R. Kayeen Thomas, a student in the master of divinity program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., was the recipient of the Phillis Wheatley Book Award for First Fiction at the 15th annual Harlem Book Fair in New York City. Thomas was honored for his novel Antebellum (Simon & Schuster, 2012).
Thomas stated, “I wrote this book to help bridge the gap between my generation, which is hip-hop, and that of our ancestors who experienced civil rights and slavery.With every recognition Antebellum receives, my hope is that a young person will read it and realize how far we have come as a culture.”
Thomas self-published his first book while he was a student at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. In April 2013 his third book, The Seven Days, was published by Strebor Books.