Diane McWhorter

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Rebecca Diane McWhorter is an American journalist, commentator and author who has written extensively about race and the history of civil rights. She won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize in 2002 for Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution (Simon & Schuster, 2001; reprinted with a new afterword, 2013).

Early life and education[edit]

McWhorter is from Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended the Brooke Hill School.

Among McWhorter's elementary school classmates was Mary Badham, who portrayed "Scout" Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird. When the film was released, McWhorter was among the students who went to a viewing of the film as part of a school field trip.[1] She later reflected on that experience:

"By, you know, rooting for a black man, you were kind of betraying every principle that you had been raised to believe, and I remember thinking "what would my father think if he saw me fighting back these tears when Tom Robinson gets shot?" It was a really disturbing experience; to be crying for a black man was so taboo."

McWhorter graduated from Wellesley College in 1974.[2]

Career[edit]

External video
Booknotes interview with McWhorter on Carry Me Home, May 27, 2001, C-SPAN

McWhorter has written extensively on race and the struggle for civil rights in the US. In 2002 she was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize for Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.[3][4] She is also the author of A Dream of Freedom, a young adult history of the civil rights movement (Scholastic, 2004).[5] She is a long-time contributor to The New York Times and has written for the op-ed page of USA Today and for Slate, Harper's, Smithsonian, among other publications.[2] She is a member of the Board of Contributors for USA Today’s Forum Page, part of the newspaper’s Opinion section, and has been managing editor of Boston magazine.[6]

She has been a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, Germany, a Guggenheim Fellow, a resident scholar at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, and a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study[6] and at the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University.[7] In 2015 she was one of the recipients in the first year of the National Endowment for the Humanities' Public Scholar program to underwrite the production of general-readership non-fiction books by scholars.[8] She is a member of the Society of American Historians. She is working on Moon over Alabama, a study of Wernher von Braun and the US space program in Alabama.[7][8][9]

Personal life[edit]

She married Richard Dean Rosen in 1987; they have two children.[10][11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New details about Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, expored in new documentary". Public Radio International. June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Wellesley Alumna Wins Pulitzer Prize". Wellesley Wire. Wellesley College. 2002-04-10.
  3. ^ "2002 Pulitzer Prizes". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  4. ^ "J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project". Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  5. ^ Noble, Don (2005-07-10). "'Dream' offers a clear account of the civil rights movement". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 4E.
  6. ^ a b "DianeMcWhorter: 2011–2012 Mildred Londa Weisman Fellow". Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Retrieved 2016-02-06.
  7. ^ a b Long, Alan (2012-09-28). "Back to Birmingham: Du Bois Fellow McWhorter plans update on her Civil Rights classic". Harvard Gazette. Harvard University.
  8. ^ a b Charles, Ron (2015-07-28). "Uncle Sam wants YOU to read 'popular' scholarly books". Washington Post.
  9. ^ Theil, Stefan (2015-01-09). "How A Nazi Rocket Scientist Fought For Civil Rights". NPR Berlin.
  10. ^ "Diane McWhorter Is Married to Richard Rosen". The New York Times. 1987-05-03.
  11. ^ Schumer, Fran (1990-04-02). "Star-Crossed: More Gentiles and Jews Are Intermarrying—And It's Not All Chicken Soup". New York magazine. pp. 32–38.

External links[edit]