Pulitzer Prize Administrator Mike Pride announced this year’s crop of winners and the list is full of Black excellence. The coveted award honors outstanding achievements in Journalism and the Arts, and this year Black writers showed out in multiple ways.
Colson Whitehead took home the venerable fiction prize for his critically-acclaimed novel The Underground Railroad, which reimagines the historic route as an actual railroad. The book has been optioned for film and will be brought to the screen by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins.
Playwright Lynn Nottage won her second Pulitzer Prize for drama, this time for Sweat, a project that has been hailed as the “first theatrical landmark of the Trump era” by the New York Times. Poet and professor Tyehimba Jess took home the poetry prize for his seminal collection, Olio, which “presents the sweat and story behind America’s blues, worksongs and church hymns.” Lastly, Hilton Als of the New York Times was honored in the journalism category for distinguished criticism.
The award has been given out 101 times. Past Black winners include, Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, journalist Eugene Robinson, Playwrights August Wilson and Suzan-Lori Parks, poet Natasha Trethewey, and historians Manning Marable and Isabel Wilkerson, among others.
Watch Pride announce this year’s winners below.