African, African American writers and poets featured in the finalists’ lists of the US NAACP Image Awards 2021 announced on February 4, 2021.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States aimed at advancing justice for African Americans founded by a group including W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington, Moorfield Storey and Ida B. Wells in 1909. One of its most recognisable activities are its image awards where the highest achieving Black people are awarded in a variety of fields since 1967.

The finalists for the 2021 edition of the awards have been revealed and in the literary section there following are in the running;

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – FICTION

  • Black Bottom Saints, Alice Randall, Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers
  • Lakewood, Megan Giddings, Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers
  • Riot Baby, Tochi Onyebuchi, TorDotCom Publishing, imprint of Tom Doherty Associates
  • The Awkward Black Man, Walter Mosley, Grove Atlantic
  • The Vanishing Half, Brit Bennett, Riverhead Books

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – NON-FICTION

  • A Black Women’s History of the United States, Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross, Beacon Press
  • A Promised Land, Barack Obama, Crown
  • Driving While Black, Gretchen Sorin, W. W. Norton & Company
  • Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America, Michael Eric Dyson, St. Martin’s Press We’re
  • Better Than This, Elijah Cummings, Harper/HarperCollins Publishers

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – DEBUT AUTHOR

  • A Knock at Midnight, Brittany Barnett, Penguin Random House
  • Greyboy: Finding Blackness in a White World, Cole Brown, Skyhorse
  • Lakewood, Megan Giddings, Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers
  • The Compton Cowboys, Walter Thompson-Hernandez, William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers
  • We’re Better Than This, Elijah Cummings, Harper/HarperCollins Publishers

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – BIOGRAPHY/ AUTOBIOGRAPHY

  • A Promised Land, Barack Obama, Crown
  • A Most Beautiful Thing: The True Story of America’s First All-Black High School Rowing Team, Arshay Cooper Macmillan
  • Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, Deborah Draper Simon & Schuster
  • The Dead Are Arising, Les Payne, Tamara Payne W. W. Norton & Company
  • Willie: The Game-Changing Story of the NHL’s First Black Player, Willie O’Ree Penguin Canada

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – POETRY

  • Homie, Danez Smith Graywolf Press
  • Kontemporary Amerikan Poetry, John Murillo Four Way Books
  • Seeing the Body, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, W. W. Norton & Company
  • The Age of Phillis, Honorée Jeffers, Wesleyan University Press
  • Un-American, Hafizah Geter Wesleyan University Press

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – CHILDREN

  • I Promise, LeBron James, Nina Mata HarperCollins
  • Just Like a Mama Alice Faye Duncan, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, Simon & Schuster
  • Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice, Nikki Grimes, Laura Freeman, Simon & Schuster
  • She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm, Katheryn Russell-Brown, Eric Velasquez Lee & Low Books
  • The Secret Garden of George Washington Carver, Gene Barretta, Frank Morrison HarperCollins

OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK – YOUTH/TEENS

  • Before the Ever After, Jacqueline Woodson Penguin Random
  • House Black Brother, Black Brother, Jewell Parker Rhodes Hachette Book Group
  • Dear Justyce, Nic Stone Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning, Jason Reynolds Hachette Book Group
  • This is Your Time, Ruby Bridges Delacorte Books for Young Readers

You can check out all the nominees in the running by clicking here.

The winner of the awards will be announced on March 27, 2021.