Two African American Historians Win the $300,000 Dan David Prize

The Dan David Prize is the largest history prize in the world. It is awarded by the Dan David Foundation at Tel Aviv University in Israel to up to nine early and mid-career scholars and practitioners in the historical disciplines. The honor comes with a $300,000 prize. The prize was established in 2001 by Dan David, who lived through Nazi and Communist persecution in his native Romania before becoming a global business leader and philanthropist.

Two of the winners this year are African American historians.

Kristina Richardson is an associate professor at Queens College in New York and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Richardson’s research is based on the writings and material production of non-elites in the medieval Middle East. She has analyzed the intellectual networks of medieval disabled writers, explored the degraded position of blue- and green-eyed people in early Islamic societies, identified the only known pre-modern Arabic sign alphabet, and co-published a study and edition of the earliest known Arabic notebook of an artisan or merchant. Dr. Richardson is the author of Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World (Edinburgh University Press, 2012) and  Gypsies in the Medieval Islamic World: The History of a People (I.B. Tauris, 2021). Dr. Richardson earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Princeton University and received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

Tyrone Freeman is an associate professor in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His work centers on African Americans as philanthropists within historical scholarship and broader conversations, which tend to focus almost exclusively on wealthy, White men and women. Freeman’s book, Madam C.J. Walker’s Gospel of Giving: Black Women’s Philanthropy During Jim Crow (University of Illinois Press, 2020), examines African American women’s history of charitable giving and activism. Dr. Freeman received a bachelor’s degree in English from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. He earned a master’s degree in urban planning from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and a master’s degree in adult education and a Ph.D. in philanthropic studies from Indiana University.

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