A Year of Black Joy


Chess grandmaster Maurice Ashley explains the joy he gets from the tricks and traps of chess, alongside the way it provides an international means of communication. Thereafter, he shares chess moves.

Then again, Patrice Lawrence explains how her need to ask ‘strange questions‘ to which she gathers ‘even stranger answers‘, inspires her to write. Furthermore, she offers a grid to story writing, including questions that need to be answered within any writing.

Meanwhile, Vanessa Nakate describes how the ‘impacts of climate crisis‘ were evident to her through her Ugandan childhood, from flooding to landslides. Thereafter, she introduces readers to other ‘climate justice trailblazers‘ who ‘push for change’ for a better future.

Jamia Wilson and Jade Orlando’s vibrant, active and immediate A Year of Black Joy is captivating. Bookwagon suggests that this superb selection of representative biographies from every sphere of society demands to be read, known, shared and acted upon. It is a proud and wonderful book.

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A Year of Black Joy

52 Black Voices Share Their Life Passions

curated by Jamia Wilson, illustrated Jade Orlando

(Magic Cat)

Jamia Wilson brought us the wonderful Young, Gifted and Black books. With A Year of Black Joy, the writer curates the responses from ‘52 global Black visionaries, creators and change makers‘. What’s more their experiences extend to the worlds of media, culture, science, sports, politics, geography and more!
Thereafter, we join conservationist Tolga Aktas, for example, who explains the importance of his work and then describes wetlands. Then again, Dr Birgitta Johnson, ethnomusicologist describes her role of curating global music, and then teaching ‘courses about music‘ from different cultures. Meanwhile, Sheku Kanneh- Mason explains the joy of classical music ahead of describing a cello. Furthermore,  politician David Lammy explains his pride at representing people like him in the House of Commons. In fact he compares himself to his young self, to a time when ‘we wanted to be heard’ but ‘often felt like no one was listening‘.
Bookwagon is inspired by this book. The shape of it, to have individuals explaining how they developed their role and inspirations, to examining a particular part, is joyous and motivating.
We are delighted to welcome A Year of Black Joy aboard. This is an outstanding book.


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