Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Camille Yarbrough  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Children;

Born: 1934 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Camille Yarbrough on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Yarbrough was born and raised in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Camille Yarbrough is an American musician, singer, actress, poet, activist, dancer, college teacher, radio host, television producer and author.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0698114361

Puffin Books. 1997

Every design has a name and means something in the powerful past and present richness of the Black tradition.

Mama's and Great-Grammaw's gentle fingers weave the design, and their lulling voices weave the tale, as they braid their children's hair into the striking cornrow patterns of Africa.

The Shimmershine Queens (Paperstar)
ISBN: 0698113691

Puffin Books. 1996

Activist/artist/author Camille Yarbrough tells the story of two best friends learning to find their inner strength through pride for their heritage.

Angie's got a lot of worries. For starters, her dad just moved out and her mom's always sick. Then there's a gang at school that taunts her about her dark skin and kinky hair. At times it feels like the whole world is crashing down on her. For Angie, daydreaming is her only escape. That is until ninety-year-old Cousin Seatta comes to visit and teaches Angie about a different kind of dreaming . . . the kind slaves used to do to keep their courage up. Cousin Seatta tells Angie how to achieve her dreams by speaking up for herself. And as Angie begins to find her inner strength, she discovers the shimmershine feeling and gains new respect for her African heritage.

* "A vivid depiction of the troubles facing students in inner-city schools. A brave book."—Booklist, starred review

"This book is a gem."—Essence

Tamika And The Wisdom Rings
ISBN: 094097567X

Just Us Books Inc. 2004

Tamika finds strength in her family, her friends, and herself as she copes with the murder of her father by drug dealers

The Little Tree Growin' in the Shade
ISBN: 0399212043

Putnam Juvenile. 1996

A history of the African-American spiritual and its unique cultural significance discusses the origins of these songs in the music of slaves who used the songs as expressions of hope, fear, sorrow, and freedom. By the author of Cornrows.


  • Coretta Scott King Award , ''Cornrows''
  • Parents Choice Award, ''Summershine Queens''

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    The author welcomes speaking engagements from schools, colleges, cultural groups and institutions.