A Decade of Award-Winning Black Writers

Chris Schluep on January 21, 2019
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ward.jpgIt's Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, and Black History Month is on the horizon, so I thought I would put together a list of black writers who have won some of the major literary awards in the past decade.

It's a really impressive list. And this isn't even counting all who were nominated for these awards. If you really want to dive deep, click on the award name links to research the shortlists and longlists.


National Book Award

2018 - The New Negro: the Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart (nonfiction)

2018 - Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed (poetry)

2017 - Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (fiction)

2016 - Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (fiction)

2016 - Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi (nonfiction)

2016 - March by John Lewis (young people's literature)

2015 - Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (nonfiction)

2015 - Voyage of the Sable Venus: and Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis (poetry)

2014 - Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (young people's literature)

2013 - The Good Lord Bird by James McBride (fiction)

2011 - Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (fiction)

2011 - Head off & Split by Nikky Finney (poetry)

2010 - Lighthead by Terrance Hayes (poetry)


Man Booker Prize

2016 - The Sellout by Paul Beatty

2015 - A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James


Giller Prize

2018 - Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

2015 - Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis

2011 - Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan


Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, which prompted me to identify which black writers have won the Nobel Prize in Literature. They are:

1986 - Wole Soyinka

1992 - Derek Walcott

1993 - Toni Morrison




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