Julius Lester Biography

Julius Lester
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Julius Bernard Lester was born in St.

Louis, Missouri, on January 27, 1939. His father, a Methodist minister, inspired Lester's interest in southern black folklore and culture, as did Lester's maternal grandmother from Arkansas, with whom the boy spent many summers. He was educated at Fisk University in Memphis, where he earned a degree in music and literature in 1960. Despite legalized racism and segregation in the South, Lester focused on the positive traditions of rural southern blacks in his writing.

Lester's editor for his adult books suggested that he try writing literature for children, which eventually led to his publishing To Be a Slave. Lester says that his hope in writing stories for young adults is to provide them with the kind of books he never had as a child.

To Be a Slave became a best-selling work that received the Nancy Bloch Award and a...

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This section contains 203 words
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Buy the To Be a Slave Study Guide
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