NAACP Image Awards Winners and Nominees

NAACP Image Award LogoIn 2020, the NAACP celebrates the 51st anniversary of Image Awards. There are 5 titles nominated in eight literature categories; Biography/Autobiography, Children, Debut Author, Fiction, Instructional, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Youth/Teens

You my print a list of all the award winning and nominated books. Learn more at the NAACP Image Awards website.


38 Image Award Winning and Nominated Books for 2020

Winner - Biography/Autobiography

More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
by Elaine Welteroth

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780525561583
Imprint: Viking
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Book Description: 
"In this part-manifesto, part-memoir, the revolutionary editor who infused social consciousness into the pages of Teen Vogue explores what it means to come into your own—on your own terms Throughout her life, Elaine Welteroth has climbed the ranks of media and fashion, shattering ceilings along the way. In this riveting and timely memoir, the groundbreaking journalist unpacks lessons on race, identity, and success through her own journey, from navigating her way as the unstoppable child of a unlikely interracial marriage in small-town California to finding herself on the frontlines of a modern movement for the next generation of change makers. Welteroth moves beyond the headlines and highlight reels to share the profound lessons and struggles of being a barrier-breaker across so many intersections. As a young boss and the only black woman in the room, she’s had enough of the world telling her—and all women—they’re not enough. As she learns to rely on herself by looking both inward and upward, we’re ultimately reminded that we’re more than enough"—

Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward
by Valerie Jarrett

Publication Date:
List Price: $30.00
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780525558132
Imprint: Viking
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Read a Description of Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward


Book Description: 
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Finalist for the NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Literary Work"

"Valerie has been one of Barack and my closest confidantes for decades… the world would feel a lot better if there were more people like Valerie blazing the trail for the rest of us."—Michelle Obama

"The ultimate Obama insider" (The New York Times) and longest-serving senior advisor in the Obama White House shares her journey as a daughter, mother, lawyer, business leader, public servant, and leader in government at a historic moment in American history.

When Valerie Jarrett interviewed a promising young lawyer named Michelle Robinson in July 1991 for a job in Chicago city government, neither knew that it was the first step on a path that would end in the White House. Jarrett soon became Michelle and Barack Obama’s trusted personal adviser and family confidante; in the White House, she was known as the one who "got" him and helped him engage his public life. Jarrett joined the White House team on January 20, 2009 and departed with the First Family on January 20, 2017, and she was in the room—in the Oval Office, on Air Force One, and everywhere else—when it all happened. No one has as intimate a view of the Obama Years, nor one that reaches back as many decades, as Jarrett shares in Finding My Voice.

Born in Iran (where her father, a doctor, sought a better job than he could find in segregated America), Jarrett grew up in Chicago in the 60s as racial and gender barriers were being challenged. A single mother stagnating in corporate law, she found her voice in Harold Washington’s historic administration, where she began a remarkable journey, ultimately becoming one of the most visible and influential African-American women of the twenty-first century.

From her work ensuring equality for women and girls, advancing civil rights, reforming our criminal justice system, and improving the lives of working families, to the real stories behind some of the most stirring moments of the Obama presidency, Jarrett shares her forthright, optimistic perspective on the importance of leadership and the responsibilities of citizenship in the twenty-first century, inspiring readers to lift their own voices.



Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System
by Cyntoia Brown-Long

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781982141103
Imprint: Atria Books
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Book Description: 
In her own words, Cyntoia Brown shares the riveting and redemptive story of how she changed her life for the better while in prison, finding hope through faith after a traumatic adolescence of drug addiction, rape, and sex trafficking led to a murder conviction.

Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison for a murder she committed at the age of sixteen. Her case became national news when celebrities and activists made the hashtag #FreeCyntoia go viral in 2017. She was granted full clemency after having served fifteen years, walking out a free woman on August 7, 2019.

This is her story, in her own words.

In these pages, written over the fifteen years she was incarcerated, Cyntoia shares the difficult early life that lead to that fateful night and how she found the strength to not only survive, but thrive, in prison.

A coming-of-age memoir set against the shocking backdrop of a life behind bars, Free Cyntoia takes you on a spiritual journey as Cyntoia struggles to overcome a legacy of family addiction and a lifetime of feeling ostracized and abandoned by society.

Born to a teenage alcoholic mother who was also a victim of sex trafficking, Brown reflects on the isolation, low self-esteem, and sense of alienation that drove her straight into the hands of a predator.

Though she attempts to build a positive path and honor the values her beloved adoptive mother taught her, Cyntoia succumbs to harmful influences that drive her to a cycle of promise and despair. After a fateful meeting with a prison educator turned mentor, Cyntoia makes the pivotal decision to take classes at Lipscomb University and strive for a better future, even if she’s never freed.

For the first time ever, Cyntoia shares the details of her transformation, including a profound encounter with God, an unlikely romance, and an unprecedented outpouring of support from social media advocates and A-list celebrities, which ultimately lead to clemency and her release from prison.

Giving a rare look at the power of love, forgiveness, and self-discovery in the darkest of places, Free Cyntoia is a deeply personal portrait of one woman’s journey for redemption within a system that had failed her from childhood.

Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

My Name Is Prince
by Prince Rogers Nelson and Randee St. Nicholas

Publication Date:
List Price: $90.00
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780062939234
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Book Description: 

Physical Info: 13.2 inches high, 11.4 inches wide, and 1.5 inches thick (7.4 lbs)

Image from My Name is Prince Book

An intimately photographed and elegantly designed tribute to the artist known as Prince from the celebrated photographer who collaborated with him for a quarter of a century.

