Professor Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s Black Lives Matter Book Awarded Lannan Cultural Freedom Award

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation Receives Lannan Cultural Freedom Especially Notable Book Award

Princeton University Professor of African American Studies Dr. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Authored the Groundbreaking Black Lives Matter Study

Published by Haymarket Books, February 2016

SANTE FE, NEW MEXICO – The Board of Directors of Lannan Foundation announces the winner of this year’s Cultural Freedom Especially Notable Book AwardFrom #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, written by Princeton University professor and activist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and published by Haymarket Books.

Established in 2014, the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for An Especially Notable Book honors nonfiction works of particular relevance to the current historical moment. The award recognizes writers whose work is of notable scholarly or journalistic quality, and also has purpose in providing ideological tools to inform and support struggles for cultural freedom and social, economic, and racial justice. 

With a $50,000 prize in 2016, the award is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and internationally.

Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Philosophy at Union Theological Seminary, writes that “Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor has emerged as the most sophisticated and courageous radical intellectual of her generation” and that her “brilliant” book “is the best analysis we have of the #BlackLivesMatter moment of the long struggle for freedom in America.” 

“Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor offers us necessary reading in difficult times. Her book provides historical context and analytical rigor for understanding the movement for Black lives, one of the most dynamic political forces of the day,” said Patrick Lannan, president of Lannan Foundation. 

In From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistent structural inequality, including mass incarceration, housing discrimination, police violence, and unemployment. She argues that the emerging struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader movement for Black liberation.

First published in February 2016, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation is now in its fourth printing and has been highlighted as a must-read by The GuardianBoston GlobeLos Angeles Review of BooksLe Monde Diplomatique, and The Root, among others. The book has been assigned in college classes nationwide, including at Brown University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, New York University, University of Southern California, and Yale University. 

“I’m deeply appreciative and grateful to Lannan Foundation for this award,” said Taylor. “It shows that there is a receptive audience for honest and forceful writing about racism and injustice. The movement has opened up that space and this recognition for my book validates it.”

To speak with Lannan Foundation about the award, please contact Sarah Knopp, Director, Cultural Freedom Program, at 505-986-8160 or

To speak with author Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor or to request a review copy of the book, please contact Jim Plank, Publicity, Haymarket Books, at 207-632-0701 or

If you would like to publish a photo of Professor Taylor, please use this black & white head shot and credit photographer Don Usner. 


Usner Keeanga 2Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is Assistant Professor in African American Studies at Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. in African American Studies at Northwestern University. Professor Taylor writes on Black politics, social movements, and racial inequality in the United States. Her articles have been published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black PoliticsCulture and SocietyJacobinNew PoliticsThe GuardianNew RepublicMs. Magazine, and other publications.  

 From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation is her first book. She is currently working on a second manuscript, titled Race for Profit: Black Housing and the Urban Crisis in the 1970s, under contract with the University of North Carolina Press in their Justice, Power and Politics series. This book will at U.S. housing policy in the late 1960s and 1970s and its unintended consequence of reinforcing residential segregation and housing inequality.


Lannan Foundation is a family foundation dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity, and creativity through projects that support exceptional contemporary artists and writers, as well as inspired Native activists in rural indigenous communities.