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The 29th Annual African American Children's Book Fair will be held virtually on Saturday, February 6, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Hosted by the African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP), the book fair is one of the oldest and largest single-day events for children's books in the country.

The virtual Book Fair is being hosted on

February 6, 2021

11:00am – 4:00pm EST / 8:00am-1:00pm PST

Support The African American Children's Book Project

Click the button to purchase books of all of the book fair authors and illustrators. Proceed of your purchase supports the activities of The African American Children's Book Project. Our bookseller is the Literary Cafe - Books & Events who specializes in Black children's books - preschool to young adult, hosting and producing literary events.


2021 Participants

Tami Charles

TAMI CHARLES is a former teacher and full-time author of picture books, middle grade and young adult novels, and nonfiction. As a teacher, she made it her mission to introduce her students to all types of literature, but especially diverse books. While it was refreshing to see a better selection than what she was accustomed to as a child, Tami felt there weren’t nearly as many diverse books as she’d hoped for. It was then that she decided to reignite her passion for writing. Tami is the author of middle grade novels Like Vanessa and Definitely Daphne; Becoming Beatriz, a YA novel; and the picture book Freedom Soup.



Bryan Collier

BRYAN COLLIER loves to paint. He has successfully channeled his creative energy and love of art into an illustrious career as a children's book illustrator and writer. He began painting at the age of fifteen and eventually landed a scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in New York. His books have received numerous awards and accolades including four Caldecott Honors, nine Coretta Scott King Honors and Awards, the Horn Book Honor Award, the NAACP Image Award for Best Children’s Book, and the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award. Bryan lives in New York City.


Torrey Maldonado

Torrey Maldonado is the author of the critically acclaimed middle grade novels whose popularity stretches into lower and high school grades, Secret Saturdays, Tight, and What Lane? Oprah Magazine named What Lane? a “Best Book for Discussing Racism”, and the New York Times listed it as a top “Antiracist Book for Kids and Teens Recommended by BIPOC Teachers and Librarians”. He is a passionate, beloved veteran middle school teacher in his hometown neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY, where he was born and raised. His and his students’ lives inspire his writing.


Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Charnelle Pinkney Barlow was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. She received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2010 and her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in New York, New York in 2012. When she’s not drawing, she is baking, sewing, or reading with a cup of tea by her side.


Floyd Cooper

Floyd Cooper is a Coretta Scott King Award winner and illustrator of numerous books for children including Ruth and the Green Book, A Spy Called James, and Unspeakable. He received a degree in fine arts from the University of Oklahoma, and currently lives in Easton, Pennsylvania with his wife and two sons.


Carole Boston Weatherford

Carole Boston Weatherford, author of Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, has over 50 books, including three Caldecott Honor winners: Freedom in Congo Square, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. Her recent releases include UNSPEAKABLE: The Tulsa Race Massacre; BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom; By and By: Charles A. Tindley, The Father of Gospel Music; R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul; and The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip Hop. A native of Baltimore, she teaches at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina.


Jerry Craft

JERRY CRAFT is the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of the graphic novels New Kid and Class Act. New Kid is the winner of the 2020 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. In addition, New Kid was awarded the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature. He is also the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Author Award for the most outstanding work by an African American writer.


Ibi Zoboi

Ibi Zoboi was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her novel American Street was a National Book Award finalist and a New York Times Notable Book. She is also the author of Pride and My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich, a New York Times bestseller, and Punching the Air with co-author and Exonerated Five member, Yusef Salaam. She is the editor of the anthology Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America. Raised in New York City, she now lives in New Jersey with her husband and their three children.


Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of 8th Grade Superzero, a Notable Book for a Global Society, an adaptation of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the forthcoming It Doesn't Take A Genius. She's the co-author of the NAACP Image Award nominated Two Naomis, and its sequel, Nerdie winner Naomis Too. Her nonfiction includes Above and Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow, and Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins.


Paula Chase Hyman

Co-founder of the award-winning blog, The Brown Bookshelf, Paula Chase is a longtime Inclusion Jedi and advocate for diversifying the type of fiction featuring Black characters that’s highlighted among educators, librarians and parents. Chase is the author of nine children’s books. So Done (Greenwillow/HarperCollins), her critically acclaimed middle grade debut, and its companions, Dough Boys and Turning Point are blazing the trail for books that tackle tough and sometimes taboo topics for younger readers.