For twenty-five years, Randee St. Nicholas, one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed photographers, worked closely with the enigmatic Prince, capturing some of his most intimate and revealing moments both on and off stage. My Name Is Prince is an up-close, intimate look at the artist as he has seldom been seen before. Discover the many moods of the brilliant award-winning icon in hundreds of stunning black-and-white and color photographs taken at his home, on tour, and on his many adventures around the world. Accompanying the images are behind-the-scenes stories, and St. Nicholas’s touching, humorous, and illuminating personal insights on the big and small moments she shared with Prince.

Prince and St. Nicholas made plans to collaborate on this book after working on their first collaborative book 21 Nights. As stunning and unforgettable as the icon himself, My Name Is Prince serves as a continuation of his legacy and pays homage to the man, the star, and his “profound” impact on music and pop culture.



Nominee - Biography/Autobiography

The Beautiful Ones
by Prince Rogers Nelson

Publication Date:
List Price: $30.00
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780399589652
Imprint: Spiegel & Grau
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Book Description: 
The brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time, in his own words—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death

Prince was a musical genius, one of the most beloved, accomplished, and acclaimed musicians of our time. He was a startlingly original visionary with an imagination deep enough to whip up whole worlds, from the sexy, gritty funk paradise of "Uptown" to the mythical landscape of Purple Rain to the psychedelia of "Paisley Park." But his most ambitious creative act was turning Prince Rogers Nelson, born in Minnesota, into Prince, one of the greatest pop stars of any era.

The Beautiful Ones is the story of how Prince became Prince—a first-person account of a kid absorbing the world around him and then creating a persona, an artistic vision, and a life, before the hits and fame that would come to define him. The book is told in four parts. The first is the memoir Prince was writing before his tragic death, pages that bring us into his childhood world through his own lyrical prose. The second part takes us through Prince’s early years as a musician, before his first album was released, via an evocative scrapbook of writing and photos. The third section shows us Prince’s evolution through candid images that go up to the cusp of his greatest achievement, which we see in the book’s fourth section: his original handwritten treatment for Purple Rain—the final stage in Prince’s self-creation, where he retells the autobiography of the first three parts as a heroic journey.

The book is framed by editor Dan Piepenbring’s riveting and moving introduction about his profound collaboration with Prince in his final months—a time when Prince was thinking deeply about how to reveal more of himself and his ideas to the world, while retaining the mystery and mystique he’d so carefully cultivated—and annotations that provide context to the book’s images.

This work is not just a tribute to an icon, but an original and energizing literary work in its own right, full of Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice and image—his undying gift to the world.



Winner - Children

Sulwe
by Lupita Nyong’o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9781534425361
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Sulwe


Book Description: 

From Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o comes a powerful, moving picture book about colorism, self-esteem, and learning that true beauty comes from within.

Sample Image from Sulwe Illustrated by Vashti Harrison From Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison (2019, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

In this stunning debut picture book, actress Lupita Nyong’o creates a whimsical and heartwarming story to inspire children to see their own unique beauty.





Nominee - Children

Hair Love
by Matthew A. Cherry, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9780525553366
Imprint: Kokila
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Read a Description of Hair Love


Book Description: "I love that Hair Love is highlighting the relationship between a Black father and daughter. Matthew leads the ranks of new creatives who are telling unique stories of the Black experience. We need this."
- Jordan Peele, Actor & Filmmaker

It’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this ode to self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters, from former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry and New York Times bestselling illustrator Vashti Harrison.

Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her — and her hair — happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair — and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.



Nominee - Children

Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment
by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, Illustrated by Brittany Jackson

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 40 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9781534451865
Imprint: Aladdin Paperbacks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Book Description: 
A New York Times bestseller!

A visit to Washington, DC’s National Portrait Gallery forever alters Parker Curry’s young life when she views First Lady Michelle Obama’s portrait.

When Parker Curry came face-to-face with Amy Sherald’s transcendent portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama at the National Portrait Gallery, she didn’t just see the First Lady of the United States. She saw a queen—one with dynamic self-assurance, regality, beauty, and truth who captured this young girl’s imagination. When a nearby museum-goer snapped a photo of a mesmerized Parker, it became an internet sensation. Inspired by this visit, Parker, and her mother, Jessica Curry, tell the story of a young girl and her family, whose trip to a museum becomes an extraordinary moment, in a moving picture book.

Parker Looks Up follows Parker, along with her baby sister and her mother, and her best friend Gia and Gia’s mother, as they walk the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops…and looks up!

Parker saw the possibility and promise, the hopes and dreams of herself in this powerful painting of Michelle Obama. An everyday moment became an extraordinary one…that continues to resonate its power, inspiration, and indelible impact. Because, as Jessica Curry said, "anything is possible regardless of race, class, or gender."

**FOREWORD BY ARTIST AMY SHERALD**

Nominee - Children

Ruby Finds a Worry
by Tom Percival

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9781547602377
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Parent Company: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Book Description: 
A young girl’s sense of adventure and exploration vanishes when she discovers a Worry that grows and grows until she learns how to get rid of it.

