Dr. William Darity And Kirsten Mullen Win The 2021 ASALH Book Prize For Reparations Work, ‘From Here To Equality’

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
William Darity And Kirsten Mullen
Dr. William Darity And Kirsten Mullen Win The 2021 ASALH Book Prize For Reparations Work, ‘From Here To Equality’. Photo By: Justin B. Cook.

Husband and wife duo Dr. William Darity and Kirsten Mullen have won the ASALH Book Prize for their reparations work, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

An acronym for the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, ASALH’s missions “is to promote, research, preserve, interpret and disseminate information about Black life, history and culture to the global community.”

Darity and Mullen are among the top contemporary reparations scholars. Published in 2020, From Here to Equality makes a compelling case for reparations by highlighting the impact not only slavery, but legal segregation, Jim Crow laws and longstanding racism and discrimination has had on Black Americans.

From Here To Equality was announced as the winner on Wednesday, Feb. 10 as a part of the non-profit’s 95th Black History Celebration, under the theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.” This is the inaugural year for the prize which highlights ‘outstanding educators and authors” by recognizing “an outstanding book in the field of African American history and culture.”

This is not the first award the book has won. It was also named the winner of the 2020 Sam Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction.

“We must emphasize that the case for reparations that we make in the pages of ‘From Here to Equality’ is not limited to slavery. Indeed we must place on the account for the debt that is owed to Black American descendants of U.S. slavery in addition the nearly century-long period of legal segregation in the United States American apartheid or what we refer to colloquially as the Jim Crow era,” Darity said during that acceptance speech.

The other finalists for the ASLAH prize included: Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Gross for “A Black Women’s History of the United States;” Aston Gonzalez for “Visualizing Equality: African American Rights and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century;” Shana Redmond for “Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson;” and Quito Swan for “Pauulu’s Diaspora: Black Internationalism and Environment Justice.”

On its website ASALH wrote its book prize committee “is interested in monographs that model rigorous and imaginative approaches to this field of study; books that are beautifully written; books that have clear implications for how we teach and represent specific aspects of African American history and culture; books that have the capacity to introduce important aspects of African American experiences to broad publics; books that use sharp analyses of African American history and culture to speak boldly to the contemporary moment; books that engage new and/or previously underutilized archives; and books that use particular experiences in African American history and culture to illuminate universal aspects of the human experience.”

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Twitter users congratulated Dr. William Darity and Kirsten Mullen on a well-deserved win, with one noting the book proves the claim America owes Black Americans a debt.

“This book deserves that and so much more. Congrats!” wrote user @NathaniNoShame. “You know what? You are right. It is up to us to prove the claim. And you know what? The claim has already been proven. Read ‘From Here to Equality,’” user @camglamming wrote.