My novel Unsigned Hype was recognized as "culturally responsible literature for young minds and hands" by the National Black Child Development Institute. I am deeply humbled by this distinction because I am called to uplift, encourage and challenge readers, but to do it in a way that is morally and ethically responsible. As a media professional, I am acutely aware of the power that media has to introduce and nurture ideas in the minds of young people. And it is these ideas that ultimately shape their worldview. However, I also recognize the proliferation of books and other mediated communication that is harmful to not only children, but our culture as a whole. All of which makes my inclusion on this list especially gratifying. The list was compiled by an esteemed group of educators that includes Dr. Toni S. Walters from Oakland University, Dr. Vivian G. Johnson from Marygrove College, education consultant Dr. Jonella A. Mongo, and Ashelin Currie who is a Doctoral Student at Oakland University.
Founded in 1970, The National Black Child Development Institute is an organization devoted to improving and advancing the lives of Black children and their families through advocacy and education. Using a volunteer network that is spread across the nation, NBCI is committed to improving child welfare services, advocating for universal early care and education, building family support services, pressing for educational reform and providing vital information regarding children’s health.