Kadir Nelson An African-American Artist

Kadir Nelson An African-American Artist

                                                      Black History Is Our History: Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Also Known As The ‘Father Of Black History Month’

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada, and more recently has been observed in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Wikipedia

Significance: to remember important people and events in the history of the African diaspora

Date: Wed, Feb 1, 2023 – Wed, Mar 1, 2023

Observed for: 53 years

Also called: African-American History Month

Event Length: Month

Observed by: United StatesCanadaUnited Kingdom

Kadir Nelson An African-American Artist

In honor of African-American History Month, I would like to present the art work of Kadir Nelson an African-American Artist.

Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson Illustrator

Kadir Nelson is a Los Angeles–based painter, illustrator, and author who is best known for his paintings often featured on the covers of The New Yorker magazine, and album covers for Michael Jackson and Drake. His work is focused on African-American culture and history. Wikipedia

Born: May 15, 1974 (age 48 years), Silver Spring, MD

Awards: Caldecott MedalSibert MedalMORE

Education: Pratt InstituteWill C. Crawford Senior High School

Nationality: American

Nominations: Caldecott MedalMORE

Known for: Magazine cover illustrations

U.S. History – Young Pap Left

ArtScans CMYK

HEART AND SOUL by Kadir Nelson 2:36 mins

HarperCollins Publishers 969 views Sep 29, 2011

Kadir Nelson, one of this generation’s most accomplished, award-winning artists, has created an epic yet intimate introduction to the history of America and African Americans, from colonial days through the civil rights movement.

Kadir Nelson: 2011 National Book Festival 43:42 mins

Library of Congress  2,292 views Nov 10, 2011

Kadir Nelson appears at the 2011 National Book Festival. Speaker Biography: Writer and illustrator Kadir Nelson, who began drawing at age 3 and painting at age 10, says, “I have always been an artist. It’s part of my DNA.” He began collaborating with writers in 1999, including choreographer Debbie Allen (“Dancing in the Wings”) and Ntozake Shange (“Ellington Was Not a Street”). Nelson debuted as an author with “We Are the Ship.” His current work is “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans” (HarperCollins). For transcript, captions, and more information visit….

Kadir Nelson: 2013 National Book Festival 28:03 mins

Library of Congress  2,841 views Dec 12, 2013

Kadir Nelson appears at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Speaker Biography: The works of award-winning artist Kadir Nelson have been exhibited worldwide. He is a two-time winner of the Caldecott Honor Award as well as a Coretta Scott King Award. His clients include Coca-Cola, the U.S. Postal Service, Major League Baseball and Dreamworks SKG. His debut as a writer, “We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” won the Coretta Scott King Award. Nelson has just published a picture book biography, called “Nelson Mandela.” For captions, transcript, and more information visit…


The Undefeated 2019

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Undefeated
Author Kwame Alexander
Illustrator Kadir Nelson
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date April 2, 2019
Pages 40
Awards Caldecott MedalCoretta Scott King AwardNewbery Honor
ISBN 978-1-328-78096-6

The Undefeated is a 2019 poem by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The poem’s purpose is to inspire and encourage black communities, while also delivering a tribute to black Americans of all occupations in past years. The poem describes the toughness black Americans faced during times such as slavery, and segregation in America. Nelson’s illustrations also provide a visual for the meaning of the poem. The book was well received and won the 2020 Caldecott Medal and a Newbery Honor.[1] Kadir Nelson’s artwork also earned it a Coretta Scott King Award.[2]

We Are the Ship 2008     


4.3/5 · Goodreads

We Are the Ship got a 4.26 stars review on Goodreads.  92% liked this book Google users


“We are the ship; all else the sea.”—Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. … Google Books

Originally published: January 8, 2008

Author: Kadir Nelson

Genre: Young adult fiction

Awards: Sibert MedalCoretta Scott King Award for Authors

Nominations: Sibert MedalMORE,vid:o9R-WFPkUkg

In this video

00:44 Negro Baseball

02:34 Rhys Goose Tatum and Richard King Tutt

03:48 Hank Aaron

04:43 Willie Wells

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans 2011

Heart and Soul

Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews.

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. This is the story of the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.

Told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator, this inspiring book demonstrates that in gaining their freedom and equal rights, African Americans helped our country achieve its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.

