Two Blacks Win MacArthur Genius Awards

The winners of MacArthur Foundation genius awards are scholars and artists — individuals generally not well known to the American public — who have accomplished much in their chosen fields. The grants are designed to reward the recipients for their past work, to free them of financial obligations, and to enable them to take on new projects.

Each awardee receives $500,000 distributed in quarterly installments of $25,000 over a five-year period.

This year, of the 24 recipients, two blacks won MacArthur grants. Both are college graduates and both have graduate degrees. 

Mark Bradford is an artist who has worked in a large number of media. He is best known for his oversized abstract collages that he creates using materials he finds on the streets near his home in South Central Los Angeles. Bradford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the California Institute of the Arts.

Edwidge Danticat is a novelist whose works explore the Haitian immigrant experience. Her most well known work is the collection of stories entitled Krik? Krak! (1995). Danticat is a graduate of Barnard College. She holds a master of fine arts degree from Brown University. Danticat has served as a visiting professor of creative writing at New York University and the University of Miami.