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<Children's Books and Music>

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Baker, Bettye F.
Start Year : 1937
The following information comes from Dr. Bettye F. Baker, a native of Louisville, KY, who lived on South Western Parkway; the family home was built by Samuel Plato. Dr. Baker was a member of the first African American Girl Scout Troop in Louisville, Troop 108. The troop leader, Ms. Sarah Bundy, lived in the 27th Street block of Chestnut Street. Dr. Baker was the first African American to represent Kentucky at the Girl Scout National Encampment in Cody, Wyoming, and the first African American president of the Kentucky State Girl Scout Conference. She won 3rd prize in the Lion's Club essay contest, "Why I love America," in 1951, but was denied entry into the Brown Hotel to receive her prize at the Lion's Club luncheon. The luncheon was moved to the Seelbach Hotel so that Dr. Baker could receive her prize [see Time article online]. Dr. Baker was among the first African Americans to attend the University of Louisville (U of L), where she earned her undergraduate degree. She was the first African American voted into the U of L Home Coming Queen's Court in 1958. She earned her doctorate in educational administration at Columbia University, her dissertation title is The Changes in the Elementary Principals' Role as a Result of Implementing the Plan to Revise Special Education in the State of New Jersey. Dr. Baker is the author of What is Black? and has published a number of articles, poems, and two juvenile novels that are currently in-print. Baker has been a columnist with Vineyard Gazette since 2005, she writes the Oak Bluffs column, opinion, and book reviews, all under the byline Bettye Foster Baker. Dr. Baker lives in Pennsylvania. See "Kentucky: sweet land of liberty," Time, 04/16/1951. For more information contact Dr. Bettye F. Baker.

See photo image of Dr. Bettye F. Baker by Gettysburg College, a flikr site.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Scouts (Boys and Girls), Miss Kentucky, Homecoming Queens, Beauty Contests and Pageants, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Cody, Wyoming / Pennsylvania

Bradby, Marie
Birth Year : 1950
Bradby was born in Virginia and graduated from Hampton University. A former journalist, she is a children's author who also writes fiction and free-lance material. Her first book, More Than Anything Else, was an ALA Notable Book in 1995. Another of her books, Momma, Where Are You From, illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet, received the Golden Kite Honor Award. Bradby lives in Louisville, KY, with her family. For more see Marie Bradby's biography, a website; the Marie Bradby home page; or contact her at
Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

hooks, bell [Gloria Jean Watkins]
Birth Year : 1955
She was born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, KY, the daughter of Rosa Bell and Veodis Watkins, but goes by the name bell hooks, which she prefers to spell without capitalization. hooks is a professor, feminist, cultural critic, poet, and author of more than 30 books, including Ain't I a Woman, Breaking Bread, and four children's books that include Happy to be Nappy and Be Boy Buzz. She is considered one of the foremost African American intellectuals. hooks is a graduate of Crispus Attucks High School in Hopkinsville, Stanford University (B.A.), the University of Wisconsin at Madison (M.A.), and the University of Santa Cruz (Ph.D.). After almost 30 years of teaching in California, Connecticut, New York, and Ohio, in 2004 she returned to Kentucky to join the faculty at Berea College as a Distinguished Professor in Residence. For more see Feminist Writers, ed. by P. Kester-Shelton; The African American Almanac, 8th & 9th ed.; Current Biography: World Authors 1900-1995 (updated 1999) [available via Biography Reference Bank]; and bell hooks, feminist scholar, on Connections with Renee Shaw, video #416 [available online].
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Migration West, Poets, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky / California / Connecticut / New York / Ohio / Berea, Madison County, Kentucky

