Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards 2019 nominees announced.

Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards 2019 nominees announced.

The Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards 2019 nominees featuring writers and poets with African roots were announced on June 24, 2019.

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, named for US African American literary phenoms Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, honours the best in Black literature in the United States and around the globe. Introduced in 2001, the Legacy Award for fiction, nonfiction and poetry was the first national award in the United States presented to Black writers by a national organization of Black writers. Some of the previous winners have been Alain Mabanckou, Colson Whitehead, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chris Abani, Aminatta Forna, Kwame Dawes, and Uwem Akpan.

The class of 2019 nominees were announced and they are;


  • Friday Black – Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (Mariner, A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt imprint)
  • A Lucky Man – Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)
  • Brother – David Chariandy (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Washington Black – Esi Edugyan (Alfred E Knopf)
  • She Would Be King – Wayetu Moore
  • Heads of the Coloured People – Nafissa Thompson-Spires (37 ink/Atria, a Simon & Schuster imprint)


  • Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster – Stephen L Carter (Henry Holt and Company).
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower – Brittney Cooper (St Martin’s Press).
  • Tigerland: 1968-1969 A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, and A Magical Season of Healing – Wil Haygood (Alfred E Knopf).
  • Heavy: An American Memoir – Kiese Laymon (Scribner, a Simon and Schuster imprint).
  • The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke – Jeffrey C Stewart (Oxford University Press).


  • Approaching The Fields – Chanda Feldman (Louisiana State University Press).
  • Divida – Monica A. Hand (Alice James Books).
  • American Sonnets For My Past and Future Assassin – Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books, a Penguin Random House imprint).
  • Mend, Kwoya Fagin Maples (University Press of Kentucky).
  • Crosslight for Youngbird – Asiya Wadud (Nightboat Books).

Other awards

  • North Star Award winner – Rita Dove, the Pulitzer Prize winner and former US Poet Laureate.
  • Madam CJ. Walker Award – Glory Edim, the founder of the Well Read Black Girl Book Club.

All the winners of the awards will be revealed at a ceremony in Washington DC on Friday October 18, 2018.



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