Kam Williams, syndicated book and film critic

“In the 35 years between the publication of her first book and her death in 2002, Virginia Hamilton earned a place of honor in the pantheon of children’s literature… Hamilton’s books were about illuminating black experience in America, the journey of black people across what she called the American hopescape. She stated, more than once, that she saw her work as helping to portray ‘the essence of a people who are a parallel culture community of America,’ while at the same time revealing the universality among peoples.

This collection of Hamilton’s essays, speeches and conversations is significant because it sheds light on the genius behind her profoundly important body of work. These pieces show Hamilton as a serious scholar of history and folktales and make clear the importance of place, time, family, and history to her and to her work… For those of us who knew and admired her, this collection offers the chance to ‘hear’ her voice again and be reminded once more of the enormity of her talent and the richness of her legacy.”

Excerpted from the Introduction by Rudine Sims Bishop (pgs. 11-12)

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