Each year the National Book Foundation honors four books with its National Book Award. The award categories are Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People’s Literature. This years awards go to; Underground Railroady by Colson Whitehead (Fiction), Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (Nonfiction), The Performance of Being Human by Daniel Borzutzky (Poetry), and March: Book Three by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell (artist). The books are selected by a committee that winnows the list from long list of 16 books in each category. Each of the books represents the best in their category.
The winners are described below with links to the titles from the library.
Winners from previous 60 years of awards can be found at this link
The awards this year include a special treat for the Gainesville area. The author of the nonfiction book winner, Ibram X. Kendi is an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida. He has received degrees from Florida A&M and Temple University as well as numerous awards, research fellowships, grants, and visiting appointments from a variety of other universities, foundations, professional associations, and libraries. The book has received many accolades, including the following impressive review from The Atlantic:
"The prize for nonfiction went to the historian Ibram X. Kendi for his book Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Kendi’s work is a deep (and often disturbing) chronicling of how anti-black thinking has entrenched itself in the fabric of American society not solely through ignorance, but through a rationalization of inequity in institutional practices. Using the stories of five key intellectual figures—from Thomas Jefferson to Angela Davis—Kendi traces extensively, over the course of 600 pages, how history has woven racism into not just the consciousness of explicitly anti-black figures, but even the more subtly-rooted thinking of what he calls “assimilationists,” a group who oppose and fight racial inequity, but find blame in both the oppressed and oppressor."
The Alachua Library District is honored to have Dr. Kendi among its Author Series for the upcoming year. Dr. Kendi will be speaking on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017 at 2:30 at the Headquarters Library.
After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.
A comprehensive history of anti-black racism focuses on the lives of five major players in American history, including Cotton Mather and Thomas Jefferson, and highlights the debates that took place between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists.
The stunning conclusion of the award-winning and best-selling MARCH trilogy. Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, joins co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell to bring the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.
Below you can see Dr. Kendi's acceptance speech.