An Interview with Bestselling Children's Author and Publisher Wade Hudson

  • 27 Feb 2023
  • 3:00 PM - 4:15 PM (EST)
  • Webinar


(depends on selected options)

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As Black History Month draws to a close for 2023, it is important that the legal profession – lawyers, judges, law students, and legal professionals, including paralegals and legal staff – consider the importance of preserving, learning about, and transmitting that history so as to make the future better and brighter for everyone. This year, IILP is pleased to offer the legal profession a new insight into that history: an interview with children’s author and publisher Wade Hudson and a panel discussion about how we pass on our history to future generations.

Book cover, Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow SouthMr. Hudson’s latest book, a young adult novel, Defiant, is an autobiographical account of growing up in the Jim Crow South. In Defiant, Hudson shares both the joys and struggles of African American life during that time and introduces the reader to the resilience of the warm, loving, and close-knit community of Mansfield, LA. For Defiant, Hudson received the 2022 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature from the University of Connecticut. Booklist gave Defiant a starred review saying, “With his compelling memoir, Hudson will inspire young readers to emulate his ideas and accomplishments.” Kirkus Reviews described it as, “Powerful testimony from a Children’s literature legend.” And School Library Journal described it as, “A great pick for public and school libraries looking for firsthand accounts of the effects of Jim Crow.”

Wade Hudson, is the author of almost 30 books for children and young adults and, with his wife, Cheryl Willis Hudson, the co-founder of Just Us Books, the pre-eminent African American children’s book publishing company in the US. The Hudsons launched their publishing company when, some 35 years ago, as young parents, they were searching without success for children’s books featuring African American experiences and perspectives. Other celebrated books that Mr. Hudson has authored or edited include: Jamal’s Busy Day, a picture book to reinforce positive self-images for Black children; the Afro-Bets series of picture books designed to introduce and support young children’s reading and math skills; Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children; and The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth.

Mr. Hudson will be discussing Defiant, how he and his wife came to found Just Us Books, the current state of multicultural book publishing, how to get more African American authors published, and his life and career. Following that, there will be a panel discussion about books like Defiant and how that history helps prepare African Americans in the legal profession.


Wade Hudson, Bestselling Author and Publisher, Just Us Books

Latham Williams, Senior Consultant, The Exeter Group and Equity Solutions; and Founder, Headlights LLC (interviewer and moderator)

Collette A. Woghiren, Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP

Sherea McKenzie, Executive Director, Julia C. Hester House

Speaker Bios.

The program is being offered free of charge to all lawyers and staff for IILP’s Visionary Partners, Partners, and Allies. Unsure if your firm/company supports IILP? Find out here.


The program is open to the public.

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