Derrick Barnes

Derrick Barnes is the author the New York Times bestsellers 'The King of Kindergarten', and the winner of the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature, 'I Am Every Good Thing". He also wrote the multi-award-winning picture book 'Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut' which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor, the 2018 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award, and the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature (making him the only author to have ever won the award twice). He is also created the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. Derrick is a graduate of Jackson State University (BA-Marketing ’99), and was hired as the first African-American male creative copywriter in the history of Hallmark Cards. He is a native of Kansas City, MO, but currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his enchanting wife Dr. Tinka Barnes, and their four sons, the Mighty Barnes Brothers (Ezra, Solo, Silas and Nnamdi).


Eric Velasquez

Eric Velasquez earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and has illustrated over 30 children’s books. His first picture book “The Piano Man” by Debbie Chocolate, published by Bloomsbury won the Coretta-Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and in 2010 Eric was awarded an NAACP Image award for his work in “Our Children Can Soar” which he collaborated on with 12 notable children’s book illustrators. Eric also wrote and illustrated “Grandma’s Records” and its follow up “Grandma’s Gift” which won the 2011 Pura Belpre’ Award for illustration. Recently Eric’s illustrated “Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library” by Carole Boston Weatherford which earned five starred reviews and won the 2018 Walter Award from the WNDB organization as well as the SCBWI’s The Golden Kite Award. In 2019 Eric wrote and illustrated “Octopus Stew” which has gathered rave reviews and is sure to make you laugh and his newest book the much anticipated “She Was The First! The Trailblazing Life Of Shirley Chisholm” has just been published by Lee and Low Books. Eric teaches book illustration at FIT (The Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC. For more information please visit his web site


Kelly Starling Lyons

Kelly Starling Lyons is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf, teaching artist and award-winning children's book author. Her mission is to center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage and show all kids the storyteller they hold inside. Her acclaimed titles include Caldecott Honor Book Going Down Home with Daddy, Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon, Tiara's Hat Parade, Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations and the popular Jada Jones chapter book series and Ty's Travel easy reader series.


Jerry Pinkney

A native of Philadelphia, Jerry studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where, in 1992 he received the Alumni Award. He has been illustrating children's books since 1964 and has illlustrated over one hundred titles,. He earned the Caldecott Medal for his nearly wordless picture book The Lion & the Mouse in 2010. Among his many other accolades he has also been the recipient of five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards and four Coretta Scott King Honors, five New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards, and in 2006 the Original Art's Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY.


Gloria Jean Pinkney

Gloria Jean Pinkney was born in Lumberton North Carolina where she set her first book Back Home. While attending high school in Philadelphia she met her husband illustrator Jerry Pinkney who attributes much of his success to her long-standing involvement in his work. Over the years Gloria has collaborated with Jerry in making quality books for children. She has hired his models assembled costumes photographed sets and helped him research. Today she continues to be closely involved with the illustration process. Back Home marked a new collaboration between the Pinkneys — the first book written by Gloria and illustrated by Jerry the product of a long happy and productive partnership. She lives with her husband Jerry in New York. The Pinkneys have four adult children, all of whom are working in the creative art.


Tricia Elam Walker

Tricia Elam Walker is an award-winning author and professor at Howard University. Her first novel, Breathing Room, was published by Simon & Schuster/PocketBooks in 2001. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, Essence and other publications and she has provided commentary for NPR, CNN, the BBC and more. Several of her plays have been produced and her first children’s book, Nana Akua Goes to School, was published by Random House in June 2020.


Wade Hudson

Wade Hudson is an author and publisher. He is president and CEO of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent publisher of books for children and young adults h co-founded with his wife Cheryl. Among his 30 published books for children and young adults are Book of Black Heroes from A to Z, Jamal’s Busy Day, Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children, and Powerful Words: More Than Two Hundred Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans, and I’m Going to Be. His latest books are We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices and The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, co-edited with his wife and published by Crown Books for Young Readers. He has received a New Jersey Stephen Crane Literary Award; The Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature; and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation. He has also been inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. His website is


Cheryl Willis Hudson

Cheryl Willis Hudson is an author, editor and co-founder/editorial director of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent company that focuses on Black interest books for children and young adults. Cheryl has authored over two dozen books for young children including Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (with Bernette Ford), AFRO-BETS ABC Book, Good Morning, Baby, Glo Goes Shopping, From Where I Stand, Hands Can and Construction Zone (Candlewick Press); and My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (Abrams). She has also co-edited several titles including How Sweet the Sound: African American Songs for Children (Scholastic, Inc.). Her latest books are We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices and The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, co-edited with her husband Wade and published by Crown Books for Young Readers. Cheryl is a recipient of the Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature; and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation. He has also been inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. Her website is


Renée Watson

Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her poetry and fiction often center around the experiences of black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender. Renée served as Founder and Executive Director of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts, from 2016-2019. Renée grew up in Portland, Oregon, and splits her time between Portland and New York City.


