George McCalman Paints the Famous and Unsung in ‘Illustrated Black History’

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George McCalman (Kelly Marshall)

“Black history,” writes award-winning artist and graphic designer George McCalman, “tends to mean the ten people who are lauded every Black History Month of every Black History Year.” McCalman upends that constricted notion in his most recent book, “Illustrated Black History,” a tribute to 140 pioneering – but sometimes unseen – Black artists, advocates and thinkers who have “sacrificed their lives and livelihoods or forfeited their homes and sanctuaries” in the course of defining American history. We talk to McCalman about those he chose to profile, paint and celebrate.


George McCalman, artist, graphic designer and creative director; His most recent book is "Illustrated Black History: Honoring the Iconic and the Unseen"