International Education Services Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year, in honour of John Treacy

Winner 2023


Black & Irish

By Leon Diop & Briana Fitzsimons

Illustrator - Jessica Louis

Legends, Trailblazers & Everyday Heroes

Actors. Athletes. Activists. Style icons. Scientists. Influencers. Entrepreneurs. Black Irish people are blazing trails in every sphere of modern life.


In the first-ever book to profile Black Irish people, we take a look at the inspirational careers, dreams and achievements of legends, trailblazers and everyday heroes, including Ruth Negga, Gavin Bazunu, Dami Hope, Emma Dabiri, Rhasidat Adeleke and Phil Lynott.


Black & Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes is published by Little Island Books and Black and Irish.

About Leon Diop & Briana Fitzsimons...

Briana Fitzsimons grew up in Yonkers, NY, USA, and has lived in Ireland since 2017. She has been a secondary school teacher for 12 years and also holds degrees in English and Creative Writing. Briana joined the Black and Irish team in 2021 and has been working to make schools across the country more inclusive for all students ever since. One of her main goals is to empower teachers and young people with the tools they need to make sure that everyone is seen and heard and feels a sense of belonging in all educational spaces in Ireland. She lives in County Kildare with her partner and two children and is proud to call Ireland home. 


Leon Diop is a 28-year-old mixed-race man from Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland. Born to an Irish mother and a Senegalese father, he grew up in a mixed ethnic and religious household. He studied Psychology in Maynooth University where he served two years as Students’ Union President. He is the founder of Black and Irish, an organisation striving to transform Ireland into a global leader in equality and inclusion. He is a host of the Black and Irish podcast with Irish national broadcaster, RTÉ. He currently serves on the boards of the Childhood Development Initiative, and Tallaght and South Dublin County Partnership. 


Jessica Louis is an independent Nigerian illustrator whose work features bright, colourful characters, shapes and scenes that speak to the emotions at the edges and at the core of our lived experience. She has exhibited with DesignOpp in Dublin and Fresco in Paris and been published in Totally Dublin. She’s represented by Studio BLVCK and together they are paving a new path for independent black creatives across the world. 

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Foras na Gaeilge Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year Award Short Story of the Year
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Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year
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