Friday Flashback: Virginia Hamilton

Written by Suzanne on February 5, 2010

We went to the library the other day, and the kiddo recognized many great Americans honored in the children’s section for Black History Month.

She said, “Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington Carver, the lady that made the Underground Railroad, and my Aunt Virginia.”


Her Great Aunt Virginia is my husband’s father’s sister. She was also an award-winning author of children’s books.

Virginia Hamilton won numerous awards for literature including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the Hans Christian Andersen Award. Her book Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush was awarded a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award.

Check out this retro Snipet from fuzzymemoriestv.TV

Many of her stories went from the printed page to other media such as her novel The House of Dies Drear made into a film starring Moses Gunn, and Shavar Ross in 1984. She collaborated with James Earl Jones to narrate her book The People Could Fly on CD.


Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton tells 24 stories that kept her ancestors’ culture alive during slavery, from spirited animal trickster tales and robust tall tales to spine-chilling tales of the supernatural and moving narratives of slaves in search of freedom. Twelve of these tales are on the 78-minute CD, including the hauntingly beautiful title story, “The People Could Fly,” Booklist praised the recording as “an outstanding and most welcome production that both complements and extends the original work.”—from her official website

Her stories inspire young and old to read, write and share their own stories with future generations. Virginia’s love of storytelling and the arts have been passed down to her own children. Her son Jamie Adoff is a writer, and her daughter Leigh Adoff is an opera singer.

Virginia Hamilton left this earth on February 19th, 2002 but her stories can be found in libraries, bookstores, and inside our minds and hearts, thank you Virginia.

“The past moves me and with me, although I remove myself from it. It’s light often shines on this night traveler: and when it does, I scribble it down. Whatever pleasure is in it I need pass on. That’s happiness. That is who I am.”—Virginia Hamilton



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