If you attended the ALA Annual conference in Orlando earlier this week, I hope you made it a point to attend the Coretta Scott King Award Breakfast on Sunday morning. I have been going to the CSK Breakfast since the mid-1980s, and it's become, without question, my favorite part of the entire conference. The speeches are always inspiring, uplifting and eloquent, and are always a reminder of why we do the work we do getting books into the hands of children and teens.
This year, Jason Reynolds gave two acceptance speeches, one for The Boy in the Black Suit and another for All-American Boys. Both were excellent, demonstrating his consummate genius with words. His second speech was brilliantly constructed as a poem, the text of which has been printed on the new Coretta Scott King Award blog. Reading the words is one thing, but actually hearing them spoken aloud by Jason Reynolds is another. His delivery was powerful and moving. Luckily, Pat Enciso had the foresight to record it with her video camera, and she has posted it, with Jason's knowledge and permission.
Read the words and watch the video. And then get to work. Buy the CSK Award books and get them into the hands of young readers.