Vincent Brown, Jessica Marie Johnson, and Marjoleine Kars are finalists for the Frederick Douglass Book Prize 2021 announced on August 2, 2021

The Frederick Douglass Book Prize recognizes the best book written in English on slavery, resistance, and/or abolition published in the preceding year in the United States. The prize worth $25,000 to the winner, one of the most coveted awards for the study of the African American experience, was first handed out it 1999. Some of the previous winners have been Tiya Miles, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Christopher Leslie Brown.

Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition announced the finalists for this year’s edition of the prize on August 2. A jury of scholars that included Joseph P. Reidy (Chair), Professor Emeritus at Howard University, Marlene Daut of the University of Virginia, and Matthew S. Hopper of California Polytechnic State University selected the finalists from a field of 85 nominations. They are;

  • Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) – Vincent Brown’s impeccably researched “Tacky’s Revolt” follows and expands on his already pivotal digital project “Slave Revolt in Jamaica, 1760-1761.”
  • Jessica Marie Johnson, Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World (University of Pennsylvania Press) – Jessica Marie Johnson’s “Wicked Flesh” powerfully shifts our understanding of slavery, intimacy, and freedom in the Atlantic world.
  • Marjoleine Kars, Blood on the River: A Chronicle of Mutiny and Freedom on the Wild Coast (The New Press) – In “Blood on the River,” Marjoleine Kars treats the 1763-64 rebellion of enslaved Africans in the Dutch colony of Berbice with striking originality.

The winner will be announced following the Douglass Prize Review Committee meeting in the fall, and the award will be presented at a celebration in New York City in February, 2022.