UofM’s Hooks Institute Announces 2021 Hooks National Book Award Finalists  

July 25, 2022 — The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis has selected the following finalists for the 2021 Hooks National Book Award:  

  • The Citizenship Education Program and the Black Women's Political Culture by Dr. Deanna Gillespie, University Press of Florida
  • Soul City: Race, Equality, and the Lost Dream of an American Utopia by Thomas Healy, Esq., Metropolitan Books
  • Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America by Dr. Keisha Blain, Beacon Press
  • Walk With Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer by Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, Oxford University Press
  • The Young Crusaders: The Untold Story of the Children and Teenagers Who Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement by Dr. V.P. Franklin, Beacon Press 

About the Hooks National Book Award  

The Hooks Institute’s National Book Award is presented to a non-fiction book published in the calendar year that best furthers understanding of the American civil rights movement and its legacy.  

Finalists were chosen from 43 books that were nominated for the 2021 award. The award winner will be chosen this summer by a panel of judges representing various disciplines and academic institutions in Memphis. The book award winner will speak at an event hosted by the Hooks Institute.  

“The nominees for the Hooks National Book Award are a vibrant mix of storytelling and research, and of inspiring resistance and hope in the face of pervasive oppression,” said Terrence Tucker, UofM Department of English associate professor and coordinator of African American Literature and chair of the Hooks National Book Award committee. “Some works add important figures and memories to the vast constellation that makes up the civil rights movement. Others take figures we only thought we knew and reveal layers that have only lightly been explored.  

“Although rooted deeply in the past that the civil rights movement has become, these works are not insulated from the present. In fact, the five finalists often speak to our contemporary moment in ways that confirm how the civil rights movement continues to echo throughout our present and shape our future. Our finalists treat history as a collaborative endeavor, and their works act as the opening of a conversation instead of the final definitive word. The urgent, incisive and accessible prose makes clear that the unfinished mission can, and must, be accomplished by ordinary citizens performing the extraordinary work of shaping the course of human history.” 

Hooks National Book Award Committee  

The Hooks Institute extends its gratitude to the 2021 Hooks National Book Award committee. In addition to Tucker, it includes Dr. Beverly Cross, Lillian and Morrie Moss Chair of Excellence in Urban Education at the UofM; Dr. Charles McKinney, associate professor of History at Rhodes College; Dr. Ladrica Menson-Furr, UofM Chair Holder, associate professor of English and director of African and African American Studies; Dr. Sharon Stanley, UofM professor of Political Science; and Dr. Ladonna Young, Educational Consultant and Hooks Institute Board Member.  

For more information, visit memphis.edu/benhooks/programs/book-award.php.  

About the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change  

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education and direct intervention programs. Institute programs include community outreach; funding faculty research initiatives on community issues; implementing community service projects; hosting conferences, symposiums and lectures; and promoting local and national scholarship on civil and human rights. The Hooks Institute is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. Contributed revenue for the Hooks Institute, including funding from individuals, corporations and foundations, is administered through the University of Memphis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization.