Carol Anderson, an Emory historian, has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism for her book, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide,”(Bloomsbury, $26).
The book, a New York Times bestseller, examines the policies that have disenfranchised African Americans such as changes to voting laws and aggressive policing.
“One of the ways white rage works is it cloaks itself in this beautiful, rhapsodic language of democracy,” said Anderson in an interview with the AJC. “We are protecting the integrity of the ballot box. We are providing law and order. But when you strip back those slogans, what you see is the way the policy is designed to undercut (minority enfranchisement).”
Anderson is currently the Charles Howard Candler Professor and chair of African American Studies at Emory University.
She is also the author of “Eye off the Prize: The United Nations and African American Struggle for Human Rights, 1944-1955,” (Cambridge University Press). “White Rage” is her first trade book and the first time she was up for an NBCC award.
The author joins a prestigious group of award recipients including Louise Erdich whose 15th novel took an award this year more than 30 years after she won an NBCC award for her first novel. Yaa Gyasi won the John Leonard First Book Prize for “Homegoing,” (Knopf, $27) and Canadian writer Margaret Atwood took the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 16 novels, works of nonfiction, short stories, poems and more.
The NBCC described Anderson’s “White Rage” as “a searing critic of white America’s systematic resistance to African American achievement.”
Anderson said she is pleased that her work has been read and appreciated by a wide range of readers.