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    When children see themselves represented in the books they read, the experience is affirming and empowering.  Today we celebrate these illustrators who recognize the importance of representation for Black kids. Tthey create some of the vibrant, colorful and powerful images that adorn the pages of books written with Black children in mind.

Day 9 - I is for Illustrators

Vanessa Brantley-Newton

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     Vanessa Brantley-Newton celebrates self-love and acceptance of all cultures through her work, and hopes to inspire young readers to find their own voices. The children she draws can be seen dancing, wiggling, and moving freely across the page in an expression of happiness.

Ekua Holmes

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     Growing up in Boston’s neighborhoods, Ekua Holmes was influenced by an absence of positive Black images and believed art could fill this void.  Holmes became the founder and director of The Great Black Art Collection, providing a platform for emerging artists and introducing Black art to new audiences. 

  • Floyd Norman

    Disney's First Black Animator





Shane W. Evans

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     Shane W. Evans is the illustrator of many terrific picture books. Evans studied at Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts, graduated in 1993 and traveled the world. His work is influenced by his travels to Africa, South America, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the United States.

E. B. Lewis

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    E.B. Lewis: “It’s about storytelling, getting kids to get closer to themselves and understand themselves better. More important, they get to see how they match up with other children around the world and understand their stories, and see similarities and differences. What better vehicle than a picture book.”

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    Floyd Norman is an American animator, writer, and comic book artist, and bonafide “Disney Legend.” Over the course of his stellar career, Norman has worked for Walt Disney Animation Studios, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Ruby-Spears, Film Roman and Pixar.

    Norman had his start as an assistant to Katy Keene comic book artist Bill Woggon. In 1956, he was employed as an inbetweener on Sleeping Beauty at The Walt Disney Company, becoming the first African-American artist to remain at the studio on a long-term basis. He has since been instrumental in the creation of many Disney Classics, including Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Mulan, Toy Story 2, and many more beloved films. In 2007, Floyd was inducted into the Disney hall of fame with the “Disney Legend Award.”