Charlayne Hunter-Gault is Announced as Lifetime Achievement Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
04 Apr 2023
Award-winning journalist and author Charlayne Hunter-Gault was just honored by The Cleveland Foundation as one of the winners of its Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The award is the only national juried prize for literature that confronts racism and explores diversity. Hunter-Gault was recognized for her lifetime achievements.
Along with Hunter-Gault, who is an APB speaker, other recipients include Geraldine Brooks, Horse, Fiction; Lan Samantha Chang, The Family Chao, Fiction; Matthew F. Delmont, Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad, Nonfiction; and Saeed Jones, Alive at the End of the World,” Poetry.
Past winners include seven writers who later won Nobel prizes: Ralph J. Bunche, Nadine Gordimer, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, Gunnar Myrdal, Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott. They are among the 262 recipients of the prize.
Hunter-Gault, 81, made history and chronicled it as a journalist, author and lecturer. Alongside her high school classmate, Hamilton Holmes, she desegregated the University of Georgia in 1961 amid taunts, tear gas, vandalism and a riot. She graduated in 1963, embarking on a storied career in journalism that began at The New Yorker. She was the first Black writer for “Talk of the Town.”
The assassination of the Rev. Dr. King interrupted a brief stint in graduate school and led Hunter-Gault to join the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C. She then went on to The New York Times–establishing the paper’s Harlem bureau–and then PBS, where she won numerous Emmy and Peabody awards. Hunter-Gault became NPR’s chief correspondent in Africa and then CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief from 1999-2005. The following year, she published the book New News Out of Africa: Uncovering Africa’s Renaissance.
A Peabody citation declared that she “demonstrated a talent for ennobling her subjects, and revealed a depth of understanding of the African experience that was unrivaled in Western media.”
Hunter-Gault is a sought-after public speaker and holds some three dozen honorary degrees. She is married to businessman Ronald T. Gault and has two adult children, Suesan, an artist and singer, and Chuma, an actor and director.