Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Bryan is one of the most inspiring, talented, and genuine people I have ever met. He puts his heart on every page. 

I am honored to reveal the cover for Ashley Bryan's autobiography, Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace.

Below is an excerpt from Infinite Hope.

A victory mural. That was what I, with other art students, was busy painting when the notice arrived. I was nineteen, into my third year at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. The notice was from the United States Army, stating that I was being drafted—drafted into the army. Into World War II. It was early spring, 1943, and I had had a sense that my notice would be coming soon; many friends at Cooper Union had already been drafted, as had a number of fellows in my Bronx neighborhood. If you were over the age of eighteen in 1943, you expected a draft notice. When I went home and told my mother, she had an unexpected reaction. She said, "Son, what will you do when there's no icebox door for you to pull open every five minutes?"

Look for Infinite Hope: A Black Artist's Journey from World War II to Peace on October 15, 2019. 

From celebrated author and illustrator Ashley Bryan comes a deeply moving picture book memoir about serving in the segregated army during World War II, and how love and the pursuit of art sustained him.

In May of 1942, at the age of eighteen, Ashley Bryan was drafted to fight in World War II. For the next three years, he would face the horrors of war as a black soldier in a segregated army.

He endured the terrible lies white officers told about the black soldiers to isolate them from anyone who showed kindness—including each other. He received worse treatment than even Nazi POWs. He was assigned the grimmest, most horrific tasks, like burying fallen soldiers…but was told to remove the black soldiers first because the media didn’t want them in their newsreels. And he waited and wanted so desperately to go home, watching every white soldier get safe passage back to the United States before black soldiers were even a thought.

For the next forty years, Ashley would keep his time in the war a secret. But now, he tells his story.

The story of the kind people who supported him.
The story of the bright moments that guided him through the dark.
And the story of his passion for art that would save him time and time again.

Filled with never-before-seen artwork and handwritten letters and diary entries, this illuminating and moving memoir by Newbery Honor–winning illustrator Ashley Bryan is both a lesson in history and a testament to hope.


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