Thursday, January 31, 2019

Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program

Valerie Coleman

Jeff Scott

Chamber Music America writes:

Chamber Music America is currently going into the second year of its Composers Equity Project as part of its Classical Commissioning grant program.

We would appreciate your help in spreading the word about the initiative and our upcoming grant deadline.

Chamber Music America, the national network of ensemble music professionals provides grants through the Classical Commissioning Program to professional U.S.-based presenters and ensembles whose programming includes Western European and/or non-Western classical and contemporary music.

Grants are provided for the commissioning and performance of new works by American composers.

The program supports works scored for 2–10 musicians performing one per part, composed in any of the musical styles associated with contemporary classical music.

Commission fees range from $5,000 to $20,000.  Applicants must be Chamber Music America members at the Organization level.  The new composition must be performed by the ensemble a minimum of three times in the U.S.

Since 1983, only 80 of the 216 commissions made through CMA’s Classical Commissioning program have been composed by women or ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American) composers.

The Board of Directors of Chamber Music America has made diversity, inclusion, and equity a primary focus of the organization’s work. (Please read CMA’s Statement of Commitment.) CMA’s goal in this program is, through the panel review process, to award a majority of the grants to applicants who apply with women and ALAANA composers. 

In the 2018 cycle, 10 of the 11 grants were made to ensembles commissioning new works from women and ALAANA composers.  See the 2018 grants press release for the awardees.  Composers Valerie Coleman and Jeff Scott received commissions in this most recent grant round.

CMA has created the Composers Equity Project, a database of ALAANA, women and gender non-conforming composers that is accessible on CMA’s website.  Applicants are encouraged to use this resource and become familiar with potential composers for a commission. 

Composers will continue to be added to this list regularly. ALAANA, women, and gender non-conforming composers who wish to be included in future versions of this list may submit their information to CMA.

The Classical Commissioning deadline is April 5, 2019.  Applications must be submitted online.

Click here for program information.

Please contact Susan Dadian, program director, CMA Classical/Contemporary for further information.

CMA’s Classical Commissioning Program grants are made possible by generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. & Florence Price Symphonies 1 & 4 CD one of January's best releases

National Public Radio

The 10 Best Albums We Heard In January

January 31, 2019

Robin Hilton

Every December, the NPR Music team peruses 11 months' worth of albums and songs and crams its collective reflections and critical assessments into a handful of big lists. This year we've decided to dissect the torrent of new releases as they're happening and share a list of the most notable albums and songs from each month.


Other highlights on our multi-genre list include Florence Price, a pioneering African American composer in the Jim Crow era...

WQXR Radio

The Best Classical New Releases of January 2019  

Fort Smith Symphony
John Jeter, conductor

On June 15, 1933, Florence Price’s Symphony No. 1 in E Minor was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the first composition by a female African-American composer to be performed by a major American ensemble. The Chicago Daily News praised it as “a faultless work … worthy of a place in the regular symphonic repertory,” but the symphony — which draws inspiration from the contoured themes of Negro spirituals and the jaunty syncopations of “juba,” a form of slave dance — never gained a foothold. John Jeter and the Fort Smith Symphony, based in Price’s home state of Arkansas, pair their vivacious reading of Price’s early masterpiece with the premiere recording of her Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, whose score was assumed lost until 2009. Available on Arkivmusic. Sphinx finals Saturday at Orchestra Hall

The Sphinx Symphony Orchestra will perform Saturday evening at Detroit's Orchestra Hall. 
(Photo: Kevin Kennedy)

Michael H. Hodges, Detroit News Fine Arts Writer

Jan. 30, 2019

It's one of the highlights of the annual classical-music calendar -- the Sphinx Competition finals, to be held Saturday evening at Detroit's Orchestra Hall, in which three superbly talented young classical musicians compete for a $50,000 top prize.

