The Africana Studies Department awards three prizes in the spring.
They are funded by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Fund. An amount of $200 will be awarded for each prize. The prizes are: the Ella Smith Elbert '88, the Fannie Lou Hamer and the Zora Neale Hurston Prizes.
Ella Smith Elbert, '88 Prize for Juniors
This prize will be awarded for the best essay, article or research paper submitted by a junior. The submission may be written during the entrant's undergraduate career. Whether it was originally written as a piece of class work or not is immaterial. Previously published as well as unpublished writings are eligible. Works must not exceed 35 typed pages and must be on a topic relevant to Africana Studies. No prize will be awarded in any year in which any entries fail to meet an acceptable standard.
Fannie Lou Hamer Prize for Freshmen and Sophomores
This prize will be awarded for the best essay, article or research paper submitted by a first-year or sophomore. Conditions are the same as for the Ella Smith Elbert '88 prize.
Zora Neale Hurston Prize for Seniors
This prize is awarded for the best essay, article, or research paper submitted by a senior on a topic relevant to Africana Studies. This prize is in memory of Zora Neale Hurston, an author, anthropologist, and folklorist. Zora Neale Hurson is considered one of the preeminent writers of twentieth century African American literature. Hurston was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance and influenced such writers as Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Gayle Jones, Alice Walker and Toni Cade Bambara.