Colson Whitehead (Black man with braided hair pulled back, wearing leather jacket, looking just up and to the right)

Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead

September 1, 2021

Will the experience of having The Underground Railroad turned into a 10-episode miniseries for Amazon affect your writing? No, I don’t think it will affect my writing. It felt very separate. They optioned it five years ago, so it was always on the backburner, and occasionally I would talk to Barry Jenkins, the director, but … Continue reading Newsmaker: Colson Whitehead


Savala Nolan. Photo by Andria Lo.

Newsmaker: Savala Nolan

June 21, 2021

Growing up, did you encounter stories of other people who, like you, hold overlapping identities or experience a sense of dislocation? When I was a kid, people weren’t thinking about identity the way we do now. I was Black and white and Mexican in an era when we were expected to choose one lane and … Continue reading Newsmaker: Savala Nolan



Alicia Serratos poses in front of a seed library holding a box of seeds.

Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos

June 1, 2021

Serratos started her first seed library in 2014 at her elementary school in Mission Viejo, California, after learning about healthy eating, gardening, and sustainability. Through Three Sisters Seed Box, she has now helped place seed libraries in all 50 states and has filled requests from as far away as India. American Libraries talked with Serratos … Continue reading Newsmaker: Alicia Serratos



National Library Week with Honorary Chair Natalie Portman, April 4-10, 2021

Newsmaker: Natalie Portman

April 5, 2021

As honorary chair of National Library Week, April 4–10, Portman is highlighting the role that libraries, librarians, and library workers play in serving their communities, especially during challenging times. Portman spoke with American Libraries about her love of reading, her new picture book for kids, and what libraries mean to her and her family. You … Continue reading Newsmaker: Natalie Portman


Kazuo Ishiguro

Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro

February 25, 2021

Klara and the Sun is a powerful commentary on the ethics of technological advances and artificial intelligence. What inspired you to address those themes? It was an opportunity to have a narrator with an interesting perspective. The Artificial Friend is almost like a baby at the beginning: completely fresh, completely open, but taking things in … Continue reading Newsmaker: Kazuo Ishiguro


Emmanuel Acho. Photo: Ali Rasoul

Newsmaker: Emmanuel Acho

January 20, 2021

American Libraries caught up with Acho ahead of his January 24 appearance at the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual to discuss his series and book, as well as equity in professional sports and the power of libraries. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man—the name of your YouTube series and book—is such … Continue reading Newsmaker: Emmanuel Acho


Newsmaker: Ziggy Marley

January 4, 2021

Marley spoke to American Libraries ahead of his appearance at the American Library Association’s 2021 Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits Virtual about his creative process during a lockdown, oral traditions, and voting for the first time. Your latest album was written and recorded during the pandemic. What was that like, and did you intend to create … Continue reading Newsmaker: Ziggy Marley


Marcus Samuelsson (left) and Osayi Endolyn [Photos: Angie Mosier (Samuelsson); Lucy Schaeffer Photography (Endolyn)]

Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn

November 2, 2020

Among the many talented Black chefs whose cuisine is highlighted: Cheryl Day of Savannah, Georgia’s Back in the Day Bakery; Gregory Gourdet of Portland, Oregon’s Departure; and former Top Chef contestant Nyesha Arrington of Los Angeles. Samuelsson and Endolyn spoke with American Libraries about their work—and about the racial dynamics of the food publishing world. … Continue reading Newsmakers: Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn


Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous

October 22, 2020

Reprinted with permission from The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food (Voracious, October) by Marcus Samuelsson and Osayi Endolyn. When I think about Alberta’s history—her fierceness combined with her incredible charm and grace—I am humbled by how much she accomplished, when she started with very little. She had an 8th-grade education, but … Continue reading Sunday Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Couscous