Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy (Hardcover)

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Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy Cover Image
By Misty Copeland, Salena Barnes (Illustrator)
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(childrens nonfiction)

Staff Reviews

Everything about this book is inspiring; from the stories of triumph contained within its pages to the stunning artwork displayed for the readers to see. Being seen, heard and known is vital to human existence. So many of these powerful women of color had to stand firm in the face of oppression and not give up when the world around them didn’t support their dreams. Because of their courage to fight back, they paved the way for others to experience a better life. Misty Copeland honors those that came before her in a very special way that everyone should read. It is a beautiful tribute to the sacrifices endured and the victories gained from these talented, hardworking, and dedicated women. As you read their stories I hope that it will bring new understandings to your heart and light a fire in you to follow your dreams. 

— Krystal Griswold


From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland comes an illustrated nonfiction collection celebrating dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage.

As a young girl living in a motel with her mother and her five siblings, Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent dancers. She was sixteen when she saw a black ballerina on a magazine cover for the first time. The experience emboldened Misty and told her that she wasn’t alone—and her dream wasn’t impossible.

In the years since, Misty has only learned more about the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity. Misty brings these women’s stories to a new generation of readers and gives them the recognition they deserve.

With an introduction from Misty about the legacy these women have had on dance and on her career itself, this book delves into the lives and careers of women of color who fundamentally changed the landscape of American ballet from the early 20th century to today.

About the Author

Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African American female principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre. The bestselling author of Life in Motion and a children’s picture book, Firebird, she is the recipient of the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts and an inductee into the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2015, Misty was named to Time magazine’s 100 list and was one of Glamour magazine’s “Women of the Year.” She lives in New York City. Visit her online at

Salena Barnes is a Berlin-based 2-D artist. She creates illustrations, characters, and art assets in the fields of entertainment, lifestyle, and culture.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781534474246
ISBN-10: 1534474242
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication Date: November 2nd, 2021
Pages: 64
Language: English