List of winners of the William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes

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The William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes, commonly referred to as the "Harmon award" or "Harmon Foundation award", was a philanthropic and cultural award created in 1926 by William E. Harmon[1] and administered by the Harmon Foundation. It was offered for distinguished achievements in eight different fields: literature, music, fine arts, business and industry, science and innovation, education, religious service, and race relations. Although awards were created in eight categories, it is best known for its recognition of African-American art of the Harlem Renaissance, and particularly of the visual arts.[2]

A description of the bronze medal won by A.M.E. Bishop John Fletcher Hurst in 1926 appeared in the January 8, 1927, edition of the Afro-American, published in Baltimore, Maryland:

The medal is of unusually beautiful design. On the obverse side is embossed a ship in full sail on the open sea with the inscription "Harmon Foundation" around the margin. On the reverse side are the words "Inspiration, Achievement Religious Service. Second award, 1926, John Hurst".[3]

A full list of the winners of each year was offered in contemporary New York Times articles.[4][5][6][7][8]

1926[edit]

Race relations[notes 1]
Fine arts
Literature
  • Countee Cullen, First award and Gold medal, on the basis of his first book.
  • James Weldon Johnson, Second award and Bronze medal for his "introductory essay to his books on Negro Spirituals"[3]
Education
Industry, including business
Religious services
Science, including Invention
  • James C. Evans, First award and Gold medal. Awarded for research in electrical engineering,[14] for "two theses in regenerative circuits in radio, submitted for the bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering."[15]
  • W. A. Daniel, Second award and Bronze medal for his social study on "The Education of Negro Ministers."[16]
Music
  • No submissions deemed worthy of award.

1927[edit]

Laura Wheeler Waring's Gold Award portrait, "Anne Washington Derry"[17]
Race relations[notes 2]
Fine arts
  • Laura Wheeler Waring, First award and Gold medal.
  • William Edouard Scott, Gold medal. Though Work and Guzman scrupulously document the cash awards received, no mention of a cash award is made for Scott. His was a "special award of a gold medal", falling outside of the normal scope for the award: "... because of the finished and excellent character of his paintings and the recognition already received. Mr. Scott was considered by the judges to be outside the purpose of the awards but deserving of distinction."[19]
  • J. W. Hardwick, Second award and Bronze medal.
Literature
Education
  • John W. Davis, First award and Gold medal.
  • Benjamin Brawley, Second award and Bronze medal. Brawley declined the award:[22] "... a well-known educator and writer, Brawley declined the second-place award because, he said, he had never done anything but first-class work."[23]
Industry, including business
Religious services
  • Reverend William N. DeBerry, First award and Gold medal for "distinguished service in religion and social welfare among Negroes of the United States".[24][25]
  • Robert E. Jones, Second award and Bronze medal.
Science, including Invention
  • James A. Parsons, First award and Gold medal for advances made with rust-resistant or non-corrosive metals:[26] "James Parsons, Jr., a metallurgist, winner of the Harmon Award in Science [in] 1927.. for many years been in charge of research and production for the Duriron Company of Dayton, Ohio. He ... holds many patents in a highly competitive field and has opened new avenues for our men"[27]
  • No Second award
Music

1928[edit]

"Old Snuff Dipper" was Archibald J. Motley's Gold medal winning entry[29]
Race relations[notes 3]
  • No award.
Fine arts
Literature
Education
Industry, including business
Religious services
Science, including Invention
  • No awards
Music

1929[edit]

Race relations[notes 4]
Fine arts
Literature
  • No first award.
  • Walter White, Second award and Bronze medal for Rope and Faggot: A Biography of Judge Lynch[31]
Education
Industry, including business
Religious services
Science, including Invention
Music

1930[edit]

Race relations
  • No award
Fine arts
Literature
Education
Industry, including business
Religious services
Science, including Invention
Music
Agriculture
  • Thomas Monroe Campbell First award and Gold medal, "the first Harmon Award ever presented for distinguished achievement in the field of farming and rural life."[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Winners, categories and awards for this year compiled from The New York Times (December 8, 1926).[5]
  2. ^ Winners, categories and awards for this year compiled from The New York Times (January 9, 1928).[6]
  3. ^ Winners, categories and awards for this year compiled from The New York Times (February 13, 1929).[7]
  4. ^ Winners, categories and awards for this year compiled from The New York Times (January 6, 1930).[4]
  5. ^ Winners, categories and awards for this year compiled from The New York Times (January 26, 1931).[8]

References[edit]