Johnson, Christine Claybourne
Birth Year : 1909
Death Year : 1999
Johnson was born and raised in Versailles, KY, the daughter of Mattie A. Williams Claybourne and Braxton D. Claybourne. She graduated from the Versailles Colored high school in 1927. She won a gold medal for her poetry. She lived in Detroit in the 1940s, where she worked with the National Youth Administration and established day care centers in churches. Johnson attended nursing school and studied music before earning her undergraduate degree in biology from Loyola University in 1948. She earned a master's degree in education from DePaul University in 1950. Johnson was a member of the Nation of Islam and was principal and director of the University of Islam Primary School in Chicago. She traveled to Africa, Asia, and Europe. Johnson also published plays and poems; her poem, "Cadence," was published in Outlook Magazine. She was the author of Poems of Blackness and three children's textbooks: Muhammad's Children, ABC's of African History and Masks. For more see "Christine C. Johnson" in For Malcolm, by D. Randall and M. G. Burroughs; and A. Beeler, "Longtime teacher Christine Johnson," Chicago Tribune, 03/22/1999, Metro Chicago section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Education and Educators, Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Poets, Children's Books and Music, Nurses, National Youth Administration (NYA)
Geographic Region: Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan / Chicago, Illinois

Mahone, Willie Pearl
Birth Year : 1925
Mahone was born in the coal camps of Jenkins, KY. She is the subject of the award winning children's books in the The Willie Pearl Series, written by her daughter, Michelle Y. Green. Green is a graduate of the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Master's Program in Writing. Green's historical fiction series was written in the early 1990s and is set in a Depression-era coal-mining town in Kentucky. Willie Pearl: Under the Mountain, the second book in the series, received the 1993 Children's Literary Award for Multicultural Publishing. Information on Willie P. Mahone provided by Michelle Y. Green. For more see Michelle Y. Green on the Reading is Fundamental/Reading Planet website.
Subjects: Authors, Mothers, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky

Taylor, Kimberly Hayes
Birth Year : 1962
Kimberly Hayes Taylor, born in Louisville, KY, is the daughter of Loraine S. and James E. Hayes. She is a 1984 communications graduate of Morehead State University and was the health and features writer with the Detroit News. In 1991 she received the Top Well Done Award for the series "Street Under Siege." In addition to being a journalist, Taylor is also a professional speaker and author of Black Civil Rights Champions and Black Abolitionists and Freedom Fighters. Her books and articles have been referenced in teacher guides as well as books on history and immigration. For more see Who's Who Among African Americans, 1992-2006; and Kimberly Hayes Taylor, a USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism website.

Subjects: Authors, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Migration North, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Detroit, Michigan

Wiggins, Bobbie Reeves
Birth Year : 1949
Wiggins, born in Paducah, KY, is an educator, performer, author and writer. In the 1970s, she performed in movies and other productions, including Abby, Sheba Baby, and Combat Cops / Zebra Killer, which were all produced by Louisville, KY, native William B. Girdler, Sr. Wiggins was also a features writer with West Kentucky News, Kentucky Voice, The Paducah Sun, and Paducah Parenting and Family Magazine, a free publication. Wiggins was a school teacher for 13 yeas in Dallas, TX, and in 1995 she received the Junior Women's League Award for Innovative Teaching. Using the education grant she received in 1995, Wiggins wrote and recorded Rap N Learn in 2000 and It's a Rap in 2002. Both CDs contain curriculum-based songs geared to help young learners who have difficulty grasping language rules and fundamentals. Wiggins is the author of The Legacy of Woodland. She is a graduate of Lone Oak High School and Murray State University, where she received a B.A. in speech and English and an M.A. in speech and theater. Wiggins is a sister to Loretta Reeves Stewart. This information is presented, with permission, from Bobbie R. Wiggins biography.
Subjects: Actors, Actresses, Authors, Education and Educators, Journalists, Newspapers, Magazines, Book Publishers, Music Publishers, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Children's Books and Music, Movies and Films
Geographic Region: Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky

Young, Margaret B.
Birth Year : 1921
Death Year : 2009
Margaret Buckner Young, from Campbellsville, KY, is the author of children's books on African American history, civil rights, and civil rights leaders, including First Book of American Negroes and Picture Life of Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a graduate of Kentucky State College [now Kentucky State University] and the University of Minnesota. Margaret was the wife of the late Whitney Young, Jr. and the daughter of Eva and Frank Buckner. For more see Black Authors and Illustrators of Books for Children and Young Adults. A biographical dictionary, 2nd and 3rd eds., by B. Rollock; Who's Who Among African Americans, 1975-2005; and M. Fox, "Margaret B. Young, writer of children's books on Blacks, dies at 88," The New York Times, 12/18/2009, Obituary section, p. 7.
Subjects: Authors, Children's Books and Music
Geographic Region: Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky


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