The Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards has announced the 2019 nominees for its prestigious prize.

According to categories, they are:


  • “Friday Black” – Nana Kwame Adjei–Brenyah (Mariner, A Houghton Harcourt imprint)
  • “A Lucky Man” – Jamel Brinkley (Graywolf Press)
  • “Brother” – David Chariandy (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • “Washington Black” – Esi Edugyan (Alfred E Knopf)
  • “She Would Be King” – Wayetu Moore
  • “Heads of the Coloured People” – Nafissa Thompson (37 ink/Atria, a Simon & Schuster imprint)


  • “Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster” – Stephen L Carter (Henry and Company)
  • “Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower” – Brittney Cooper (St Martin’s Press).
  • “Tigerland: 1968-1969 A City Divided, A Nation Torn Apart, and A Magical Season of Healing” – Wil Haygood (Alfrd E Knopf).
  • “Heavy: An American Memoir” – Kiese Laymon (Scribner, a Simon and Schuster imprint).
  • “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke” – Jeffrey C Stewart (Oxford University Presss).


  • “Approaching The Fields” – Chanda Feldman (Louisiana State University Press).
  • “Divida” – Monica A. Hand (Alice James Books)
  • “American Sonnets For My Past and Future Assassin” – Terrance Hayes (Penguin Books, a Penguin Random House imprint).
  • Mend” – Kwoya Faign Maples (University Press of Kentucky)
  • “Crosslight for Youngbird” – Asiya Wadud (Nightboat Books)

Established in 2001, The Hurston/Wright Foundation Legacy Awards was named after Black American writers; Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright. The Award honours best Black literature in the United States and around the globe.

Previous winners include: Alain Mabanckou (2018 – Black Moses), Colson Whitehead (2017 – The Underground Railroad),NoViolet Bulawayo (2014 – We Need New Names), Uwem Akpan (2009 – Say you’re One of Them), Aminatta Forna (2007 – Ancestor Stones), Chris Abani (2005 – Graceland) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2004).
Winners of the various categories will be announced at a ceremony in Washington DC on October 18, 2019.