Jason Reynolds and the Transformative Power of Reading and Writing
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Online Webinar | Zoom
Submitted by the Event Organizer
Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, an 2017 NAACP Image Award and multiple other honors, author Jason Reynolds spent 2020 serving as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, sharing his transformative journey as a writer—and a reader—with youth during a year of previously unimaginable transformation. Join us for a landmark lecture and creative exploration of the theme of “transformation”—and prepare to be transformed.
Author of National Book Award finalist Ghost, the Newbery Honor Award-winning Long Way Down, the acclaimed graphic novel Miles Morales: Spider-man and numerous other titles for middle grade and young adult readers, Reynolds presents the 25th Effie Lee Morris Lecture. Reynolds, also the New York Times best-selling author of All American Boys and the Track series, collaborated with historian Ibram X. Kendi on Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism and You, a 2020 youth version of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America.
Jason Reynolds was born in Washington, DC, grew up in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and earned a degree in English from the University of Maryland. Although he started writing poems when he was nine years old, he has often said that he didn’t start out loving reading. It bored him. He was 17 ½ years old when he read the electrifying opening of Richard Wright’s Black Boy, and saw what words on the page could do.
Now, that’s what Reynolds tries to do for his readers: capture their attention, bring them directly into the story, gain their trust and give them doorways into new experiences. His stories and poems paint vivid word pictures, often using only a few familiar words. As he has said about introducing poetry to young people, “Perhaps they will know they need not fear a thing created to love them, and for them to love.”
The Effie Lee Morris Lecture series—produced in partnership among SFPL’s Main Children’s Center, SFPL’s African American Center and the SF Human Rights Commission—is committed to highlighting the lived experiences of writers, readers and communities of color through the words and images produced by some of today’s most talented and engaging authors and illustrators of books for youth.
Registration required. Once archived online, this event will only be available for viewing for a limited time, so plan to attend this special evening in real time. YouTube Live