The US National Book Awards 2020 were announced over a few days this past week. Here are the African American nominees.

The US National Book Foundation presents the National Book Awards and two-lifetime achievement awards to authors every November. The awards are handed out in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature, and young people’s literature.

The nominees for 2020 were announced in the different categories and the African Americans on the list are;


  • Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half
  • Randall Kenan, If I Had Two Wings
  • Deesha Philyaw, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies


  • Les Payne and Tamara Payne, The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X
  • Jerald Walker, How to Make a Slave and Other Essays
  • Frank B. Wilderson III, Afropessimism


  • Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Travesty Generator
  • Tommye Blount, Fantasia for the Man in Blue
  • Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Age of Phillis

Young People’s

  • Kacen Callender, King and the Dragonflies
  • Evette Dionne, Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box
  • Candice Iloh, Every Body Looking
  • Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, When Stars Are Scattered

The winners will be revealed at the National Book Awards ceremony and benefit dinner on November 18, 2020.