This stylish volume presents short biographies of 52 iconic black figures, its title and ethos inspired by Nina Simone's song ' To be Young, Gifted and Black'. The order is serendipitous, with a deliberate and interesting mix of potential role models in terms of global reach and variety of achievements celebrated. As well as American, it features British achievers and others from different parts of the world including an indigenous Australian, Cathy Freeman. Whilst avoiding chronological presentation, it includes pioneering figures such as Mary Seacole, Harriet Tubman and George Washington Carver, as well as famous 20th century leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, and many influential contemporary figures. It celebrates popular as well as academic or literary culture (from Beyonce to Zadie Smith) and profiles singers, activists, actors, writers, sports stars, scientists, environmentalists, poets, film directors, artists, politicians, entrepreneurs and space explorers. The short, single page biographies include a picture of each individual painted against a backdrop decorated with objects associated with their achievements, often in the shape of a halo, as if to underline their iconic status.