‘The Butler’ Author Wil Haygood Wins Prestigious Book Award : NPR

DAYTON, Ohio – Writer Wil Haygood, author of several non-fiction books chronicling the lives of 20th-century Black Americans, including the butlerwon a prestigious literary prize.

The Dayton Peace Literary Prize announced Wednesday that Haygood — himself a native of Columbus, Ohio — will receive the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Achievement Award.

“For three decades, Haygood has captured the sweep of American culture, focusing on the rarely or never told stories of the black experience with the analysis this nation desperately needs,” said Sharon Rab, Founder and President. of the Dayton Literary Peace. Prize Foundation.

Haywood’s book the butler is based on the life of Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents in the White House. It was adapted into a 2013 film starring Forest Whitaker.

His other works include Strong testabout the nomination battle Thurgood Marshall faced before becoming the first black justice on the United States Supreme Court, and Colorizationa century-old look at the lives of black actors, writers and directors in Hollywood.

The Literary Prize is inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia and celebrates the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and understanding.

Haygood will receive the award Nov. 13 from Dayton native Clarence Page, Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, reporter, and Chicago Tribune editorial board member.

Lola R. McClure