The Coretta Scott King Award is given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions to children's and young adult literature.
In 1969, two school librarians were discussing their love for children's literature at an ALA meeting in New Jersey. As they waited at a booth for posters of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., they lamented the lack of awards for African American writers and illustrators. John Carroll, a publisher at the booth asked them why they didn't start an award that would distinguish and honor African American writers and illustrators. From that discussion came the Coretta Scott King Award.
The award is administered by the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table or EMIERT.