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Kim Jenice Dillon

Known for his books for children, John Shearer was born and raised in New York City and attended Rochester Institute of Technology and School of Visual Arts. In 1970, he became staff photographer for Look and Life, and contributed photographs to other national magazines, including Popular Photography and Infinity.

Shearer entered the field of children's and young adult literature with I Wish I Had an Afro (1970), a nonfiction essay exploring the challenges of rearing an African American boy in poverty. Shearer's black-and-white photographs contribute to the intense depiction of an urban family's struggle against ignorance, gangs, and drugs. Shearer's talent for illustrating narratives of childhood experience is seen also in Little Man in the Family (1972 a double photographic essay exploring the lives of two boys from differing racial and class backgrounds Louis Berrios is Puerto Rican and lives in a New ...


Wangari wa Nyatetũ-Waigwa

Ivorian writer, painter, illustrator, and academic, was born in Paris, France, in 1955 to a French mother and an Ivorian father. She grew up in Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast, and studied literature at the National University of Abidjan, earning a BA in English. She read a great deal of French poetry, including much by the poets of Négritude, whose “political commitment and lyricism” she found compelling. Tadjo acknowledges that these early readings exercised a profound influence on her own writing, and she tries “to retain this element of political commitment,” while not losing sight of the literary dimension. Her own approach lays emphasis on a “sense of responsibility,” thereby placing her among the new African writers who steer away from the culture of victimization and blame.

Discovering that the Négritude writers had been greatly influenced by the Harlem Renaissance she developed an interest in that movement subsequently ...