The Coretta Scott King Award was first presented in 1970. The Award has evolved considerably since its inception. Currently, both a King Author and Illustrator Award are presented annually. The award is named after Mrs. Coretta Scott King to commemorate her courage and determination in working for peace and world brotherhood. Additionally, the award honors the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The award is designed to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts, including biographical, historical and social history treatments by African American authors and illustrators.