The performance, said Sphinx President and Artistic Director Afa Dworkin, will feature the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra performing Leonard Bernstein’s "Candide Overture" and "Ballade" by the 19th-century black composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor. 

"Taylor hasn’t been played much at all," Dworkin said. "Many don’t know about him, but he was a fantastic composer -- prolific and extraordinarily gifted."

Saturday's performance will be the culmination of three days of competition, as young black and Latino string players from across the U.S. compete before an internationally renowned panel of judges.

Musicians are divided into two age categories -- secondary school students, and those 18-30.

The three younger finalists will compete Friday, in a performance that's already overbooked. Senior-division finalists will take the stage Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Free tickets are still available (a $5 donation is suggested), but you must reserve seats at Sphinx Competition brings Black and Latinx classical string players to center stage

Ifetayo Ali-Landing
(Kevin Kennedy)

Detroit Public Television

Detroit Public Television partners on Live coverage – Starting tonight - Through Sunday afternoon at

The Sphinx Organization, famed for opening doors for young minority musicians, will be raising its baton once again this weekend for its annual celebration of arts and diversity.

This year, the Finals Concert in the Sphinx Competition will move to Saturday night, offering junior high through college Black and Latinx string players the opportunity to vie for nearly $100,000 in prizes.

Starting tonight and running through Saturday’s concert, SphinxConnect will convene artists and leaders in diversity for networking, master classes, inspiring speakers and gifted performers.

Once again, Detroit Public TV will be there to provide digital access to all the action and excitement through its live-streaming service.

Based in Detroit and under the leadership of President and Artistic Director Afa Dworkin, the Sphinx Organization has earned international renown for its tireless championing of diversity in the arts. It has fostered a love of music in hundreds of young performers, many of whom have gone onto careers in orchestras around the country.

Aaron Dworkin founded the organization 22 years ago while still an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, where he is now a professor.  While performing or attending concerts, he was acutely aware of the lack of diversity both on stage and in the concert halls. Sphinx set out to remedy this deficiency.

Besides the prize money, the Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goal is to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in underrepresented minority communities.

SphinxConnect, which is entering its third year, takes place at the Westin Book Cadillac. It will feature more than 30 sessions designed to ignite action, 60 speakers, a curated showcase featuring some of the nation’s top musicians, keynote addresses by luminaries and trailblazers, a special session for entrepreneurs, professional development and job placement opportunities, and much more.

If you are unable to attend these events in person, tune in to Detroit Public TV’s live-stream of the events at

You won’t find a more inspiring way to spend a weekend in Detroit.

Here is the full schedule of our livestream:


Thursday, Jan. 31: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: 9:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2: 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Sphinx Finals Competition Concert

Saturday, Feb. 2: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Learn more about the amazing Sphinx organization at:

Join us and, please, share Sphinx with your community.  Enjoy!

Rich Homberg
President and CEO
Detroit Public Television 

One Detroit4 Million PeopleOne Story.

“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” — Vince Lombardi

John Malveaux: Anne Maynard Bowman will attend "Still Holding On" by LA Phil Feb. 17

Adolphus Hailstork and Anne Maynard Bowman

John Malveaux of 

Anne Maynard Bowman is central to eight Adolphus Hailstork friends from Albany High School in NY (62 years ago) now living in Texas, Virginia, and Ca. The eight will attend  Feb 17, 2019 world premiere of Adolphus Hailstork's STILL HOLDING ON at Disney Concert Hall commissioned by the LA Philharmonic for their 100th anniversary season. Anne Maynard Bowman has commissioned three compositions by Dr. Hailstork. See photo of Anne Maynard Bowman and Dr. Hailstork.