Nominee - Children

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation
by Barry Wittenstein, Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.99
Format: Hardcover, 48 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
Target Age Group: Picture Book
ISBN13: 9780823443314
Imprint: Neal Porter Books
Publisher: Macmillan
Parent Company: Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck
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Book Description: 
"Barry Wittenstein’s poetic text provides the cadences and repetition of a preacher, while Pinkney’s detailed, kinetic pencil and watercolor art incorporates bits of torn maps and sheet music and blurry period photos of marchers."—The New York Times

★ "Wittenstein’s free-verse narrative perfectly captures the tension leading up to the speech as each adviser urged his own ideas while remaining a supportive community. Pinkney’s trademark illustrations dramatize this and the speech, adding power and further illuminating the sense of historical importance. Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ "The urgency of the text, underscored by boldface type marking the relentless passing of the hours, is complemented beautifully by Pinkney’s more contemplative art. . . . This is essential American history, distilled into one of the most powerful picture books of the year." —The Horn Book, Starred Review

★ "Wittenstein’s free verse, beautifully subdued, flows crisp and clear, leaving room for Pinkney to shine. Collage artwork gives the impression of torn fabric—a striking metaphor—with holes being patched by old photographs of hymnals, maps, marchers, and flags, adding texture and tension to the expressive pencil and watercolor renderings."—Booklist, Starred Review

★ "Wittenstein’s riveting story shows that historical moments—and movements—are not inevitable; they’re shaped and changed by many hands and voices. In emphatic phrases and art alternatingly warm and tense, the creators’ moving portrait of the civil rights leader in consultation with others is an invaluable addition to the shelf of King biographies." —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ "an evocative study in King’s speechwriting process. A work that takes a familiar topic and shapes it into a moving portrait of -undeterred determination and conviction."—School Library Journal, Starred Review

"a vivid snapshot of a moment of creative, collaborative, persuasive energy that takes the topic far beyond ’didja know’-style trivia about a historic event and focuses on the subtle elements that can change a speech forever. Pinkney’s familiar watercolor portraiture takes on a new level here from the addition of graphite and colored-pencil textures and collage notes; captions to identify inspirations and attending luminaries float softly like benedictions, while sign lettering, both segregationist and protest, cuts sharply through cloudy backgrounds."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"[The] book, illustrated with enormous heart and rich textures by Jerry Pinkney, presents Dr. King’s inspiring words as part of an outsize pageant, featuring King, the crowds and others on the stage, including Mahalia Jackson, who urged King, ’Tell them about the dream!’"—The Washington Post

Winner - Debut Author

I Am Dance: Words and Images of the Black Dancer
by Hal Banfield

Publication Date:
List Price: $60.00
Format: Hardcover, 100 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781950279104
Imprint: Literary Revolutionary
Publisher: Literary Revolutionary
Parent Company: Literary Revolutionary
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Book Description: 

I Am Dance: Words and Images of the Black Dancer shines a spotlight on dancers from the concert to the commercial world of dance, and infuses stories from dancers, in their own words, about the space they hold in the world of dance, what dance means to them primarily and what being a dancer of color represents to them, especially.

I Am Dance is an intimate encounter with dancers that will leave you not with just beautiful images to behold, but will also share with you a love and appreciation for the art of dance, with insight into the talent, passion, heart and revelations of dancers of color.



Nominee - Debut Author

The Farm
by Joanne Ramos

Publication Date:
List Price: $27.00
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9781984853752
Imprint: Random House
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Book Description: 
"Nestled in New York’s Hudson Valley is a luxury retreat boasting every amenity: organic meals, personal fitness trainers, daily massages—and all of it for free. In fact, you’re paid big money to stay here—more than you’ve ever dreamed of. The catch? For nine months, you cannot leave the grounds, your movements are monitored, and you are cut off from your former life while you dedicate yourself to the task of producing the perfect baby. For someone else. Jane, an immigrant from the Philippines, is in desperate search of a better future when she commits to being a "Host" at Golden Oaks—or the Farm, as residents call it. But now pregnant, fragile, consumed with worry for her family, Jane is determined to reconnect with her life outside. Yet she cannot leave the Farm or she will lose the life-changing fee she’ll receive on the delivery of her child"—

Nominee - Debut Author

More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work That Uncovers Your True Beauty
by Erica Campbell

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781501188664
Imprint: Howard Books
Publisher: Howard Books
Parent Company: Howard Books
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Book Description: 
Grammy-winning gospel singer, television star, and radio host Campbell speaksto women of all shapes and sizes, demonstrating that true beauty is found notin external appearances, but in celebrating the person God made them to be.

Nominee - Debut Author

Such a Fun Age
by Kiley Reid

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9780525541905
Imprint: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Book Description: 
A REESE’S BOOK CLUB x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping two-year-old Briar. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right.

But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

Winner - Fiction

The Revisioners
by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Publication Date:
List Price: $25.00
Format: Hardcover, 288 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9781640092587
Imprint: Counterpoint
Publisher: Counterpoint
Parent Company: Counterpoint
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Book Description: 

"Few capture the literary world’s attention with their debut like [Sexton] did; her first novel, A Kind of Freedom, was nominated for the National Book Award. . . Her anticipated follow-up offers a bracing window into Southern life and tensions, alternating between two women’s stories―set nearly 100 years apart." ―Entertainment Weekly

"Margaret Wilkerson Sexton’s writing is graceful and stylish, her truths relevant and necessary―it’s just so exhilarating to read her. I was mesmerized by The Revisioners, an impeccable novel of magic, loss, and family, all anchored by generations of powerful women." ―Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up

In 1924, Josephine is the proud owner of a thriving farm. As a child, she channeled otherworldly power to free herself from slavery. Now her new neighbor, a white woman named Charlotte, seeks her company, and an uneasy friendship grows between them. But Charlotte has also sought solace in the Ku Klux Klan, a relationship that jeopardizes Josephine’s family.

