Saturday, May 4, 2013

Vicki Crawford is Newest Juror for Lillian Smith Book Awards

The Southern Regional Council (SRC), founded in 1919 to combat racial injustice, established the Lillian Smith Book Awards in 1966 to recognize writing which extends the legacy of the outspoken writer who challenged all Americans on issues of social and racial justice.

Since 2004 the awards have been presented by SRC in a partnership with the University of Georgia Libraries, whose Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library houses a historic collection of Lillian Smith's letters and manuscripts. Since 2007 this partnership has also included Georgia Center for the Book, and the awards ceremony is now presented on the Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend as part of the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, Georgia. Excerpts from previous awards ceremonies may be viewed through the links on this page and through the Video Bar.

Thirty-nine books have been nominated for the 2013 awards, which will be presented in a ceremony to be held at the DeKalb County Public Library on Sunday, September 1st.

Joining the jury this year is Dr. Vicki Crawford.  Dr. Crawford is an educational administ rator and scholar of the African American freedom struggle. She is an editor of the groundbreaking volume of essays, Women in the Civil Rights Movement: Trailblazers and Torchbearers which was one of the first collections published in the early 1990s to address the underrepresented role of women in the Civil Rights Movement. Her scholarship also includes a number of book chapters and essays such as “African American Women in the Twenty-First Century: The Continuing Challenge,” in the American Woman 2000; several entries in Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia as well as a book chapter in Sisters in the Struggle: Women in the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Her background and interest in public history have led to numerous seminar and workshop presentations for middle and high school teachers, notably her work with the Atlanta History Center to develop a Teaching Tour of the Civil Rights Movement, seminar at Washington University for the St. Louis Consolidated School District and a workshop for the History Teachers’ Alliance at Furman University. Dr. Crawford has traveled throughout the south extensively where she interviewed some of the Civil Rights Movement’s most notable grassroots activists. As a trained oral historian, she has organized workshops on community oral history and assisted in curating exhibitions. Also, she is a frequent speaker for public programs, having interviewed Dr. John Hope Franklin at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta and Dr. Dorothy Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women for large public audiences.

Dr. Crawford received her Ph.D. degree from Emory University in the field of American Studies with a concentration in twentieth century African American history. Following this, she completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship as a Carolina Minority Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In 1992, she was selected as a Harvard Administrative Fellow where she worked in the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College. She has been on the faculties at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the State University of West Georgia and Clark Atlanta University. She has received teaching awards such as the distinguished Lilly Teaching Fellowship Award at the University of Massachusetts and the Vulcan Award for Teaching Excellence at Clark Atlanta University. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dr. Crawford traveled to Ghana and Cameroon, West Africa and participated in the Brethren Colleges Abroad Program to Cuba. Dr. Crawford has a passion for undergraduate teaching and is very interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the humanities. She has served as a grant reviewer for both the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also, she served as an historical advisor and conducted interviews for a documentary on Women in the Civil Rights Movement for the National Education Association (NEA).
In addition to her scholarly expertise, Dr. Crawford has spent ten years as an academic administrator and has sought to enhance her administrative skills through participation in the American Council on Education’s National Leadership Forum for Women Administrators. Currently, she is Director of the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection where she is developing campus-based programming in support of the Collection and creating opportunities for teaching, research and scholarship that promote the legacy of Dr. King.

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