In 1985 the Cooperative Children’s Book Center began to document the numbers of books published in the United States for children each year which were written and/or illustrated by African Americans. When then-CCBC Director Ginny Moore Kruse served as a member of the Coretta Scott King Award Committee that year, we were appalled to learn that, of the approximately 2,500 trade books that were published that year for children and teens, only 18 were created by African Americans, and thus eligible for the Coretta Scott King Award. Using the CCBC’s collection and working in conjunction with the Coretta Scott King Award Task Force of the American Library Association, we have continued to document the number of books each year and to publish this statistic in our annual publication CCBC Choices.
Because of the great ongoing interest in these statistics, in 1994 we began keeping track of the numbers of books by American Indians, Asian/Pacifics and Asian/Pacific Americans, and Latinos as well. We also began documenting not only the number of books created by people of color, but the number of books about them, including the many titles that have been created by white authors and/or illustrators.