Hurston-Wright Legacy Award

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The Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards program honors Black writers in the United States and around the globe for literary achievement. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award was the first national award presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers.[1][2]

Each fall, writers and publishers are invited to submit fiction, nonfiction and poetry books published that year. Panels of acclaimed writers serve as judges to select nominees, finalists and winners. A number of merit awards are also presented.[3] Nominees are honored at the Legacy Awards ceremony, held the third Friday in October. The awards ceremony is hosted and organized by the Hurston/Wright Foundation.

The 2018 award honorees were announced in June.[4]

Contents

Awards Categories[edit]

Legacy Award[edit]

The Legacy Awards, granted for fiction, nonfiction and poetry, are selected in a juried competition.[5]

The 2018 award winners were Alain Mabanckou in fiction for Black Moses; Ladee Hubbard in debut fiction for The Talented Ribkins; Tiya Miles in nonfiction for The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits; and Evie Shockley in poetry for Semiautomatic.[6][7]

North Star Award[edit]

The North Star Award pays homage to the significance of the North Star for enslaved Africans, who looked to it as a guide to freedom. The recipients of the award are individuals whose writing and/or service to the writing community serves as a beacon of brilliant accomplishment and as an inspiration to others.

The 2018 North Star award winner was Ntozake Shange, author of the Obie Award-winning choreopoem For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.[8][9] Shange was presented with the award a week before her death.

Ella Baker Award[edit]

The Ella Baker Award, named for the heroic civil rights activist, recognizes writers and arts activists for exceptional work that advances social justice.

There was no 2018 winner. The 2017 Ella Baker award winner was Congressman John Lewis.[10][11]

Madam C.J. Walker Award[edit]

The Madam C.J. Walker Award, named for the pioneering entrepreneur and philanthropist, recognizes exceptional innovation in supporting and sustaining Black literature.

The 2018 Madam C.J. Walker award winner was Dr. Charles Rowell, founder and editor of the literary journal Callaloo.[12]

Award for College Writers[edit]

The Hurston/Wright Foundation honors excellence in writing by Black college students with the Award for College Writers. The award, sponsored by Amistad books, a division of Harper Collins Publishers, is presented in the categories of fiction and poetry.

The 2018 Award for College Writers recipients were Desiree Evans in fiction and Christell Victoria Roach in poetry.[13]

2018 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner:

  • The Talented Ribkins by Ladee Hubbard

Nominees:

Fiction[edit]

Winner:

2 Finalists:

Nominees:

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner:

  • The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits by Tiya Miles

Finalists:

Nominees:

  • Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A. by Danielle Allen
  • Loving: Interracial Intimacy in America and the Threat to White Supremacy by Sheryll Cashin
  • Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History by Camille T. Dungy

Poetry[edit]

Winner:

Finalists:

Nominees:

2017 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner:

  • Damnificados by JJ Amaworo Wilson

Nominees:

Fiction[edit]

Winner:

2 Finalists:

Nominees:

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner:

  • Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America by Kali Nicole Gross

2 Finalists:

  • The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, And Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson
  • In The Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe

Nominees:

Poetry[edit]

Winner:

  • Bestiary by Donika Kelly

2 Finalists:

Nominees:

2016 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner:

  • Mourner's Bench by Sanderia Faye

Nominees

Fiction[edit]

Winner:

2 Finalists:

Nominees:

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner:

  • Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga by Pamela Newkirk

2 Finalists:

  • The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
  • Confronting Black Jacobins: The United States, the Haitian Revolution, and the Origins of the Dominican Republic by Gerald Horne

Nominees:

  • Where Everybody Looks Like Me: At the Crossroads of America's Black Colleges and Culture by Ron Stodghill
  • Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We “Catch” Mental Illness by Harriet A. Washington
  • The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America by D. Watkins

Poetry[edit]

Winner:

2 Finalists:

  • Honest Engine by Kyle Dargan
  • Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude by Ross Gay

Nominees:

2015 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Poetry[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

2014 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

  • Nine Years Under: Coming of Age in an Inner-City Funeral Home by Sheri Booker
  • The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom  and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights by William P. Jones
  • Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau

Poetry[edit]

Winner

  • Darktown Follies by Amaud Jamaul Johnson

Finalists

Nominees

2013 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and Rise and Decline of Black Politics by Fredrick Harris

Nominees

  • American Lynching by Ashraf H. A. Rushdy
  • Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
  • Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City by Natalie Hopkinson
  • Help Me To Find My People: The African American Search for Family Lost in Slavery by Heather Andrea Williams
  • There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe

Poetry[edit]

Winner

Nominees

  • But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise by Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
  • me and Nina by Monica Hand

2012 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement by Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Finalists

Nominees

  • My Long Trip Home: A Family Memoir by Mark Whitaker
  • Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America by Melissa V. Harris-Perry

Poetry[edit]

Winner

Nominees

2011 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

  • Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans

Finalists

Nominees

  • How to Escape from a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories by Tiphanie Yanique
  • How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
  • Wading Home: A Novel of New Orleans by Rosalyn Story

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

Finalists

  • Root and Branch: Charles Hamilton Houston, Thurgood Marshall, and the Struggle to End Segregation by Rawn James Jr.
  • The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 by Lawrence Jackson

Nominees

  • Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
  • John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
  • Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture by Thomas Chatterton Williams