Nearly one hundred years later, Josephine’s descendant, Ava, is a single mother who has just lost her job. She moves in with her white grandmother, Martha, a wealthy but lonely woman who pays Ava to be her companion. But Martha’s behavior soon becomes erratic, then threatening, and Ava must escape before her story and Josephine’s converge.

The Revisioners explores the depths of women’s relationships—powerful women and marginalized women, healers and survivors. It is a novel about the bonds between mothers and their children, the dangers that upend those bonds. At its core, The Revisioners ponders generational legacies, the endurance of hope, and the undying promise of freedom.



Nominee - Fiction

New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent
by Margaret Busby

Publication Date:
List Price: $32.99
Format: Hardcover, 1040 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9780062912985
Imprint: Amistad
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Book Description: 

The companion to the classic anthology Daughters of Africa —a major international collection that brings together the work of more than 200 women writers of African descent, celebrating their artistry and showcasing their contributions to modern literature and international culture.

Contributors include:

Twenty-five years ago, Margaret Busby’s Daughters of Africa was published to international acclaim and hailed as “ an extraordinary body of achievement — a vital document of lost history” (Sunday Times) and “the ultimate reference guide” (Washington Post). New Daughters of Africa continues that tradition for a new generation.

This magnificent follow-up to the original landmark anthology brings together fresh and vibrant voices that have emerged from across the globe in the past two decades, from Antigua to Zimbabwe and Angola to the United States. Key figures, including Margo Jefferson, Nawal El Saadawi, Edwidge Danticat, and Zadie Smith, join popular contemporaries such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Imbolo Mbue, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Taiye Selasi, and Chinelo Okparanta in celebrating the heritage that unites them. Each of the pieces in this remarkable collection demonstrates an uplifting sense of sisterhood, honors the strong links that endure from generation to generation, and addresses the common obstacles female writers of color face as they negotiate issues of race, gender, and class and address vital matters of independence, freedom, and oppression.

A glorious portrayal of the richness, magnitude, and range of these visionary writers, New Daughters of Africa spans a range of genres — autobiography, memoir, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels, poetry, drama, humor, politics, journalism, essays, and speeches — demonstrating the diversity and extraordinary literary achievements of black women who remain underrepresented, and whose contributions continue to be underrated in world culture today.



Nominee - Fiction

Book Description: 

Publishers Weekly selected Red at the Bone as one of the Top 10 Literary Fiction titles for the fall of 2019.

An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson’s extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony — a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives — even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.



Nominee - Fiction

Out of Darkness, Shining Light
by Petina Gappah

Publication Date:
List Price: $27.00
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Fiction
ISBN13: 9781982110338
Imprint: Scribner
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Book Description: 
Gappah’s powerful novel of exploration and adventure in 19th-century Africa is the captivating story of the loyal men and women who carried explorer and missionary Dr. Livingstone’s body, his papers, and maps, 1,500 miles across the continent of Africa, so his remains could be returned home to England and his work preserved there.

Nominee - Fiction

Book Description: 
In his boldly imagined first novel, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the National Book Award-winning author of Between the World and Me, brings home the most intimate evil of enslavement: the cleaving and separation of families.

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today’s most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.



Winner - Instructional

Your Next Level Life: 7 Rules of Power, Confidence, and Opportunity for Black Women in America
by Karen Arrington

Publication Date:
List Price: $14.99
Format: Paperback, 108 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781642500325
Imprint: Tiny Press
Publisher: Tiny Press
Parent Company: Tiny Press
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Book Description: 
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks meets The Year of Yes by Shonda is how author Karen Arringtom sees her book. As founder of The Miss Black USA Foundation and Pageant and a mentor to thousands of young women, Karen Arringston shares her secrets to success for all black women.

Nominee - Instructional

More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work That Uncovers Your True Beauty
by Erica Campbell

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781501188664
Imprint: Howard Books
Publisher: Howard Books
Parent Company: Howard Books
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Read a Description of More Than Pretty: Doing the Soul Work That Uncovers Your True Beauty


Book Description: 
Grammy-winning gospel singer, television star, and radio host Campbell speaksto women of all shapes and sizes, demonstrating that true beauty is found notin external appearances, but in celebrating the person God made them to be.

Nominee - Instructional

Inspire Your Home: Easy Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous
by Farah Merhi

Publication Date:
List Price: $35.00
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781982131241
Imprint: Tiller Press
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Parent Company: CBS Corporation
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Read a Description of Inspire Your Home: Easy Affordable Ideas to Make Every Room Glamorous


Book Description: 
Instagram star and founder of Inspire Me! Home Décor shares her creative and elegant interior design secrets so you can create a glamorous yet cozy home without spending a fortune.

Farah Merhi launched Inspire Me! Home Decor in 2012 as a creative outlet during a transitional time in her life. Farah was about to graduate college and planned to attend law school. Going through the motions and feeling unfulfilled in her career choice, she built up the courage to face her truth. Taking time off to figure herself out, Farah, through a remodel project in her home, had her "ah-ha" moment. The importance of taking care of your home, specifically in the way you clean, organize, and design, was instilled in her at a young age, but she didn’t realize how much of an impact her upbringing had until she owned her own home. Farah knew she had found her passion and calling, and was determined to inspire home owners to live their best lives in their homes.

Farah believes that taking care of your home is essential to your peace of mind. Her design style is elegant and glamorous but infused with warmth and coziness, creating a welcoming feel with neutral color palletes, soft and inviting fabrics, and exquisite design details that can work in any room. She believes you can make a statement without sacrificing an inviting feel to your rooms. There is no right and wrong when it comes to designing your home and Farah encourages you to focus on the overall look and feel you desire, and her tips and advice will help guide you through the process.

Starting with her most frequently asked questions about paint color versus wallpaper, lighting and rugs, home organization, and of course styling, Farah walks you through every room in the house from the mudroom to the kitchen and kids’ bedrooms. Along the way, she includes quick seasonal updates on a budget, suggested routines for maintaining your space, and her unique reward system, which includes small styling vignettes around your home.

Woven throughout are Farah’s personal stories that will feel like you’re getting design advice from a close friend. Everyone deserves to walk into a beautifully decorated home every day—now you can, with the inspiration and practical tips in Inspire Your Home.

Nominee - Instructional

Letters to the Finishers (who struggle to finish)
by Candace E. Wilkins

Publication Date:
List Price: $13.99
Format: Paperback, 194 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9781733647212
Imprint: NewSeason Books
Publisher: NewSeason Books and Media
Parent Company: NewSeason Books and Media
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Read a Description of Letters to the Finishers (who struggle to finish)


Book Description: 

This is not a book for the go-getters. It’s for the stay-putters. It’s for the stuck-in-a-rutters. The pattern-holders. The self-saboteurs. The fear-incapacitated. It’s for those who are stuck in a start-stop cycle in various aspects of their lives. It’s for the person who can’t seem to get over the hump of finishing.

If you’ve ever struggled to finish what you’ve started and have no clue how to remedy that, THIS is the book you’ve been waiting on.



Nominee - Instructional

Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook
by Jose Andres and Matt Goulding

Publication Date:
List Price: $39.99
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780062668387
Imprint: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook


Book Description: 

From world-renowned chef José Andrés, a wildly colorful, raucous cookbook celebrating the vibrancy and versatility of vegetables

Jos Andr s is on a mission to change the way the we look at vegetables. Known for his boundless energy and wild imagination, the Spanish-American chef channels thirty years of cooking and eating across the world into Vegetables Unleashed, a passionate, surprising, and delicious love letter to the plant kingdom.

Vegetables Unleashed is dedicated to teaching you how to eat more vegetables in the most diverse and satisfying ways possible. It’s about how to grill, roast, simmer, and fry your way through the seasons; how to unleash the flavors of a global pantry onto everything from apples to zucchini; how to turn a few roots and leaves into something you can’t stop thinking about.

In this book you’ll find the recipes, tricks, and tips behind the dishes that have made Jos one of America’s most important chefs: the vibrant gazpachos and sangrias; the towering beefsteak tomato burger; the Mexican, Middle Eastern, and modernist creations that fuel his award-winning restaurants. And you’ll also find the bold ideas and bursts of brilliance that will help you reimagine the potential of the plant kingdom.

Strap yourself in. It’s going to be a wild ride.



Nominee - Nonfiction

Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
by Imani Perry

Publication Date:
List Price: $18.00
Format: Hardcover, 176 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780807076552
Imprint: Beacon Press
Publisher: Beacon Press
Parent Company: Unitarian Universalist Association
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Read a Description of Breathe: A Letter to My Sons


Book Description: 
Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, where she also teaches in the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, and in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and spent much of her youth in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Chicago. She is the author of several books, including Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry. She lives outside Philadelphia with her two sons, Freeman Diallo Perry Rabb and Issa Garner Rabb. Connect with her on Twitter (@imaniperry).

Nominee - Nonfiction

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays
by Damon Young

Publication Date:
List Price: $27.99
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780062684301
Imprint: Ecco
Publisher: HarperCollins
Parent Company: News Corporation
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Read a Description of What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays


Book Description: 

A Finalist for the NAACP Image Award

Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

An NPR Best Book of the Year

A Washington Independent Review of Books Favorite of the Year

From the cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, and one of the most read writers on race and culture at work today, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America

For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in America is enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as "How should I react here, as a professional black person?" and "Will this white person’s potato salad kill me?" are forever relevant.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young’s efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him.

It’s a condition that’s sometimes stretched to absurd limits, provoking the angst that made him question if he was any good at the "being straight" thing, as if his sexual orientation was something he could practice and get better at, like a crossover dribble move or knitting; creating the farce where, as a teen, he wished for a white person to call him a racial slur just so he could fight him and have a great story about it; and generating the surreality of watching gentrification transform his Pittsburgh neighborhood from predominantly Black to "Portlandia . . . but with Pierogies."

And, at its most devastating, it provides him reason to believe that his mother would be alive today if she were white.

From one of our most respected cultural observers, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker is a hilarious and honest debut that is both a celebration of the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of Blackness and a critique of white supremacy and how we define masculinity.





Nominee - Nonfiction

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Publication Date:
List Price: $30.00
Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780525559535
Imprint: Penguin Press
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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Read a Description of Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow


Book Description: 
A profound new rendering of the struggle by African-Americans for equality after the Civil War and the violent counter-revolution that resubjugated them, as seen through the prism of the war of images and ideas that have left an enduring racist stain on the American mind.

The abolition of slavery in the aftermath of the Civil War is a familiar story, as is the civil rights revolution that transformed the nation after World War II. But the century in between remains a mystery: if emancipation sparked "a new birth of freedom" in Lincoln’s America, why was it necessary to march in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s America? In this new book, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of our leading chroniclers of the African-American experience, seeks to answer that question in a history that moves from the Reconstruction Era to the "nadir" of the African-American experience under Jim Crow, through to World War I and the Harlem Renaissance.

