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Coretta Scott King Award & Honor Winners: About

List of Coretta Scott King award and honor winners and their call numbers.

Corretta Scott King Medal

Winners In The...

Additional Awards

About the Corretta Scott King Medal

The CSK Award has grown since its inception in the late 1960s. At its humble inception at the May 1970 dinner gala of the New Jersey Library Association, Lillie Patterson was honored for her biography, Martin Luther King, Jr. Man of Peace. In 1972, CSK held its first breakfast at an ALA conference site (but without ALA recognition). Official affiliation with SRRT came in 1980 and in 1982 the American Library Association recognized the Coretta Scott King Award as an association award. Success of the CSK Task Force can be attributed to the work of tireless volunteers and visionary founders. For a more complete history consult two works: The Coretta Scott King Awards Book, From Vision to Reality Edited by Henrietta Smith, American Library Association, 1994 and The Coretta Scott King Awards Book, 1970-1999, Edited by Henrietta M. Smith, American Library Association, 1999.

About the Seal

The Coretta Scott King Award Seal was designed by internationally-known artist Lev Mills in 1974. The symbolism used in designing the seal centers around Dr. King's teachings and doctrines, the purpose for which the Award was founded.

Coretta Scott King Award, Bronze Seal, designed by Lev MillsThe basic circle represents continuity in movement, revolving from one idea to another. Within the circle is the image of a black child reading a book. The five main religious symbols below the image of the child represent nonsectarianism. The superimposed pyramid symbolizes both strength and Atlanta University, where the Award was headquartered at the time the seal was designed. At the apex of the pyramid is the dove, symbolic of peace, one of Dr. King's doctrines. The rays shine toward peace and brotherhood.

ImageThe CSK seals have recently been revised; the new bronze and black seal denotes a Coretta Scott King Award winner, and the new pewter and black seal denotes an honor book. The former bronze seal (for winners) and pewter seals (for honors) can still be used.

History of the Award

In 1969, while attending the American Library Association Meeting in New Jersey, Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer, two school librarians, had a chance meeting at a booth when both were trying to get a poster of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was a time of great turmoil in the country. Both women loved children's literature and were discussing that African American authors and illustrators had not been distinguished with awards for their work. John Carroll, publisher at the booth where the two were vying for the poster, asked them why they didn't start an award to do so. From that seed of an idea, the Coretta Scott King Award was born.

The CSK Award has certainly grown since its inception in the late 1960s. At its humble inception at the May 1970 dinner gala of the New Jersey Library Association, Lillie Patterson was honored for her biography, Martin Luther King, Jr. Man of Peace. In 1972, CSK held its first breakfast at an ALA conference site (but without ALA recognition). Official affiliation with SRRT came in 1980 and in 1982 the American Library Association recognized the Coretta Scott King Award as an association award. Success of the CSK Task Force can be attributed to the work of tireless volunteers and visionary founders. For a more complete history consult two works: The Coretta Scott King Awards Book, From Vision to Reality Edited by Henrietta Smith, American Library Association, 1994 and The Coretta Scott King Awards Book, 1970-1999, Edited by Henrietta M. Smith, American Library Association, 1999.

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

"About," American Library Association, January 18, 2009.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/rts/emiert/cskbookawards/about.cfm (Accessed July 25, 2011)
Document ID: 526263

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