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Few Black writers have won Pulitzer Prizes


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Today on a whim I decided to see how much effort it would take to compile a list of all the Black writers to win a Pulitzer Prizes in the book-related categories.  My list even includes the awards for drama, since all of the plays are available in book form.  Since they have been giving the award away for a century, I figured this effort would take considerable effort to complete.

Sadly, it took a few minutes—a slight exaggeration—but far less effort than I expected because the list so short.  It took over 70 years for the to award to be given to more than a handful of Black writers.  It is possible I may have missed a few.  If anyone notices any omissions please let me know.

I also included Lin-Manuel Miranda, but I don't actually know if he self-describes as "Black," or of "African descent."   At any rate, the books that have won at all worth checking out.  Although Manning Marable's book got a lot of hate from some critics.  You just can't go around writing about Malcolm X's sexual relationship with some a white dude and not expect some blow back...




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I met Suzan Lori Parks when Richard Foreman was reciting at the St Mark's Poetry Project. I was the only one laughing, she asked me if I was a writer. I said no. I also asked Alice Walker What she thought of Angela Davis Women Sex Race and Class at the Sydney Opera House. Shamelessly name dropping

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  • 2 months later...

Well 2017 turned out to be a banner year for Black writers.  Three Black writers have won in the Letters and Drama categories.  This is unprecedented and a welcomed trend--half of all the Pulitzer Prizes awarded to Black writers were given in the last 10 years (out of a 101 year history).

I feels like someone heard all the shit I was talking about the Pulitzer Board earlier in the year :)

Well congrats to all the winners.


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