Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary Awards from fiction to outstanding contribution to publishing citation.


  • 1st Novelist Award: The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, Edward Kelsey Moore (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Fiction: The Good Lord Bird, Lawrence P. Jackson (Princeton University Press); Fiction Honor Book: The Residue Years, Mitchell S. Jackson (Bloomsbury)
  • Nonfiction: Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America's Universities, Craig Steven Wilder (Bloomsbury); Nonfiction Honor Books: Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer (Temple University Press); Kansas City Lightning: The Life and Times of Young Charlie Parker, Stanley Crouch (Harper); and Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, Adrian Miller (University of North Carolina Press)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson (Harper Design)
  • Poetry: Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid, Nikki Giovanni (William Morrow); Honor Book: Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers, Frank X. Walker (University of Georgia Press)


  • 1st Novelist Award: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Fiction: Freeman, Leonard Pitts, Jr. (Agate Bolden); Fiction Honor Book: The Cutting Season, Attica Locke (Harper)
  • Nonfiction: Benjamin Elijah Mays: Schoolmaster of the Movement, Randal Maurice Jelks (University of North Carolina Press); Nonfiction Honor Books: Dorothy West's Paradise: A Biography of Class and Color, Cherene Sherrard-Johnson (Rutgers University Press); If Your Back's Not Bent: The Role of the Citizenship Education Program in the Civil Rights Movement, Dorothy F. Cotton (Atria Books)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: The 21st-Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges,edited by Andrew P. Jackson (Sekou Molefi Baako), Julius Jefferson Jr., and Akilah S. Nosakhere (Scarecrow Press)
  • Poetry: Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place, bell hooks (University Press of Kentucky); Honor Book: If One of Us Should Fall, Nicole Terez Dutton (University of Pittsburgh Press)


  • Fiction Honor Books: Silver Sparrow, Tayari Jones (Algonquin) and The Taste of Salt, Martha Southgate (Algonquin);
  • Nonfiction: The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960, Lawrence P. Jackson (Princeton University Press); Honor Book: Malcolm X: A Life or Reinvention, Manning Marable (Viking) and Heat Wave: The Life and Career of Ehtel Waters, Donald Bogle (Harper)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Teenie Harris, Photographer: Image, Memory, History, Cheryl Finley, Laurence Glasco, and Joe W. Trotter (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Poetry: Mule & Pear, Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Western Michigan University Press); Honor Books: The Armageddon of Funk, Michael Warr (Tia Chucha Press) and the new black, Evie Shockley (Wesleyan University Press);


  • Fiction: Glorious, Bernice L. McFadden (Akashic Books); Honor Books: John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism, Keith Gilyard (University of Georgia Press) and In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance, Wilbert Rideau (Alfred A. Knopf);
  • Nonfiction: The Breakthrough, Gwen Ifill (Doubleday); Honor Book: Freedom Struggles, Adriane Lentz-Smith (Harvard University Press)
  • First Novelist: Wench, Dolen Perkins-Valdez (HarperCollins)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Unfinished Blues: Memories of a New Orleans Music Man, Harold Battiste Jr. and Karen Celestan (The Historic new Orleans Collection)


  • Fiction: Buying Time, Pamela Samuels Young (Goldman House); Honor Books: Sag Harbor, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday) and Carried by Six, Allen Ballard (Seaford Press);
  • Nonfiction: The Breakthrough, Gwen Ifill (Doubleday); Honor Book: Freedom Struggles, Adriane Lentz-Smith (Harvard University Press)
  • First Novelist: My Sister's Veil, K. C. Marshall (XLibris)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: In Search of Our Roots, Henry Louis Gates (Crown Publishers)


  • Fiction: Trading Dreams At Midnight, Diane McKinney-Whetstone (HarperCollins); Honor Books: Seen it All and Done the Rest,Pearl Cleage (One World/Ballentine); Where the Line Bleeds,Jesmyn Ward (Agate)
  • Nonfiction: Ida: A Sword Among Lions,Paula J. Giddings (Amistad/Harper Collins); Arnold Rampersad (Knopf); Honor Book: Letter To My Daughter,Maya Angelou (Random House, Inc.)
  • First Novelist: Orange Mint and Honey, Carleen Brice(One World/Ballentine)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Obama:The Historic Campaign in Photographs,Deborah Willis and Kevin Merida (Amistad/HarperCollins)


  • Fiction: New England White, Stephen L. Carter (Knopf); Honor Book: Cold Running Creek, Zelda Lockhart (LaVenson Press)
  • Nonfiction: Ralph Ellison: A Biography, Arnold Rampersad (Knopf); Honor Books: Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas, Kevin Merida and Michael A. Fletcher (Doubleday); Silent Gesture: The Autobiography of Tommie Smith, Tommie Smith with David Steele (Temple University Press)
  • First Novelist: The Rise: Where Neighbors Are Sometimes More, (Lion's Den Publishing)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits, Deborah Willis (Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture)


