Julius Lester is a celebrated author whose accolades include a Newbery Honor and a Coretta Scott King Award. He is also a National Book Award finalist, a National Book Critics Circle nominee, and a recipient of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. In addition to his critically acclaimed writing career, Mr. Lester has distinguished himself as a civil rights activist, musician, photographer, radio talk-show host, and professor. For 32 years he taught at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He lives in western Massachusetts.
Tom Feelings has received numerous awards for his art in books. In 1972, he was the first African-American artist to win a Caldecott Honor, for Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book, and in 1975 he won a second Caldecott Honor for Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book, both written by Muriel Feelings. Mr. Feelings taught art at the University of South Carolina. It was during that time he published perhaps his best-known work, The Middle Passage, which won the 1996 Coretta Scott King Award. Mr. Feelings was working on finishing his last picture book, I Saw Your Face, a collaboration with the poet Kwame Dawes, not long before his death in 2003.