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Kadir Nelson Papers

Identifier: CLRC-2249

Scope and Contents

The collection contains an unpublished version of the oil painting for the page 14-15 spread from Coretta Scott, written by Ntozake Shange and illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The painting depicts Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking from the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The spread was redone by Nelson after research indicated the setting that had been used was incorrect. The collection also contains a typescript with layout pencil sketches, a pencil sketch of the scene depicted in the oil painting, and several pages of reference photos.


  • Creation: circa 2008


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Award-winning illustrator and artist Kadir Nelson was born May 15, 1974 in Washington, D.C. and studied at Pratt Institute in New York City. In addition to his work in children's literature, he has worked for many major commercial clients, including designing stamps for the U.S. Postal Service and album art for musicians such as Michael Jackson and Drake, and his paintings have been featured on the cover of Time. He also worked as the lead conceptual artist on Steven Spielberg's Amistad. His picture book have been honored by the Sibert Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the NAACP Image Awards. He lives in Los Angeles.


.5 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)

Language of Materials



Collection contains an oil painting, sketches, and reference photos for one title illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson Papers, circa 2008
Caitlin Marineau
May 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • June 2020: Description updated by Caitlin Marineau.

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Children's Literature Research Collections Collecting Area

Suite 113, Elmer L. Andersen Library