Dr. Lynnette Mawhinney

Dr. Lynnette Mawhinney is a first-time children's author and an award-winning academic scholar. Dr. Mawhinney is a professor, teacher educator, and cultural anthropologist dedicated to ensuring more teachers of color enter the workforce to uplift K-12 students of color. Her teaching, writing, and volunteer experiences have extended to three continents and shape her worldview on writing children's books through the lens of race, class, gender, and religion. Dr. Mawhinney is associate professor and chair of the Department of Urban Education at Rutgers University-Newark, where she is also affiliated faculty in the Department of African American and African Studies.


Pamela M. Tuck

Pamela M. Tuck is an award-winning author and mother of 11 children. She has been writing poems and stories since she was a child growing up in Greenville, North Carolina. She is the author of Mother of Many, As Fast As Words Could Fly, the 2007 Lee & Low Books New Voices Award winner, Color Struck and The Adventures of Sheldon, the Mushroom. Pamela credits her writing to her upbringing surrounded by southern storytellers. Her family inspires many of her stories. Although Pamela grew up as an only child, she enjoys the excitement of having a large family.


Leah Henderson

Leah Henderson is the author of One Shadow on the Wall and Together We March. She has always loved getting lost in stories. When she is not scribbling down her characters’ adventures, she is off on her own, exploring new spaces and places around the world. Many of the hopes, struggles, and traditions witnessed on her travels find a home in her work, hopefully offering added color and new perspectives to her characters’ lives. Leah received her MFA in writing from Spalding University and currently calls the Washington, DC, area home. Visit her at


April Harrison

April Harrison, a renowned folk artist, is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator of Patricia C. McKissack's final picture book, What Is Given from the Heart, which received four starred reviews and which the New York Times Book Review called an "exquisite story of generosity." Her work appears in the public collections of Vanderbilt University, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and the Erskine University Museum and in many private collections. Learn more at



The award-winning illustrator and fine artist, E.B. Lewis, has illustrated more than 70 books for children. Inspired by two artist uncles, Lewis displayed artistic promise as early as the third grade. Lewis attended the Temple University Tyler School of Art. It was there that he discovered his medium of preference was watercolor. During his tenure at Temple, Lewis majored in graphic design, illustration, and art education. After graduating, he taught art in public schools for 12 years. He is a member of The Society of Illustrators in New York City, and he is an artist member of Salamagundi Art Club of New York.

In 2003, the Kerlan Collection at the University of Minnesota purchased a collection of original watercolors from E.B.’s first 50 children’s books. Today, his works are displayed in museums, owned by private collectors, and sold by art galleries throughout the United States and Europe.


Frederick Joseph

Frederick Joseph is an award-winning marketing professional, media representation advocate, and New York Times bestselling writer who was recently selected for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list. He’s also the winner of the 2018 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award, given by Comic-Con International: San Diego, and was selected for the 2018 Root 100 List of Most Influential African Americans. He lives in New York City.


Gordon C. James

Born in Washington, DC and raised in Fort Washington, MD Gordon C. James has been pursuing an art career ever since attending high school at Suitland Center for the Visual and Performing Arts in Forestville, Maryland. From there he went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from School of Visual Arts in New York City. After a national search in 1997 Gordon was one of only two full time illustrators hired to work for Hallmark Cards Inc. As an award winning fine artist Gordon works to achieve the highest level of craftsmanship and beauty. These qualities have led to his paintings being featured in International Artist Magazine and his work being part of the Paul R. Jones Collection at the University of Alabama. He brings these same sensibilities to the table when creating his illustrative work. Gordon’s illustrations, are soulful, emotive and technically sound. He works hard so that we know how the characters look and most importantly exactly how they feel. As a testament to these qualities his illustrations were part of an exhibition at the Asheville Art Museum in Asheville, North Carolina. He is the illustrator for Patricia McKissack’s “Scraps of Time” series and David A. Adler’s “Campy”. Gordon has earned Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Ezra Jack Keats Honors and a Society of Illustrators Gold Medal for his illustrations in “Crown an Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes and their creative team is the only two winner of the Kirkus Prize as “I Am Every Good Thing” is the winner for 2020. Gordon C. James lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Ingrid, their two children Astrid and Gabriel and their dog Rascal. He is proud to create beautiful works of art that help to tell stories and bring books to life.


