Dare Coulter


DARE COULTER is an award-winning artist, muralist, and sculptor. Her mission for her artwork is primarily to create positive and magical imagery of black people and families. She hopes to have a mural on every continent within the next five years, and a series of monumental sculptures depicting black joy all over the world. Her objective to share positive depictions led her to children’s books.  An American Story is her first traditionally published title. Dare was recently Raleigh, North Carolina’s first-ever artist in residence, and was commissioned by University of North Carolina Wilmington to create a monument celebrating Black lives.



New York Times Bestselling and award-winning author of The Undefeated, Kwame Alexander and illustrator Dare Coulter penned a powerful picture book with stunning mixed-media illustrations.  The book tells the story of American slavery through the voice of a teacher struggling to help her students understand its harrowing history. From the fireside tales in an African village, through the unspeakable passage across the Atlantic, to the backbreaking work in the fields of the South, this is a story of a people’s struggle and strength, horror, and hope. The book is also the story of American slavery, a story that needs to be told and understood by all of us. A testament to the resilience of the African American community, this book honors what has been and envisions what is to be.



When Zora grows up, she wants to be just like Aunt Bea. Aunt Bea is the best storyteller she knows! Every day after school, Zora heads to her aunt’s house, where they take out their family book and turn Aunt Bea’s kitchen into their stage. As the days pass, Zora notices something’s happening to Aunt Bea. She gets tired more quickly, and sometimes she needs Zora to tell the stories instead. Zora never imagined that Aunt Bea’s tales would ever stop, but in addition to creating lots of joy and a lifetime of memories, Aunt Bea had been working on her greatest gift of all: preparing Zora to become the story keeper.

Lyrically told by Dr. Ebony Joy Wilkins and exquisitely rendered with mixed-media illustrations by Dare Coulter, Zora, the Story Keeper captures the richness and scope of Black American life through the lens of one family across generations.