Through his close reading of the visual culture of this tragic era, Gates reveals the many faces of Jim Crow and how, together, they reinforced a stark color line between white and black Americans. Bringing a lifetime of wisdom to bear as a scholar, filmmaker, and public intellectual, Gates uncovers the roots of structural racism in our own time, while showing how African Americans after slavery combatted it by articulating a vision of a "New Negro" to force the nation to recognize their humanity and unique contributions to America as it hurtled toward the modern age.

The story Gates tells begins with great hope, with the Emancipation Proclamation, Union victory, and the liberation of nearly 4 million enslaved African-Americans. Until 1877, the federal government, goaded by the activism of Frederick Douglass and many others, tried at various turns to sustain their new rights. But the terror unleashed by white paramilitary groups in the former Confederacy, combined with deteriorating economic conditions and a loss of Northern will, restored "home rule" to the South. The retreat from Reconstruction was followed by one of the most violent periods in our history, with thousands of black people murdered or lynched and many more afflicted by the degrading impositions of Jim Crow segregation.

An essential tour through one of America’s fundamental historical tragedies, Stony the Road is also a story of heroic resistance, as figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells fought to create a counter-narrative, and culture, inside the lion’s mouth. As sobering as this tale is, it also has within it the inspiration that comes with encountering the hopes our ancestors advanced against the longest odds.

Nominee - Nonfiction

The Yellow House: A Memoir
by Sarah M. Broom

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.00
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
ISBN13: 9780802125088
Imprint: Grove Press
Publisher: Grove Atlantic, Inc.
Parent Company: Grove Atlantic, Inc.
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Read a Description of The Yellow House: A Memoir


Book Description: 
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSLLER

A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child.

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house’s entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the "Big Easy" of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.





Winner - Poetry

Felon: Poems
by Reginald Dwayne Betts

Publication Date:
List Price: $26.95
Format: Hardcover, 112 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9780393652147
Imprint: W. W. Norton & Company
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Parent Company: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
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Read a Description of Felon: Poems


Book Description: 
"A searing volume by a poet whose work conveys "the visceral effect that prison has on identity" (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times). Felon tells the story of the effects of incarceration in fierce, dazzling poems-canvassing a wide range of emotions and experiences through homelessness, underemployment, love, drug abuse, domestic violence, fatherhood, and grace-and, in doing so, creates a travelogue for an imagined life. Reginald Dwayne Betts confronts the funk of postincarceration existence and examines prison not as a static space, but as a force that enacts pressure throughout a person’s life. The poems move between traditional and newfound forms with power and agility-from revolutionary found poems created by redacting court documents to the astonishing crown of sonnets that serves as the volume’s radiant conclusion. Drawing inspiration from lawsuits filed on behalf of the incarcerated, the redaction poems focus on the ways we exploit and erase the poor and imprisoned from public consciousness. Traditionally, redaction erases what is top secret; in Felon, Betts redacts what is superfluous, bringing into focus the profound failures of the criminal justice system and the inadequacy of the labels it generates. Challenging the complexities of language, Betts animates what it means to be a "felon.""—

Nominee - Poetry

The Tradition
by Jericho Brown

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.00
Format: Paperback, 110 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9781556594861
Imprint: Copper Canyon Press
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Parent Company: Copper Canyon Press
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Read a Description of The Tradition


Book Description: 
"By some literary magic—no, it’s precision, and honesty—Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes."—Craig Morgan Teicher, "I Reject Walls: NPR 2019 Poetry Preview" "A relentless dismantling of identity, a difficult jewel of a poem."—Rita Dove, in her introduction to Jericho Brown’s "Dark" (featured in the New York Times Magazine in January 2019) "Winner of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Brown’s hard-won lyricism finds fire (and idyll) in the intersection of politics and love for queer Black men."—O, The Oprah Magazine Featured in NPR’s "I Reject Walls" A 2019 Poetry Preview" Named a Lit Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2019" One of Buzzfeed’s "66 Books Coming in 2019 You’ll Want to Keep Your Eyes On" The Rumpus poetry pick for "What to Read When 2019 is Just Around the Corner" One of Book Riot’s "50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019" Jericho Brown’s daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.

Nominee - Poetry

A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland
by Damaris B. Hill

Publication Date:
List Price: $25.00
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9781635572612
Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Parent Company: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Read a Description of A Bound Woman Is a Dangerous Thing: The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland


Book Description: 

"While many explorations of the prison system focus on the male experience, DaMaris B. Hill shines a light on the plight of incarcerated black American women . . . It’s a difficult, powerful subject, and a history far too few Americans are familiar with; Hill tells these stories with passion and strength, illuminating the ongoing struggle to be free." - Nylon, Most Anticipated Books of the Year

"In piercing thought and extraordinary verse [DaMaris B. Hill] explores what it means to be bound for black women across history and into the present moment. She does not write to argue innocence and guilt but to illuminate experience, to honor struggle and expression, and to affirm love." - Asheville Citizen Times

"At exactly the right time, University of Kentucky professor DaMaris B. Hill has written a powerful collection of poems examining the incarceration of Black women . . . I will be processing this book for a long time." - Ms. Magazine.com

"Hill creates an intimate atmosphere that allows for a rich exploration of fully formed heroines . . . they are soothsayers, truth-tellers, mavericks and revolutionaries." - BookPage

With a lyricism that sings, swings, and stings, poet and writer Hill reflects on black women who resisted violent racism and misogyny, ranging from the notable and notorious (Fannie Lou Hamer, Eartha Kitt, Ida B. Wells, Joanne Little) to lesser-known, no-less-heroic women." —Booklist, starred review

"Hill’s first full-length collection gives voice to the history of black women in the United States who have undergone incarceration and oppression. To be bound suggests to be trapped; however, Hill’s poems illustrate how oppression can summon inner-strength, resistance, and revolution." - Publishers Weekly