Andrea Davis Pinkney

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling an award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults. Her work has received multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award citations. She is a four-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award, and has been inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Ms. Pinkney is the recipient of both the Regina Medal and the Arbuthnot Honor Award for her distinguished and singular contribution to the field of children’s literature. She has been named one of the “25 Most Influential People in our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health magazine, and is listed among the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal.


Brian Pinkney

Brian Pinkney has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for illustration on three occasions, and the Coretta Scott King medal for In the Time of the Drums by Kim Siegelson. He is a five-time NAACP Image Award nominee, the recipient of many American Library Association Notable Book citations, and was acknowledged by National Council for Teachers of English for his vast contribution to the field of children’s literature. Brian’s recent illustrated books include Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Additional recent works include In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford, and Let’s Clap, Jump, Sing, and Shout by Patricia C. McKissack.

As a fine artist, Brian’s paintings are exhibited vastly in museums and select gallery showings, and are also part of many distinguished private collections. Brian was named among the “25 Most Influential People in our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health magazine. He has served on the faculty in the Master’s Degree of Illustration department at the School of Visual Arts. He is a former chairperson for the Society of Illustrators Original Art Show. Brian Pinkney lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and frequent collaborator, author Andrea Davis Pinkney, their two children.


Sharon G. Flake

Sharon G. Flake has gained an international reputation as a children and Young adult author. Flake has garnered numerous awards and recognition, and her work has been published in multiple languages. Used in schools on six continents, Flake's novels brings hope and encouragement to many, as her characters learn to embrace differences, succeed in the face of adversity and show empathy and compassion for others.


Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes’ work is collage based and her subjects, made from cut and torn papers, investigate family histories, relationship dynamics, childhood impressions, the power of hope, faith and self-determination. Recalling a quote from American Artist, Romare Bearden, "I do not need to go looking for 'happenings,' the absurd or the surreal, because I have seen things that neither Dalí, Beckett, Ionesco nor any of the others could have thought possible; and to see these things I did not need to do more than look out of my studio window," Holmes has looked out of her window for the subjects of her collages too. Remembering a Roxbury childhood of wonder and delight she considers herself a part of a long line of Roxbury imagemakers. In this spirit, she supports those who have a calling in the arts as well as keeping her own studio practice ignited. She has created and led workshops, been a visiting artist and lecturer, and held artist residencies in public and private institutions throughout New England. In her first public art initiative, she received a Now + There Public Art Accelerator Fellowship for The Roxbury Sunflower Project (#RoxburySunflowerProject), in which she facilitated the planting of 10,000 sunflower seeds in her native Roxbury, MA.

For her work in illustrating children’s literature, Holmes is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King’s John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator award, Robert Siebert and Horn Book awards for her illustrations in “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement" by Carole Boston Weatherford, her first illustration project. In 2018, she won the coveted Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration for the book, "Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets." In 2019 she won the 2019 Coretta Scott King Award again for her illustrations in “Stuff of Stars,” written by Marion Dane Bauer.

Ms. Holmes currently serves as Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Boston Art Commission, which oversees the placement and maintenance of public works of art on and in city of Boston properties. She is also currently Associate Director at the Center for Art and Community Partnerships at MassArt where she manages and coordinates sparc! the ArtMobile, an art-inspiring, art-transforming vehicle retrofitted to contribute to community based, multidisciplinary arts programming currently focused in Mission Hill, Roxbury and Dorchester, MA. Ekua Holmes received her BFA in Photography from MassArt in 1977.



J. Dillard (known as the “Barberpreneur”) is a former managing partner for ConAllegiance, a consulting firm based out of Atlanta, Georgia. He is a master barber, a certified consultant, and an industry leader who started cutting his own hair at the age of ten. After many trials and tribulations, he began cutting hair professionally in 1999 and became a shop owner while attending college at Tuskegee University in Alabama. He travels the country with his clients as a personal barber and calls Atlanta home. This is his first book series for children.


Dhonielle Clayton

Dhonielle Clayton is the New York Times Bestselling author of The Belles series and the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things duology (now a Netflix original series). She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She taught secondary school for several years, and is a former elementary and middle school librarian. She is COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books, and owner of CAKE Literary, a creative story kitchen and IP content company. She’s an avid traveler, and always on the hunt for magic and mischief. Next up: The Marvellers, BlackOut, Shattered Midnight, and The Rumor Game. Find her on the web at and Also, on Twitter and Instagram: @brownbookworm.


Don Tate

Don Tate is an award-winning illustrator of books for children, including Swish! The Slam-Dunking, Alley-Ooping, High-Flying Harlem Globetrotters(Little Brown, 2020), Carter Reads The Newspaper (Peachtree Publishing, 2019), No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdome in Kansas (Knopf, 2018), Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (Charlesbridge, 2016); and a contributor to the anthology The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love, & Truth (Crown, 2020).

