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Hurston/Wright Foundation Announces the Winners of the 2014 Legacy Award

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For More Information Contact:


Marita Golden

Interim Executive Director

840 First Street N.E., Third Floor 

 Washington. D.C. 20002 




The Hurston/Wright Foundation Announces the Winners of the 2014 Legacy Award...



* * * * * * * *    OCTOBER 30, 2014    * * * * * * * *


A debut novel set in Zimbabwe, a scholarly study of the role of American colleges and universities in the slave trade, and a collection of poems examining the legacy of Black minstrels were winners at the thirteenth annual Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards Ceremony.  The program, held at the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. Friday evening also honored poet Nikki Giovanni with the foundation's North Star Award. Wil Haygood, author of The Butler served as M.C. 



NoViolet Bulawayo Accepting Legacy Award in Fiction


In accepting the award for fiction for her novel We Need New Names, NoViolet Bulawayo said, "I accept the award in gratitude and celebration of the luminous works of Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, both beacons of creativity." Craig Steven Wilder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor of American History, author of the nonfiction Legacy Award winner Ebony & Ivy thanked the Foundation, saying, "I, like other writers, don't write with the expectation of an award. We write with the aim and hope that the people from the places we come from will say we got it right." And Amaud Jamaul Johnson poetry winner for Darktown Follies cited Nikki Giovanni as one of his earliest sources of inspiration. 


The fiction finalists were Jamaica Kincaid for See Now Then and Mitchell Jackson for The Residue Years. In nonfiction the finalists were Jesmyn Ward National Book Award winner for Men We Reaped and critic Stanley Crouch for Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. The poetry finalists were A. Van Jordan for The Cineaste and Yona Harvey for Hemming the Water


The previously announced winners of the Hurston/Wright Founding Members Award for College Writers were presented with awards in the categories of fiction and poetry. Brittany Bennett won the prize for fiction and a thousand dollars. Nate Marshall won the prize for poetry and a thousand dollars. College finalists in fiction were Amanda H. Davis and Najah Yasin and in poetry Rachel Hezekiah and Maria Fernanda Snellings. Finalists each received two hundred and fifty dollars.



From Left: Nate Marshall, Marita Golden, Maria Fernanda Snelling, 

Nikki Giovanni, Brittany Bennett, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, and 

Mitchell Jackson at  2014 Legacy Awards Ceremony


Black Entertainment Television (BET), major sponsor of the evening, premiered a segment from a forthcoming miniseries, The Book of Negroes, to air in February. Based on the award-winning novel by Lawrence Hill, The Book of Negroes tells the story of Aminata Diallo after her capture and the pain she endured as part of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Starring Aunjanue Ellis as well as Cuba Gooding Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr., The Book of Negroes will premiere as an epic miniseries that highlights Aminata's powerful journey.

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