Hooks Institute's National Book Award

Book Award Seal

About the Hooks National Book Award

Honoring outstanding work about the American Civil Rights Movement and its legacy!

Each calendar year, the Hooks Institute's National Book Award is given to the book that best furthers our understanding of the American Civil Rights Movement and its legacy.

SOLICITATION FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2017 HOOKS INSTITUTE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis (Memphis, TN) is soliciting nominations for its annual National Book Award. In 1996, University of Memphis officials received approval from the Tennessee Board of Regents to create the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change. The Institute is dedicated to Teaching, Studying, and Promoting Civil Rights and Social Change. Hooks Institute archives include Hooks's personal papers, which are housed in the Mississippi Valley Collection in the University's McWherter Library.

ABOUT THE AWARD

  • A panel of judges representing various disciplines and academic institutions in Memphis awards the annual prize to the book that best furthers understanding of the American Civil Rights Movement and its legacy. 
  • An award of $1,000 will be made to the author(s).
  • The recipient(s) of the award will receive an invitation to deliver an address at the University of Memphis as part of the Hooks Institute Lecture Series during the 2017-2018 academic year.

eligibility

  • Books published in the 2017 calendar year are eligible for the award.
  • Only originally published non-fictional material will be considered.

DEADLINE

  • December 31, 2017

SUBMISSIONS

Please provide full contact information for the author(s) and nominator(s), to include an email address, mailing address, and telephone number, and submit one copy of the nominated book (postmarked by December 31, 2016) to The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change, Attn: Benjamin L. Hooks Book Award Nomination, 107 Scates Hall, The University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, 38152-3530.

Note: the Hooks Institute reserves the right to exclude from consideration for the award any nominated book where the submitter fails to provide sufficient contact information.

Finalists will be asked to submit additional copies to a panel of judges representing various disciplines and academic institutions in Memphis.

CONTACT

For questions or comments: Please contact Rorie Trammel, Assistant Director of the Hooks Institute, at 901-678-3974 or via email at rtrammel@memphis.edu.

Past National Book Award Recipients

2016 | We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination

We Are an African PeopleBy Russell Rickford
Press Release

In the midst of the more well-studied educational changes of the school desegregation era, a handful of "Pan African nationalist" independent black schools emerged as an alternative mechanism for African-American uplift. We Are an African People examines the ideas and motivations behind these autonomous black institutions and places them within a broader discussion about how best to achieve liberation for the next generation of African Americans. Rickford's work expands upon the understanding of a very specific topic within the quest for the intellectual liberation of African-Americans and grapples with very broad questions about education, freedom and the diversity of viewpoints during the civil rights era.


2015 | Eye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press

Eye On the StruggleBy James McGrath Morris
Press Release

Morris' biography excavates the story of Ethel Payne, a journalist whose work for the Chicago Defender during her multi-decade career provided a lens to thousands of African-American readers into the action of the civil rights movement and beyond. Covering the school desegregation crisis in Little Rock, interviewing black troops in Vietnam or quizzing multiple presidents during her years at the White House, Payne's career demonstrated the role journalists could play both in helping to build a movement by informing the public and in furthering that movement by putting pointed questions to those in power.


2014 | Stokely: A Life

Stokely: A LifeBy Peniel E. Joseph (Basic Civitas Books, 2014)
Press Release

In the 1960s, Civil Rights activist Stokely Carmichael coined the phrase "Black Power" with the symbolic image of the raised black fist to embody it. A charismatic, forceful, young and brilliant intellectual with civil rights rooted in non-violent tactics, Carmichael became increasingly dissatisfied with racial inequality. This led him to more militant approaches to achieve political self-determination for African Americans. The book, Stokely: A Life, winner of the 2014 Benjamin L. Hooks Institute National Book Award, provides an illuminating profile of Carmichael's journey of disappointments, conflict, and hope for a more just nation and world.


2013 | How it Feels to be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement

How it Feels to be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement

by Ruth Feldstein (Oxford University Press 2013)
Press Release

 

2013 | On the Corner: African American Intellectuals and the Urban Crisis

On the Corner: African American Intellectuals and the Urban Crisis
by Daniel Matlin (Harvard University Press 2013)
Press Release



2012 | The Black Revolution on Campus

The Black Revolution on Campusby Martha Biondi (University of California Press 2012)
Press Release




2011 | Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention
by Manning Marable (Viking 2011)

Press Release


2010 | Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC

Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women in SNCC
by Faith S. Holsaert, Martha Prescod, Norman Noonan, Judy Richardson, Betty Garman Robinson, Jean Smith Young, and Dorothy M. Zellner (University of Illinois Press 2010)
Press Release