James Haskins

Professor Emeritus

James HaskinsJames Haskins (d. 2005) was the author of more than 100 books for adults and young people. In 1994, he was presented the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Award for a body of work in nonfiction for young people. His books Black Music in America, The March on Washington, and Carter G. Woodson: The Man Who Put “Black” in American History were selected for the Carter G. Woodson Award for young adult non-fiction in 1989, 1994, and 2001, respectively. His four-book Count Your Way series (Arab World, China, Japan, Russia) won the Alabama Library Association Award for best work for children in 1988; and The Story of Stevie Wonder won the Coretta Scott King Award in 1976. (Several of his other books also won Coretta Scott King Honor Book Awards.) His awards and recognition for books for the adult trade audience included the 1979 ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing in the field of music, for Scott Joplin: The Man Who Made Ragtime; and the English-Speaking Union’s selection of Bricktop, written with Bricktop, as a Book-Across-the-Sea in 1983. His book The Cotton Club was the inspiration for the motion picture of the same title in 1984; and Mr. Bojangles, written with N.R. Mitgang, was the subject of a Showtime movie starring Gregory Hines.

Professor Haskins served as guest curator for the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Services (SITES) exhibition The Jazz Age in Paris, which traveled nationally 1997–2001. He was general editor of the Hippocrene African Language Dictionaries series and the John Wiley & Sons’ Black Stars series. Vice Director, Southeast Region, of the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., and a member of the National Education Advisory Committee of The Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution, he also served as a member of the Framework Development Committee of CIVITAS, a national civic education framework. He wrote numerous articles and book reviews for The Gainesville Sun, was books editor for Opportunity, the magazine of the National Urban League and FlaVour magazine, and was on the board of Footsteps, an African-American history magazine for children published by Cobblestone Publications.

The African-American Studies Program has established a fellowship for visiting scholars in Haskins’s name. Donations to the James Haskins Visiting Scholar Fellowship can be mailed to the UF Foundation, PO Box 14425, Gainesville, FL 32604. UF’s George A. Smathers Libraries also has created the James Haskins Collection, comprised of his personal library and papers, housed in Special Collections.

Publications by James Haskins

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