Javaka Steptoe

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Lift Every Voice: My Own Origin Story

Growing up, I always loved magic. It was exciting, because I was a curious kid who devoted a good deal of brainpower to figuring out the whys of the world. This love of magic eventually manifested in a love of science — and with it science fiction — which permeated...

2017 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Javaka Steptoe

Photo: Hidden Chapel Studios“Nobody loves a genius child.” Langston Hughes’s poem “Genius Child” was read at Jean-Michel Basquiat’s memorial service by his friend Freddy Brathwaite, also known as Fab 5 Freddy, host of Yo! MTV Raps. It sums up the love-hate relationship many of us have with bringers of change....

2017 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Javaka Steptoe

I would like to begin by taking a moment to point out that I am in Chicago, and to recognize the contribution of another Jean to this day. For those of you who are unaware, Jean Baptiste Pointe Du Sable — a Haitian man of African and French descent —...

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