The Possible Lives of WH, Sailor

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Publication Date:
November 8, 2022
For Readers:
9 to 12
Juvenile Nonfiction:
Diversity & Multiculturalism

The Possible Lives of WH, Sailor

Written and illustrated by Bushra Junaid

I will give you the dignity and respect you deserve;
Give us a voice to be heard—
For it’s time for you
To be laid to rest again.

In this deeply moving poetic narrative, author/artist Bushra Junaid gives presence to WH, a mysterious nineteenth-century sailor whose remains were discovered in Labrador in the late 1980s. What little can be deduced about WH archaeologically is that he was of African heritage, and buried alone on the coast of a forbidding landscape.  Junaid’s poem embraces the mystery of WH, ponders his life—who he might have been, how he might have lived—and in so doing not only offers a daring look at the history of the African experience in North America, but claims as kin a man isolated, alone, and until now, forgotten. 


The book includes a timeline and background information about the Black history of the North Atlantic, as well as suggestions for further reading.