Announcing the 17th Class of 28 Days Later Honorees

Happy 2024, Friends!

We were on hiatus most of last year. Happy to be back celebrating outstanding Black children’s book creators.

This time, we’re doing something new. We’re collaborating with our Amplify Black Stories fellows to salute their work and give you an update on the members of The Brown Bookshelf team.

Not familiar with Amplify Black Stories? It was an amazing 2021 initiative co-sponsored by The Brown Bookshelf and The Highlights Foundation that offered a year-long program to empower two dozen published Black children’s book creators with classes, community, resources and more. So proud of the difference Amplify has been making. The program was conceived by The Brown Bookshelf, Renée  Watson and Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson with incredible support from The Highlights Foundation. It was a living commitment to our 2020 Kidlit Industry Call to Action.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll feature an Amplify fellow in a self-authored post.  That will be followed, starting on February 21, with daily profiles on The Brown Bookshelf team and will close out with a post by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson who are celebrating the 35th anniversary of their ground-breaking company, Just Us Books.

Check out our sneak peek of four mini profiles of Amplify creators below, featuring words from their websites and The Highlights Foundation site.

Time to celebrate! Please join us by sharing the posts on social media, reading and sharing the books of our honorees and considering them for your collections.

Special thanks to Nikki Shannon Smith, TeMika Grooms, Bryan Patrick Avery and Mélina Mangal for their help with this year’s 28 Days Later. We’re proud of our legacy as The Brown Bookshelf and look forward to sharing news about an exciting new initiative over the coming months. Thank you for your support.

K. Tempest Bradford

Credit: Jason Hill Photography

“I’m K. Tempest Bradford, a Black, queer, cis woman (pronouns: she/her), author, teacher, media critic, podcaster, and community organizer who writes fantasy and science fiction steeped in Black Girl Magic. I’m currently hunkered down in the Pacific Northwest doing my best to change the culture for the better from my corner of the world.

I write speculative fiction. That’s a fancy way of saying I write fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, and occasionally stuff that slides between genres. I write about Black girls and women who are magical and brilliant and filled with Black joy.”

Her debut middle-grade novel was Ruby Finley vs. The Interstellar Invasion

Read K. Tempest Bradford’s full bio here.

 

Hasani Claxton

“My paintings and sculptures highlight the individuality of Black people — a luxury often denied to us in Western society. My work is concerned with subcultures that defy popular conceptions of Blackness: Black nerds, punk rockers, bohemians, among others. Similarly, my work disregards cultural expectations, finding inspiration in Japanese anime and manga, as well as American comics. I merge the eccentric visual language of these mediums with realist painting and sculpture, thus blurring the lines between realism and surrealism, between popular culture and fine art. Each work presents a crossover of ideas, affirming that culture is itself an infinitely malleable medium.”

He was a contributing author to The Antiracist Kitchen: 21 Stories (and Recipes), edited by fellow Amplify creator, Nadia L. Hohn, and his first graphic novel is scheduled for release in 2026.

Read Hasani Claxton’s bio here

Christine Kendall

Christine Kendall grew up in a family of artists, the fourth of six children, where everyone studied the piano along with one other instrument. She still feels sorry for the neighbors. They woke up one morning and found themselves living next door to a flute, two clarinets, a french horn, a cello, a set of drums, and always, always somebody on the piano. Christine wasn’t any good on the clarinet or the piano but she loved writing.

Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and her debut novel, Riding Chance, was nominated for a NAACP Image Award. Her second novel, The True Definition of Neva Beane, is out now from Scholastic. An active member of the literary community, Christine serves as a juror for the New York City Book Awards. She currently lives in Philadelphia where, along with local writer Matt Jakubowski, she co-curates and hosts the award winning reading series Creative at the Cannery.

Learn more about Christine Kendall here.

Debbie Ann Taylor

9/16/10 Debbie Taylor, Director, Women in Engineering Office.

“I write for children because I know the power of language and the meaningful effect that books have. I write books to enrich their lives, broaden their knowledge, and instill that love of language. I am also interested in creating books that will give voice to characters often absent from children’s literature, especially women in STEM and working-class characters. Such books will promote resilience and fortitude but will also elicit wonder and joy. Children need books that satisfy and fortify them and that will challenge and empower them.”

Her books include Sweet Music in Harlem, illustrated by Frank Morrison, and Over in Motown, illustrated by Keisha Morris.

Learn more about Debbie Ann Taylor here.

We feel a party coming on. Here’s who else will be featured:

Day 1 – Tonya Duncan Ellis

Day 2 – Lisa Stringfellow

Day 3 – Andrea J. Loney

Day 4 – Nikki Shannon Smith

Day 5 – Sharee Miller

Day 6 – Judy Allen Dodson

Day 7 – Valerie Bolling

Day 8 – Brittany J. Thurman

Day 9 – Bryan Patrick Avery

Day 10 – Dinah Johnson

Day 11 – Janae Marks

Day 12 – Mélina Mangal

Day 13 – TeMika Grooms

Day 14 – Sharon Langley

Day 15 – Cathy Ann Johnson-Conforto

Day 16 – Leah Henderson

Day 17 – Nadia L. Hohn

Day 18 – Lisa Moore Ramee

Day 19 – Ronni Davis

Day 20 – Pamela M. Tuck

Day 21 – Tracey Baptiste

Day 22 – Kelly Starling Lyons and Gwendolyn Hooks

Day 23 – Tameka Fryer Brown

Day 24 – Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Day 25 – Crystal Allen

Day 26 – Don Tate

Day 27 – Paula Chase

Day 28 – Varian Johnson

Day 29 – Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson

 

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