February is Black History Month. It’s a time to bring more awareness and recognition of African American authors and illustrators whose work bespeak an appreciation of African American culture.
For more than fifty years, books by African American writers and artists have been honored by receiving the Coretta Scott King Book Award. The award is designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace. After Dr. King’s murder, Mrs. King carried on his legacy for racial justice and equality. The multidimensional characteristics of the authors’ and illustrators’ works reflect the African American experience from both the historical and contemporary perspectives.
There are separate awards for authors and illustrators, as well as the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award and the Coretta Scott King/Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. They’re awarded annually by the American Library Association as part of the Youth Media Awards.
by Jacqueline Woodson
(Author Award Winner)
by Carole Boston Weatherford
(Illustrator Award Winner)