Image The 1992 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was presented to Melissa Fay Greene for Praying for Sheetrock. Praying for Sheetrock is set in McIntosh County, an area in the backwoods of Georgia that somehow remained untouched by the nation-wide changes of the civil rights movement a decade befeore. Greene tells the story of one uneducated, unemployed black man, Thurnell Alston, who challenged the white sheriff and his courthouse gang, thereby changing the way of life in this community forever.

Melissa Fay Greene is an award-winning author and journalist whose writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, and Newsweek. She is also the author of Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster and the forthcoming There Is No Me Without You (Bloomsbury Press). She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Honorable Mention

Nicholas Lemann’s The Promised Land tells the story of the Great Migration--the transformative movement of five million African Americans from the rural South to the urban North between 1940 and 1970. The implications for Civil Rights, politics, and society, were enormous. 

Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s When the Bough Breaks is a pointed examination of the ways in which so many of America's children don't receive the education, housing, and care they need to lead successful lives.