  • Fiction: After, A Novel, Marita Golden (Doubleday); Honor Books: Fortunate Son, Walter Mosley (Little Brown); Jump at the Sun, Kim McLarin (HarperCollins)
  • Nonfiction: The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Barack Obama (Crown); Honor Books: A Piece of Cake, Cupcake Brown (Crown); Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present, Harriett A. Washington (Doubleday)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Legacy: Treasures of Black History (National Geographic Press)


  • Fiction: Third Girl from the Left, Martha Southgate (Houghton Mifflin); Honor Books: Snake Walkers, J. Everett Prewitt (Northland); I Got Somebody in Staunton, William Henry Lewis (Amistad)
  • Nonfiction: Black Crescent: The Experience and Legacy of African Muslims in the Americas, Michael A. Gomez (Cambridge University Press); Honor Books: Fighting for America: Black Soldiers—The Unsung Heroes of World War II, Christopher Paul Moore (One World); Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom, Heather Andrea Williams (University of North Carolina Press); Migrating to the Movies: Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, Jacqueline Stewart (University of California Press)
  • First Novelist: Freshwater Road, Denise Nicholas (Agate)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists, Lisa E. Farrington (Oxford University Press)


  • Fiction: Leaving Cecil Street, Diane McKinney-Whetstone (William Morrow); Honor Books: Robbing Peter, Kia DuPree (Prism Pages); Some People, Some Other Place, J. California Cooper (Doubleday); The Blackbird Papers, Ian Smith (Doubleday)
  • Nonfiction: A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa, Howard French (Alfred A. Knopf); Honor Books: Wrestling With the Muse: Dudley Randall and the Broadside Press, Melba Joyce Boyd (Columbia University Press); Black Titan: A. G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire, Carol Jenkins and Elizabeth Gardner (One World)
  • First Novelist: The Darkest Child, Delores Phillips (Soho)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life of Zora Neal Hurston, Lucy Anne Hurston (Doubleday)


  • Fiction: Hottentot Venus, Barbara Chase-Riboud (Doubleday) Honor Books: Loving Donovan, Bernice McFadden (Dutton); Joshua's Bible, Shelly Leanna (Warner Books)
  • Nonfiction: In Black and White: the Life of Sammy Davis, Jr., Wil Haygood (Knopf); Honor Books: Freedom in the Family: A Mother-Daughter Memoir of the Fight for Civil Rights, Tananarive Due & Patricia Stephens Due (Ballantine); Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, Barbara Ransby (UNC Press)
  • First Novelist: The Known World, Edward P. Jones (Amistad)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representations, Michael D. Harris (UNC Press)


  • Fiction: Douglass Women, Jewell Parker Rhodes (Atria/Simon & Schuster); Honor Books: Wisdom, Heather Neff (One World/Ballantine); P.G. County, Connie Briscoe (Doubleday); You Know Better, Tina McElroy Ansa (William Morrow)
  • Nonfiction: Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies, Elizabeth McHenry (Duke University Press); Honor Books: Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems, Nikki Giovanni (William Morrow); Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing, edited by Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris (Harlem Moom/Broadway Books); The Herndons: An Atlanta Family, Carole Merritt (University of Georgia Press)
  • First Novelist: The Emperor of Ocean Park, Stephen L. Carter (Alfred A. Knopf)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: We Shall not Be Moved: The Passage from the Great Migration to the Million Man March, Velma Maia Thomas (Crown)


  • Fiction: I Wish I Had a Red Dress, Pearl Cleage (William Morrow); Honor Books: John Henry Days, A Novel, Colson Whitehead (Doubleday); Plain Brown Wrapper: An Alex Powell Novel, Karen Grigsby Bates (Avon Books); West of Rehoboth, Alexs D. Pates (William Morrow)
  • Nonfiction: Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, Vernon E. Jordan (PublicAffairs); Honor Books: On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madame C.J. Walker, A'Lelia Bundles (Scribner); Hoops Roots: Basketball, Race and Love, John Edgar Wideman (Houghton Mifflin); American Patriots: The Story of Black in the Military from the Revolution to Desert Storm, Gail Lumet Buckley (Random House)
  • First Novelist: Gabriel's Story, David Anthony Durham (Doubleday)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Primetime Blues: African Americans On Network Television, Donald Bogle (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)


  • Fiction: The Fisher King, Paule Marshall (Scribner); Honor Books: All of Me, Venise Berry (Dutton); Sugar, Bernice McFadden (Dutton)
  • Nonfiction: Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation, Larry Eugene Rivers (University Press of Florida); Honor Books: The Art and History of Black Memorabilia, Larry W. Buster (Clarkson Potter); Step into a World: A Global Anthology of New Black Literature, edited by Kevin Powell (John Wiley & Sons)
  • First Novelist: Where I'm Bound, Allen Br. Ballard (Simon & Schuster)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919–1963, David Levering Lewis (Henry Holt & Co.)


