The Nation’s Premier Black literary foundation honored a trio of iconic figures in the arts and letters at the 16th Annual Legacy Awards Hurston Wright Awards Ceremony. Joining legendary civil rights and now best-selling author Congressman John Lewis, were Third World Press founder and poet Hakin Madhubuti, and Dr. Carla Hayden the first African American Librarian of Congress.
John Lewis reflected on the legacy of Ella Baker, who co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and “Shook up the South and inspired the North”, said Lewis honored Ms. Baker. “If not for Ella Baker I would not be here”!
But it was Madam C. J. Walker award winner Haki R. Madhubuti who was the highlight of the night’s honorees. “Art saved and is the waterfall of my life”, said the former poet originally published as Don L. Lee, who founded Third World Press in 1967 and has written over 30 books included the “LIBERATION NARRATIVES” and his latest pride and joy, “NOT OUR PRESIDENT”!
Other award winners included JJ Amaworo Wilson, author of ‘Damnificados’ and the Debut Fiction Awardee; Jacqueline Woodson author of ‘Another Brooklyn’ and Fiction Finalist; and Christina Sharpe author of ‘In The Wake: On Blackness and Being”, Nonfiction Finalist.
Under the leadership of executive Director Deborah Heard and Interim Chairperson Melanie Hatter, the Hurston Wright Legacy Awards have grown into The leading peer literary event of the year for Black writers and poets.