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2014 NAACP Image Awards – Literature Nominees and Winners

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners are voted upon by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Friday, February 21 during the Awards Ceremony for non-televised categories. The remaining categories are announced live on stage during the two-hour star-studded TV One telecast on Saturday, February 22 (9:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed). The telecast also included a one-hour pre-show airing live from the red carpet (8:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed).

Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. The organization’s half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

LITERATURE NOMINEES
Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“A Deeper Love Inside: The Porscha Santiaga Story” – Sister Souljah (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)
“Anybody’s Daughter” – Pamela Samuels Young (Goldman House Publishing)
“Little Green: An Easy Rawlins Mystery” – Walter Mosley (Doubleday)
“Never Say Never: A Novel” – Victoria Christopher Murray (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster)
“Who Asked You?” – Terry McMillan (Viking)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
“Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs from Voices Around the World” – Retha Powers (Little, Brown and Company)
“Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery” – Deborah Willis, Barbara Krauthamer (Temple University Press)
“High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society” – Carl Hart (HarperCollins, Harper)
“Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones” – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” – Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Donald Yacovone (SmileyBooks)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“Better Than Good Hair – The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy Gorgeous Natural Hair!” – Nikki Walton with Ernessa T. Carter (Harper Collins- Amistad)
“Ghana Must Go” – Taiye Selasi (The Penguin Press)
“Nine Years Under” – Sheri Booker (Gotham Books)
“On The Come Up” – Hannah Weyer (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday)
“The Returned” – Jason Mott (Harlequin MIRA)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/ Auto-Biography
“Buck: A Memoir” – MK Asante (Spiegel & Grau)
“Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington” – Terry Teachout (Gotham Books)
“Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker” – Stanley Crouch (HarperCollins, Harper)
“Mom & Me & Mom” – Maya Angelou (Random House)
“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” – Jeanne Theoharis (Beacon Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Do I Look Like An ATM? A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Responsible African American Children” – Sabrina Lamb (Chicago Review Press)
“Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don’t Have It)” – Sherri Shepherd with Billie Fitzpatrick (HarperCollins, It Books)
“Recruiting and Retaining Culturally Different Students in Gifted Education” – Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D. (Prufrock Press Inc.)
“The Entrepreneur Mind: 100 Essential Beliefs, Characteristics, and Habits of Elite Entrepreneurs” – Kevin D. Johnson (Johnson Media Inc.)
“The Vegucation of Robin: How Real Food Saved My Life” – Robin Quivers (Avery)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid” – Nikki Giovanni (HarperCollins, William Morrow)
“Hum” – Jamaal May (Alice James Books)
“The Cineaste: Poems” – A. Van Jordan (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
“The Collected Poems of Ai” – Ai (W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.)
“Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers” – Frank X Walker (University of Georgia Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“I’m A Pretty Little Black Girl!” – Betty K. Bynum (Author), Claire Armstrong-Parod (Illustrator) (Dream Title Publishing)
“Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me” – Daniel Beaty (Author), Bryan Collier (Illustrator) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
“Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song” – Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author), Brian Pinkney (Illustrator) (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
“Nelson Mandela” – Kadir Nelson (HarperCollins Children’s Books/Katherine Tegen Books)
“You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!” – Jonah Winter (Author), Terry Widener (Illustrator) (RH Childrens Books; Schwartz & Wade)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers” – Tanya Lee Stone (Candlewick Press)
“God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens” – Romal Tune (Judson Press)
“Invasion” – Walter Dean Myers (Scholastic Press/Scholastic)
“Raising the Bar” – Gabrielle Douglas (Zondervan)
“Serafina’s Promise: A Novel In Verse” – Ann E. Burg (Scholastic Press/Scholastic)

# # #

About NAACP:
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. The NAACP’s half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

2013 AAMBC Literary Award Winners

2013 Literary Awards Winners and Nominees from the African Americans on the Move Book Club
http://aambookclub.com/2013-aambc-award-full-list-of-winners-aambcawards

Break Out Author of the Year
Monica Mathis Stowe – Where Did We Go Wrong?
Tyora Moody – When Rain Falls (Victory Gospel Series #1)
Drusilla Mars – Black Fire
Nicety – Juicy: Pandora’s Box
Fabiola Joseph – Rebel’s Domain: Scarred For Life (Volume 1)

Independent Book Store of the Year
Cartel
Books and Beauty
The Literary Joint
Hueman Books
Black and Nobel

Magazine of the Year
JET
Urban Grapevine Magazine
Ebony
Essence
Sormag

Book Club of the Year
Reading Diva
Black Faithful Sisters and Brothers Book Club
OOSA
Sugar and Spice
Book Groupies Book Club

Street Lit Writer of the Year
Fabiola Joseph – Rebel’s Domain: Scarred For Life (Volume 1)
Kwan – Animal
David Weaver – The Power Family
Eyone Williams – Secrets Never Die
Treasure Blue – Little Bag Girl

Poet of the Year
GPA – The Mind of a Poetic Unsub
Kai – Peaceful Resolution
Luella Hill – Message In My Pen

Independent Publisher of the Year
Life Changing Books
Cash Money Content
Cartel Publications
Melodrama
SBR Productions

Book Reviewer of the Year
Blaze Reviews
OOSA
Carla Towns
Urban Reviews
Rawsistaz

Urban Book of the Year
Angry Ass Black Woman by Karen Quinoes Miller
The Cartel 4 by Ashley and JaQuavis
Where Did We Go Wrong? By Monica Mathis Stowe
Aminal by Kwan
Hated by Many, Loved by None by Shan

Male Author of the Year
Rahiem Brooks
David Weaver
Carl Weber
Brian W. Smith
Kwan

Vote for the Female Author of the Year
Myss Shan – Hated by Many, Loved by None
Ashley Antoinette – Guilty Gucci
Kenni York – Karma
Kimberla Lawson Roby – The Reverend’s Wife
Vanna B – Fancy

Christian Fiction Writer of the Year
Victoria Christopher Murray – Scandalous
Reshonda Tate Billingsley – The Secret She Kept
Shelia E. Lipsey for her book- What’s Blood Got To Do With It?
Vanessa Davis Griggs for her book- The Other Side of Dare (Blessed Trinity Novels)
Tyora Moody for her book- When Rain Falls (Victory Gospel Series #1)

Reader’s Choice Award
Treasure Blue
Nicety
Vanna B
Wahida Clark
Traci Bee

Romance writer of the Year
Zuri Day – Love on the run
Donna Hill – Everything is You
Traci Bee – A Nickel for a Kiss
Sadeqa Johnson – Love in a Carry On Bag
Anna Black – Who Do I Run To?

