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Jason Reynolds

Black History Month: Jason Reynolds

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event’s origins trace back to historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries worldwide, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.

In February, Zane State College will acknowledge the achievements and contributions of African Americans throughout history and the current day.

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a New York Times bestselling author, a Kirkus Prize winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award winner, a National Book Award finalist, and the recipient of a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and multiple Coretta Scott King Award honors. He was also the American Booksellers Association’s 2017 and 2018 spokesperson for Indies First. Reynolds’ many books include When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (co-written with Brendan Kiely), As Brave as You, For Every One, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks and Long Way Down.

Born in Washington, D.C., and raised in neighboring Oxon Hill, Maryland, Reynolds found inspiration in rap and began writing poetry at nine years old. Over the next two decades, he published several poetry collections before publishing his first novel, When I Was The Greatest, in 2014. He won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent for this first prose work. He followed this success by writing seven novels in four years, including Ghost, a finalist for the National Book Award; Patina and Sunny, part of his New York Times bestselling Track series; As Brave As You, winner of the 2016 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teen, and the 2017 Schneider Family Book Award; and a Marvel Comics novel, Miles Morales: Spider-Man.

Reynolds returned to poetry with Long Way Down, a novel in verse, followed by Look Both Ways, a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award. His collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, was released in March 2020. Reynolds currently lives in Washington, D.C (source).

Jason Reynolds has served as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for three years. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Reynolds connected virtually with thousands of students in rural areas to engage in meaningful discussions. In 2022, Reynolds will meet in person with students in rural communities to encourage young people to share their narratives. In addition, Reynolds will create an archive of student voices, encouraging students to share their creations via his GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story platform. Here is a link to Jason’s “Write. Right. Rite” video series.

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