Results of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards in the year 2009. Due to multiple honors from a single award, the following titles received no points in this category: The Blacker the Berry.
“We are the ship; all else the sea.”—Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League
The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. It is a perfect mirror for the social and political history of black America in the first half of the twentieth century. But most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about hundreds of unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball. Using an “Everyman” player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the…[more]
Before the legend of Billie Holliday, there was a girl named Eleanora. The world, however, would know her as Billie Holliday, possibly one of the greatest jazz singers of all time. Eleanora’s journey into legend took her through pain, poverty and run-ins with the law. By the time she was fifteen, she knew she possessed something that could change her life—a voice. Eleanora could sing! Her remarkable voice led her to a place in the spotlight with some of the era’s hottest big bands. Billie Holliday sang as if she lived each lyric and in many ways she had.
Through a sequence of raw and poignant poems, award-winning poet, Carole Boston Weatherford chronicles Eleanora Fagan’s metamorphosis into Billie Holliday and the dream she pursued with passion.
We are color struck
The way an artist strikes
His canvas with his brush of many hues
Look closely at these mirrors
these palettes of skin
Each color is rich
in its own right
Black is dazzling and distinctive, like toasted wheat berry bread; snowberries in the fall; rich, red cranberries; and the bronzed last leaves of summer. In this lyrical and luminous collection, Coretta Scott King honorees Joyce Carol Thomas and Floyd Cooper celebrate these many shades of black beautifully.
So many unanswered questions weigh down thirteen-year-old C.J. as he struggles to understand why his father walked out. His father is back now, though C.J. is not as quick to forgive as the other members of his family. He still feels the weight of responsibility that fell on his shoulders when Daddy was gone, and he’s not prepared to give that up. But C.J.’s anger is making him a stranger in his own home, and instead of life seeming better now that Daddy has returned, it feels worse. Through powerful poems, Hope Anita Smith chronicles the nuanced emotions of a family that is slowly learning to heal and put the pieces back together.