Saturday, July 7, 2007

Only 87 Black Children's Book Authors in 2006!

Quick! How many children's books were published by African American authors in 2006?

The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has tracked children's books by and about people of color in the US since 1994. It's study of African American children's book authors goes back further to 1985 (based on the books received by the CCBC). Recently the CCBC released the 2006 stats - an estimated 87 children's books by African American authors were published in 2006 out of an estimated 5,000 children's books published! The 2006 figure is 16% more than 2005. Since the CCBC has collected this data, the landmark year for African American children's book authors was 1995 - when an estimated 100 black authors were published.

With the increase in self-publishing options, self-published children's book authors should consider sending copies of your books to the CCBC to be included in it's study of the children's books. Send your donated book to:

Kathleen T. Horning, Director
Cooperative Children's Book Center
School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
600 North Park Street, Room 4290
Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Phone: 608-263-3720


Don Tate II said...

Thanks Kyra for sharing this. My estimation was about right. I guessed around 70 or so. I'd seen a figure a few years ago and figured the number had to go down. Im going to borrow this and post it too.

Paula said...

Not sure why, but I'm shocked that the peak (100) was so many years ago and that it's fallen.

When I saw 87, I at least thought, "okay but that's more now than before, right?" Geez!

I'm very curious to see if 2007 will see a "sharp" increase. I know for the YA world, there has been quite a tick in books by black authors released this year. Maybe less than I think, though.

Carla said...

Thanks for the information, Kyra! I'll be sure to forward a copy of my book on to them.

Kelly said...


Wow, that really brings things into focus. Less than 5% of children's books published in 2006 were by African-American authors. We still have a long way to go to achieve parity in the publishing world. It makes what we do as black children's book authors and illustrators even more important. We're creating stories so our kids can see and hear themselves. Thank you for sharing this important information.