Mildred D. Taylor 2020 recipient of the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2020


Communications and Marketing Office

ALA Media Relations


PHILADELPHIA–Mildred D. Taylor, is the recipient of the 2020 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. 24 – 28, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“For over four decades Mildred D. Taylor’s books have provided much needed diversity in children’s literature in powerful, accessible works exploring themes of family and racism,” said Award Committee Chair Ida W. Thompson.

Born in Mississippi in 1943 and raised in Ohio, Taylor resides in Colorado.  “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” won the 1977 Newbery Award and a Coretta Scott King Book Award honor.  Taylor received the international 2003 inaugural NSK Neustadt Prize for Children's Literature.  Her books earned national recognition including four CSK author awards, and two author honors.  Her 2020 Logan family series conclusion “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come” continues addressing systemic injustice, entrenched inequality and the roots of racism.

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. 2013, 2015, 2017…), 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. 2017, 2018, 2020…), the award is presented in 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 2020 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award Committee are: Chair Ida W. Thompson, Columbia, S.C.; Carolyn L. Garnes, Atlanta; Chrystal Carr Jeter, Willoughby - Eastlake Public Library, Willoughby Hills, Ohio; Marguerite Worth Penick-Parks, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Wis.; and Laura Simeon, Kirkus Reviews, Redmond, Wash.

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

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