Rita Williams-Garcia

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Lift Every Voice: From One Book to Many

When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school hired a new librarian. I don’t remember her name. I only know that she was young, white, and had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. This new librarian taught us African songs and dances, and would then put on music...

Look Here. Not There. — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

I am honored to give this year’s Zena Sutherland Lecture, named for an important educator and champion of children’s literature. Where the world saw shock and controversy in such now-iconic children’s books as Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen, Zena Sutherland saw imagination and humanity. Where the world saw idealization of...

2016 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Rita Williams-Garcia

Good morning, family. I am overjoyed to once again stand before you. Honestly, I hoped for a Coretta Scott King Honor. I just wanted to be here at the table, as one of the many being honored.You would think that by now, I’d have it together. I would know: put...

Rita Williams-Garcia's 2014 CSK Author Award Acceptance

Good morning, family. I am honored to stand before you all: Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee Chair Kim Patton and the committee; most distinguished fellow honorees; and all of us joined through our love of books, tolerance, and peace.A certain type of ignorance is truly bliss. I’d been writing...

One Crazy Road to Here: CSK Author Award Acceptance

My mother, Miss Essie, used to tell my sister, my brother, and me, “Eat every bit of food on your plate today, because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.” Like many Americans, my siblings and 
I have an eye on the future, and we keep pushing although we’reuncertain about...

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