Poetry[edit]

Winner

Nominees

2010 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original by Robin Kelley

Finalists

  • Freedom by Any Means: True Stories of Cunning and Courage on the Underground Railroad by Betty DeRamus
  • Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson by Wil Haygood

Nominees

  • More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City by William Julius Wilson
  • Remembering Scottsboro: The Legacy of an Infamous Trial by James A. Miller
  • The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama by Gwen Ifill

Poetry[edit]

Winners

Nominees

  • Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem by Mitchell L.H Douglas
  • Gospel by Samiya Bashir

2009 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching by Paula J. Giddings
  • The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Nominees

  • Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth- Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and into Legend by Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina
  • Somebody Scream: Rap Music’s Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power by Marcus Reeves
  • The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African- American Family by Sheryll Cashin

Poetry[edit]

2008 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America by Sylviane A. Diouf
  • On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the Twenty-first Century by Sherrilyn Ifill

Nominees

Poetry[edit]

Winner

Nominees

2007 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • The Last 'Darky': Bert Williams, Black-on-Black Minstrelsy, and the African Diaspora by Louis Chude-Sokei
  • The Skin Between Us: A Memoir of Race, Beauty, and Belonging by Kym Ragusa

Nominees

  • Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley by Christopher John Farley
  • BookMarks: Reading in Black and White by Karla F.C. Holloway
  • The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America by Walter C. Rucker

Poetry[edit]

2006 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • Bright Boulevards, Bold Dreams: The Story of Black Hollywood by Donald Bogle
  • Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists by Lisa E. Farrington

Nominees

  • My Face is Black is True: Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations by Mary Frances Berry
  • Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch: Essays on Race and Sexuality by Dwight A. McBride
  • Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition by Cheryl A. Wall

Contemporary Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

  • Love on the Dotted Line by David E. Talbert
  • Who Does She Think She is? by Benilde Little

2005 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Nominees

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

  • Bone to Pick: Of Forgiveness, Reconciliation, Reparation and Revenge by Ellis Cose
  • The Black Interior by Elizabeth Alexander
  • The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class Are Undermining the American Dream by Sheryll Cashin

Contemporary Fiction[edit]

2004 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalist

Nominee

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

  • Always Wear Joy: My Mother Bold and Beautiful by Susan Fales-Hill
  • Somebody’s Someone by Regina Louise
  • Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd

2003 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • A Little Piece Of Sky by Nicole Bailey-Williams
  • Fifth Born by Zelda Lockhart

Nominees

  • Gigantic by Marc Nesbitt
  • River Woman by Donna Hemans
  • Song of the Water Saints by Nelly Rosario

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies by Elizabeth McHenry

Finalists

  • Passed On: African American Mourning Stories by Karla FC Holloway
  • The Herndons: An Atlanta Family by Carole Merritt

Nominees

  • American Skin: Pop Culture, Big Business, and the End of White America by Leon E. Wynter
  • Ralph Ellison: Emergence of Genius by Lawrence Jackson

2002 Winners and Finalists[edit]

Debut Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

  • Greenwichtown by Joyce Palmer
  • The Red Moon by Kuwana Haulsey

Nominees

  • Breathing Room by Patricia Elam
  • Break Any Woman Down by Dana Johnson
  • The Dying Ground by Nichelle D. Tramble

Fiction[edit]

Winner

Finalists

Nominees

Nonfiction[edit]

Winner

  • In the Shadow of a Saint:  A Son’s Journey to Understand His Father’s Legacy by Ken Wiwa

Finalists

  • On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles
  • The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: An Artist’s Journey, 1898–1939 by Paul Robeson Jr.

Nominees

  • Impossible Witnesses: Truths, Abolitionism, and Slave Testimony by Dwight McBride
  • Raising Fences: A Black Man’s Love Story by Michael Datcher
  • Salvation: Black People and Love by bell hooks

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hurston/Wright Legacy Award", Hurston/Wright Foundation.
  2. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards 2018 nominees announced", James Murua's Literature Blog, July 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Merit Awards", Hurston Wright Foundation.
  4. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | 2018 Legacy Nominees". www.hurstonwright.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  5. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | Hurston/Wright Legacy Award". www.hurstonwright.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  6. ^ https://www.facebook.com/deneen.l.brown. "Alain Mabanckou's novel 'Black Moses' wins 2018 Hurston/Wright fiction award". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  7. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | 2018 Legacy Honorees". www.hurstonwright.org. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  8. ^ https://www.facebook.com/deneen.l.brown. "Alain Mabanckou's novel 'Black Moses' wins 2018 Hurston/Wright fiction award". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  9. ^ McDonald, Soraya Nadia (2018-10-20). "Hurston/Wright Foundation honors Ntozake Shange and Charles Henry Rowell at annual awards". The Undefeated. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  10. ^ "HURSTON WRIGHT LEGACY AWARDS". DMV202ARTS. 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  11. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | Hurston/Wright Legacy Award". www.hurstonwright.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  12. ^ McDonald, Soraya Nadia (2018-10-20). "Hurston/Wright Foundation honors Ntozake Shange and Charles Henry Rowell at annual awards". The Undefeated. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  13. ^ "Hurston/Wright Foundation | Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers Recipients". www.hurstonwright.org. Retrieved 2018-08-03.

External links[edit]