John Malveaux: MusicUNTOLD welcomes Rosemarie Cook-Glover to LA Phil concert Feb. 17

Rosemarie Cook-Glover

John Malveaux of 

MusicUNTOLD welcomes Rosemarie Cook-Glover, President Southeast Symphony Association to LA Phil Feb 17, 2019 matinee concert  at Disney Concert Hall featuring world premiere of  STILL HOLDING ON by composer Adolphus Hailstork and reception for Dr. Hailstork. See

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Lest We Forget: The Passage From Africa Into The Twenty-First Century" by Velma Maia Thomas

An elegant bind-up of three collectible books by distinguished historian, Velma Maia Thomas, curator of the nationally acclaimed Black Holocaust Exhibit in Atlanta, Georgia:
  • Lest We Forget 
  • Freedom’s Children
  • We Shall Not Be Moved
It offers an intimate look at black history in America through the lens of a passionate historian committed to preserving these important accounts, along with related memorabilia.
  • More than 200 photographs and images dedicated to preserving and honoring Black history.
  • Twelve pieces of interactive memorabilia with authentic replicas from another time and place.
Based on materials from the nationally acclaimed Black Holocaust Exhibit, Lest We Forget documents the plight of an estimated 100 million Africans, from their rich pre-slavery culture to their enslavement in a foreign land. This book chronicles the unyielding strength of a people who refused to be broken.

Taste the sweetness of freedom and the bitter struggle for equality through the documents that impacted the lives of an entire race. Freedom’s Children brings to life the heart-wrenching and inspiring tale of freedmen and freed women during Reconstruction and into the twentieth century.

Throughout the twentieth century, African Americans would trouble the waters of America—agitating, challenging, and defying the status quo. We Shall Not Be Moved chronicles the struggles and triumphs of African Americans leading up to and during the Civil Rights Movement. 

John Malveaux: All Russian Violin Recital Feb 5, 2019

John Malveaux of 

A free concert featuring acclaimed violinist Annelle Kazumi Gregory will be held on Tuesday evening, Feb. 5, 2019, in the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall at 6200 E. Atherton Street on the campus of California State University at Long Beach.

The hour-long concert will begin at 8 p.m. Free parking is available along Atherton Street  and paid parking in Lot G 12 just east of Daniel Hall.

Ms. Gregory, who grew up in San Diego, is a laureate of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition and winner in Detroit of the 2017 National Sphinx Competition among the nation’s young African American and Latin classical string players.

She is a champion of Russian music and is devoted to reviving the works of great Russian composers. In 2017 she released the first-ever CD of Sergei Rachmaninoff's complete violin/piano works, recorded with Russian pianist Alexander Sinchuk (Bridge Records). The CD has received international acclaim and aired on radio stations across the U.S. and Europe.

Her most recent project was the recording of lesser-known works by Rimsky-Korsakov and Taneyev with the Kiev Virtuosi Symphony Orchestra, to be released by Naxos Records in 2019.

Ms. Gregory has performed as soloist with the symphonies of Houston, Detroit, the Chicago Sinfonietta, Kiev Virtuosi, in Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and  in the concert halls of San Diego, Nashville, Santa Monica, La Jolla, as well as in England, Germany, Portugal, Russia, and Ukraine.

The artist graduated first in her class, summa cum laude, from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where she studied under Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and New York Philharmonic symphony orchestras.

She was awarded the 2017 Isaac Stern Award and the 2014 Glenn Dicterow Music Scholarship. Other awards include 1st Prizes in the 2017 “Grand Prize Virtuoso” International Competition, the 2017 NANM National Strings Competition, the 2016 American Protégé International Concerto Competition, and the 2017 Beverly Hills National Auditions. She was a featured soloist for the 2018 International Easter Festival (Kiev Conservatory), the 2017-18 Sphinx Virtuosi National Tours, the 2016 iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates on behalf of world peace, and in 2013 opened for the Moscow Ballet, performing a solo with the principal ballerina.