"In this distinctive inquiry in verse, Hill reflects on black women who resisted violent racism and misogyny, ranging from the notable and notorious to the lesser-known yet no less heroic." - Booklist, Top Ten Diverse Nonfiction

"DaMaris B. Hill writes the poetry of the bound black woman across the ages in this haunting, powerful collection. What you will read here is not just poetry, though. This book offers an education. This book bears witness. This book is a reckoning." —Roxane Gay

"Stunning. It feels as if I have been waiting for this book my whole life. It’s a call and response, a poetic dialogue, a deep honoring of all that black women have endured and created and inspired. The voices Hill has found embody the women in her book with heart and allow us to know them in their essence. This is a brave, brilliant, beautiful account of love. Unforgettable." —Eve Ensler

"Honest, intelligent, brutal, the poems in A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing will not soothe or temper the weight of a violent misogynistic history. Instead, they serve as a much-needed resurrection. DaMaris B. Hill is a brilliant poet historian who has created an important lyrical excavation that’s never been more necessary." —National Book Award Finalist Ada Lim n, author of THE CARRYING

"This book challenged me to reconsider what I knew of American history. Hill has crafted an indelible affirmation of the power of women, black women in particular, in rich verse that is at once a history, a reckoning, a balm, and call to empathy and action." —Mitchell S. Jackson, Whiting Award-winning author of THE RESIDUE YEARS and the forthcoming memoir SURVIVAL MATH





Nominee - Poetry

Honeyfish
by Lauren K. Alleyne

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.00
Format: Paperback, 57 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9781936970599
Imprint: New Issues Poetry & Prose
Publisher: New Issues Poetry & Prose
Parent Company: Western Michigan University
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Read a Description of Honeyfish


Book Description: 
"These poems love. Prophesize. Return us to our beginnings. To
days that we want to remember. Or forget. But don’t. Thus in our
sister’s memory, we survive in the luxury of dying. The courage of
loving. The re-imagining of our souls for another generation. Thank
you, my dear sister for your words saluting our living, our lives."
—Sonia Sanchez, winner of the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award
from the Academy of American Poets
"In exquisitely crafted poems of heart-accelerating candor and
clarity, Lauren K. Alleyne says to all the black bodies slain by hatred
and militarized fear, ’Nothing I say will save you, but how can I say
nothing?’ Honeyfish is an elegy for all the countless lost, and a praise
song for the many black lives that persist in their wish to give and
receive love."
— Tracy K. Smith, Poet Laureate of the United States of America
"Even in the places we think of as most beautiful, the endless gong
of the body being broken and defiled will find us. How can we see
the sun and the ocean and the clear blue sky as anything other than
a kind of cruel joke in the face of so much suffering? The extraordinary gift of Lauren K Alleyne’s, Honeyfish is that she shows
the world in all its brutality and loss and somehow lets us mourn within the poems, which in
turn allows us to begin some kind of healing. These are poems whose elegy is ongoing, whose
elegy need never happened but for hatred. The waves go in and out and so many people keep
being killed. And here is this extraordinary poet, making a heaven that is freedom, that is the
dream of being welcomed and loved and tended to. This is a book for our times and for the
day when these times are over and we can rejoice."
— Gabrielle Calvacoressi, author of Rocket Fantastic

Nominee - Poetry

Mistress
by Chet’la Sebree

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.00
Format: Paperback, 80 pages
Classification: Poetry
ISBN13: 9781936970629
Imprint: New Issues Poetry & Prose
Publisher: New Issues Poetry & Prose
Parent Company: Western Michigan University
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Read a Description of Mistress


Book Description: 
This book of poems presents a cross-generational conversation between Sally Hemings and the contemporary narrator about what it means to be a black woman in their respective landscapes, while at the same time demonstrating how little the ways in which we talk about black women and black female experiences have changed in more than two hundred years. In these poems, the speakers engage with historical texts, art, literature, and popular culture, while never allowing us to lose sight of their location within their own settings, the twenty-first century and the antebellum South.

With an intentionally fraught title, Mistress not only addresses the ways in which that word is perhaps inappropriate to define Hemings, but also about how we tend to oversimplify the ways in which we see women. The title is investigated through a series of poems, in which the speakers contemplate the various definitions of "mistress" extramarital partner, skilled individual, school teacher, authority figure, head of household, etc. In this way, the collection asks readers to complicate their understandings of both the word "mistress" and of black women. This collection seeks to resurrect Hemings from the limited historical narrative she’s often provided, while also bucking up against the limited ways in which black women are currently represented in popular culture. Through a series of poems with "mistress" in the title, the book looks at how narrowly we use the word, almost exclusively as extramarital partner, but how the word’s different definitions are related to power and strength. When we strip the term of its positive connotations, it mirrors the way that we strip Hemings of the agency she had over her life and the lives of her children.



