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July 18, 2016 12:54 PM   Subscribe

seems like folks like us be best
when we broken open
when we melted down
when we easier to digest

On June 26, 2016, author Jason Reynolds accepted two Coretta Scott King author honors for his YA novels All American Boys (co-authored with Brendan Kiely) and The Boy in the Black Suit. For his second acceptance speech, he delivered a call to action poem: Machetes (full text of poem at link). Video.

Jason Reynolds is also the author of When I Was the Greatest, winner of the Coretta Scott King - John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and As Brave As You, a middle-grade novel. He is a passionate proponent of We Need Diverse Books, and his writing is influenced by his love of hip-hop lyrics and reading liner notes.

More on the origins of All American Boys, and an excerpt: Co-authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely had written young-adult books separately for publisher Simon and Schuster when they were asked to go on a group tour of male authors. The two, both New Yorkers, ended up sharing a room, and while they were on the road, George Zimmerman was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards (2016 winners at the link) "are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood."

(This speech was given before the recent events in St. Paul, Dallas, and Baton Rouge. The "absent again today" chant at the beginning of the video is a reference to the plot of All American Boys, which examines an incident of police brutality from the viewpoints of two teens, one black, one white.)
posted by sunset in snow country (3 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I will try to refrain from fangirling or editorializing in the comments but the copyeditor in me would like to draw your attention to the judicious lack of hyphenation in the title All American Boys. Thank you.
posted by sunset in snow country at 12:55 PM on July 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yes, thank you! Both of these authors are new to me and I've just reserved All American Boys at the library and I'm very excited about it.
posted by skycrashesdown at 1:54 PM on July 18, 2016

All American Boys is a really good read, thanks for the background info.
posted by aetg at 2:12 PM on July 18, 2016

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