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On Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s “You can be president” (from March 1997)

“Our Sunday evening news conferences with the presidents were always intense, informative, and a whole lot of fun.” I don’t know about you, but on this Monday before election day, I’m in dire need of something hopeful. “You can be president,” from the March/April 1997 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is just that. I […]

Fredrick L. McKissack (1939-2013)

Author Fredrick L. McKissack died April 28, 2013, at the age of seventy-three. With his wife, Patricia McKissack, he wrote more than one hundred books about the African American experience, many award-winning, including A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter; Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters; Sojourner Truth: Ain’t […]

For the McKissacks, Black Is Boundless

Carter Woodson would be pleased as punch. The “father of black history” was famously dour, but he was also known to light up at word of some victory for the cause — healthy ticket sales for a Negro History Week event, respectful mention in the press. What would he make, then, of a pair of […]

“You can be president”

Sunday dinner in our family is a time for sharing food and ideas. One night, we discussed the upcoming presidential election. We ended by saying to each of our three sons, “You can be president.” Spontaneously, the oldest, Fred Jr., stood up, burst forth with a full chorus of “Hail to the Chief,” and declared […]

Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack’s 1993 BGHB NF speech for “Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman?”

FRED: It is with great pride and an equal measure of humility that we accept the 1993 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for nonfic­tion, for Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? PAT: There are more people to thank than time will permit, but we’d like to acknowledge a few people. FRED: First, we’d like to thank […]