  • Armstrong, Samuel Chapman. (1931). The Southern workman, Volume 60.
  • Barksdale, Richard Kenneth (1992). Praisesong of survival: lectures and essays, 1957-89. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-06286-8 ISBN 978-0252062865
  • Brawley, Benjamin Griffith (1966) The Negro genius: a new appraisal of the achievement of the American Negro in Literature and the Fine Arts. Biblo-Moser. ISBN 0-8196-0184-5 ISBN 978-0819601841
  • Calo, Mary Ann. (2007). Distinction and Denial: Race, Nation, and the Critical Construction of the African American Artist, 1920-40. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03230-5 ISBN 978-0472032303
  • Dykeman, Wilma (1976). Seeds Of Southern Change: The Life Of Will Alexander. W. W. Norton and Company, Inc. ISBN 0-393-00813-4 ISBN 978-0393008135
  • Gates, Henry Louis & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (eds) (2009). Harlem Renaissance lives from the African American national biography. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-538795-3 ISBN 978-0195387957
  • Guzman, Jessie Parkhurst & Jones, Lewis W. (Eds.) (1952). Negro Year Book: A Review of Events Affecting Negro Life. WM. H. Wise & Co., Inc.
  • "Harmon Award Presented" (Feb 19, 1930). New York Times, pg. 19.
  • "Holsey shares Harmon Award with employees of New York office". Afro-American, Saturday February 21, 1931, p. 1.
  • Johnson, Charles Spurgeon & Carter, Elmer Anderson (1969). Opportunity: Journal of Negro life, (1969) Volumes 5-6. p. 20.
  • Jones, Allen W. (1979). Thomas M. Campbell: Black Agricultural Leader of the New South. Agricultural History Vol. 53, No. 1, Southern Agriculture Since the Civil War: A Symposium, pp. 42–59.
  • Leininger-Miller, Theresa (2001). New Negro Artists in Paris: African American Painters and Sculptors in the City of Light, 1922–1934, Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2811-9 ISBN 978-0813528113.
  • Lewis, Samella (2003). African American Art and Artists. University of California Press. ISBN 0520239350
  • Otfinoski, Steven (2011) African Americans in the Visual Arts. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 0816078408* Wintz, Cary D. & Finkelman, Paul. (2004). Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. Volume 1. Routledge ISBN 1-57958-389-X ISBN 978-1579583897
  • Wintz, Cary D. & Finkelman, Paul. (2004). Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance. Volume 2. Taylor & Francis Group. ISBN 0-203-31930-3
  • Woodson, C. G. (1950). Harry Thacker Burleigh. 'The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 35, No. 1 , pp. 104–105
  • Work, Monroe Nathan & Guzman, Jessie Parkhurst (1937). Negro year book: an annual encyclopedia of the Negro 1937-1938. Tuskegee Institute, Ala.: Negro Year Book Publishing Co.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gates & Higginbotham, p. 3.
  2. ^ Calo, p. 75.
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Hurst formally given Harmon Award". Afro-American, Saturday January 8, 1927, p. 1.
  4. ^ a b "Dr. Moton receives $1,000 Harmon Award" (January 6, 1930). New York Times, p. 20.
  5. ^ a b "Negro artist wins prize for paintings" (December 8, 1926). The New York Times, p. 11.
  6. ^ a b Harmon prizes go to sixteen Negroes" (January 9, 1928). The New York Times, p. 12.
  7. ^ a b "12 Negroes honored for achievements" (February 13, 1929). New York Times, p. 13.
  8. ^ a b "Harmon Foundation honors 7 Negroes" (January 26, 1931). The New York Times, p. 3.
  9. ^ Dykeman, pp. 162–3.
  10. ^ Wintz & Finkleman vol. 1, p. 50
  11. ^ Leininger-Miller p. 188.
  12. ^ Brawley p. 318
  13. ^ "Virginia Women in History". The Library of Virginia. 2009.
  14. ^ The Crisis January 1944
  15. ^ Johnson & Carter, p. 20.
  16. ^ "The education of Negro ministers [microform] : Daniel, W. A. (William Andrew), b. 1895 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive.
  17. ^ Otfinoski, p. 214.
  18. ^ a b "Two to be honored for aid to Negroes: Rosenwald and Dr. Dillard to Get Harmon Awards on Racial Relations." (January 23, 1928). New York Times, p. 25.
  19. ^ a b c Work & Guzman, p. 8.
  20. ^ a b c d e Work & Guzman, p. 7.
  21. ^ Wintz & Finkelman, p.1232.
  22. ^ Parker, John W. (May 1934). Benjamin Brawley. The Crisis.
  23. ^ Calo, p. 115
  24. ^ Guzman & Jones, p. 379.
  25. ^ "Ten new N.A.A.C.P. Directors". (March 1936) The Crisis, p. 84.
  26. ^ Dowling, Lewis K. (June 1939). Contributions of Negro Scientists. The Crisis p. 168
  27. ^ Guzman & Jones, p. 99
  28. ^ Two get Harmon Awards: R.C. Patterson, for Walker, Presents Music Prizes to Negroes. (February 13, 1928). New York Times. p. 21.
  29. ^ Lewis, p. 72.
  30. ^ Wintz & Finkelman, p. 1940.
  31. ^ "Harmon Collection". npg.si.edu.
  32. ^ Armstrong (1931) p. 212.
  33. ^ Arts magazine (1930). Volume 5, p. 7.
  34. ^ Barksdale p. 203
  35. ^ "Holsey shares" p. 1.
  36. ^ Jones p. 54