Winners Announced for $25,000 Frederick Douglass Book Prize

November 17, 2010. New Haven, CT – Judith A. Carney, Siddharth Kara and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff have been selected as co-winners of the 2010 Frederick Douglass Book Prize, awarded for the best book written in English on slavery or abolition. Carney, professor of geography at UCLA, and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff, an independent writer, won for their book In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World (University of California Press). Kara, Fellow on Human Trafficking at Harvard University, won for his book Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (Columbia University Press).

The prize is awarded by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, based in New York. Carney, Kara and Rosomoff will share the $25,000 prize, which will be presented at a dinner in February 2011. The other finalist for the prize was Robert E. McGlone for his book John Brown’s War Against Slavery (Cambridge University Press).

This year’s finalists were selected from a field of nearly 100 entries by a jury of scholars that included Edward Ball, Jeffrey Ferguson and Martha Hodes. The winners were selected by a review committee of representatives from the Gilder Lehrman Center, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Yale University.

In the Shadow of Slavery tells the story of how enslaved Africans shaped and changed the landscape of the New World,” says Martha Hodes, the 2010 Douglass Prize Jury chair and professor of history at New York University. “Comprehensive and compelling, this is a work of truly global dimensions that narrates the ordeal of enslavement as a simultaneous story of food, memory, and survival.”

Kara’s book “carefully and compassionately convinces us to understand the phenomenon of modern-day human sex trafficking as part of the history of slavery and abolition,” Hodes also remarks. “Kara relates wrenching stories in lucid prose, thereby shedding a steady beam of light on a widespread and ongoing global crime.”

The Frederick Douglass Book Prize was established in 1999 to stimulate scholarship in the field of slavery and abolition by honoring outstanding books. The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the slave who escaped bondage to emerge as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers and orators of the 19th century.

The Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, a part of The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, was established in November 1998. Its mission is to promote the study of all aspects of slavery and its destruction. The Center seeks to foster an improved understanding of the role of slavery in the founding of the modern world by promoting interaction and exchange between scholars, teachers and public historians through publications, educational outreach, and other programs and events.

Link: Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

Contact Information:

Marilyn Wilkes

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale

(203) 432-3413