In honor of Women's History Month, we spoke with Nikki Grimes, author of Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice. Here is what she had to say about her book:
I admire a woman who can speak truth to power, especially a Black woman, so when asked to write a children's biography of Kamala Harris, I already knew who she was, and had helped vote her into the Senate. But I first woke to the full beauty and power of Senator Harris in September 2018, during the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings.
Glued to the television screen, I noticed Harris' keen attention to the queries posed by her colleagues, and to the, often disdainful, manner in which Kavanaugh lobbed those queries back. I watched her cool, even demeanor as she waited her turn to address the Supreme Court nominee. Then, I held my breath as she leveled questions that were direct, strong, and unemotional. Unflinching in that pressure-cooker moment, Harris looked Kavanaugh straight in the eye and pressed her points. Try as he might, the nominee was unable to bait her, best her, or distract her.
As Harris finally ceded the floor, that historic day, I remember smiling and thinking to myself, "This is a warrior-woman. This is a woman to watch." That's what made me want to introduce young readers to Kamala Harris, our new Vice-President. That's what made me want to write Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice.
Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the ALA Notable book What Is Goodbye?, as well as the novels Jazmin’s Notebook, Dark Sons, and The Road to Paris, all of them Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books. She won the Coretta Scott King Author Award for Bronx Masquerade. Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California. Visit Nikki at NikkiGrimes.com. You can also find her on Twitter or Facebook.