The medal was awarded for illustrating children’s book on Civil Rights Movement leader Fannie Lou Hamer.
If the name Ekua Holmes sounds familiar, then you may remember last year’s Martin Luther King Day Google Doodle. That Doodle was the work of Ms. Holmes, a painter and collage artist residing in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood.
Ms. Holmes has been awarded a prestigious Caldecott Honor Book Medal for illustrating Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, a children’s biography of Civil Rights Movement leader Fannie Lou Hamer written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press in Somerville, Massachusetts.
The winners were announced on Monday January 11 at the mid-winter meeting of the American Library Association in Boston.
Awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Childrens—a division of the American Library Association—the Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Three other Honor Books were named alongside Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, these are: Trombone Shorty, with illustrations by Bryan Collier and words by Troy Andrews, Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes and finally, Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de la Peña—who became the first Latino to win the coveted Newbery Medal.
In a press release announcing this year’s winners, the American Library Association noted that in Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, “Ekua Holmes’ illustrations provide children with an intensely visual encounter with Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer. The repetition of colors and motifs within the richly layered collage create complex images that capture Hamer’s power and brave.”