by Kassia Graham, Social Media Director, KidLit TV
Faith Ringgold, Jerry Pinkney, Bryan Collier, Kadir Nelson, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Jacqueline Woodson, Walter Dean Myers, Lillie Patterson … these are the names of just a few African-American authors and illustrators who have interpreted the rich Black experience through words and pictures via kid lit. During Black History Month KidLit TV celebrates the contributions American kid lit creators of African descent have made to the literary world and their readers.
We encourage reading diverse books year round. However, until the kid lit field is level — and authors of all races are given the chance to publish stories that reflect their experiences — we’re doing our part to make our readers aware of diverse books, authors, and illustrators.
We’ve been lucky enough to interview several award-winning African-American kid lit creators on StoryMakers. Watch the interviews below.
Pat Cummings and H. Chuku Lee
Click here to learn more about Pat and Chuku’s work.
Click here to learn more about Rita’s work.
If you’re interested in exploring the world of kid lit written and/or illustrated by African-Americans, or related themes you can visit the resources below:
The Brown Bookshelf
The Brown Bookshelf is designed to raise awareness of African American voices writing for young readers. Their flagship initiative is 28 Days Later, a month-long showcase of the best in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult novels written and illustrated by African Americans.
Author, blogger, and activist Zetta Elliott’s list of middle grade and young adult fiction written by African-Americans.
Reading Rockets’ extensive compilation of authors, illustrators, books, and activities for Black History Month. This is a must read!
This isn’t a definitive list, so a visit to your local library, bookstore, or conducting a few online searches will get you started on a great adventure.
Which books will you be reading to learn more about — and to celebrate — African American culture and themes? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Source: Reading Rockets