Boston—Three prominent scholars widely recognized for their work as authors, historians and academics have been named jurors for the 2018 Museum of African American History (MAAH) Stone Book Award, which will honor non-fiction literature that celebrates African American History and Culture. The first MAAH Stone Book Award, which includes a $25,000 prize, will be presented on September 13 at the African Meeting House in Boston, a designated National Historic Landmark, and one of MAAH’s properties.

After careful consideration and review, Jarvis R. Givens, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Allyson Hobbs, PhD, Associate Professor of United States History and Director, African and African American Studies at Stanford; and Dana Williams, PhD, Professor and Chair, Howard University Department of English will select one title from a diverse group of 34 books which have been nominated for the inaugural MAAH Stone Book Award.

The award was established in partnership with longtime benefactor, the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, whose mission is to promote a more knowledgeable and inclusive society with an emphasis on education, science, biodiversity, urban sustainability and the mitigation of economic inequality. Cathleen Douglas Stone currently serves as the MAAH board chair.

In addition, eight individuals representing the philanthropic, publishing and higher education sectors will support the MAAH Stone Book Award as members of its honorary committee. Professor Sara Lawrence Lightfoot of the Harvard Graduate School of Education will chair the committee. She is joined by A’Lelia Bundles, Trustee, Columbia University; Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Harvard University Department of History; Paula Johnson, President, Wellesley College; Suzanne Nossel, CEO, PEN America; Cathleen Douglas Stone, President, James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation; Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation; and John Taylor “Ike” Williams, Director, Kneerim & Williams Literary & Dramatic Rights Agency.

According to Marita Rivero, the Museum’s Executive Director, the award will underscore the often overlooked historic significance of the African American experience and its impact here in the United States and around the globe. “Like our collection and our many programs and exhibits, the MAAH Stone Book Award will showcase and commemorate the countless contributions of generations of African Americans and those who shared their fight to end slavery, racial discrimination and segregation. With the help of our esteemed jury, an engaged honorary committee and our many supporters, this exciting new initiative has the potential to grow and change in the years to come. ”


The Museum of African American History (MAAH) inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African American descent and those who found common cause with them in their quest for freedom and justice.  By preserving, conserving and interpreting its extensive collection of fine art, artifacts and archeological treasures, MAAH provides the foundation for its many programs and exhibits which tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century. The Museum is home to two historic properties on Boston’s Beacon Hill, the African Meeting House and the Abiel Smith School.  In addition, the MAAH also owns five historic properties on Nantucket. MAAH offerings include Black Heritage Trails® located in Boston and on Nantucket. Exhibits, programs, and educational activities showcase the powerful stories of black families who worshipped, educated their children, debated the issues of the day, produced great art, organized politically and advanced the cause of freedom. For more information, please visit