Nelson Mandela 2013


One day when Nelson Mandela was nine years old, his father died and he was sent from his village to a school far away from home, to another part of South Africa. In Johannesburg, the country’s capital, Mandela saw fellow Africans who were poor and powerless. He decided then that he would work to protect them. When the government began to keep people apart based on the color of their skin, Mandela spoke out against the law and vowed to fight hard in order to make his country a place that belonged to all South Africans.

Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela. It is the story of a young boy’s determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country. Readers will be inspired by Mandela’s triumph.


5/5 · Scholastic Teacher Store

Nelson Mandela got a 5 stars review on Scholastic Teacher Store.

Did you like this book?

This stunning picture book biography of Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson is a receipient of the Coretta Scott King Honor award.In this lush, acclaimed book, award-winning author-illustrator Kadir Nelson … Google Books

Originally published: January 2, 2013

Author: Kadir Nelson

Genre: Biography

Awards: NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Children’s

Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

 Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad 2007

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad


Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story
from the Underground Railroad

by Ellen Levine; illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Henry’s Freedom Box tells the true story of Henry, a young boy who grows into a man under the harsh conditions of slavery, all the time yearning to be free. After he is separated from his family for the second time (once as a son, once as a father), Henry comes up with the idea of mailing himself to freedom in the north.

What an inspirational, thought-provoking, and stunningly illustrated story. What makes it all the more magical is that it’s loosely based on the true story of a man who escaped slavery by mailing himself to freedom inside a wooden crate (An author’s note at the back shares what happened to Henry ‘Box’ Brown later in his life.) Illustrator Kadir Nelson has truly captured the humanity and emotions of the characters. Moving! This is an inspiring anytime read, but would be ideal for units on slavery and the Underground Railroad.

The book won quite a number of prestigious children’s book awards, including the Caldecott Honor in 2008. Additionally, the book was named to many ‘best books’ lists, including the American Library Association Notable Children’s Book in 2008 and the National Council for Social Studies Notable Social Studies Book in 2008.

See Inside Henry’s Freedom Box

Below are two sample pages from inside Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad. What a beautifully illustrated book! The left is a portrait of the main character, Henry, as a child and the middle page shows Henry visiting his sick master, who had called for him. Henry wondered if perhaps the master would set him free, as some slaves were freed upon the death of their owners. Sadly, that was not why he was called to see the master.,vid:PdninoaI1Dk

In this video 9:53 mins

00:52 The master is ill

08:16 Arrival in Philadelphia

09:38 Outro

If You Plant a Seed 2015

The bestselling book about the power of one kind act from Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award winner Kadir Nelson.

“Timeless and delectable.”—School Library Journal

If you plant a carrot seed . . . a carrot will grow.

If you plant a cabbage seed . . . cabbage will grow.

But what happens if you plant a seed of kindness . . . or selfishness?

With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.

Kadir Nelson’s acclaimed books include The Undefeated, winner of the Caldecott Medal as the most distinguished picture book of the year, Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.,vid:eDgIA3P8QMs

Book Description

for Change Has Come by Kadir Nelson

From the Publisher

The black and white images throughout are personal reflections, uniquely felt and rendered by award winning artist Kadir Nelson. They are accompanied by the uplifting words of Barack Obama and commemorate the movement and the moment that have changed our history. It’s a celebration of the power of inspiration. It’s a celebration of how far we have come and how determined we are to look ahead. It’s a celebration of pride, hope and joy personally felt and publically shared.

Most of all it’s a celebration of the 44th president – a new president and a new chapter in the American story.

Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.

Change Has Come Book Video 00:56

CBS 1,461 views Jan 6, 2009

A special video for Change Has Come: An Artist Celebrates Our American Spirit, with illustrations by award winning artist Kadir Nelson, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Change Has Come is a celebration of how far we have come and how determined we are to look ahead. It’s a celebration of pride, hope and joy personally felt and publically shared. Most of all it’s a celebration of the 44th president – a new president and a new chapter in the American story.



Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream got a 4.24 stars review on Goodreads.

4.5/5Inside Out Club

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream got a 4.5 stars review on Inside Out Club.

