The 2018 Lillian Smith Book Awards recognizing excellence in social justice writing, will be presented Sunday, Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. at the Decatur Library as part of the AJC/Decatur Book Festival.

James Forman, Yale law professor, and Nancy MacLean, history professor at Duke University, are this year's honorees.

The Southern Regional Council established the Lillian Smith award after Smith's 1966 death. Internationally acclaimed as author of the controversial novel, Strange Fruit (1944), Lillian Smith was the most outspoken of white, mid-20th century Southern writers on issues of social and racial injustice. Today the University of Georgia, the Georgia Center for the Book and Piedmont College join the SRC in presenting the awards. http://www.libs.uga.edu/hargrett/lilliansmith/index.html

Forman’s Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America examines how mass incarceration, which affects people of color disproportionately, stems from the war on crime that began in the 1970s and was supported by many African American leaders in the nation’s urban centers. MacLean’s Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America has roiled the far right with its look at the history behind the movement whose goal is to constrict the function of democratic governance.

A book signing will follow the ceremony. 

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