Illinois Authors

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Gloria Respress-Churchwell

Connection to Illinois: Repress -Churchwell is originally from Chicago. She graduated from John Marshall High School.

Biography: Gloria Respress-Churchwell has an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College and has produced and directed documentaries at the Nashville Film Festival including award-winner The Life of Robert Churchwell: The Jackie Robinson of Journalism and From Sag to Swag: The Power of Dress. She is a co-contributor of the Robert Churchwell Journalism Collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.


Primary Literary Genre(s): History; Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Children; Young adult readers


Selected Titles

Follow Chester!: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History
ISBN: 1580898351 OCLC:

Charlesbridge 2019

A little known civil rights hero and college football MVP finally gets a voice in this fictional account detailing Chester Pierce's game-changing play as he became the first black college football player to compete south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In 1947, no African American player can play at a southern school; in return, the opposing team benches a player of equal talent. This historical fiction picture book frames a turbulent time in the civil rights era with the clever use of a football play to show race relations and teamwork. Inspired by a true story, capturing a historic defense against the Jim Crow laws of the South.

Robert Churchwell: Writing News, Making History: A Savannah Green Story
ISBN: 1634130596 OCLC: Minneapolis, MN :

Jabberwocky Books Minneapolis, MN : 2014

Savannah Green is starting her first day at a new school, the Robert Churchwell Elementary. Her mother tells her all about Robert Churchwell and the Civil Rights Movement.