HARTFORD, CT – The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is delighted to honor Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. as the 2021 Stowe Prize winner. Glaude receives the award for Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own (Crown Publishing Group, 2020), a book that uses the life of James Baldwin to create dialogue about racial inequality in the United States. This year’s events will be both onsite and virtual.
The award will be presented on Thursday, September 23, 2021 on the Stowe Center grounds along with a rare look into the Stowe Center’s collections with Glaude, Director of Collections and Research Beth Burgess, and Professor Jeffrey Ogbar. The rain date is Friday, September 24. An exclusive audio conversation with Glaude and a special guest will premiere online on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 in the Harriet Beecher Stowe Multimedia Gallery. The Stowe Center is grateful for the continued support of The Hartford, this year’s Presenting Sponsor for Stowe Prize.
“I am honored and excited that Begin Again has been awarded the 2021 Stowe Prize,” said Glaude. “James Baldwin’s witness/work remains relevant for our challenging times. I tried to walk with him, to see with him, to shout with him in desperate hope that we might choose to be otherwise as a country. Thank you for recognizing the effort.”
“We are elated to have Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. be our 2021 Stowe Prize recipient,” said Briann Greenfield, the executive director of the Stowe Center. “We hope his participation can help others see racial inequality through a clearer lens and lead to conversation about change.”
About the Stowe Prize
The Stowe Prize recognizes the author of a distinguished book of general adult fiction or nonfiction whose written work illuminates a critical social issue in the tradition of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The winning book applies informed inquiry, is accessible and engaging to a wide audience, and promotes empathy and understanding. In making this award, the Stowe Center recognizes the value of diversity to strengthen our communities. Glaude is the seventh recipient of the Stowe Prize, following Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn in 2011 for Half the Sky, Michelle Alexander in 2013 for The New Jim Crow, Ta-Nehisi Coates in 2015 for The Case for Reparations, Bryan Stevenson in 2017 for Just Mercy, Matthew Desmond in 2018 for Evicted, and Albert Woodfox in 2020 for Solitary.
About Dr. Eddie Glaude and Begin Again
Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr. is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies, a program he first became involved with shaping as a doctoral candidate in Religion at Princeton. He is also a MSNBC contributor and a columnist for Time Magazine.
Glaude’s previous books have covered religion, philosophy, and the difficulties of race in the United States.
Glaude’s most recent book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, examines the life of writer and activist James Baldwin while connecting his work to present-day issues of being Black in America and racial inequality. The book examines what Glaude views as America’s past unsuccessful opportunities to rectify these issues.
His most well-known books include, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America, and Exodus!: Race and Nation in Early 19th Century Black America, which was awarded the Modern Language Association’s William Sanders Scarborough Book Prize.
Praise for Begin Again:
“In this searing, provocative, and ultimately hopeful book, Eddie Glaude Jr. takes us on a fascinating journey through the mind and heart of James Baldwin…One need not to agree with everything in these pages to learn much from them, and for Americans seeking to understand our past, our present, and the possible futures before us, Begin Again challenges, illuminates, and points us toward, if not a more perfect union, at least a more just one.”
– Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America
“How often, amid the ongoing violence and division of our current chapter of American history, have I been made to recall not only the piercing brilliance of James Baldwin but also this discomfiting prescience? The magic of Begin Again is that it allows us to ponder Baldwin in his perilous era and in our own. Remarkable, and remarkably relevant.”
– Tracy K. Smith, author of Life on Mars, Pulitzer Prize Winner
The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is a museum, research library, and program center in Hartford, Connecticut. The Stowe Center’s mission is to preserve and interpret Stowe’s Hartford home and the center’s historic collections, promote vibrant discussion of her life and work, and inspire commitment to social justice and positive change. For general information and updates about the 2021 Stowe Prize, visit www.HarrietBeecherStoweCenter.org.