- In the early Seventies, Taylor
was offered a job as a reporter for CBS. She turned it down to focus on her writing career.
- Taylor wrote her first book, Song of the Trees in
four days. The manuscript was entered in a contest sponsored by the Council on Interracial Books for Children, and it won
the African-American category.
- Taylor accepted the Newbery Medal for Roll of Thunder,
Hear My Cry on behalf of her father, who had recently died. She stated that “without his teachings, without his
word, my words would not have been” (Gale 2004, 7).
- Two main themes in all of Taylor’s books are family and land. Taylor
came from a warm, close extended family. When Taylor won the Newbery Award, her
editor said she could invite two people to the acceptance banquet. Taylor talked
her into the 30 seats she needed for family members. All 30 family members attended (Crowe 1999, 27).
- Many of Taylor’s characters are based on real family
members, past and present. David and Stacey Logan are “patterned” after her father and to some extent, her grandfather
(Crowe 1999, 42). Uncle Hammer is based on two of her great-uncles, and Christopher-John
and Little Man Logan are based on two uncles. Cassie Logan was drawn “from
the character of one of her aunts and her sister. Wilma, and to some degree, herself” (Crowe, 36). The children’s
mother, Mary Logan, was modeled after Taylor’s grandmother.
- Taylor’s latest book, The Land (2001), is
a prequel to Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. It won a Coretta Scott King Author Award. “Taylor
has said that she still has a final book to write about the Logans and will be
returning to Cassie’s voice to tell the story” (Gale 2005, 7).
- In 2004, Mississippi celebrated a Mildred D. Taylor Day. Taylor
returned to her family’s roots to address school children and adults at the University
Crowe, Chris. 1999. Presenting Mildred D. Taylor. New York: Twayne Pubishers.
Gale Literary Databases. 2005.
Mildred D(elois) Taylor. Contemporary Authors. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/GLD/hits?r=d&origSearch=true&o=DataTyle&n=10&1=d&c=1&locl.
Mildred Taylor Teacher Resource File. 2000. http://falcon.jmu.edu/%7Eramseyil/taylor.htm. Accessed June 7, 2005.
Writers and Musicians Project at Starkville High School.
2004.Mildred D. Taylor. http://shs.starkville.k12.ms.us./mswm/MSWritersAndMusicians/writers/MildredDTaylor/Taylor.html.
Accessed June 14, 2005.
Link to Taylor's acceptance speech for 1997 ALAN Award
Link to Tayor: Bibliography and awards