Dr. Keisha N. Blain Nominated for Two Book Awards for her Biography on Fannie Lou Hamer
24 Jan 2022
New York Times bestselling author and award-winning historian Dr. Keisha N. Blain has just been nominated for an NAACP Image Award and selected as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for her latest book, Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America.
Recognized as the nation's preeminent multicultural awards show from an African-American perspective, the NAACP Image Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts and those who promote social justice through their creative work.
The National Book Critics Circle annually bestows its awards in six categories, honoring the best books published in the past year in the United States. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the publishing industry.
Blain’s biography of Hamer brings the story of the Black civil rights activist to life in rich and heartwarming detail. A sharecropper’s daughter, Hamer grew up in the Mississippi Delta. At the age of 44, she officially joined the civil rights movement after attending a rally and realizing she had the right to vote. She became an advocate for Black voting rights and spent her life fighting for the cause. Despite being beaten, jailed, shot at and verbally abused, Hamer never gave up. In later years, she founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative to empower Black sharecroppers and tenant farmers.
Blain situates Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe.
Called one of the most innovative and influential young historians of her generation, Blain examines the dynamics of race, gender and politics from both national and global perspectives.
In addition to Until I’m Free, Blain is also the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019, edited with Ibram X. Kendi; and Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom, which won the First Book Award from the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians and the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians.
She is the co-editor of To Turn the Whole World Over: Black Women and Internationalism; New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition; and Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence.