What is Black?

Jerry Craft

Episode Summary

Our guest today is author and illustrator Jerry Craft (@JerryCraft). He shares NEW KID, his new middle grade graphic novel about seventh grader Jordan Banks who loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School, where he is now one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either. Can he learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

Episode Notes

Our guest today is author and illustrator Jerry Craft (@JerryCraft). He shares NEW KID, his new middle grade graphic novel about seventh grader Jordan Banks who loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School, where he is now one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either. Can he learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

During our conversation Jerry also shares his love of comics, art and how he co-founded the Schomburg Center's Annual Black Comic Book Festival. To learn more about NEW KID and its author and illustrator go to www.jerrycraft.net.

Social Media
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @jerrycraft

Bio:
JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His newest book, New Kid, is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist Magazine that called it "Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year." Kirkus Reviews called it "An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America."

Jerry's books have been Junior Library Guild selections, and he has won five African American Literary Awards. He is the creator of Mama's Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 - 2013. He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg's Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts.