New York, NY (BlackNews.com) â€“The QBR Wheatley Book Awards recognizes the best African American books and writers in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Children’s books. The Wheatley Legacy Award is given to deserving authors whose body of work transcends time, race and culture. This years recipients are poet, writer, activist Nikki Giovanni and award-winning childrens book illustrator Jerry Pinkney. The Wheatley Book Awards will take place on the campus of Columbia University on Friday, July 17th from 7p.m. to 9 p.m. Seating is free but reservations are required. Reservations can be secured by visiting Eventbrite.com.
About the 2015 Legacy Award recipients:
Nikki Giovanni gained fame in the late 1960s as one of the foremost authors of the Black Arts Movement. One of the world’s most well-known African American poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator, Ms. Giovannis work includes poetry anthologies, poetry recordings, and nonfiction essays, and covers topics ranging from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has won numerous awards, including the Langston Hughes Medal, the NAACP Image Award, and has been nominated for a Grammy Award. Influenced by the civil rights and Black Power movements of the period, her early work provided a strong, militant African-American perspective. Over subsequent decades, her works discussed social issues, human relationships, and hip-hop.
Jerry Pinkney won the 2010 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing The Lion & the Mouse, a version of Aesop’s fable that he also wrote. He also has five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, four Gold and four Silver medals from the Society of Illustrators, and the Boston GlobeHorn Book Award for John Henry. For his contribution as a children’s illustrator, Pinkney was the U.S. nominee in 1998 for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition for creators of children’s books. In 1977, the United States Postal Service commissioned Mr. Pinkney to create the first nine postage stamps for the Black Heritage stamp series.
About the Harlem Book Fair:
Now in its 17th year, the Harlem Book Fair is the nations largest and most respected African American book festival. Televised annually by C-Span’s BookTV and attended by thousands, the Harlem Book Fair features acclaimed authors, panel discussions, writing workshops, and more. For additional information on the Wheatley Awards or the Harlem Book Fair, contact Pittershawn Palmer at 914-231-6778.
Photos: Nikki Giovanni and Jerry Pinkney