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: When the Bough Breaks: The Cost of Neglecting Our Children by Sylvia Ann Hewlett
From the author of A Lesser Life, a compelling, meticulously researched study of the shocking plight of America's children--rich and poor. Hewlett demonstrates in detail exactly how the U.S. has fallen so far behind other countries in its commitment to children.
Honorable Mention: The Promised Land: The Great Black Migration and How It Changed America by Nicholas Lemann
A New York Times bestseller, the groundbreaking authoritative history of the migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. A definitive book on American history, The Promised Land is also essential reading for educators and policymakers at both national and local levels.
Special Recognition: Life in the Ghetto by Anika D. Thomas
A thirteen-year-old Black girl from Pittsburgh describes what it is like to grow up in a tough inner-city neighborhood