Crystal Wilkinson, the Appalachian Writer-in-Residence at Berea College in Kentucky, has won the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence presented by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding work by an African American fiction writer.
Honors & Awards
Hicks graduated from Wofford College with a double major in government and finance and was a Gates Millennium Scholar. As a junior he was selected as a Truman Scholar. He also served as vice president of the student body at Wofford College.
Jason Q. Purnell, an assistant professor in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, was named person of the year by the St. Louis American, which has the largest circulation of any weekly newspaper in Missouri.
Valerie Smith, president of the highly rated Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, was the recipient of an honorary doctor of letters degree from Hong Kong Baptist University. Dr. Smith was honored for her work on diversity, inclusion, and curricular innovation during her first year as president of the Swarthmore.
The award was established in 1958 by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to recognize lifetime achievement in literature. Professor Morrison will be honored at a ceremony in April in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Clinton V. Turner is the former associate vice president for agriculture and extension at Virginia State University. He is the first Virginian to be inducted into the the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame in Tuskegee, Alabama.
The Rutgers University Board of Governors has approved the creation of the Clement A. Price Chair in Public History and the Humanities. Professor Price served on the Rutgers University faculty for nearly 40 years until his death in November 2014.
In a case that lasted only 10 minutes, Wendell Wilkie Gunn, with the help of famed civil rights attorney Fred Gray, obtained a court order demanding that he be allowed to enroll at what is now the University of North Alabama. He did so on September 11, 1963 and graduated in 1965.
Tisha Lewis Ellison, an assistant professor of education at the University of Georgia, was honored by the Literacy Research Association, and The Colored Conventions Project at the University of Delaware, led by Professor P. Gabrielle Foreman, will receive an award from the Modern Language Association.
James A. Anderson, chancellor of Fayetteville State University in North Carolina, will be honored by the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education and Tanure Ojaide, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, received the Nigerian National Order of Merit.
There are more than 1,000 entries in the encyclopedia detailing African American history from frontier days to the present time. More than 150 scholars contributed to the entries in the volume.
Goulda A. Downer, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine at Howard University in Washington, D.C., was honored by the Institute of Caribbean Studies and Alcorn State University has renamed its Fine Arts Building to honor long-time faculty member Joyce J. Bolden.
Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, announced that its newest residence hall will be named to honor Maya Angelou, who served on the faculty at the university from 1982 until her death in 2014. The building will be the first on the Wake Forest campus to be named for an African American.
The honorees are Gilda Barabino dean of the School of Engineering at City College of New York, Karla Smith Fuller of Guttman Community College in New York City, and Yacob Astatke of the School of Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
John Keene, associate professor of English and chair of the African and African American studies department at the Newark campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2016 Lannan Literary Award for fiction.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar, the Blue and Gold Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware, is the winner of the Lorraine A. Williams Leadership Award from the Association of Black Women Historians.
The honorees are Phyllis Sharps of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Vievee Francis of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and Megan Covington of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina.
Marilyn Nelson is a professor emerita at the University of Connecticut. Professor Nelson is a winner of the Pushcart Prize and has been a finalist for the National Book Award three times. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Nelson was the poet laureate of the state of Connecticut.
Professor Bond, who was a civil rights pioneer and led the NAACP for 12 years, taught at the University of Virginia for 20 years. He was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and served in the Georgia State legislature for 20 years.
The Gittler Prize is presented annually to a person whose body of published work reflects scholarly excellence and makes a lasting contribution to racial, ethnic or religious relations. Professor Crenshaw, who is on the faculty at the law schools of Columbia University and UCLA, will receive the award and a $25,000 prize in October 2017.
James Rosser is having a building named in his honor at California State University, Los Angeles. Playwright Ntozake Shange will receive the Langston Hughes Medal from the City College of New York, and Adriel Hilton of Webster University was honored by the South Carolina College Personnel Association.
The award, presented by the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library, recognizes the best book of the year on slavery, the slave trade, or anti-slavery topics.
Georgiana Simpson enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1907 at the age of 41. Her presence of campus was protested by students from the South. But Simpson persisted and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in 1911 and a Ph.D. in 1921.
Helen Eugenia Hagan graduated from the Yale School of Music in 1912. She went on to a long career as a concert pianist and an educator. She died in 1964 but until recently her remains were buried in an unmarked grave in New Haven’s Evergreen Cemetery.
James W.C. Pennington took classes at Yale Divinity School beginning in 1834. He was not allowed to enroll but could audit courses from the back of classrooms. Pennington could not participate in classroom discussions and he was not allowed to take out books from the library.
Walter M. Kimbrough, the seventh president of Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana, has been selected to receive the Dr. Kent L. Gardner Award from the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors.
Michelle Alexander is a visiting professor at the Union Theological Seminary and a senior fellow at the Ford Foundation. Earlier, she taught at Ohio State University and Stanford Law School. Professor Alexander is being honored for her research on racial disparities in incarceration rates.
Natasha Trethewey is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of English and Creative Writing and the director of the creative writing program at Emory University. She is the former poet laureate of the United States.
Adrienne R. Carter-Sowell of Texas A&M University was honored by the American Psychological Association and Saundra Yancy McGuire of Louisiana State University was selected to receive an award from the American Chemical Society.
Nnedi Okorafor, an associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York System, is only the fourth author in the past two decades who has won both the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for the same novella. The awards are among the highest honors given to science fiction authors.
The University of Iowa is naming its newest residence hall in honor of Elizabeth Catlett, the celebrated artist and the first African American woman to earn a master of fine arts degree at the university.
T. Geronimo Johnson, who teaches creative writing at the University of California, Berkeley, is being honored for his 2015 novel Welcome to Braggsville. The novel tells the story of four Berkeley students who stage a protest at a Civil War reenactment event in Georgia.
The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced six winners of its annual Writing Awards. The literary awards are only given to women who are in the early stages of their writing careers. Three of the six winners are African Americans with impressive higher education credentials.
The honorees are Wayne J. Dawkins, professor of professional practice in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Virginia, and Gibor Basri, professor of astronomy emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.
On February 22, 1960, 34 students from Virginia Union University were arrested for staging a sit-in at a segregated lunchcounter of a downtown department store. The city has now honored this group with a historical marker.