Nate Holmes Honorary Award
Rahiem Brooks
Treasure blue
Shelia E. Lipsey
Troy Johnson
Clarence Nero

AAMBC Author of the Year
Silk White – Married To Da Street
Jonean Mclain- Checkmate
Keith Thomas Walker fir his book- Dripping Chocolate
CJ Hudson – Knuckleheadz
Erica Crump – MISCELLANEOUS BLUES

8th Annual African American Literary Award Show, September 27

The 8th Annual African American Literary Award Show will be hosted by celebrated award-winning actor Isaiah Washington. The event will take place in New York City on Thursday, September 27, 2012 from 6 pm – 11 pm at Melba’s Restaurant located at 163 West 125th Street & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. 3rd floor.
Join us as we pay tribute to your favorite authors, publishers and book clubs as voted on by you, the fans.

Purchase your tickets before Sept 7 and take advantage of our special early bird discount of only $65. Ticket price includes cocktail reception, dinner, program guide and gift bag.

SPECIAL VIP TICKETS (ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER AVAILABLE)
A limited number of VIP tickets will be available on a first-come, first- served basis for a special price of only $100. VIP pass includes all of the above plus:
* Admission to our special Pre-VIP cocktail reception featuring Isaiah Washington, celebrity guests and many of your favorite authors.
* Guaranteed dinner seating at the VIP table of one of your favorite nominated authors
* Special deluxe gift bag!
Hurry, only 20 VIP passes available!
Tickets:
Early Bird Special! $65 before Sept 7
$75 after Sept 7
$85 (cash) at the door
$100 VIP tickets


African American Literary Awards Show

The AALAS Awards is the first of its kind. It is the most comprehensive awards show ever to recognize, honor, celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements and contributions that authors and writers make to the publishing, arts and entertainment industries

History of African American Literary Awards Show
The African American Literary Award show is the brainchild of Yvette Hayward, president of Y. Hayward, Inc., a public relations company that has been a powerful resource in the literary field for over a decade.

News: Manning Marable, Wesley Morris, Tracy K. Smith among this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners

Manning Marable, Wesley Morris among this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners
By Donovan X. Ramsey
4:02 PM on 04/16/2012
The Grio


The Pulitzer Prize committee at Columbia University announced its winners Monday afternoon. Among those selected were three black writers: film critic Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe, Tracy K. Smith for her book Life on Mars and the late Manning Marable for his final work, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention.

Morris won the best criticism award, Smith for poetry and Marable in the category of history.

One of Morris’ reviews submitted for the consideration by the Pulitzer committee was his commentary on the movie The Help, where he wrote critically, “The Help joins everything from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Blind Side as another Hollywood movie that sees racial progress as the province of white do-gooderism.” It was one of many views expressed by black audiences and a part of most analysis that surrounded the film up until Hollywood’s award season.

Marable’s book was also controversial upon its release, just three days after the scholar’s death, for its complicated depiction of a slain civil rights figure. Critical acclaim came soon after however, with Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention receiving a nomination for the National Book Award and named one of the New York Times’ top 10 books of 2011.

Tracy K. Smith’s wining work of poetry, Life on Mars, was also heralded by the New York Times for it’s vastness. Smith’s approach to the relationship between humans beings and the universe was described as sending readers “out into the magnificent chill of the imagination and then returns us to ourselves, both changed and consoled.”

2012 AAMBC Literary Awards Nominees

Winners will be announced live at the Baltimore Urban Book Festival on May 6th — www.baltimoreurbanbookfestival.com

Voting link is here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEp4M25ZN2xRQks1ZlJuajJUNTM4M3c6MQ.

AAMBC Author of the Year

WINKK

Gregg Burton

Monique D. Mensah

Cheryl Faye

Christian Cashelle

Tiffany Ashley

Indie Book Store of the Year

The Literary Joint

Urban Knowledge

Horizon Books

Deja vu Book Lounge

Cartel Books

Breakout Author of the Year

David Weaver

ChaBella Don

Ondrea Davis

Chris Renee

Kai Storm

Magazine of the Year

Juicy

VIBE

Essence

Black Literature Magazine

Urbania

Book Club of the Year

OOSA

Divas Divine

AALBC

Sistahs on the Reading Edge

ARC

Indie Publisher of the Year

Life Changing Books

Wahida Clack Presents

Cartel Publications

G Street Chronicles

Street Lit Writer of the Year

Ashley Antoinette

K’Wan

JaQuavis Coleman

Erick S. Gray

Treasure E. Blue

Reviewer of the Year

Rawsistaz

Joey Pinkney

Cheryl Francis

ARC

Urban Reviews

Poet of the Year

Julia Press Simmons

Archuleta Chisolm

GPA

Imani Wisdom

Male Author of the Year

Eyone Williams

June Miller

RM Johnson

JaQuavis Coleman

Booker T. Mattison

Romance Author of the Year

Donna Hill

Francis Ray

Lutishia Lovely

Cheris Hodges

Brenda Joyce


Female Author of the Year

T. Styles

Traci Brown

Traci Bee

Envy Red

Wahida Clark


Christian Fiction Author of the Year

Victoria Christopher Murray

Vanessa Miller

Kimberla Lawson Roby

Vanessa Davis Griggs

Readers Choice Award

Jessica Miller-Epps

Joyce Oscar

Shewanda Pugh

Shampriest Bevel

DH Brooks

Nominees Announced for the 2011 African American Literary Awards Show

Here are the nominees for the 7th Annual African American Literary Awards Show. Voting starts Friday, July 29, 2011, ending September 2. Winners will be announced at the live show on September, 22, 2011

Fiction

Dorothy by LaToya S. Watkins
He Was My Man First – Courtney Parker & Nancey Flowers
No One in the World: A Novel – E. Lynn Harris & RM Johnson
Mama Ruby – Mary Monroe
Money Can’t Buy Love – Connie Briscoe

