Vice President, Editor-at-Large Scholastic Trade, New York City
Imagine answering the telephone as a ten-year-old and hearing the voice of the Reverend Jesse Jackson on the line! When Andrea Davis Pinkney was a child, phone calls from civil rights leaders were a common occurrence in her home. Pinkney’s late father, Philip J. Davis, worked with the Department of Labor, advising presidents, policymakers and civil rights organizations on equal employment opportunity legislation. “That was a part of his job and his passion,” explains Pinkney. “Civil rights and social equality were integral to the fabric of my upbringing.”
Pinkney graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in journalism and embarked on a career as a magazine editor, later writing and editing books for children about famous individuals in African-American culture and history. At Scholastic, one of the many books she acquired and edited is, March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World, by Christine King Farris, the sister of King.
Prior to joining Scholastic in 2005, Pinkney held executive roles at Disney Publishing’s Hyperion Books for Children and Houghton Mifflin. At Disney, Pinkney launched the best-selling Cheetah Girls book series, upon which the films are based and has become a global franchise. “One of the greatest gifts of publishing books for children is the ability to open the minds of young people,” she says. As an author, Pinkney often collaborates with her husband, award-winning illustrator, Brian Pinkney, on various projects.
The Pinkneys and their two children live in Clinton Hill, a Brooklyn neighborhood with a “hometown feel.” That “feel” was evident last year when the neighborhood came out in force to cheer Pinkney on as she ran the New York City Marathon for the first time.