Dr. Florita Bell Griffin named recipient of Zora Neale Hurston Award for promotion of African-American Literature

For Immediate Release
Sat, 01/09/2016

Contact:

Leighann Wood
Membership and Awards Program Specialist
Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

BOSTON — Dr. Florita Bell Griffin, creative director of ARC Communications, LLC, a Texas-based Visual Art Communications and Publishing Company, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, an annual achievement award administered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association and sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award Committee has selected Griffin in recognition of her outstanding leadership and tireless efforts in promoting literacy and African American literature through the creation of the Little Flower® literacy project. The Little Flower® project works to improve youth literacy, self-esteem and imagination through the use of art, artistic media and African American literature (storytelling).

Little Flower® utilizes African American Literature, educational products, film, paint, sculpture, transmedia, performing arts, photography, music, mobile games and even the wildly popular Minecraft game platform to inspire children of all ages to read.

Little Flower®, the project’s namesake and storybook heroine, is a young African-American girl growing up during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.  A vocal anti-bullying advocate, Little Flower® uses her sharp mind, big heart and even bigger imagination to inspire and organize  her ever expanding circle of multi-cultural friends to address the problem of bullying in their school.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an ALA member who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. Griffin will be honored at the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. She will also receive a $1,250 monetary prize to fund travel expenses to the ALA Annual Conference, two tickets to the United for Libraries author events: The Gala Author Tea and The Laugh’s On Us, two complete sets of Zora Neale Hurston’s books and audiobooks and a beautiful personalized plaque.

Griffin was selected by the Zora Neale Hurston Award committee: Deborah Abston (Chair), Arizona State University; Janice Derr, Eastern Illinois University; Sue K. Dittmar, St. Charles City-County Library (Missouri); Cynthia Sorrell, University Of Maryland.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about RUSA’s Book and Media Awards at www.ala.org/rusa/awards.