Jerry Craft: Literature, Racial Literacy, and Politics

Mar. 21 – Mar. 22, 2023

Two days of events including a Matthew Vassar Lecture, panel discussion, and workshops for writers and illustrators

Jerry Craft is a syndicated Black cartoonist and children’s book illustrator. In this lecture, Craft will discuss his graphic novel New Kid, which follows the life of “seventh grader Jordan Banks, who loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.” Additionally, he’ll discuss how the text has recently been weaponized as a political pawn, banned from some libraries and classrooms across the country.

Tuesday, March 21

Racial Literacy Panel: Local Educators & Jerry Craft. Open to the public.
Time: 4:00-6:30 p.m. 
Location: Villard Room

Wednesday, March 22:

Jerry Craft Writer’s Workshop 
Time: 9:00-10:15 a.m.
Location: Villard Room
Craft discusses his motivation as a writer and his writing process from beginning to end. Light breakfast included. Campus community only.

Jerry Craft Illustrator’s Workshop 
Time: 10:30-11:45 a.m.
Location: Villard Room 
Craft shares his experiences as a cartoonist and illustrator. Light breakfast included. Campus Community only.

Jerry Craft’s Campus Lecture 
Time: 5:30-7:00 p.m. 
Location: Rockefeller Hall 200
Craft discusses the reception of his book during this time where school districts are banning books that discuss race and racism, and talks about his goals and dreams for New Kid. Book signing will follow. Open to the public.

Sponsored by: The Louise Seaman Bechtel 1915 Fund, the Education Department, Dean of Faculty Lecture Fund, Matthew Vassar Lecture Fund, Institute for Liberal Arts Committee, American Studies Program, The Grand Challenges Program, Political Science Department, Africana Studies Program, Engaged Pluralism Initiative, English Department, Math Department, Psychological Science Department, Art Department, Sociology Department and the Urban Studies Program.




portrait of Jerry Craft
Jerry Craft
Photo: Hollis King