“Miss Gregory has not only fine and distinguished sounds plus excellent intonation, but also spirit galore in the various phases of the multiple moods and variations in Taneyev’s Concert Suite for Violin.  Her facility never wavers and she has confidence throughout. . . Her playing is exacting and also exciting,” says Larry Grika, retired first violinist after more than 40 years with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

In addition to violin, Ms. Gregory also performs on viola and has played piano, drums, guitar, and bass guitar. She has also performed tap, jazz, flamenco, and Japanese classical dance. In her spare time, she enjoys reading Russian classics, cooking, and playing with her two cats.

John Malveaux: MusicUNTOLD offer for STILL HOLDING ON by Adolphus Hailstork

John Malveaux of 
writes of the Feb. 17, 2019 performance by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles:

MusicUNTOLD limited special offer for world premiere of STILL HOLDING ON by composer Adolphus Hailstork.

Chicago Sinfonietta: We're Taking Over! [Lagunitas Brewing Co. Feb. 18, 5:30 PM]

Sergio Mims: Sheku & Isata Kanneh-Mason to debut at Carnegie Hall in December

Isata and Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Sergio A. Mims writes:

Here is some exciting news. Carnegie Hall announced their 2019/2020 schedule and on Wednesday Decemeber 11th Sheku and Isata Kanneh-Mason will be giving their Carnegie Hall recital debuts in a program of Beethoven, Lutoslawski, Barber and Rachmaninov.

The program will consist of the following: 

Weill Recital Hall 
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM 
Sheku Kanneh-Mason, Cello NY Recital 
Debut Isata Kanneh-Mason, Piano 
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Twelve Variations on "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen," Op. 66 
SAMUEL BARBER Cello Sonata, Op. 6 
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF Cello Sonata in G Minor, Op. 19

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 Elizabeth Llewellyn pays tribute to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Elizabeth Llewellyn

Daily Mail

London, U.K.

Leading soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn pays tribute to Samuel Coleridge-Taylor in an evening of music by the accomplished but forgotten composer

St James's Church, Piccadilly, London

Elizabeth Llewellyn, one of our leading Verdi sopranos, rarely does recitals. But as a proud black Briton, she has a strong fellow feeling for Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, son of a Sierra Leone doctor, who in his brief life (1875-1912) became so famous but is now so forgotten.

Coleridge-Taylor’s father returned to Africa while Coleridge-Taylor was only a child, leaving his British mother to bring him up alone in Croydon. He soon showed exceptional musical gifts, which prompted a member of the congregation at their church to pay for him to go to the Royal College of Music.

Here he excelled, winning golden opinions from his composition teacher, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, from Ralph Vaughan Williams, and indeed from Sir Edward Elgar, who got Coleridge-Taylor one of his first commissions while still only a student, from the Three Choirs Festival.

At the RCM, Coleridge-Taylor wrote the first of his cantatas based on the then fashionable epic poem The Song Of Hiawatha. It created a sensation, and even during the Twenties was regularly performed at the Royal Albert Hall.

Sadly, by then Coleridge-Taylor was no longer with us. He died, aged only 37, of pneumonia.

Friendly Reminder: Invitation to Apply to Gateways Music Festival 2019

FRIENDLY REMINDER: If you have yet to do so, this is a friendly reminder to respond to the 2019 Gateways Music Festival invitation to apply sent to you a few weeks ago. The deadline is Friday, February 15, 2019. More information, along with the application link, appears below. We look forward to hearing from you!

January 13, 2019
The mission of Gateways Music Festival is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance.
Greetings and happy New Year! We are writing to invite you to submit an application to participate in the 2019 Gateways Music Festival - August 6th through 11th - in Rochester, NY. To submit your application, we ask that you go to this *LINK* and fill out and submit the brief form located there.
Participation in Gateways is currently limited to orchestral instruments, including piano. If you sing or play a non-orchestral instrument, we ask that you please share this invitation to apply with other musicians in your network. Thank you!
Below, please find some general information about Gateways Music Festival and, below that, more specific information about the 2019 Festival.
Please let us know if you have questions or need any additional information. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience, but no later than February 15, 2019. Notifications will be sent shortly after the deadline.
Best wishes,
Alexander Laing
Principal Clarinet, The Phoenix Symphony
Principal Clarinet, Gateways Music Festival Orchestra
Chair, Gateways Music Festival Artistic Programs Committee