92% liked this book

Google users


Michael Jordan. The mere mention of the name conjures up visions of basketball played at its absolute best. But as a child, Michael almost gave up on his hoop dreams, all because he feared he’d never grow tall enough to play the game that would one day make him famous. … Google Books

Originally published: 2000

Authors: Roslyn JordanDeloris Jordan

Genres: FictionBasketball story

Age range: 4 – 8 Years

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream

Deloris Jordan. Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-83371-7

Michael Jordan’s mother and sister team up for an inspirational story about this athlete’s earliest on-court efforts. Nelson (Big Jabe) is also a strong player here; he contributes animated art, rendered in a cartoon style that is informal yet polished. In the opening scenario, a bully intimidates young Jordan during a basketball game at a neighborhood park, causing him to flub a pass. Michael tells his older brothers, “”I am really sorry, guys. If I were taller that wouldn’t have happened.”” When he asks his mother what will make him grow, she advises him to put salt in his shoes and say a prayer every night. Though he obliges Dand continues to practice shooting baskets at home Dhis efforts don’t immediately pay off. One day, his father convinces him that, rather than being tall, “”practice, determination, and giving your best”” are the keys to being “”a real winner,”” and Michael runs off to join his brothers in the park, where he makes the game’s winning shot. Though the book ends with a rather facile slam-dunk, the authors offer authoritative insight into this six-foot-six-inch-tall hoopster’s boyhood spunk as well as reassurance to young athletes impatient for a growth spurt. Nelson handily balances in-your-face on-court action with more reflective portraits of the player’s inner growth. All ages. (Nov.)

Salt in His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream 8:28 mins

KV Teach 26,109 views Feb 25, 2021 #classroombookaday


Q&A with Kadir Nelson 3:37 mins

Scholastic  15,107 views Sep 26, 2013

Illustrator Kadir Nelson explains the inspiration, experiences, and processes behind his work. To view his artwork for The Art of Read Every Day, and to download Common Core-ready resources and information about Kadir Nelson, visit The Art of Read Every Day collection:

Meet the Illustrator: Kadir Nelson 11:59 mins

AdLit  16,124 views Sep 23, 2010

Kadir Nelson is a naturally gifted artist whose extraordinary talent continues to develop and be discovered. Before the age of 30, Nelson had already illustrated children’s books, sold paintings to celebrities, and worked on a movie directed by Steven Spielberg. In 2007 Kadir Nelson received a Caldecott Honor for his evocative illustrations in Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom. In 2008 he won a second Caldecott Honor for his artwork in Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad. To view the full version of this and other author interviews, visit us at! is funded by the Ann B. and Thomas L. Friedman Family Foundation and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Acclaimed artist Kadir Nelson on what influences his paintings 8:26 mins

PBS NewsHour 1,699 views Nov 20, 2022

Award-winning artist Kadir Nelson is known for his oil paintings that evoke both modern urban realism and the masterly works of turn-of-the century American painters. For our Weekend Spotlight, Geoff Bennett spoke to Nelson while he was in Washington, D.C., for the unveiling of his portrait of humanitarian chef José Andrés at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: Find more from PBS NewsHour at Subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Artist Kadir Nelson – Illustrations of Pride and Soul CBS Sunday Morning 5 mins

Black Art News  3,175 views Jul 31, 2016

One of our favorite artists and illustrators, Kadir Nelson, whose work is found among the collections of some of entertainment’s elite stars like Debbie Allen, Michael Jackson, Will Smith and George Lucas, is visited by CBS Sunday Morning’s Ben Tracy. The artist touches on his work on magazines, albums, posters and postage stamps. Then there are the children’s books – more than two dozen in fact. Ben meets the illustrator who counts Norman Rockwell and N.C. Wyeth among his influences – and who explains what happens when his paintbrush takes up wings and begins to fly. For art news, everyday, visit us at: To Submit News:… Pinterest: Twitter: Facebook:


Kadir Nelson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kadir Nelson (May 15, 1974) is a Los Angeles–based painter, illustrator, and author who is best known for his paintings often featured on the covers of The New Yorker magazine, and album covers for Michael Jackson and Drake. His work is focused on African-American culture and historyThe New York Times describes his work as: “sumptuous, deeply affecting work. Nelson’s paintings are drenched in ambience, and often overt symbolism.[1] He has twice been a Caldecott honor recipient and won the 2020 Caldecott Medal for his book The Undefeated


