The African-American Children’s Book Project

For nearly three decades, Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati has celebrated and promoted the outstanding work of Black children’s book authors and illustrators through her essential organization, The African American Children’s Book Project. She has been a champion of connecting kids with Black creators, raising the profile of Black children’s literature and boosting sales through media exposure and corporate, community, bookstore and school partnerships. Her passion, grit and commitment are inspiring.

By Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati

The African American Children’s Book Project (AACBP) a non-profit was formed in  1992 to promote and preserve children’s literature written by or about African Americans. Since its inception, we have emphasized that A BOOK OPENS UP A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES.

We collaborate with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, educators, librarians, consumers and corporate entities interested in literacy.  Our programs stress the role that access and choice play in building lifelong readers.  Our stellar programs include:  book fairs, book signings, workshops, I Read To See Me (author/illustrator virtual/in-school visits), educating consumers on trends/resources in youth literature, guidance on establishing home libraries and leading an advocacy initiative to promote Black literature around the world.

Our signature event – The African American Children’s Book Fair first held in 1992 – is one of the largest single-day gatherings for diverse children’s books in the country. Picture books are one of the most popular categories purchased at this event.

2020 was a banner year for Black picture books. While there was a lot of buzz about children’s social justice titles, many missed some of the best books of our generation featured on our list.  The AACBP believes if you want to educate on social justice, you’ve got to teach Black History. For more information about the organization, go to our website: The African American Children’s Book Project or email For more information about Black voices in children’s literature, please visit The Brown Bookshelf online.


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