Authors and historians Jelani M. Favors and Brandon K. Winford have been announced as winners of the 2020 Lillian Smith Book Awards. Named after the acclaimed author of the controversial novel Strange Fruit (Harcourt, 1944) and other works, the Lillian Smith Book Awards 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. The awards are administered by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia.
Dr. Favors, associate professor of history at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, was honored for his book Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). He writes about the role that HBCUs played as a refuge for minorities during the Jim Crow era.
Dr. Winford is an associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research focuses on the late 19th and 20th century United States and African American history with areas of specialization in civil rights and black business history. He was honored for his book John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights (University Press of Kentucky, 2019).