In 1996, Nelson began his career as a conceptual artist for Steven Spielberg‘s feature film Amistad, and the animated feature film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. Nelson has since designed several commemorative postage stamps for the United States Postal Service including stamps featuring Wilt Chamberlain,[2] Joe Dimaggio,[3] and Richard Wright.[4] He has also authored and/or illustrated over 30 picture books including, Brothers of the Knight[5] by actress Debbie AllenWE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball,[6] which was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated[7] magazine, and Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.[8] In 2013, Nelson was commissioned to paint his first cover for The New Yorker magazine, a portrait of Nelson Mandela.[9] Nelson has since created several memorable covers for the magazine including, Eustace Negro,[10] Schomburg Center, Harlem, New York,[11] and A Day at the Beach.[12]

Early life and education[edit]

Nelson was born in Washington D.C.,[13] and grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey and San Diego, California, the son of author Emily Gunter and educator Lenwood Nelson.[14] He received his early training in art from his uncle, Michael Morris, who is an artist and art instructor.[15] Both his uncle and his high school art teacher taught him important artistic principles and techniques, including how to paint with oils. After developing an impressive portfolio during high school, Crawford High in San Diego, Kadir Nelson earned a partial scholarship to the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. Nelson earned his BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1996.[16]


In August 1999, Nelson’s paintings depicting Negro league baseball scenes were featured in Sports Illustrated magazine on its opening Leading Off pages.[17] They were some of the first paintings in a series of works that led to Nelson writing and illustrating a book commemorating the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues entitled, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro Leagues Baseball, published by Jump at the Sun in 2008.[6] Nelson’s critically acclaimed[18][19][20] authorial debut was created over the span of seven years and earned Nelson the Sibert Medal, a Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor. We Are the Ship was released by Brilliance Audio as an audiobook in 2009, narrated by voice actor Dion Graham.

In 2008, Nelson was commissioned by the US House of Representatives to paint the official portrait of Representative Shirley Anita Chisholm. The original painting hangs in the US Capitol Building in Washington DC.[21]

In 2017, Nelson was commissioned to paint a portrait of Henrietta Lacks to promote HBO’s upcoming film,[22] The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on the book by Rebecca Skloot. The painting was exhibited at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland and other venues. The painting was later co-acquired by the Smithsonian museums National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.[23]

Album cover art[edit]

Nelson created the mural used as cover art for Swizz Beatz‘s 2002 album Swizz Beatz Presents G.H.E.T.T.O. Stories.

In 2005, Nelson was contacted by Michael Jackson to create a commissioned painting of the King of Pop’s life story. The commission was delayed and shelved for several years until the untimely death of the singer in 2009.[24] Upon which Nelson was tapped to resume the portrait to be used later for the posthumously released album titled Michael.[25][26] On Friday, December 10, 2010, a 29,070-square-foot (2,701 m2) poster depicting the Michael album artwork was erected at the Rectory Farm in MiddlesexEngland, which broke a Guinness World Record for the largest poster in the world.[27]

In 2013, Nelson was contacted by recording artist Drake to create two covers for his album Nothing Was the Same.[28] The album artwork became a signature work for the recording artist, and the subject of multiple internet memes.[29] The album remained on the Billboard 200 sales chart for more than 400 weeks after its release in 2013.[30]

Recognition and honors[edit]

Nelson has received multiple Gold and Silver Medals from the New York Society of Illustrators. In February 2014, Nelson was awarded the Hamilton King Award for best illustration of the year. Nelson is also the recipient of three NAACP Image Awards for his illustrated picture books, and the New York Times Best Illustrated Book for We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball.

Nelson is a two-time Caldecott Honor Award winner. In 2020, Nelson won the Caldecott Medal and Coretta Scott King Award for his illustrations in The Undefeated.[31] He received an NAACP Image Award for the book Just the Two of Us. For his book, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, he received the 2008 CASEY Award for best baseball book,[32] the 2009 Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the 2009 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award.[33] His book, Nelson Mandela, was a Coretta Scott King Honor[34] book in 2014.[35]


Nelson has had exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States and the world, including the Muskegon Museum of Art,[36] Chicago Art Institute, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.[37]

Kadir Nelson’s portrait of Henrietta Lacks was recently jointly acquired by The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Lacks’ portrait was commissioned by HBO.[38]

For more information, please visit the following link:

🙂 Have A Happy Valentine’s Day  Every One 🙂

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