The 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award was given to Philip Dray for At the Hands of a Person Unknown: The Lynching of Black America and Samantha Power for A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. In At the Hands of a Person Unknown, Dray examines one of the ugliest chapters in American history: the lynching of black Americans that was rampant from the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. In A Problem From Hell, Power offers a damning and agonizing portrait of the failure of American officials to intervene in the worst genocides of the 20th century.
Philp Dray is an independent author and journalist whose books include Capitol Men and There Is Power In a Union. He has received the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Samantha Power is the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet. Prior to serving as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Power served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights on the National Security Staff at the White House.Before joining the U.S. government, Ambassador Power was the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, teaching courses on U.S. foreign policy, human rights, and UN reform. She was also the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.