Scholar, writer, activist and UF professor James S. "Jim" Haskins authored many books that highlight the achievements of African Americans and cover the history and culture of Africa and the African American experience.
He was the recipient of numerous book and writing awards, including five Coretta Scott King Honor Awards for various works for children and young adults. In 1994, he was presented the Washington Post Children's Book Guild Award for his works in nonfiction for young people. In 1977 Jim published The Cotton Club and joined the faculty of the University of Florida. He was a full professor in the Department of English.