Lee Koonce
President & Artistic Director
Gateways Music Festival

The mission of Gateways is to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance. Each Festival gathers upwards of 125 black musicians ‒ from North America, Europe, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America ‒ to Rochester, NY for six days of orchestra and chamber music performances in more than 50 concert halls and community venues. Participants have included members of orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony (among many others) and faculty from leading conservatories and schools of music.
Here is a short, 4.5 minute video overview of the Festival. Click Here to View Video
Repertoire: Music Director Michael Morgan and the musicians of the Artistic Programs Committee are finalizing the orchestra repertoire choices, but in keeping with our tradition and mission, programming will feature and highlight works by composers of African descent along with works by other great composers. Our 2019 featured composer is Florence B. Price and we’ll perform her 3rd Symphony and many of her chamber works throughout the festival.
Travel, Lodging and Meals: Gateways will cover the cost of your travel to and from Rochester and provide lodging (double room, but singles are available for a small additional fee) at Rochester’s Holiday Inn Downtown. Two meals per day are provided with lunch usually on your own.
Honorarium: Gateways provides a modest honorarium, which we recognize is small compared to your usual fee. We are working hard to grow the organization so that we can offer more in the future. While the monetary compensation is yet to reach the level we would like, we are proud of the non-monetary compensation the Festival offers to its participants - a unique opportunity to connect with the field of classical musicians of African descent for renewal, inspiration and joyful music making.
Orchestra: $350
Chamber Music*: $300
*For all chamber music performances.
Gateways Music Festival, Inc.
26 Gibbs Street, Box 58
Rochester, NY 14604

Claire Hartfield, Ekua Holmes win 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Claire Hartfield
(Photo Credit: Brian McConkey)

Ekua Holmes

American Library Association


Claire Hartfield, Ekua Holmes win 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards

SEATTLE – Claire Hartfield, author of “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” and Ekua Holmes, illustrator of “The Stuff of Stars,” are the winners of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards honoring African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Tiffany D. Jackson, author of “Monday’s Not Coming,” and Oge Mora, illustrator of “Thank You, Omu!” are the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent winners. The awards were announced today at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, held Jan. 25-29, 2019, in Seattle, Washington and will be presented in Washington, D.C. at the ALA Annual Conference & Exhibition in June.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. Presented annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), the awards encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts; promote an understanding and appreciation of the Black culture and experience, and commemorate the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination in supporting the work of her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., for peace and world brotherhood.

“A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is a meticulously researched exposition of the socio-economic landscape and racial tensions that led to the death of a black teen who wanted to swim, and the violent clash that resulted. In 20 chapters, Hartfield’s balanced, eye-opening account contextualizes a range of social justice issues that persist to this day.

Claire Hartfield, a lifelong Chicago resident, published her debut novel, “Me and Uncle Romie” (Dial Books), which received national honors in 2002. Hartfield’s second book, “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919” (Clarion), tells the story of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919. She is particularly interested in writing about people and events.

“Hartfield’s nuanced account of unrest between African Americans and white European immigrants in early 20th century Chicago fills a much-needed gap in the children’s literature world,” said Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury Chair Sam Bloom.

In “The Stuff of Stars,” written by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Candlewick Press, illustrator Ekua Holmes uses hand marbled paper and collage to create a lush explosion of color that brings to life the formation of the universe while distinctly reflecting the essence of the African diaspora.

“Using oceanic waves of color, Holmes employs her trademark aesthetic to carry this creation story to its stunning crescendo,” said Bloom.

