This week is the The Cleveland Foundation's sixth annual Cleveland Book Week, showcasing present and past Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (AWBA) winners over the 86-year history of the award. Established in 1935 by Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf, these awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity. The week’s far-ranging programs will all have virtual options and nearly all are free to the community.
>> More about the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards
We have a good selection of Anisfield-Wolf Award winners right here at the Michael Schwarz Library, thanks in part to a 2020 Celebrating Ohio Book Awards & Authors (COBAA) grant from the State Library of Ohio, which we used to purchase 28 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winners not previously in our collection. A few of the additions to our collection made possible by this grant are listed below, but some 86 titles by a wide variety of authors are available for you to use and enjoy. Here's a representative sampling, followed by a complete list of our newer titles:
The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak
Publication Date: 2011-09-19
As an epigraph from The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois reminds us at the start of this novel, "Throughout history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness."Protagonist Theo Boykin is a genius, an artist, an inventor, a Leonardo DaVinci-type, whose talents are sought after by local blacks and whites alike, but even this is not enough to save him. He falls victim to "the tragedy of ignorance and the damage caused by fear," in the words of poet Rita Dove--the first African American to serve as U.S. Poet Laureate and a member of the jury that conferred on The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia the 2011 Anisfield-Wolf Award for books that "make a significant contribution to our understanding of racism and our appreciation for the diversity of human cultures."You won't forget Theo Boykin, nor will you forget his friends the Cailiffs, especially Gladys, who tells this story with love and bewilderment, and the teacher, Miss Spivey, who changes all their lives.
A COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS PURCHASED WITH THIS GRANT:
ANISFIELD-WOLF AWARD-WINNING BOOKS AT THE MICHAEL SCHWARTZ LIBRARY
ABOUT THE ANISFIELD-WOLF BOOK AWARDS
The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.
For 86 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. Past winners have presented the extraordinary art and culture of peoples around the world, explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice.
Originally sponsored by The Saturday Review, The Cleveland Foundation - the world’s first community foundation - has administered the Anisfield-Wolf prize since 1963.
More information at anisfield-wolf.org/