Tarry, Ellen, 1906-2008
Wikipedia 29 Oct. 2012: "Ellen Tarry (September 26, 1906 – September 23, 2008) was an African-American author of literature for children and young adults. Tarry was the first African-American picture book author. Tarry was born in Birmingham, Alabama. Although raised in the Congregational Church, she converted to Roman Catholicism in 1922. She attended Alabama State Normal School, now Alabama State University, and became a teacher in Birmingham. At the same time, she began writing a column for the local African-American newspaper entitled "Negroes of Note", which focused on racial injustice and promoted racial pride. In 1929, she moved to New York City in hope of becoming a writer. There she befriended such Harlem Renaissance literary figures as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and Countee Cullen. She was the first "Negro Scholarship" recipient at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where she met and became friends with Margaret Wise Brown and was influenced by the "here and now" theory of picture book composition.