Ekua Holmes is a native of Roxbury, Massachusetts and a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. The recipient of several children’s awards, Holmes received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for “Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets”; and a Caldecott Honor, Robert F. Sibert Honor, John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, and Boston Globe-Horn Book Non-fiction Honor for “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.”

The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African American creator of children’s books. This year’s winners are Tiffany D. Jackson, author of “Monday’s Not Coming,” published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and Oge Mora, illustrator of “Thank You, Omu!” published by Little, Brown Young Readers.

In the timely thriller “Monday’s Not Coming,” Jackson examines friendship, child abuse, and family relationships. In alternating chapters, the reader is immediately pulled into the angst that Claudia feels as she struggles to piece together this fragmented tale that concludes with a mind-blowing resolution of Monday’s disappearance.

“Thank You, Omu!” is a fresh take on a timeless tale of altruism and community-mindedness. Mora’s collage work is skillfully pieced together with acrylic, marker, pastels, patterned paper, and old book clippings, creating a visual smorgasbord. Mora brings to life an amalgamation of many grandmothers and captures the African spirit of generosity and community.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
“Finding Langston” by Lesa Cline-Ransome, published by Holiday House; “The Parker inheritance” by Varian Johnson, published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and “The season of Styx Malone” by Kekla Magoon, published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Three Illustrator Honor Books were selected:
“Hidden Figures” illustrated by Laura Freeman, written by Margot Lee Shetterly, and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; “Let the children march” illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Monica Clark-Robinson, and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and “Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop” illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan, and published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.

Members of the 2019 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury are: Chair Sam Bloom, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County; Jessica Anne Bratt, Grand Rapids (Mich.) Public Library; Irene L. Briggs, Retired, Silver Spring, Md.; LaKeshia Darden, Campbell University, N.C.; Jason Miles Driver, Sr., Chicago Public Library; Dr. Sujin Bernadette Huggins, Dominican University, River Forest, Ill.; and Christina Vortia, HypeLit, Land O'Lakes, Fla.

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit To make a contribution to support our work, visit

For information on the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit

Dr. Pauletta B. Bracy 2019 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award

Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy

American Library Association

Dr. Pauletta B. Bracy 2019 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

January 28, 2019

SEATTLE – Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy is the recipient of the 2019 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The announcement was made today by the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits held Jan. 25 – 29, in Seattle, Washington.

“Dr. Bracy has been a tireless advocate for high quality African American literature for young people,” said Award Committee Chair Deborah D. Taylor. “She has been an inspirational leader and mentor to countless librarians and education professionals.”

Dr. Pauletta Bracy, is Professor of Library Science and Director of the Office of University Accreditation at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She has successfully merged scholarship and service with publications such as “Libraries, Literacy and African American Youth” (co-edited with Sandra Hughes Hassell and Casey H. Rawson) as well as her work with the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and with workshops and conferences dedicated to promoting African American books for children and teens. She recently served as co-organizer for Celebrating Our Voices: Black Children’s Literature Symposium and Book Festival held at NCCU.

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in odd years (i.e. 2015, 2017, 2019…), to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre-K - 12 or any level therein, or higher education) or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work, volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books with and/or on behalf of youth is significant and sustained.

In even years (i.e. 2016, 2018, 2020…), the award is presented to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

Virginia Hamilton was an award-winning author of children's books. She wrote more than 35 books throughout her career, including “M. C. Higgins, the Great,” for which she won the 1975 Newbery Medal.  During her lifetime, Hamilton received numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Atlanta Globe-Horn Book Award and the Hans Christian Andersen Award.

Members of the 2019 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Deborah D. Taylor, Baltimore; Therese G. Bigelow, Coupeville, Wash.; Patty Carleton, St. Louis; Dr. Rosalie B. Kiah, Norfolk (Va.) State University; and Ida W. Thompson, Richland Library, Columbia, S.C.

American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, ALA has been the trusted voice of libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit To make a contribution to support our work, visit

For more information on the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit