Toni Trent Parker (1947–2005) Biography
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for SATA sketch: Born July 10, 1947, in Winston-Salem, NC; died of a brain tumor, September 15, 2005, in Stamford, CT. Publisher and author. Parker was a leading advocate promoting multicultural literature; she published guides to African-American books and wrote a number of picture books that feature African-American characters. A student of history, she graduated from Oberlin College in 1970 and then pursued graduate courses in African-American history at the University of California, Berkeley. She did not begin promoting black literature until the 1990s, however. Teaming up with friends Sheila Foster and Donna Rand, the three founded Black Books Galore!, which issued four guides to African-American literature from 1998 to 2001. One of these, Black Books Galore! Guide to Great African-American Children's Books, was nominated for an National Association for the Advancement of Colored People award for children's literature. In 1998 Parker also founded Kids Cultural Books, a nonprofit organization intended to establish minority book festivals around the country. Parker herself added to the relatively small but growing genre of minority-centered children's books by writing six picture books herself. Among these are Painted Eggs and Chocolate Bunnies (2002), Snowflake Kisses and Gingerbread Smiles (2002), and her last, Sienna's Scrap-book (2005). Parker was recognized for her contributions with a Parenting Leaders award from Parents magazine in 1998.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
News &Record (Piedmont Triad, NC), September 24, 2005, p. B8.
New York Times, September 19, 2005, p. A25.
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