BCALA Literary Award - Nonfiction

The BCALA Literary Award is given annually for fiction, nonfiction, first novelist, and outstanding contribution to publishing. They are given by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for outstanding works by African American authors.

Award Year Authors(s) Title
2012 Lawrence P. Jackson The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960 This the first narrative history of the neglected but essential period of African American literature between the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights era. The years between these two indispensable epochs saw the communal rise of Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and many other influential black writers. While these individuals have been duly celebrated, little attention has been paid to the political and artistic milieu in which they produced their greatest works. With this study, the author recalls the lost history of a crucial era.
2011 Wes Moore The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates Traces the parallel lives of two youths with the same name in the same community, describing how the author grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar and promising business leader while his counterpart suffered a life of violence and imprisonment.
2010 Gwin Ifill The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama Journalist Gwen Ifill's survey of American politics and the impact of Barack Obama's presidential victory on a generation of African American men and women.
2009 Paula J. Giddings Ida: A Sword Among Lions A sweeping narrative about Ida B. Wells, a civil rights crusader who fought against lynching.
2008 Arnold Rampersand Ralph Ellison: A Biography This biography describes a man of magnetic personality who counted Saul Bellow, Langston Hughes, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wright, Richard Wilbur, Albert Murray, and John Cheever among his closest friends; a man both admired and reviled, whose life and art were shaped mainly by his unyielding desire to produce magnificent art and by his resilient faith in the moral and cultural strength of America.
2007 Barack Obama The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream The junior senator from Illinois discusses how to transform U.S. politics, calling for a return to America's original ideals and revealing how they can address such issues as globalization and the function of religion in public life.
2006 Michael A. Gomez Black Crescent: The Experience and Legacy of African Muslims in the Americas
2005 Howard W. French A Continent for the Taking: The Tradedy and Hope of Africa In this powerfully written book, a senior writer for the "New York Times" gives an unstinting account of the disastrous consequences of the centuries-old encounters between Africa and the West.
2004 Wil Haygood In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis Jr. Wil Haygood takes from the beginning in vaudeville, where it all began for four-year-old Sammy, who ran out onstage one night and stole the show, up to the end. In his broad and varied friendships and alliances he forged uncharted paths across racial lines. Admired and reviled by both blacks and whites, he was tormented all his life by raging insecurities, and never quite came to terms with his own skin. Ultimately, his only true sense of his identity was as a performer.
2003 Elizabeth McHenry Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies
2002 Vernon E. Jordan Vernon Can Read! A Memoir Since the 1960s, civil rights activist Vernon Jordan has provided leadership to organizations such as the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, and the National Urban League. Here, he describes his life including his work registering black voters in the South, his survival of an assassination attempt, and his relationships with American presidents and business leaders.
2001 Larry Eugene Rivers Slavery in Florida: Territorial Days to Emancipation Rivers traces the presence of Africans in Florida from Spain's early attempts to build an American empire, long before the institution of slavery was introduced. (eBook)
2000 Adele Logan Alexander Homelands and Waterways: The American Journey of the Bond Family 18-46-1926
1999 Carolyn Mazloomi Spirit of the Cloth: Contemporary African American Quilts Featuring 150 color photographs, "Spirits of the Cloth" is one of the first popular books to showcase the work of contemporary African-American quilters.
1998 Toi Derricotte The Black Notebooks cover art A light-skinned black woman, Toi Derricotte moved to an all-white neighborhood near New York City 20 years ago and began making journal entries of encounters with neighbors, family, and colleagues. The result is a brilliant and painful document about the complexity of race in America.
1997 Nell Irvin Painter Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol Sojourner Truth: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist, figure of imposing physique, riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Straight talking and unsentimental, Truth became a national symbol for strong black women - indeed, for all strong women.
1996 Herb Boyd, Robert L. Allen Brotherman: The Odyssey of Black Men in America An anthology of writing by black men, about black men. Authors such as W.E.B. Dubois, Ralph Ellison, Paul Robeson, Malcolm X, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Alex Haley, and Ice T explore the black man's experience as adolescent, lover, husband, father, worker, warrior, and elder.
1995 Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot I've Known Rivers: Lives of Loss and Liberation
1994 David Levering Lewis W.E.B. DuBois: Biography of a Race 1868-1919 Presents the life story of the towering and controversial civil rights leader, focusing on a crucial 50 year period in his--and the nation's--life.