Main content
Emory sociologist Karida L. Brown wins NAACP Image Award
Karida Brown and Charly Palmer

Emory professor Karida L. Brown (left) has won an NAACP Image Award for “The New Brownies’ Book,” a nonfiction anthology she authored with her husband, artist Charly Palmer.

Emory University sociologist Karida L. Brown has been honored with an NAACP Image Award in nonfiction for her anthology, “The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter to Black Families.”

Fellow Emory sociologist Alyasah Sewell is among the contributors to the book, which Brown assembled with her husband, artist Charly Palmer, as a reimagined, updated take on the first periodical for Black children created by W.E.B. Du Bois.

“Du Bois knew, just like we know, how much representation matters. We are not meant to be in a box,” Brown says in a recent Emory Magazine article about the book. “We can be anything and everything.”

Brown first mentioned the idea for the book to Palmer in 2017. In 2020, during the claustrophobia of the pandemic and the racial reckoning that summer, Brown and Palmer finally knew they were ready to act on her idea. “We decided we were the ‘someones’ to do the Brownies’ Book,” says Palmer.

Published last fall, the collection mixes material from the original “The Brownies’ Book” magazine that Du Bois created in 1920 with new essays, poems, comics and other content from Black authors and artists that honor and celebrate the Black family and experience.

Like its predecessor, “The New Brownies’ Book: A Love Letter to Black Families” is a compendium of Black achievement and creativity as well as a springboard for addressing issues germane to Black children. To do so, it reprises timeless material from the original as well as introducing far-ranging new content. Palmer and Brown describe it as “a living, breathing mosaic of dreams, aspirations and boundless potential.”

Fifty contributors fill 10 chapters organized around topics such as “Family Ties,” “She’roes” and “Living and Dying.”

“Karida Brown and Charly Palmer have edited and organized a spectacular volume, one that honors both the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois and celebrates the voices and experiences of the volume’s contributors,” said Timothy Dowd, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, when Brown was nominated for the award. “‘The New Brownies Book’ will be impactful for families, students and scholars alike.”

This Image Award is the first for Emory faculty since 2019, when Emory English professor Tayari Jones won for her novel, “An American Marriage.”

Carol Anderson, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of African American Studies, was a finalist in 2019 for “We Are Not Yet Equal,” the young adult adaptation of her book “White Rage,” which won the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

The Image Awards celebrate the achievements of people of color in more than 90 categories. The book award winners were among those announced in virtual ceremonies earlier this week.

The full awards show will be broadcast live on BET and CBS Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m. EDT. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the iconic awards.

The story behind ‘A Love Letter to Black Families’

More than 100 years in the making, “The New Brownies Book: A Love Letter to Black Families” celebrates Black creativity and furthers the legacy of W.E.B. DuBois. Read more in Emory Magazine about the book’s origins and its impact.

Read the article

Recent News