Self Help

How To Get Out Of Your Own Way – Tyrese Gibson
The Strawberry Letter: Real Talk, Real Advice, Because Bitterness Isn’t Sexy – Shirley Strawberry
Why Do I Have To Think Like A Man?: How To Think Like A Lady And Still Get The Man – Shanae Hall & Rhonda Frost
Priceless Inspirations – Antonia Carter
A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life – Demetria Lucas

Biography/Memoir

Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption-from South Central to Hollywood – Ice T
The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring – Sugar Ray Leonard
Flavor Flav: The Icon The Memoir – Flavor Flav
Love Brought Me Back: A Journey of Loss and Gain – Natalie Cole
Transparent – Don Lemon

Christian Fiction

An Inconvenient Friend by Rhonda McKnight
Right Package, Wrong Baggage by Wanda B. Campbell
The Deal, The Dance & The Devil – Victoria Christopher Murray
Crowning Glory – Pat Simmons
Who Said It Would Be Easy?: A Story of Faith (Zane Presents) – Cheryl Faye

Erotica

Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam – Imani True & Dreama Skye
Southern Comfort” by Cynnamon Foster and Nina Foxx
Sixty-Nine – Pynk
Smooth Operator – Risque
Nasty – Dr. XYZ

Street Fiction

Justify My Thug – Wahida Clark
My Kinda Girl by Michael McGrew
The Prada Plan 2 – Ashley Antoinette
Welfare Wifeys: A Hood Rat Novel – K’wan
Memoirs Of An Accidental Hustler – JM Benjamin

Non Fiction

I Shall Not Die: Living A Psalm 118:17 Existence – Kendra Norman Bellamy
Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure – Tavis Smiley
Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling Myths and Discovering Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama – Sophia Nelson
Peace from Broken Pieces – Iyanla Vanzant
Becoming a Woman of Destiny: Turning Life’s Trials into Triumphs! – Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook

Mystery

Giving Up The Ghost by Stacy-Deanne
Ask Nicely and I Might by Lorraine Elzia
The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey – Walter Mosley
Price Of Fame – Amaleka McCall
Surrender the Dark – L.A. Banks

Children/Young Adult

Getting Played by Celeste O. Norfleet
Drama Queens –ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Giant Steps To Change The World – Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Terrible Terrel – Whoopi Goldberg
Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. by S.Dodson

Romance

Inseparable – Brenda Jackson
Sweet Persuasions– Rochelle Alers
Unexpected Interruptions – Trice Hickman
Twice The Temptation – Francis Ray
The Proposal – Brenda Jackson

Short stories/Anthologies

A Woman’s Revenge by Tiffany L. Warren, Sherri Lewis and Rhonda McKnight
Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships by Wanda B. Campbell, Dijorn Moss, Tyora Moody and Trinea Moss
Between the Sheets – Tamika Newhouse, NiCola Mitchell and Anna Black

Magazines ( Non-Literary)

Black Enterprise
Ebony
Uptown
JET
Upscale

Magazines ( Literary)

Mosaic Books
Booking Matters
Written
African Voices
Black Literature Magazine

Humorist Award of the Year (Stand-up Comics)

Kevin Hart
Sherri Shepherd
Chris Spencer
Tony Rock
Rickey Smiley

Self Published Author of the Year

The Ultimate Question: Will Love Ever Know Me – Tamika Newhouse
Con Test: Double Life – Rahiem Brooks
Twisted – Ni’cola
Devour, One Man’s Tale of Love, Intimacy, and Ecstasy – D.A. Williams

Breakout Author of the Year

Tour Secrets – Winkk
The Putting Away – Sharel E. Gordon-Love
Open Your Eyes – Schelle Halloway
Shady – Dell Banks
Girl, Get Your Mind Right – Tionna Smalls

Publishing House of the Year

St. Martin’s Press
Kensington
Kimani Press
Grand Central Publishing
Simon & Schuster

Independent Publisher of the Year

Peace In The Storm
A New Quality Publishing
Delphine Publications
NCM Publishing
Black Dawn Books

Author of the Year-Male

J.M. Benjamin – Memoirs Of An Accidental Hustler
Walter Mosley – The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey
E. Lynn Harris & RM Johnson – No One In The World
Carl Weber – Choir Director
K’wan – Welfare Wifeys

Author of the Year – Female

Victoria Christopher Murray (The Deal, The Dance & The Devil)
Kimberla Lawson Roby – Love, Honor and Betray
Pat G’Orge Walker – Don’t Blame The Devil
Nancey Flowers & Courtney Parker – He Was My Man First
Sophia Nelson – Redefining The Black Woman

Bookclub of the Year

Black Expressions
AAMBC
African American Literary Book Club (AALBC)
Go On Girl Bookclub

Television Writer of the Year

Tyler Perry – House Of Payne
Ali LeRoi – Are We There Yet
Mara Brock Akil – The Game
Stacy A. Littlejohn- Single Ladies
Shonda Rhimes – The Practice

Screenwriter of the Year

Tracey E. Edmonds – Jumping The Broom
Salim Akil – Jumping The Broom
Tyler Perry – For Colored Girls
Tyler Perry – Madea’s Big Happy Family

Comic Strip

Aarron McGruder – Boondocks
Jerry Craft – Mama’s Boyz
Ray Billingsley – Curtis
Keith Knight – The K Chronicles
Robb Armstrong –Jumpstart

Comedy Author

Girl, Get Your Mind Right – Tionna Smalls
Is It Just Me?: Or is it nuts out there? – Whoopi Goldberg
Don’t Blame The Devil – Pat G’orge Walker

2011 AAMBC Literary Awards – Nominees and Winners

2011 AAMBC Awards COMING soon
Catering to the independent writer and artist the annual AAMBC Literary Awards is set to announce the official winners at the 1st annual Baltimore Urban Book Festival on April 10, 2011 at the The Fredrick Douglass-Issac Myers Maritime Park Museum. For the third year African Americans on the Move Book Club will honor those who made an impact in the industry with new categories such as Reader’s Choice and Honoree categories such as Awarding of the Indie Writer Sponsorship Award, Literary Legend Award Honoree, and Urban Fiction Book of the Year Honoree. With the same goal in mind of exposing prominent independent writers, there is no other award like AAMBC.

With a new development of the AAMBC awards committee who will take it upon themselves to select the honorees this year’s Award Ceremony is destined to take it to an all new greater heights.

And the nominees are…

AAMBC Author of the Year
Larry Wilson
Desirae Day
Marian L. Thomas
Rahiem Brooks
China Ball

Breakout Author of the Year
Kai
Rahiem Brooks
Karla Brady
Traci Bee
VJ Gotastory

Indie Book Store of the Year
Zahra’s Book Store
Novel Tees
Horizon Books
Urban Knowledge Book Store
Literary Joint

Book Club of the Year
OOSA
Rawsistaz
Chicago Reading Circle
BMORE Readers
Distinct Ladies

Magazine of the Year
Alive
O
Ebony
Essence
Today’s Black Women

Publicist of the Year
Dawn Hardy
Tyora Moody
Pam Perry
Marlene Harris

Indie Publisher of the Year
Melodrama
Cartel Publications
Synergy Publications
Triple Crown Publications
Strebor Books

Street Lit Writer of the Year
K’wan
Wahida Clark
T Styles
KD Harris
Miasha

Reviewer of the Year
Rhea Banks
Urban Book Source
Joey Pinkney
Rawsistaz
Jennifer Cossiore

Poet of the Year
Marc Lacey
Samara King
Charlene Green
GPA

Male Author of the Year
JM Benjamin
Carl Weber
Gregg Burton
Moses Miller
Brian W. Smith

Romance Author of the Year
Trice Hickman
NTyse
Sheila Goss
Suzetta Perkins
Zuri Day

Female Author of the Year
Reshonda Tate Billingsley
Tu-shonda Whitaker
Karla Brady
Monique Mensah
Lutisha Lovely

Readers Choice
Shelia Lipsey
Yasim Harrison
Lutisha Lovely
April Bowden & Jeanie Bell
Isiah Hurst
Cherie Johnson

2011 BCALA Literary Awards

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. announces the winners of the 2011 BCALA Literary Awards during the Midwinter Meeting of the American Library Association in San Diego, CA. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African American authors published in 2010, including the work of a first novelist, and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. The recipients will receive the awards during the 2011 Annual Conference of the American Library Association in New Orleans, LA.

The winner in the Fiction category is Glorious by Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic Books).

McFadden interweaves rich historical details and vivid imaginative fiction in this riveting multi-faceted novel. Easter Venetta Bartlett, a fictional Harlem Renaissance writer, takes the reader on a journey from the Jim Crow South to the Harlem Renaissance and finally the Civil Rights movement. She battles racial oppression, betrayal, triumphs with success and ultimately finds redemption. Glorious is a brilliantly written novel and is destined to become a classic. Bernice L. McFadden is a critically acclaimed novelist and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The winner in the Non-fiction category is The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore (Random House). Honor Books for Non-fiction were also selected: In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance by Wilbert Rideau (Alfred A. Knopf) and John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard (University of Georgia Press).

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates explores the importance of family, circumstance, opportunity, and its impact on African American male identity in urban America. Wes Moore provides an in-depth look into the journey of two African American males who happen to share the same name, but take very different life paths. In an environment disproportionately affected by poverty, a failing educational system, fatherlessness, and the rise of drug culture, this book raises the question of what does it take to positively impact the lives of young African American males? Equipped with a resource guide in its’ final pages, this book is an essential read for those who champion the critical influence of adults in young people’s lives. Wes Moore is a Rhodes Scholar, former White House Fellow, combat veteran of Afghanistan and he works as an investment professional in New York City.

Sentenced to death row for the murder of a white woman at the age of nineteen, Wilbert Rideau spent forty-four years at the Louisiana State Penitentiary also known as Angola and nicknamed “The Farm”, famed for brutality, riots, escape, and murder. His memoir, In the Place of Justice, graphically and poignantly exposes his life in a place of “living hell” and his journey toward rehabilitation as a prison journalist. A saga of determination, transformation, personal integrity and redemption, his triumph over adversity is worthy of recognition and to be shared as a lesson learned. Wilbert Rideau lives in Louisiana and works as a consultant for the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project.

John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism delves into the life and times of an enigmatic figure considered the spiritual father of the Black Arts Movement. Killen’s life and political activism through literature are presented against a mosaic of other more well-known figures including Paul Robeson, W. E. B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and many others. Gilyard presents a well researched portrayal of Killens as novelist, teacher, essayist and founding chair of the Harlem Writers Guild. This is the first biography of John Oliver Killens and a significant contribution to the understanding of his influence as an African American writer activist. Keith Gilyard presently serves as Distinguished Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University.

The recipient of the First Novelist Award is Dolen Perkins-Valdez for Wench (HarperCollins).

Perkins-Valdez captures the complexities of the relationships between enslaved women and their masters in her debut novel Wench. The story centers around a historical resort in Ohio, where southern slave owners were said to have vacationed with their enslaved mistresses. Wench tells the story of four women whose friendship is forged by pain, yet sustained by their love for their children and the hope of freedom. Perkins-Valdez has written an engaging and thought-provoking novel which examines another aspect of complicated relationships resulting from slavery. Dolen Perkins-Valdez teaches creative writing at the University of Puget Sound and divides her time between Washington, DC and Seattle, WA.

For excellence in scholarship, the BCALA Literary Awards Committee presents the Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation to Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man by Harold Battiste Jr. and Karen Celestan (The Historic New Orleans Collection).

Unfinished Blues is a memoir detailing Harold Battiste’s life and career as a musician, composer, producer, arranger, and educator while championing New Orleans jazz for more than fifty years. Lavishly illustrated with personal photographs it promotes and preserves the influence of music on Louisiana culture and heritage. This book is the first of the Louisiana Musician’s Biography Series. Harold Battiste currently resides in New Orleans.

Members of the BCALA Literary Awards Jury are: Gladys Smiley Bell, Hampton University; Karen B. Douglas, Duke University Law Library; Makiba Foster, Washington University in St. Louis; Carolyn Garnes, Library Consultant, Atlanta, GA; Ernestine Hawkins, East Cleveland Public Library; John Page, University of the District of Columbia; and Joel W. White, Durham (NC) County Library.

Literature Nominees for the 42st Annual NAACP Images Awards

LITERATURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Literary Work -Fiction
• ‘A Taste of Honey’ – Jabari Asim (Broadway Books)
• ‘Getting to Happy’ – Terry McMillan (Penguin Group)
• ‘Glorious’ – Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic Books)
• ‘Till You Hear From Me’ – Pearl Cleage (Ballantine Books/One World)
• ‘Wench’ – Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Amistad)

Outstanding Literary Work -Non-Fiction
• ‘Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority’ – Tom Burrell (SmileyBooks)
• ‘Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC’ – Editors: Faith
S. Holsaert, Judy Richardson, Martha Prescod Norman Noonan, Betty Garman
Robinson, Jean Smith Young, Dorothy M. Zellner (University of Illinois Press)
• ‘Surviving and Thriving 365 Days in Black Economic History’ – Dr. Julianne Malveaux
(Last Word Productions, Inc.)
• ‘The History of White People’ – Nell Irvin Painter (W.W. Norton & Company)
• ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’ – Michelle
Alexander (The New Press)

Outstanding Literary Work -Debut Author
• ‘Wench’ – Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Amistad)
• ‘The Girl Who Fell from the Sky’ – Heidi Durrow (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
• ‘The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration’ – Isabel
Wilkerson (Random House)
• ‘Beneath the Lion’s Gaze’ – Maaza Mengiste (W.W. Norton & Company)
• ‘Forest Gate’ – Peter Akinti (Free Press/Simon & Schuster)

Outstanding Literary Work -Biography/Auto-Biography
• ‘Conversations with Myself’ – Ruth Hobday, Nelson Mandela (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
• ‘Decoded’ – Jay-Z (Spiegel & Gran, a division of Random House)
• ‘Extraordinary, Ordinary People’ – Condoleezza Rice (Crown Archetype)
• ‘I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen – My Journey Home’ -
Shoshana Johnson (Touchstone, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
• ‘You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles’ – Ray Charles Robinson,
Jr. (Crown)

Outstanding Literary Work -Instructional
• ‘A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life’ -
Antwone Fisher (Touchstone, An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
• ‘Diet-Free for Life: A Revolutionary Food, Fitness and Mindset Makeover to Maximize Fat Loss’ – Robert Ferguson (Penguin Group USA, Perigee Hardcover)
• ‘If it Takes a Village, Build One: How I Found Meaning Through a Life of Service and 100+ Ways You Can Too’ – Malaak Compton-Rock (Crown Archetype)
• ‘The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms’ – Kirk Franklin (Gotham Books)
• ‘The Little Black Book of Success: Laws of Leadership for Black Women’ – Elaine Meryl Brown, Rhonda McLean, Marsha Haygood (Ballantine Books/One World)

Outstanding Literary Work -Poetry
• ’100 Best African-American Poems’ – Nikki Giovanni (Sourcebooks MediaFusion)
• ‘Hard Times Require Furious Dancing’ – Alice Walker (Author), Shiloh McCloud (Illustrator) (New World Library)
• ‘Holding Company’ – Major Jackson (W.W. Norton & Company)
• ‘Suck on the Marrow’ – Camille T. Dungy (Red Hen Press)
• ‘White Egrets’ – Derek Walcott (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Outstanding Literary Work -Children
• ‘Grandma’s Gift’ – Eric Velasquez (Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books)
• ‘Mama Miti: Wangai Maathai and the Tree of Kenya’ – Donna Jo Napoli (Author), Kadir Nelson (Illustrator) (Paula Wiseman Books, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
• ‘My Brother Charlie’ – Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete (Scholastic Press)
• ‘Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Delores Huerta and Cesar Chavez’ – Monica Brown (Author), Joe Cepeda (Illustrator) (Harper Collins Children’s Books)
• ‘The Great Migration: Journey to the North’ – Eloise Greenfield (Author), Jan Pivey Gilchrist (Illustrator) (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

Outstanding Literary Work -Youth/Teens
• ‘Condoleezza Rice A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me’ – Condoleezza Rice (Random House Children’s Books)
• ‘Lockdown’ – Walter Dean Myers (Harper Collins Children’s Books)
• ‘Malcolm X: I Believe in the Brotherhood of Man, All Men’ – Jeff Burlingame (Enslow Publishers, Inc.)
• ‘Out of My Mind’ – Sharon Draper (Atheneum Young Reader)
• ‘One Crazy Summer’ – Rita Williams-Garcia (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

41st NAACP Image Awards – Literature Nominees

The 2010 NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts (motion picture, television, recording, and literature), as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.

Literature Categories
Winners are highlighted in bold.

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction
“Basketball Jones” – E. Lynn Harris (Doubleday)
“Before I Forget” – Leonard Pitts, Jr. (Agate Bolden)
“Life is Short But Wide” – J. California Cooper (Doubleday)
“The Book of Night Women” – Marlon James (Riverhead Books)
“The Long Fall” – Walter Mosley (Riverhead Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction
“Brain Surgeon: A Doctor’s Inspiring Encounters With Mortality and Miracles” – Keith Black, MD with Arnold Mann (Grand Central Publishing)
“Family Affair: What It Means to be African American Today” – Gil L. Robertson, IV (Agate Bolden)
“Freedom in My Heart: Voices From the United States National Slavery Museum” – Cynthia Jacobs Carter (National Geographic Books)
“In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past” – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Crown)
“Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis” – Al Gore (Rodale Inc.)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author
“3rd Generation Country” – BeNeca Ward (Xlibris Corporation)
“A Question of Freedom” – R. Dwayne Betts (Avery Books)
“Black Water Rising” – Attica Locke (Harper)
“Kiss the Sky: A Novel” – Farai Chideya (Atria Books)
“Lime Tree Can’t Bear Orange” – Amanda Smyth (Three Rivers Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography
“Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud” – Dr. Cornel West (SmileyBooks)
“Michelle Obama” – Deborah Willis (W. W. Norton)
“POPS: A Life of Louis” – Terry Teachout (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
“Shooting Stars” – LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger (The Penguin Press)
“Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne” – James Gavin (Atria Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional
“Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man” – Steve Harvey (Amistad)
“The Conversation: How Black Men & Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships” – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
“Down to Business” – Clara Villarosa with Alicia Villarosa (Avery Books)
“Start Where You Are” – Chris Gardner (Amistad)
“Your Money or Your Life” – Alvin Hall (Atria Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry
“Bicycles” – Nikki Giovanni (William Morrow)
“Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry” – Camille Dungy (The University of Georgia Press)
“Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem” – Mitchell L. H. Douglas (Red Hen Press)
“Mixology: National Poetry Series” – Adrian Matejka (Penguin Group)
“Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall” – Melba Joyce Boyd (Wayne State University Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children
“Child of the Civil Rights Movement” – Paula Young Shelton (Random House Children’s Books)
“Negro Speaks of Rivers” – Langston Hughes (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator) (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)
“Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change” – Michelle Cook (Author), A.G. Ford, Bryan Collier, Charlotte Riley- Webb, Cozbi Cabrera , Diane Dillon, E.B. Lewis, Eric Velasquez , Frank Morrison, James Ransome, Leo Dillon, Pat Cummings , R. Gregory Christie, Shadra Strickland (Illustrators), Marian Wright Edelman (Introduction) (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
“Peeny Butter Fudge” – Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
“Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Toeshoe Trouble” – Whoopi Goldberg with Deborah Underwood (authors), Maryn Roos (Illustrator) (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens
“Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice” – Phillip Hoose (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Farrar Straus and Giroux)
“Just Another Hero” – Sharon Draper (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)
“Mare’s War” – Tanita S. Davis (Random House Children’s Books)
“Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady” – David Bergen Brophy (Collins-An Imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books)
“Rock and the River” – Kekla Magoon (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing)

Tenth Annual New Voices Award by Lee & Low Books

LEE & LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the tenth annual NEW VOICES AWARD. The Award will be given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The Award winner receives a cash grant of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash grant of $500.

Established in 2000, the New Voices Award encourages writers of color to submit their work to a publisher that takes pride in nurturing new talent. Past New Voices Award submissions that we have published include The Blue Roses, winner of the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People; Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds: The Sammy Lee Story, a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Texas Bluebonnet Masterlist selection; and Bird, an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

For more information, see http://www.leeandlow.com/p/new_voices_award.mhtml

Interview with Sharon M. Draper

Sharon M. DraperSharon M. Draper is a professional educator as well as an accomplished writer. She has been honored as the National Teacher of the Year, is a five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Literary Award, and is a New York Times bestselling author. She was selected as Ohio’s Outstanding High School Language Arts Educator, Ohio Teacher of the Year, and was chosen as a NCNW Excellence in Teaching Award winner. She is a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award winner, and was the Duncanson Artist-in-Residence for the Taft Museum. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, and is the recipient of the Dean’s Award from Howard University School of Education, the Pepperdine University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Marva Collins Education Excellence Award, and the Governor’s Educational Leadership Award.

Actively involved in encouraging and motivating all teachers and their students as well, she has worked all over the United States, as well as in Russia, Ghana, Togo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Bermuda, and Guam, spreading the word about the power of accomplished teaching and excellence in education.

Her literary recognition began when, as a challenge from one of her students, she entered and won first prize in a literary contest, for which she was awarded $5000 and the publication of her short story, “One Small Torch.” She has published numerous poems, articles, and short stories in a variety of literary journals. She is the published author of numerous articles, stories, and poems.

Tears of a Tiger has received numerous awards, including the American Library Association/Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for an outstanding new book, and was also honored as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. It was also named as Best of the Best by VOYA and the American Library Association as one of the top 100 books for young adults. Forged by Fire, the sequel to Tears of a Tiger, is the 1997 Coretta Scott King Award winner, as well as the winner of the ALA BEST Book Award and the Parent’s Choice Award and the Indiana Young Hoosier Award.

Darkness Before Dawn, the third book in the trilogy, is an ALA Top Ten Quick Pick, and has received the Children’s Choice Award from the International Reading Association and received the Buckeye Book Award for 2005, and was named an IRA Young Adult Choice for 2003.

Romiette and Julio is also listed as an ALA Best Book and has been selected by the International Reading Association as a 2000 Notable Book for a Global Society, and by the New York Public Library in their Books for the Teen Age.

The Battle of Jericho is the 2004 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, one of the New York Public Library’s Book for the Teen Age, and is one of the 2005 Young Adult Choice Books named by the International Reading Association.

Copper Sun received the 2007 Coretta Scott King Literature award, was named as one of the Top Ten Historical Fiction Books for Youth by Booklist was nominated for the 2007 NAACP Image Award for Literature, and received the Ohioana Award for Young Adult Literature.

November Blues received the 2008 Coretta Scott King Honor Book Literary Award and is honored on the 2008 New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age.

Ms. Draper travels extensively and has been a guest on television and radio programs throughout the country, discussing issues of literature, reading, and education. She is an accomplished public speaker who addresses educational and literary groups of all ages, both nationally and internationally, with entertaining readings of her poetry and novels, as well as enlightening instructional presentations. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and a golden retriever named Honey.

Web site: www.sharondraper.com


  1. You have been recognized a number of times for your achievements as an educator.  Has teaching or your school experience influenced your writing?

    I think that being a teacher made me a better writer. But the two are inseparable. I’ve retired, but I’m in schools quite often, so I may as well be teaching. I think I understand kids’ mindset. Kids change, and slang changes, and the way young people look at the world changes a little bit, but basically, if you’re fifteen, you’re too tall, too short, too fat, too skinny, your hair’s too curly or too straight — you’re never quite right. If you understand that all fifteen-year-old girls feel like that whether they let you know it or not, then you can start to build a character. The girls will say to me, “That’s just the way I feel!” You know fifteen-year-old boys are worried about whether fifteen-year-old girls will like them. They might know a lot more than we knew at their age, but there’s still that innocence of a child. I think because I was a teacher I can capture that, and kids trust me. They write me letters like, “Dear Sharon, Girl, you is the bomb!” They write to me like they know me because I write like I know them, and they seem to feel it. They ask me questions; they ask me for advice. It’s amazing the things that they write to me. I really appreciate their trust.

  2. It must be a wonderful feeling to go into a classroom now as an author and to see your books in school libraries.  What is the reaction of your educational colleagues?

    I’m still blown away when I visit a school library and I see rows and rows of my books. Well-worn, well-used, taped together. I was an avid reader as a kid, and to be that author that kids clamor for now is truly humbling. My colleagues who are teachers and librarians are so very supportive. They make great use of the study materials I provide on my website (sharondraper.com), and they await new titles so they can share them with their students. I can’t ask for anything more. Their support and their sharing of the books with their students means everything to me.

  3. How do your readers react?  Any favorite stories?

    I get hundreds of emails and letters from students during the year. They are frank, sometimes funny, and always honest. “I have to do a report on you. Tell me everything you know about yourself. My report is due tomorrow, so please reply quickly.”

    Lots of them get very involved in the lives of the characters in the books–they want to know more about them–almost like they are friends by the time they finish them. That’s one reason why I write trilogies. What was just one book, becomes two, and then becomes three–mostly because of letters and inquiries from student readers. One girl asked me for the home phone number of one of the characters in Tears of a Tiger. She wrote me, “That girl has some serious issues, but I think I can help her!”

    Many students tell me, “I never liked to read” or “I’ve never read a whole book before” but “I read your book in one night and I couldn’t wait to read the others.” They like the reality and the honesty of the stories and locations and characters. Some of the letters are very touching. Sometimes they tell me that reading one of the books changed their lives. I had a student tell me she called the child abuse hotline in the back of Forged by Fire. She wrote me to thank me for saving her life. Another student wrote that he was depressed and was thinking of taking his life, but after reading Tears of a Tiger, he decided to live. I counseled him to talk to someone he trusted, and he wrote me back that he had. Anther student said she was reading Tears of a Tiger in class and that weekend some of her friends were drinking at a party. She thought about BJ in the book (who doesn’t drink), so she called her mother to come and pick her up. Her friends were killed that night in an automobile accident. It’s an awesome responsibility to have so much response to what I’ve written. That’s why I try so hard to make every single book ring true and honest and why I try to be available to them. I try to answer every single email and every single letter that I receive.

    One ninth-grade student who was interviewing for the school paper asked me what I thought about the powerful effect my books have on kids all over the country. I told her, “The proper answer is ‘It’s very gratifying,’ but the real answer is ‘way cool!”

  4. Are most of your readers girls?

    No, from the emails I receive, I’d say the audience is divided pretty equally between boys and girls, and represent all races.

  5. Any thoughts on what your readers are reading? Any impressions on what African American boys and girls are reading and the choices that they have for entertainment?

    I have found that young African Americans are reading lots more than the news media and the general public gives them credit for. We just need to provide them with quality books that speak to them. I would hope that young Black readers would demand such quality. We so often stoop to the lowest common denominator, like purchasing music which denigrates our women in the name of culture. So I’d hope that these young readers would demand books that reflect who they really are. As I travel around the country and talk to high school students, I’m overwhelmed by their strength and resilience, by their dreams for their future. Books should reflect their struggles and mirror their aspirations, not denigrate them into caricatures of reality. We’ve come too far to settle for less than the best.

    I tell them to read all the time. Read for pleasure and read for knowledge. Read to escape from problems and read to learn how to solve them. Read because you can. Our ancestors were beaten and even killed for daring to learn to read. Don’t let their sacrifice be for nothing. Honor them by reading all the time.

  6. Considering your success as an writer, it seems amazing that you started writing almost on a dare.  And that your first story was turned down by 24 publishers. Did you take this “writing thing” as a challenge?

    The first short story was written as a challenge, but everything else came from some place deep within me. Writing for me is a very fluid process–I sit down a wait for the words to come. They usually do—in buckets and waves. It’s amazing. I look upon it as a blessing because the words come so easily. Sometimes I can’t even type fast enough to get the words out. When I write, I try to make strong characters that change and develop and learn from their mistakes. I think the layering comes in the story development. The plot is born from the idea, then is crafted by the characters and how they respond to what happens to them. I get up early in the morning and write all day—maybe ten or twelve hours a day. It is truly an act of immersion. It’s a thrilling, exciting process. I think I’ve just finished my twenty-ninth book!

  7. You also have a couple of “Sassy” books ready to hit the shelves. Sassy represents a change of pace for you: your first series geared toward middle-grade girls. What can you tell us about “Sassy”?

    My daughter owns a dance studio, and I’m often there talking to the middle-grade girls who take dance classes. They are avid readers, enthusiastic conversationalists, and lively participants in their world. They have strong opinions about fashions and fads, about family and friends. I wanted to capture their joy of life, so I decided to create a character and write a book that they could embrace with passion. I think readers will love Sassy’s “spark and sparkle.” She’s delightful, yet realistic, with a strong sense of self and a yearning to find her place in the world. She could be anyone’s “little sister.”

    I hope that girls as well as boys enjoy reading about Sassy and her adventures. I wanted to show a strong family setting, with busy parents who care for their children, and an extended family of grandparents who complete the circle. The stories are easy enough to be read by children in second or third grade, but have ideas advanced enough for discussion for children in upper elementary grades as well.

    But the Sassy books are not my first books for this age group. I have written six books called The Ziggy and the Black Dinosaurs series. These books, in which the main characters are African American boys, are geared to grades 3, 4, and 5 as well. I do lots of presentations at elementary schools and I love talking to, and listening to the children. They ask wonderful questions and are deeply excited about books and reading. When I write, I try to capture their voices and their honesty. Their age doesn’t matter.
  8. What can you tell us about Just Another Hero, and the preceding novels, The Battle for Jericho and November Blues?
    Just Another Hero is Book 3 in the Jericho Trilogy. In Book One, The Battle of Jericho, we meet the characters and discover that making the right decisions is one of the hardest choices faces teens today. They feel so pressured to fit in that they are often willing to even risk their own lives to feel part of the accepted crowd. So Jericho and his friends make terrible decisions, and young readers can talk about those choices.
    Book Two, November Blues, continues the story by focusing on the girlfriend of one of the young men in the first book. She is left to face her own choices alone, and she struggles through much of the book as a consequence.
    When I started Book Three, Just Another Hero, I wanted to tackle the issue of school violence, but I couldn’t write about killing children. I wanted to bring up the issue so young adults can talk about it, without gratuitous bloodshed. I also wanted to discuss the idea of heroism. What is a hero? What makes a hero? We have a tendency to think of heroes as movie stars; I wanted young people to talk about the real heroes in their lives.
  9. Any plans to do a “grown-up” novel?

    I have no plans to write an adult novel. I love writing for teen readers.

  10. Any favorite books or authors? What’s on your nightstand?

    Currently, I still am a reader. That stack of books by everyone’s bed — I have that same stack: books I’ve read, books I’m going to read, books I need to read, books that people have told me are good books to read. My favorite author right now is Diane McKinney-Whetstone. She’s an African-American author, and if I could write grown-up books, I’d write like her. She just writes beautifully, with quality and with depth. I sent her an e-mail recently and said, “I don’t want to sound like one of the fifteen-year-olds who write to me, but gee, I like your writing!” I really did sound like a kid when I wrote it. I also admire Olympia Vernon, who is a powerful, powerful African-American voice.

  11. If you were asked to coalesce your work into one sentence, what might that be?

    I try to write powerful, meaningful stories for young people and show them I understand the difficulties of growing up, and to let them know I care.

40th NAACP Image Awards for Literature

The NAACP Image Awards is the NAACP’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts (motion picture, television, recording, and literature), as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

“Blood Colony: A Novel” – Tananarive Due (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
“Going Down South: A Novel” – Bonnie J. Glover (Random House/One World/Ballentine)
“In the Night of the Heat: A Tennyson Hardwick Novel” – Blair Underwood, Tananarive Due, Steven Barnes (Atria Books/ Simon & Schuster)
“Just Too Good to Be True” – E. Lynn Harris (Doubleday)
“Song Yet Sung” – James McBride (Riverhead Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction

“Hope on a Tightrope: Words and Wisdom” – Cornel West (Smiley Books)
“Letter to My Daughter” – Maya Angelou (Random House)
“Moving to Higher Ground” – Wynton Marsalis, Geoffrey Ward (Random House)
“The Sea is So Wide And My Boat Is So Small” – Marian Wright Edelman (Hyperion)
“There’s No Traffic on the Extra Mile: Lessons on the Road From Dreams to Destiny” – Rickey Minor (Gotham Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

“Barack, Race, and the Media: Drawing My Own Conclusion” – David Glenn Brown (David G. Brown Studios)
“The Beautiful Struggle” – Ta-Nehisi Coates (Spiegel and Grau)
“Homeroom Heroes: Freshman Edition” – Michael B. Jordan, Rahfeal Gordan (RahGor Publishing)
“No Way Home” – Carlos Acosta (Scribner)
“War of the Blood In My Veins” – Dashaun “Jiwe” Morris (Scribner)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Auto-Biography

“21 Nights” – Prince (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
“Baldwin’s Harlem: A Biography of James Baldwin” – Herb Boyd (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
“The Black List” – Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Elvis Mitchell (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
“The Legs Are The Last To Go” – Diahann Carroll (Amistad)
“Maya Angelou: A Glorious Celebration” – Marcia Ann Gillespie, Rosa Johnson Butler, Richard A. Long (Doubleday)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

“32 Ways To Be A Champion In Business” – Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Crown Business)
“The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life” – Kevin Powell (Atria Books/Simon & Schuster)
“Dining In” – G. Garvin (Meredith Books)
“Good is not Enough and Other Unwritten Rules for Minority Professionals” – Keith R. Wyche (Portfolio/Centennial)
“Tapping the Power Within: A Path To Self-Empowerment For Women” – Iyanla Vanzant (Smiley Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

“Hardheaded Weather” – Cornelius Eady (Marian Wood Books)
“Hip Hop Speaks To Children: A Celebration of “Poetry With A Beat” – Nikki Giovanni (Source Books/Jabberwocky)
“Honoring the Ancestors” – James Cherry (Third World Press)
“Things I Must Have Known” – A B Spellman (Coffee House Press)
“Warhorses” – Yusef Komunyakaa (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

“Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem” – Maya Angelou (illustrators – Lou Fancher & Steven Johnson) (Schwartz & Wade)
“Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope” – Nikki Grimes, (illustrator – Bryan Collier) (Simon & Schuster)
“Say a Little Prayer” – Dionne Warwick, David Freeman Wooley, Tonya Bolden, (illustrator – Soud) (Running Press)
“We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball” – Kadir Nelson (Disney Publishing)
“You Can Do It!” – Tony Dungy, (illustrator – Amy June Bates) (Simon & Schuster)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

“Beacon Hills High” – Mo’Nique Hicks, Sherri McGee McCovey (Amistad)
“Joseph” – Shelia P. Moses (Simon & Schuster)
“Letters To A Young Sister: Define Your Destiny” – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
“Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s American Heroes: Robert Smalls, The Boat Thief” – Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., (illustrator Patrick Faricy) (Disney Hyperion)
“Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic” – Whoopi Goldberg, Deborah Underwood, (illustrator – Maryn Roos) (Disney Publishing)

2009 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Monday, January 26, 2009
Announcing the 2009 Coretta Scott King Book Award Recipients

Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream.

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 and world brotherhood.
More about the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Author Award

Kadir Nelson
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Author Honor Books

Hope Anita Smith
Keeping the Night Watch
published by Henry Holt and Company

Joyce Carol Thomas
The Blacker the Berry
published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Carole Boston Weatherford
Becoming Billie Holiday
published by Wordsong, an imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc

Illustrator Award

Floyd Cooper
The Blacker the Berry
published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Illustrator Honor Books

Kadir Nelson
We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball
published by Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group

Jerry Pinkney
The Moon Over Star
published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

Sean Qualls
Before John Was a Jazz Giant
published by Henry Holt and Company

John Steptoe Awards for New Talent

These books affirm new talent and offer visibility to excellence in writing or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published book creator.

Shadra Strickland
Bird
published by Lee & Low Books

Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song

Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song
by Ashley Bryan (Illustrator), Bill McGuinness (Photographer)

Available 01/06/09

Ashley’s autobiography is full of art, photographs, and the poignant never-say-never tale of his rich life, a life that has always included drawing and painting. Even as a boy growing up during the Depression, he painted — finding cast off objects to turn into books and kites and toy and art. Even as a solder in the segregated Army on the beaches of Normandy, he sketched — keeping charcoal crayons and paper in his gasmask to draw with during lulls. Even as a talented, visionary art student who was accepted and then turned away from college upon arrival, the school telling Ashley that to give a scholarship to an African American student would be a waste, he painted — continuing to create art when he could have been discouraged, continuing to polish his talents when his spirit should have been beaten. Ashley went on to become a Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee, a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, and a multiple Coretta Scott King award winner. As you might imagine, his story is powerful, bursting with his creative energy, and a testament to believing in oneself. It’s a book every child in America should have access to and it does what the very best autobiographies do; it inspires!