Category Archives: American Book Awards

Marlon James announces new book trilogy

Author and Before Columbus board member Marlon James, recipient of the American Book Award and Man Booker prizes, announces a new book series: The Dark Star Trilogy.

Robin D.G. Kelley, American Book Award recipient, and Connie Rice, lawyer and civil rights activist, discuss police accountability

Video courtesy of Tavis Smiley.

Connie Rice is one of America’s most influential lawyers. Rice has taken on public school and transit systems, death row, the states of Mississippi and California and the L.A.P.D. and won—in court, on the streets and in prisons. She’s also known for co-authoring a report that revolutionized Los Angeles’ law enforcement policies and outreach to gangs. Rice was co-director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s L.A. office and co-founded the nonprofit Advancement Project, which provides support for organizations working for racial and social justice. Rice is a graduate of Harvard College and the New York University School of Law, she chronicled her life in the trenches of civil rights law in her memoir, Power Concedes Nothing. Robin D. G. Kelley is a professor of history at UCLA. His research explores the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa as well as black intellectuals; music; visual culture and contemporary urban studies. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals and publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, Black Music Research Journal, African Studies Review, New York Times (Arts and Leisure) and New York Times Magazine, to name a few.

Professor Emily Raboteau, American Book Award recipient, interviewed

In an interview from The Rumpus, Raboteau discusses her essay, “Know Your Rights!” from the collection, THE FIRE THIS TIME, what she loves about motherhood, and why it’s time for White America to get uncomfortable. Emily Raboteau is a professor of english at CCNY.

A Tribute to Audre Lorde, an early recipient of the American Book Award

The famed author, poet, and queer feminist has been honored by the New York Amdsterdam News. “Much deserved tribute to Audre Lorde. The only major literary award that she received during her lifetime was The American Book Award.” – Ishmael Reed


American Book Awards 2016 – Video Footage of Ceremony available online

C-Span has made available video footage of the 2016 American Book Award ceremony. Hosted in San Francisco at the SFJazz Center on October 30, 2016. Emceed by Before Columbus Foundation board Chairman Justin Desmangles, the ceremony features speeches from award recipients and performances from Foundation affiliates.

Laila Lalami interviewed at National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

NPR’s Bilal Quareshi asked Laila Lalami, American Book Award recipient, about The Moor’s Account. Video from Youtube:

Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, American Book Award winner, on Thanksgiving

From Democracy Now, an interview with historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz about the true meaning of Thanksgiving:

Laila Lalami, American Book Award recipient, on The Identity Politics of Whiteness

In the wake of the U.S. presidential election, ABA award winner Laila Lalami has written about white American identity for the New York Times:

Marlon James named Macalaster College’s first writer-in-residence

Marlon James, Professor of English, has become writer-in-residence at Macalaster College. James has won the American Book Award in 2015 for A Brief History of Seven Killings and sits on the board of directors of the Before Columbus Foundation.

Marlon James discusses Diversity with the Literary Hub

James, Professor of English at Macalaster College, received the American Book Award in 2015 for his A Brief History of Seven Killings, and sits on the board of directors for the Before Columbus Foundation.