Hope’s Gift Launch recap

Last week I kicked-off the newest book that I illustrated, Hope’s Gift,which is written by Kelly Starling Lyons. The kickoff began last Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I spoke at North Carolina State University. Several middle school reading groups, college students and faculty, gathered to watch as I presented my books, art and career path. It was a high energy, enthusiastic group.

That evening, Kelly Starling Lyons and I launched Hope’s Gift at Richard B. Harris Library. We spoke about our career paths and what inspired the story behind the book. Kelly talked about themes in Hope’s Gift — Freedom, The Emancipation Proclamation, Freedom’s Eve, Heartbreak Day, and I followed up with drawing demonstrations. Civil War re-enactors engaged the kids with ┬áCivil War artifacts, while a history archivist spoke to kids about exploring their roots. Afterwards we dined at The Pit Authentic Barbecue.

Kelly and I with Civil War re-enactors.

 Civil War artifacts included cotton bolls, mullet bullets, band-aids, harmonica, spectacles, match books, etc.

The event was well supported!





On Friday I presented at Wiley Elementary School. Unfortunately the weather in Raleigh wasn’t cooperating — ice, snow — so the day was cut in half when school was canceled. However the faculty at the school was creative! They beamed my one presentation into all the classrooms so all of the kids could enjoy. Here’s a writeup created by the Wiley PTA.

Last but not least, on Saturday Kelly and I presented at the North Carolina History Museum’s 12th Annual African American Cultural Celebration, and then we signed book afterwards. I had a blast in North Carolina, and I look forward to returning soon.