Kim Wayans, joined by her husband Kevin Knotts, shared a bit of her life growing up in a family of comedians at the August 6 author luncheon during the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's seventh National Conference of African American Librarians in Birmingham, Alabama, "Culture Keepers VII: Bridging the Divide with Information, Access, Activism, and Advocacy."
The pair are authors of the Amy Hodgepodge series of books (Grosset and Dunlap) about the trials and tribulations of a multiracial 4th grader, inspired by the lives of their 38 nieces and nephews. "We really wanted our nieces and nephews to have some positive role models, something that speaks directly to them, something that they could be proud of," Wayans said. "All children need to see themselves and feel good about it."
Coming from a family of 10 living in New York City's projects, Wayans said, "Libraries held such a sacred place in my heart. The library was the only place I could go for some peace and quiet."
"The energy inside libraries is so important, to have a centerpoint for peaceful energy that only libraries can provide," Knotts added.
The conference day ended with a welcome reception, "A Nostalgic Remembrance of Birmingham," hosted by Birmingham Public Library, that included presentations by the Talented Teen Spoken World Performers and an exhibit of Gee's Bend quilts by Tinnie Pettway.