Pulitzer Prize Winning Books by Black Writers (includes Finalists)

Pulitzer Prize Medal

Since 1917 the Pulitzer Prize has honored excellence in journalism and the arts. The first award was presented in 1918. The Prize recognizes American authors in six “Letters and Drama” categories; Biography/Autobiography, Fiction, General Non-Fiction, History, Poetry, and Drama (technically not a book award, but plays are all available as books and have been included here).

The first African-American writer to win a Pulitzer Prize in any of the above categories was Gwendolyn Brooks who received the award for poetry for her collection Annie Allen in 1950.


One Book was a Finalist or Winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1993

Finalist - Drama

Fires in the Mirror
by Anna Deavere Smith

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $16.00
    Format: Paperback, 208 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9780385470148
    Imprint: Anchor
    Publisher: Penguin Random House
    Parent Company: Bertelsmann
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    Read a Description of Fires in the Mirror


    Book Description: 
    Derived from interviews with a wide range ofpeople who experienced or observed New York’s 1991Crown Heights racial riots, Fires In TheMirror is as distinguished a work ofcommentary onblack-white tensions as it is awork of drama. In August 1991 simmering tensions in the racially polarized Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood of Crown Heights exploded into riots after a black boy was killed by a car in a rabbi’s motorcade and a Jewish student was slain by blacks in retaliation. Fires in the Mirror is dramatist Anna Deavere Smith’s stunning exploration of the events and emotions leading up to and following the Crown Heights conflict. Through her portrayals of more than two dozen Crown eights adversaries, victims, and eyewitnesses, using verbatim excerpts from their observations derived from interviews she conducted, Smith provides a brilliant, Rashoman-like documentary portrait of contemporary ethnic turmoil.