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Top Reparations Scholars Dr. Sandy Darity And Kirsten Mullen Win American Book Festival Award

Top Reparations Scholars Dr. Sandy Darity And Kirsten Mullen Win American Book Festival Award

Darity and Mullen

Top Reparations Scholars Dr. Sandy Darity And Kirsten Mullen Win American Book Festival Award. Photo by Justin B. Cook, photo provided

Top reparations scholars Dr. Sandy Darity and A. Kirsten Mullen have won the 2021 American Book Festival Best Book Award in the Social Change category for their comprehensive reparations tome, “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

“From Here to Equality” was published April 20, 2020, by ‎the University of North Carolina Press and makes the most comprehensive case to date for economic reparations for U.S. descendants of slavery, according to the University of North Carolina Press website. The book calculates the costs of federal reparations using “innovative methods” that assign a monetary value to historical wrongs.

The book begins with an assessment of the intergenerational effects of white supremacy on Black economic well-being. Then Darity and Mullen look to the past and the present to measure the inequalities “borne of slavery.”

Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. Mullen is a writer, folklorist, museum consultant, and lecturer whose work focuses on race, art, history, and politics.

The American Book Festival is in its 19th year. This is the fifth anniversary of the awards, which cover books from all sections of the publishing industry—mainstream, independent, and self-published.

“The 2021 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the United States. Our success begins with the enthusiastic participation of authors and publishers and continues with our distinguished panel of industry judges who bring to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise,” said Jeffrey Keen, president and CEO of the American Book Fest, in an online statement.


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Darity tweeted news of the award. “@IrstenKMullen and I are thrilled to learn that From Here to Equality (#FHTE) has won the 2021 American Book Fest Award in the Social Change Category. Thanks to our publisher, @UNC_Press, for their support.”

The announcement got congratulatory tweets. “Congratulations! to Dr. Sandy Darity and Kirsten Mullen authors of #FHTE for winning the 2021 American Book Fest Award in the Social Change Category. Their tome is the most comprehensive proposal for #purereparations to date. It is a must-read for serious minded reparationist,” Slave-Bay-Bee @Coachernest1215 tweeted.

“From Here to Equality” won several other awards including the inaugural 2021 Association for the Study of African American Life and History Book Prize. It also received the prestigious 2020 Ragan Old North State Award for Non-fiction from the North Carolina Literary and Historical and the 2021 Lillian Smith Book Award.

Darity and Mullen are scheduled to speak about reparations for African and Japanese Americans at the University of Southern California (USC) Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture on Feb. 3. Entitled “From Japanese American Redress to Black Reparations: A Conversation with John Tateishi and William Darity/A. Kirsten Mullen,” the webinar can be accessed on Zoom from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 3.

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