2020 Lillian Smith Book Award winners to be honored at AJC Decatur Book Festival

Submitted by Camie on

In a virtual ceremony, the University of Georgia Libraries, Southern Regional Council, and other partners will honor the top new books exploring social justice on Sept. 6, as part of the AJC Decatur Book Festival, which is set to be held virtually over Labor Day weekend.

The Lillian Smith Book Awards ceremony, a free online event, will honor authors and historians Jelani M. Favors and Brandon K. Winford, this year’s award recipients. Registration for the 2 p.m. event is available now through Eventbrite.

Named after the acclaimed author of the controversial 1944 novel Strange Fruit and other works, the Lillian Smith Book Awards, which are administered by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at UGA, recognize works that examine issues of race, social justice, civil and human rights, the education and socialization of young people, breaking silence among repressed groups and matters that are significant to the changing South.

Favors’ book, “Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism” (University of North Carolina Press, 2019), explores the history of historical black colleges and universities and how they have fostered student activism. Winford’s book, “John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights” (University Press of Kentucky, 2019) chronicles the work of African American banker and civil rights lawyer Wheeler as an activist for black businesses, exploring how economic concerns shaped the fight for civil rights.

The authors will receive a specially designed glass trophy bearing a new, embossed Lillian Smith Book Award logo designed by Jerri Wilson of the DeKalb County Public Library. Nate Nardi of Decatur Glassblowing designed the award.

The Lillian Smith Book Awards are sponsored by the Southern Regional Council, University of Georgia Libraries, DeKalb County Public Library/The Georgia Center for the Book, and Piedmont College.