Lillian Smith Awards

Decatur Library presented by WABE

Sunday, 2:30-3:15

Authors James Forman, Jr. (Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America) and Nancy MacLean (Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America) will be honored as recipients of the 2018 Lillian Smith Book Awards. The University of Georgia Libraries sponsors the awards, in partnership with the Southern Regional Council, the Georgia Center for the Book and Piedmont College, to honor the social justice activist and highly-acclaimed author of Strange Fruit and Killers of the Dream.


James Forman, Jr.

James Forman Jr. is a professor of law at Yale Law School. He has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, numerous law reviews, and other publications. A former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, he spent six years as a public defender in Washington, D.C., where he co-founded the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.

Nancy MacLean

Nancy MacLean is the award-winning author of Behind the Mask of Chivalry (a New York Times "noteworthy" book of the year) and Freedom is Not Enough, which was called by the Chicago Tribune "contemporary history at its best." The William Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, she lives in Durham, North Carolina.


Charles S. Johnson

Charles S. Johnson is the President of the Southern Regional Council, which began the book awards following L. Smith's death. He is an attorney and community advocate. He practices at Holland and Knight, LLP located in Atlanta, GA. His areas of focus include business disputes and public policy. Mr. Johnson’s passion for equality and humane treatment for all people spurred his SRC involvement over a decade years ago. As Board President, Mr. Johnson’s commitment to SRC’s role in fighting for racial justice led him to initiate a 19 month reorganization resulting in a complete institutional assessment and comprehensive strategic plan.