasing that this is a rich community that continues to thrive through everyday successes. A crucial and enjoyable read for all, and a must-have on all school bookshelves.