Born in Washington, DC in 1963 Andrea Davis Pinkney was an infant during the Civil Rights Movement, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary. And yet she tells the stories of those days with beauty and passion – in words and pictures that communicate with children of today. Today Pinkney is a highly regarded writer, editor and publisher, creator of stories that bring deeper understanding of African American heritage to young readers.
Pinkney’s elegant books for children, many illustrated by her husband Brian, have earned her a host of awards, including the famed Coretta Scott King award. Her acceptance speech on that occasion warrants legacy status.
And “Rejoice the Legacy!” is the title of the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture she will deliver on May 3, 2014, at Willey Hall on the University of Minnesota campus. The Arbuthnot Lecture is a prestigious honor bestowed by the Association of Library Services to Children, a network of over 4000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educators.
To prepare for and further illustrate the Arbuthnot Lecture Lisa VonDrasek, Curator, and staff of the Children’s Literature Research (Kerlan) Collection at the U of M have prepared an exhibit that brings to memory the stories of the Civil Rights Movement era. One visual highlight of that exhibit is a real-life reconstruction of the famous lunch counter where protesters sat in to protest the ways in which the civil rights of African Americans were trampled in a nation that prides itself on equality.
The exhibit at the Andersen Library on the University of Minnesota West Bank is open now during library hours. Included in the exhibit are original art and sketches selected from Pinkney’s children’s and young adult titles, “providing insight into one writer’s creative process as well as a peek into editorial practice.”
The Arbuthnot lecture is set for 7:00 pm. at Willey Hall on the U of M campus. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. A reception and signing will follow the event. Required tickets are free for the lecture and can be obtained from the U of M website.
For more information or with questions, contact the Children’s Literature Research Collection at https://www.lib.umn.edu/clrc/new-manuscripts. One treasure on the CLRC website is a great Educator’s Guide to one of Pinkney’s books, Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, the story of the peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s lunch counter and its role in the Civil Rights Movement.
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