Synthia Saint James

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Synthia Saint James
Synthia SAINT JAMES - photo by Leroy Hamilton.jpg
Born (1949-02-11) February 11, 1949 (age 69)
Los Angeles, California
Occupation Visual artist, author, educator
Nationality American

Synthia Saint James (born February 11, 1949) is an American visual artist, author, keynote speaker, and educator who is best known for the original cover art of the hardcover edition of Terry McMillan's book Waiting to Exhale[1] and for designing the first Kwanzaa stamp for the United States Postal Service, which was first issued in 1997.[2] She also designed the 2016 Kwanzaa Forever Stamp.


Synthia Saint James was raised in both Los Angeles, California, and in the Bronx, New York.[3] She sold her first painting in New York City at the age of twenty. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


Saint James had her first solo art exhibition at Inner City Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California, in 1977, the school where she studied the performing arts. In 1980, she participated in her first international exhibition in Paris, France.[4]

She received an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Saint Augustine's University, Raleigh, North Carolina, on May 8, 2010.

Saint James tours annually to colleges, universities and other venues to lecture and conduct master classes and workshops.


Children's books[edit]

Illustrated and or Authored & Illustrated[edit]

  • Gershator/Saint James (1994). Tukama Tootles the Flute: A Tale From The Antilles Tukama Tootles the Flute: A Tale From The Antilles. Scholastic. ISBN 9780531086612. 
  • Chapman/Saint James (1994). Snow on Snow on Snow. Penguin. ISBN 9780803714571. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (1994). The Gifts of Kwanzaa. Whitman, Albert & Company. ISBN 9780807529072. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (1996). Sunday. Whitman, Albert & Company. ISBN 9780807576588. 
  • Myers/Saint James (1997). How Mr. Monkey Saw the Whole World. Random House. ISBN 9780440414155. 
  • Gershator/Saint James (2000). Greetings, Sun. DK/Penguin. ISBN 9780789426604. 
  • Barnwell/Saint James (2005). No Mirrors in My Nana's House. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780152052430. 
  • Williams/Saint James (1999). Girls Together. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780152309824. 
  • Hull/Saint James (1999). Happy Happy Kwanzaa. Brassheart Music; Pap/Cas edition. ISBN 978-0967376226. 
  • Nikola-Lisa/Saint James (2000). Hallelujah: A Christmas Celebration. Atheneum/Simon & Schuster; 1st edition. ISBN 978-0689816734. 
  • Mollel/Saint James (2000). To Dinner, for Dinner. Holiday House. ISBN 9780823415274. 
  • Hull/Saint James (2000). Alphabet Affirmations: Positive Affirmations for Children. Kids Creative Classics; Book and Cassette edition. ISBN 978-0967376233. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2001). It's Kwanzaa Time It's Kwanzaa Time. Little Simon/Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9780689841637. 
  • Hull/Saint James (2002). Peace in Our Land. Kids Creative Classics. ISBN 978-0972147804. 
  • Hull/Saint James (2004). Dream A World: A Child's Journey To Self-Discovery. BrassHeart Music. ISBN 978-0972147835. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2004). A story in The Milestones Project. Tricycle Press. 
  • English/Saint James (2003). Neeny Coming, Neeny Going. Troll Communications. ISBN 9780816737970. 
  • Sneve/Saint James (2003). Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans. Holiday House. ISBN 978-0823414550. 

Adult literature[edit]

  • Johnson/Saint James (1996). Mother’s Love. White Plains, NY: Peter Pauper Press. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (1996). Girlfriends. Peter Pauper Press. ISBN 978-0880882293. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (1997). Can I Touch You?: Love Poems and Affirmations. Beckham Publications. ISBN 978-1890207007. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (1998). Creative Fixings from the Kitchen: Favorite Multicultural Recipes. Persnickety Pr. ISBN 978-0965025843. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2000). Who's Who among African Americans, 13th Edition, Forward. Gale/Thomson. 
  • Smiley, Tavis (2002). Essay in How to Make Black America Better: Leading African Americans Speak Out. Knopf/Random House. ISBN 9780385720878. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2004). Synthia Saint James: a Book of Postcards. Pomegranate. ISBN 978-0764929472. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2011). Living My Dream: an Artistic Approach to Marketing. ISBN 9781466409897. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2011). The I Wills According to SAINT JAMES: Book One. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-0615584683. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2011). Can I Touch You: a Collection of Love Poetry. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-0615579313. 
  • Saint James, Synthia (2015). In and Out of Love: Selected Poetry from the 1970s. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-0692608029.
  • Saint James, Synthia (2016). Creative Fixings from the Kitchen: Multicultural Delights. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-0692359839.
  • Saint James, Synthia (2016). Honey Suckle Kisses. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-0692712320.
  • Saint James, Synthia (2016). I AM EDMONIA LEWIS and I AM WILDFIRE (A Monologue). Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-1539035848.
  • Saint James, Synthia (2016). Honey Suckle Kisses: Love's Refreshment. Atelier SAINT JAMES. ISBN 978-1539014171.


Year Award Organisation
2015 2015 Villager Award Afram Global Organization Inc, The Village P.r.o.j.e.c.t.s.
2011 California Black Women's Health Project[5]
2010 Trumpet Awards-The Arts [6] Trumpet Awards
Honorary Doctorate( Doctor of Humane Letters) Saint Augustine's College
Hall of Fame [7] National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Chapter
"Phenomenal Women" California State University, Northridge
2008 "Woman of the Year" 26th Senatorial District of California
2007 “A Tribute to Synthia SAINT JAMES” The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation & AEG Worldwide
2006 “MOSTE Inspirational Woman” MOSTE Foundation
“The Samella Award” Center for the Arts of the African Diaspora
2004 “Woman of the Year” (Education) Los Angeles County Commission for Women
“The History Makers Award”
2002 “Ebony Excellence: Women of Vision” Mu Beta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
“Sisters Award” National Alumnae Association of Spelman College
2001 “Greensboro, NC Key to the City” African American Atelier Gallery
“The Arts Council Award” California Afro-American Museum
“Oppenheim Gold Award” - for the book To Dinner, For Dinner
2000 “Literary & Visual Arts Award” 115th Anniversary Second Baptist Church
“Talent Award” Los Angeles Chapter of The Links, Inc.
1999 “NAPPA Gold Award” NAPPA
1998 “Women of Vision Award” Black Women Lawyers
1997 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award - for the book Neeny Coming Neeny Going
“UNICEF Greeting Card Award” UNICEF
“AT&T Entrepreneur of the Year” Black Women of Achievement & NAACP Legal Defense Fund
“Treasure of Los Angeles”
“YWCA Silver Achievement Award” YWCA
1996 “Parents Choice Silver Honor” - for the book Sunday

43rd NAACP Image Awards (2012)[edit]

"Living My Dream: An Artistic Approach to Marketing": Outstanding Literary Work-Instructional category.[8]


  1. ^ McMillan, Terry (1992). Waiting to Exhale. Viking/Penguin. 
  2. ^ "Kwanzaa: Celebrating Umoja (Unity)". Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  3. ^ George, Lynell (December 16, 1996). "Painting the Town". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ "". Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Women Who Dared Awards". Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Trumpet Awards". Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Hall of Fame National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Chapter". Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  8. ^ NAACP Image Awards

External links[edit]