Winner - Youth/Teens

Around Harvard Square
by Christopher John Farley

Publication Date:
List Price: $14.95
Format: Paperback, 280 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
ISBN13: 9781617757143
Imprint: Black Sheep
Publisher: Akashic Books
Parent Company: Akashic Books
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Read a Description of Around Harvard Square


Book Description: 
"Wry, sly, and ferociously funny, Around Harvard Square is not just the satire Ivy League college life deserves, but the one it’s been waiting for."
—Marlon James, Man Booker Prize winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings"Brimming with humor and heart, Around Harvard Square is a delight."
—Andy Borowitz, creator of the New Yorker’s "The Borowitz Report""The first year of college can feel as dramatic as the first moon landing and somehow C.J. Farley also turns it into a painfully funny adventure. Around Harvard Square is a coming-of-age tale that blends J.D. Salinger’s rueful tones with Paul Beatty’s biting humor and becomes something entirely its own. I had so much fun running around with these kids, it felt like seeing old friends: laughing and crying and laughing some more."
—Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling"A hysterical romp through one memorable freshman year. At Farley’s Hahvahd, it’s survival of the funniest, comedy means never having to say you’re sorry, and growing up is hard to do. A provocative pleasure."
—Gish Jen, author of Typical American"In this sharp and imaginative satirical fantasy, C.J. Farley explores the complex realms of race and privilege at college with humor, insight, and edge."
—Walter Isaacson, author of Leonardo da Vinci"Finally a young brother with a powerful voice, not afraid to say it loud and proud. I welcome him!"
—Terry McMillan"Farley plays the nineties American Zeitgeist like a violin. But don’t let the laughs deceive you. He hits some literary home runs about a whole bunch of issues: politics, race, and sex."
—Ishmael ReedIt’s the nineties, and Tosh Livingston, straight-A student and superstar athlete, is living the dream—he’s made it out of upstate New York and into the incoming freshman class at Harvard University. But after an accident blows up his basketball-playing hopes, he discovers a new purpose in life—to win the frenzied competition for a spot on the staff of the Harvard Harpoon, the school’s legendary humor magazine.Along with Lao, his pot-smoking roommate from China, their friend Meera, a passive-aggressive science major from India, and Zippa, a Jamaican student-activist with a flair for cartooning, Tosh finds that becoming a member of the Harpoon is weirder and more dangerous than anyone could have imagined. Success requires pushing themselves to their limits and unearthing long-buried secrets that will rock their school and change all of their lives forever.With its whip-smart humor and fast-paced narrative, Around Harvard Square will appeal to readers of all ages interested in exploring the complicated roles that race and class play in higher education.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight
by Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
ISBN13: 9781492678892
Imprint: Sourcebooks Fire
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Parent Company: Sourcebooks
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Read a Description of I’m Not Dying with You Tonight


Book Description: 
Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one black, one white, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk
by Meredith Davis and Rebeka Uwitonze

Publication Date:
List Price: $17.99
Format: Hardcover, 208 pages
Classification: Nonfiction
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
ISBN13: 9781338356373
Imprint: Scholastic Inc
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of Her Own Two Feet: A Rwandan Girl’s Brave Fight to Walk


Book Description: 
Through her eyes, the moving story of a young Rwandan girl born with clubfeet and the risk she takes for the chance to walk on the bottoms of her feet for the first time.Rebeka Uwitonze was born in Rwanda with curled and twisted feet, which meant she had to crawl or be carried to get around. At nine years old, she gets an offer that could change her life. A doctor in the US might be able to turn her feet. But it means leaving her own family behind and going to America on her own.

Her Own Two Feet tells Rebeka’s inspiring story through her eyes, with the help of one of her hosts. She travels from Rwanda to Austin, Texas, to join the Davis family, despite knowing almost no English. In the face of dozens of hospital visits and painful surgeries, Rebeka’s incredible bravery and joyful spirit carry her to the opportunity of a lifetime. A stunning debut about hope, perseverance, and what becomes possible when you take a risk.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

Hot Comb
by Ebony Flowers

Publication Date:
List Price: $21.95
Format: Paperback, 184 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Young Adult
ISBN13: 9781770463486
Imprint: Drawn and Quarterly
Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly
Parent Company: Drawn and Quarterly
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Read a Description of Hot Comb


Book Description: 
An auspicious debut examining the culture of hair from the Rona Jaffe Foundation Award winning cartoonist

Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into black women’s lives and coming-of-age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular “Hot Comb” is about a young girl’s first perm?a doomed ploy to look cool and stop seeming “too white” in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved into. In “Virgin Hair,” taunts of “tender-headed” sting as much as the perm itself. “My Lil Sister Lena” shows the stress of being the only black player on a white softball team. Lena’s hair is the team curio, an object to be touched, a subject to be discussed and debated at the will of her teammates, leading Lena to develop an anxiety disorder of pulling her own hair out. Throughout Hot Comb, Ebony Flowers re-creates classic magazine ads idealizing women’s need for hair relaxers and products. “Change your hair form to fit your life form” and “Kinks and Koils Forever” call customers from the page. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through these stories and ads, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking. Flowers began drawing comics while earning her Ph.D., and her early mastery of sequential storytelling is nothing short of sublime. From her black-and-white drawings to her color construction-paper collages, Hot Comb is a propitious display of talent from a new cartoonist who has already made her mark.

Nominee - Youth/Teens

The Forgotten Girl
by India Hill Brown

Publication Date:
List Price: $16.99
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Classification: Fiction
Target Age Group: Middle Grade
ISBN13: 9781338317244
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Parent Company: Scholastic Inc.
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Read a Description of The Forgotten Girl


Book Description: 
"This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you." — R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps

"Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?"

On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel — only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.

Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing…

Obsessed with figuring out what’s going on, Iris and Daniel start to research the area for a school project. They discover that Avery’s grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when White and Black people were kept separate in life — and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their town’s past, they become determined to restore Avery’s grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.

But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one that’s not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever — no matter what the cost.

The Forgotten Girl is both a spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery.

"A harrowing yet empowering tale reminding us that the past is connected to the present, that every place and every person has a story, and that those stories deserve to be told." — Ren e Watson, New York Times bestselling author of Piecing Me Together