Show cover of The Black Creators Series

The Black Creators Series

In this educator-focused series highlighting the work of Black authors and illustrators, Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, best-selling author, founder of Red Clay Educators, and cofounder of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy, leads discussions with children‘s book creators about their work and the powerful ways their books can live in classrooms.

Tracks

S4 Episode 5 - Shade Lapite
Shade Lapite is British-Nigerian and has drawn on her heritage to create the world of her debut middle-grade novel, Goddess Crown, the first in a thrilling Afro-fantasy series set in the lush, opulent kingdom of Galla. Listen in as she talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
27:46 2/15/24
S4 Episode 4 - Carole Boston Weatherford
Carole Boston Weatherford is a New York Times best-selling author and poet of award-winning books for children. Her picture book How Do You Spell Unfair? MacNolia Cox and the National Spelling Bee, illustrated by the talented Frank Morrison, is the story of young spelling champion MacNolia Cox’s groundbreaking achievement in the face of discrimination. Listen in as she talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
21:05 1/18/24
S4 Episode 3 - Monique James-Duncan
Born in Britain and raised on the tiny island of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Monique James-Duncan is passionate about writing literature with mirrors so all children can feel seen. Her publishing debut, Mommy Time, illustrated by Ebony Glenn, is an ode to mothers—particularly the largely unseen African American stay-at-home mother. Listen in as she talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
23:47 12/14/23
S4 Episode 2 - Phoebe Sinclair
Through writing, organizing, and facilitating, author Phoebe Sinclair strives to create space and opportunities for people to listen deeply, speak from the heart, and feel heard. Featuring zines crafted by award-winning illustrator Theodore Taylor III, her debut novel, Confessions of a Candy Snatcher, relates an emotive, reflective story about the wonder—and mess—of growing up. Listen in as she talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
29:46 11/9/23
S4 Episode 1 - Christine Platt
Christine Platt is an author and advocate who believes storytelling is a tool for social change. Her engaging first chapter-book series, Frankie and Friends, is a refreshing portrayal of Black women in journalism in which her young protagonist, Frankie, explores big ideas such as racial injustice and activism with her supportive family. Listen in as Christine talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
26:12 10/26/23
S3 Episode 8 - David Barclay Moore
Filmmaker and award-winning author, David Barclay Moore infuses history with wry folk wisdom, metaphorical power, and a splash of magic in his bold and original tale Carrimebac. The Civil War may be over, but times are not substantially improved for the freed Black citizens of Walkerton, Georgia. With exquisite cinematic illustrations by John Holyfield, Carrimebac is a portrait of Black endurance that draws on the rhythms and traditions of African American storytelling to open a powerful window into the past. Listen in as David Barclay Moore and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, talk about his work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
30:02 5/15/23
S3 Episode 7 - Aya De Leon
Seasoned author of adult crime fiction Aya de León pits a teen spy against the ominous workings of a white nationalist in Undercover Latina, her debut book for younger readers. This fast-paced upper-middle-grade novel is smart, entertaining, and politically astute. Listen in as Aya de León talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and how it can be shared in classrooms.
35:36 4/17/23
S3 Episode 6 - Tacko Fall
From his childhood in Senegal to his career in the NBA, Tacko Fall’s inspiring story of practice, persistence, and hard work will motivate young readers to overcome obstacles and aim high—and higher still. Listen in as he shares his story with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators.
18:41 3/20/23
S3 Episode 5 - Linda Williams Jackson
Award-winning author Linda Williams Jackson centers her middle-grade novel The Lucky Ones around the historical touchstone of Robert Kennedy’s southern “poverty tour,” and pulls from her own childhood in the Mississippi Delta to tell a detail-rich and poignant story with memorable characters—sure to resonate with readers who have ever felt constricted by their circumstances. Listen in as she converses with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
23:40 3/6/23
S3 Episode 4 - Atinuke
Author Atinuke was born in Ibadan, a city in southwestern Nigeria, and moved to Lagos with her family when she was five. She spent much of her childhood in both Nigeria and the United Kingdom, where she attended boarding school. She is the author of many books for young readers including the picture books Baby Goes to Market, B Is for Baby, and Catch That Chicken!; the early chapter book series Anna Hibiscus and Too Small Tola; and the gorgeous nonfiction book Africa, Amazing Africa. Listen in as she converses with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
41:35 2/27/23
S3 Episode 3 - Frederick and Porsche Joseph
Every generation inherits the problems created by the ones before them, but no generation will inherit as many problems—as many crises—as the current generation of young people. But change, even revolution, is possible; you just have to know where to start. In Better Than We Found It, best-selling author Frederick Joseph and debut author Porsche Joseph make the case for addressing some of the biggest issues of our day. Listen in as they talk with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, and learn more about their momentous book and how it can be used to inspire students.
37:32 2/6/23
S3 Episode 2 - Greg Neri
Greg Neri is a filmmaker, poet, and Coretta Scott King honor–winning author whose many books for young readers include Ghetto Cowboy, a thoughtful and entertaining coming-of-age story that was adapted into the Netflix film Concrete Cowboy, and the equally moving follow-up, Polo Cowboy. Listen in as he talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about his work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
42:22 1/30/23
S3 Episode 1 - Rhiannon Giddens
