Author, publisher and entrepreneur, Cheryl Willis Hudson has more than four dozen years of experience in the children's book industry. A native of Portsmouth, Virginia, and a graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Cheryl began her career doing text book design for publishers such as Houghton Mifflin and Macmillan.
Noticing a lack of quality Black-interest books for her own two children, in 1988, Cheryl and her husband Wade formed Just Us Books, Inc., a publishing company that specializes in children’s books that focus on Black experiences. Cheryl’s first book, AFRO-BETS ABC Book, was Just Us Books’ first published title.
Cheryl has authored more than 25 books for young children including Bright Eyes, Brown Skin; Many Colors of Mother Goose; Come By Here Lord: Everyday Prayers for Children - all published by Just Us Books, Good Morning, Baby (Scholastic); From Where I Stand (Marimba Books); Hands Can and Construction Zone (Candlewick Press) and My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (Abrams Books for Young Readers). She and her husband Wade also edited We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, and The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, acclaimed anthologies and joint projects between Just Us Books and Crown Books/Random House. Brave.Black. First. 50+ African-American Women Who Changed the World is her most recent publication.
Cheryl has received many honors in recognition of her contribution to children's literature, including the 2019 Children's Book Council's Diversity Award, 2019 Jane Addams Honor Book Award (for We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices), the
Hurston-Wright Foundation's Madam C. J. Walker Award, and is an inductee of the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent.
An active member of her community and publishing industry organizations, Cheryl serves on the advisory board of the Langston Hughes Library at the Alex Haley Farm, operated by the Children’s Defense Fund and is a member of the Children's Book Committee of PEN America.