Upcoming Aida Director Schele Williams Writing Children's Book About History of Slavery | Playbill

Book News Upcoming Aida Director Schele Williams Writing Children's Book About History of Slavery Abrams Children's Books will publish the new tome next year.
Schele Williams
Schele Williams Marc J. Franklin

Schele Williams, who is scheduled to direct an upcoming tour of Aida, is penning a new book about the history of slavery aimed for young readers.

Abrams Children’s Books, the Associated Press reports, will release Your Legacy: A Bold Reclaiming of Our Enslaved History in October 2021. Illustrated by Tonya Engel, the new tome is described as an “uplifting introduction to African-American history that celebrates and honors enslaved ancestors, their accomplishments and sacrifices, and defines how they are remembered.”

Williams said in a statement, “I remember learning about slavery in elementary school. My teacher read out loud about the Civil War and slavery as I sat transfixed by the accompanying illustrations…I felt shame, isolated and othered seeing my ancestors in rags and shackles. I had so many questions but didn’t know where to begin. When my children came of age, I wanted them to hear about their history from me. So I searched for a children’s book about our enslaved ancestors but couldn’t find one...so I wrote it.”

Williams appeared on Broadway in the original cast of Aida and Rent before serving as associate director of Motown the Musical. She is also a founding member of the advocacy organization Black Theatre United.

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