He is also the author of Pigskins to Paintbrushes: The Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes (Abrams, 2021), William Still and His Freedom Stories: Father of the Underground Railraod (Peachtree Publishing Company,2020) Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Peachtree,2015); It Jes Happened: When Bill Traylor Started To Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2102), both books are Ezra Jack Keats award winners. Don is a founding host of the The Brown Bookshelf –a blog dedicated to promoting books created by African American authors and illustrators and a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks, an organization created by children’s book lovers who advocate for essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his family.


Cozbi A. Cabrera

Cozbi A. Cabrera paints, illustrates children’s books, quilts, and designs clothing. Her illustrated titles include: Beauty Her Basket/Sandra Belton, Greenwillow Books; Thanks A Million/Nikki Grimes, Greenwillow Books; Stitchin’ and Pullin’ A Gees Bend Quilt/Patricia McKissack, Random House; Most Loved in All the World/Tonya Cherie Hegamin, Houghton Mifflin (which won the Christopher Award, given to outstanding works that represent the best of the human spirit) and Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks/Suzanne Slade, Abrams Books (Winner of the ALA Silbert Honor Award and Coretta Scott King Honor). She authored and illustrated My Hair Is A Garden/Albert Whitman and Me and Mama/Simon & Schuster (Winner of a Caldecott Illustration Honor and a Coretta Scott King Honor). Cozbi lives in Evanston, Illinois with her husband and daughter.


Tracey Baptiste

Tracey Baptiste is the New York Times best selling author of MINECRAFT: THE CRASH and the popular JUMBIES series including THE JUMBIES, RISE OF THE JUMBIES, and THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE. Upcoming 2021 books include the picture book LOOKING FOR A JUMBIE and the middle grade nonfiction AFRICAN ICONS. I am a former elementary school teacher, I do lots of author visits, and I'm on the faculty at Lesley University Creative Writing MFA program. Find Tracey online at and connect on Twitter @traceybaptiste and on Instagram @traceybaptistewrites.


Tracy Deonn

Tracy Deonn is a writer and second-generation fangirl. She grew up in central North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning her master’s degree in communication and performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tracy worked in live theater, video game production, and K–12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy speaks on panels at science fiction and fantasy conventions, reads fanfic, arranges puppy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything. She can be found on Twitter at @TracyDeonn and at


Support The African American Children's Book Project

Click the button to purchase books of all of the book fair authors and illustrators. Proceed of your purchase supports the activities of The African American Children's Book Project. Our bookseller is the Literary Cafe - Books & Events who specializes in Black children's books - preschool to young adult, hosting and producing literary events.



Click on a sponsor's logo for more information


The African American Children’s Book Project was created in 1992 to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans.


The African American Children’s Book Project was created in 1992 to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans.

I read to see me
Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati

Founder, The African American Children’s Book Project

The African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP) has supported the literary needs of children since 1992. The non-profit was created to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans. The AACBP believes A BOOK OPENS UP A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES.

At AACBP, we know that early access to books plays an important role in building lifelong readers. We collaborate with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, educators, consumers, libraries, non-profits and corporations to promote literacy programs across the country.

Our stellar programs include:

  • Book fairs
  • Book signings
  • Workshops
  • I Read To See Me program (author/illustrator virtual/in-school visits)
  • Educating consumers on trends/resources in youth literature
  • Guidance on establishing home libraries
  • Advocacy initiatives to promote Black literature around the world

On February 6, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., we will virtually host the 29th Annual African American Children’s Book Fair — one of the oldest and largest single-day events for diverse children’s books in the country. The featured authors and illustrators have produced some of the best books of our generation that celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans.

Parents who attended the book fair as youth now bring their children because they know the power of reading books that reflect their culture and heritage.

During 2020, many parents called the African American Children’s Book Fair “a lifesaver” for their children who turned to home libraries, curated over the years from attending the African American Children’s Book Fair, to get a reprieve from electronics — while still learning. Parents and teachers also reached out to the AACBP for recommendations on age-appropriate books to teach children about race and social justice issues.



Our signature event, The African American Children’s Book Fair, is one of the largest single-day gatherings for diverse children’s books in the country. Picture books are one of the most popular categories purchased at this event. We believe books are a great way to teach Black history and explain the importance of social justice. Books featured on our BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2020 can be purchased at  BUY BOOKS link on this site.  Your purchase supports The African American Children’s Book Projects activities.
For more information visit The African American Children’s Book Project or email.

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