Rhiannon Giddens is an acclaimed musician, singer, songwriter, and cofounder of the traditional African American string band the Carolina Chocolate Drops. She has long used her art to mine America’s musical past and manifest its future, passionately recovering lost voices and reconstructing a nation’s musical heritage. Her debut picture book, Build a House, written as a song to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, tells the stirring story of a people who would not be moved and the music that sustained them. Join Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens as she talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Red Clay Educators, about her work and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
31:59 1/23/23
S2 Episode 7 - Janet Costa Bates
Uplifting, touching, charming, and a delightful multigenerational tale are just some of the ways reviewers have described Janet Costa Bates’s newest picture book about the loving bond between a grandfather and his grandson. Listen in as Janet Costa Bates speaks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about Time for Bed, Old House and the powerful ways it can live in classrooms.
23:35 6/15/22
S2 Episode 6 - Charles R. Smith Jr.
Author of Hoop Queens and its companion, Hoop Kings, as well as Pick-Up Game, Chameleon, and Twelve Rounds to Glory—which was a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor Book—Charles R. Smith Jr. talks about his new book, Hoop Kings 2: New Royalty, with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul as they discuss the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms to inspire students.
38:19 5/12/22
S2 Episode 5 - De Nichols
Join author and acclaimed artivist De Nichols as she speaks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about her book Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution, a thought-provoking look at protest art.
30:48 4/14/22
S2 Episode 4 - Maxine Beneba Clarke
When We Say Black Lives Matter is a picture book celebration behind the true meaning of the words Black Lives Matter. Join award-winning author-illustrator Maxine Beneba Clarke as she converses with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about her latest picture book and the profound and inspiring ways it can be used in classrooms.
25:19 3/10/22
S2 Episode 3 - Zion Clark
Elite athlete and Netflix documentary star Zion Clark joins Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul to discuss his extraordinary and deeply inspirational authorial debut, Zion Unmatched; his upcoming projects; and the powerful messages they bring to classrooms.
23:51 2/9/22
S2 Episode 2 - Eric Velasquez
Multiple-award-winning illustrator Eric Velasquez speaks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about his latest work, ¡Mambo Mucho Mambo! The Dance That Crossed Color Lines, a picture book that portrays the power of music and dance to transcend racial, religious, and ethnic boundaries.
32:06 1/5/22
S2 Episode 1 - Kekla Magoon
National Book Award Finalist Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history. It invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers’ history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice. Listen in as author Kekla Magoon discusses her work with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul.
39:26 12/8/21
S1 Episode 8 - T.R. Simon and Victoria Bond
Suspenseful, absorbing, powerful, unflinching, extraordinary, and rich are just some of the ways reviewers have described the fictionalized childhood story of literary genius Zora Neale Hurston written by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon. Listen in as the authors speak with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about their inspiration for the Zora and Me trilogy and the important history and messages within that will resonate with and inform young readers.
39:01 7/7/21
S1 Episode 7 - Michael S. Bandy
In his trilogy of picture books, Michael S. Bandy recounts for young readers his childhood as a Black boy growing up in the segregated South. The first two books were nominated for NAACP Image Awards. The third, Northbound: A Train Ride Out of Segregation, received two starred reviews and was described by Kirkus Reviews as “painful history portrayed honestly and beautifully to help children understand the very personal impact of racism.” Listen in as Michael S. Bandy and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul discuss his very personal work and the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms.
40:24 6/9/21
S1 Episode 6 - Sophia Thakur
Angie Thomas, award-winning author of The Hate U Give, said of performance poet Sophia Thakur’s Somebody Give This Heart a Pen, “The power of her words will affect generations.” Listen in to find out why as Sophia Thakur and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul discuss her debut poetry collection for young adults and the powerful ways it can be used in schools and classrooms.
44:14 5/12/21
S1 Episode 5 - Kekla Magoon
Kekla Magoon, multiple award-winning author of books for young readers of all ages and the recipient of the 2021 American Library Association’s prestigious Margaret A. Edwards Award for her significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature, talks with Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul about her work and the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms.
44:37 4/14/21
S1 Episode 4 - Frederick Joseph
Among his many accolades, which include Comic-Con International’s Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award and being named to both the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and the 2018 Root 100, an annual list of the most influential African Americans, Frederick Joseph is the New York Times best-selling author of The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person. Listen in as he and Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul discuss his work and the powerful ways it can be used in schools and classrooms.
38:44 3/10/21
S1 Episode 3 – Tami Charles
Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul talks with New York Times best-selling author Tami Charles about her work and the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms.
43:04 2/10/21
S1 Episode 2 - Ekua Holmes
Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul talks with Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes about her work and the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms.
31:50 1/14/21
S1 Episode 1 - Carole Boston Weatherford
Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul talks with award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford about her work and the powerful ways it can be used in classrooms.
30:06 12/7/20