I found out recently about this wonderful new initiative : The Brown Bookshelf
"The Brown Bookshelf is a group of 5 authors and illustrators, brought together for the collective goal of showcasing the best and brightest voices in African-American Children’s Literature, with a special emphasis on new authors and books that are “flying under the radar.”"
And they are not wasting any time either. They've already launched the "28 Days Later" campaign. During the twenty-eight days of Black History Month, they’ll be profiling a different children’s or young adult author. They are taking nominations until December 1. So, if you know a book written by an African-American author, old or new, well-known or not, that you've loved and would like to add to their growing list, visit The Brown Bookshelf website
It just happens that I met one of the five authors Kelly Starling Lyons at the last workshop conducted by Uma so it's really great to see her being a part of this. From the few works in progress she shared with us during the class, I could see that she has a strong voice, a style that is lyric, poetic, and her stories are full of heart.
I've also been a silent lurker on Don Tate's blog for a little while, now. I like his voice, too - only the blogger's voice, so far, but I know we'll be reading his author's voice soon. There is a no-nonsense quality to it, not to mention humor and obvious sensitivity. Well, he's an artist, right?
I've nominated "SHOW WAY" by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Hudson Talbott. Jackie Woodson is not really an author "flying under the radar," but that book, and the author's voice telling the text at the LA SCBWI conference, in 2006 - couldn't make it in 2007, sniff - have never left me, since that day. I also added NEW BOY by Julian Houston. Christopher Paul Curtis had already been mentioned. But this is great, because, as I scanned the list of books nominated, I saw quite a few, and authors' names, too, that I'd never heard of.
Good luck to you all, at The Brown Bookshelf!