  • Fiction: Ain't Nobody's Business If I Do, Valerie Wilson Wesley (Avon Books); Honor Books: Those Bones Are Not My Child, Ton Cade (Pantheon Books); The Ghost, March Olden (Simon & Schuster); Imani All Mine, Connie Porter (Houghton Mifflin); On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems, Rita Dove (W. W. Norton & Co.)
  • Nonfiction: Homeland and Waterways: The American Journey of the Bond Family 1846–1926, Adele Logan Alexander (Pantheon Books); Honor Books: B. Smith: Rituals & Celebrations, Barbara Smith (Random House); Finding a Place Called Home: A Guide to African-American Genealogy and Historical Identity, Dee Parmer Woodtor (Random House)
  • First Novelist: Inner City Blues, Paula Woods (W. W. Norton & Co.)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience, edited by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Basic Civitas Books)


  • Fiction: The Healing, Gayl Jones (Beacon Press); Honor Books: A Toast Before Dying: A Mali Anderson Mystery, Grace F. Edwards (Doubleday); See No Evil, Eleanor Taylor Bland (St. Martin's Press)
  • Nonfiction: Spirits of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts, Carolyn Mazloomi (Clarkson Potter); Honor Books: Thurgood Marshall: American Revolutionary, Juan Williams (Times Books); Sacred Bond: Black Men and Their Mothers, Keith Michael Brown (Little, Brown)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, Juliet E. K. Walker (Macmillan)


  • Fiction: The River Where Blood Is Born, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, (One World/Ballantine); Honor Books: Only Twice I've Wished for Heaven, Dawn Turner Trice (Crown); The Thang That Ate My Grandaddy's Dog, John Calvin Rainey (Pineapple Press); Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made, Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant (St. Martin's Press)
  • Nonfiction: The Black Notebook: An Interior Journey, Toi Derricotte (Norton); Honor Books: Jackie Robinson: A Biography, Arnold Rampersad (Knopf); Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation: A Three Dimensional Interactive Book with Photographs and Documents from the Black Holocaust Exhibit, Velma Maia Thomas (Crown); An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad, Claude Andrew Clegg (St. Martin's Press)
  • First Novelist: The View from Here, Brian Keith Jackson (Washington Square Press)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Black Classic Press


  • Fiction: Sarah's Psalm, Florence Ladd (Scribner); Honor Books: Flight of the Blackbird, Faye McDonald Smith (Scribner); Gospel Choirs: Psalms of Survival in an Alien Land Called Home, Derrick Bell (Basic Books)
  • Nonfiction: Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol, Nell Irvin Painter (Norton); Honor Books: America Is Me, Kennell Jackson (HarperCollins); Deep Sightings and Rescue Missions: Fiction, Essays, and Conversations, Toni Cade Bambara and edited by Toni Morrison (Pantheon)
  • First Novelist: Push, Sapphire (Knopf)


  • Fiction: RL's Dream, Walter Mosley (W. W. Norton); Honor Book: The Good Negress, A. J. Verdelle (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
  • Nonfiction: Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America, edited by Herb Boyd and Robert L. Allen (One World/Ballantine Books)
  • First Novelist: An Open Weave, devorah majors (Seal Press)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Spooks, Spies, and Private Eyes: The Black Mystery, Crime & Suspense Fiction, edited by Paula L. Woods (Bantam Doubleday)


  • Fiction: Rattlebone, Maxine Clair (Farrar, Straus, Giroux); Honor Books: I Hear a Symphony: African Americans Celebrate Love, Paula L. Woods and Felix H. Liddell (Anchor Books)
  • Nonfiction: I've Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot (Addison-Wesley); Honor Books: Conversations with God: Two Centuries of Prayers by African-Americans, edited by James Melvin Washington (Harper Collins); Daughters: On Family and Fatherhood, Gerald Early (Addison-Wesley)
  • First Novelist: The Serpent's Gift, Helen Elaine Lee (Atheneum)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Feeling the Spirit: Searching the World for the People of Africa, Chester Higgins, Jr. (Bantam)


  • Fiction: A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest J. Gaines (Knopf); Honor Books: Getting Right with God, Lionel Newton (Dutton); Free Enterprise, Michelle Cliff (Dutton)
  • Nonfiction: W.E.B. DuBois: Biography of a Race 1868–1919, David Levering Lewis (Holt); Honor Books: Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance: A Woman's Life Unveiled, Thadious Davis (Louisiana State University Press)
  • First Novelist: Losing Absalom, Alexs D. Pate (Coffee House Press)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation: Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, edited by Darlene C. Hine (Carlson Publishing)

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