Sentinels in Long Still Rows

Sentinels in Long Still Rows

I think I know what more I would like to see. As honorary chair of the Coretta Scott King Award Awareness Campaign for the next three years, I would like to see more recognition for the black artists and writers who have been honored with a Coretta Scott King Award (; I would like to see a special place in public libraries for Coretta Scott King Award Books, displayed in a public manner in a place of honor. It certainly would be an aid to students doing projects during Black History Month. I, myself, am ever so popular that time of the year. But I must say, schoolchildren read my books, far beyond just The People Could Fly, all during the year. It would be nice if I could send young people off to their libraries knowing they would have all the information on the wonderful Coretta Scott King Award books right at hand, every day of the year.

This article presents a rare opportunity for me to speak directly to librarians and colleagues throughout American libraries. We have been true fellow and sister workers for the 30-plus years I have been writing books. You are a hand up to authors and readers both.

There will be activities sponsored by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the American Library Association’s Social Responsibilities Round Table over the next three years that will continue to open lines of communication between black authors and illustrators and American libraries. And as we renew and strengthen our focus on public education and reading, we increase our efforts in support of the finest literature for the young and the active participation of librarians.

We of the parallel cultures want to be counted as givers to the learning process of children.

VIRGINIA HAMILTON, celebrated children’s author, has won three Coretta Scott King Author Awards and six Honor Book Awards over the past 20 years. Her newest book, Bluish, is scheduled to be published this fall.

American Libraries * June/July 1999