When the Alphabet Comes: A Life Changed by Exposurewritten by Jerome Allen, published by Nobel and Arch (2019), won Top Title for Advocacy and Social Justice.

An in-depth look at how the legendary basketball great Jerome Allen shares the timeline that counts down from his federal charges and conviction due to the Varsity Blue college admissions scandal as head coach of the Men’s Basketball team at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018.  Before involving himself in a bribery deal to secure the admissions into his university by-way-of the men’s basketball team, Allen’s integrity could not be matched. After the scandal broke, however, Allen’s action:  put the basketball program on a two-year probationary ban; cost him his position as head coach at UPenn; and banned him from actively participating in any NCAA affiliated basketball program until the year 2035.  Allen uses this autobiographical narrative as an opportunity to provide guide posts to those who need to find a pathway out of the shame and despair into the triumph. The committee strongly believes this memoir serves as a strong tool of advocacy against the ways in which “entitlement, privilege and status obsession is used by the wealthy to manipulate the odds” for getting their children into some of this nation’s most elite colleges.  Carnesi adds that readers can’t help but “wonder how such pre-pandemic behavior would be received had the exposure occurred during the pandemic, and whether our nation’s post-pandemic mindset will abide with such blatant acts.”

INTO THE STREETS: A Young Person’s Visual History of Protest in the United States Illustrated Edition). February 2020. Archala. $19.99. Paperback. 176 pages. 9781684154791. Young Adult. This title introduces readers to Frank Smith AKA Big Black, the inmate who was a central figure in the 1971 Attica prison revolt. Although his major job during the uprising was to protect hostages, prisoners, and negotiators, it was to no avail when state troopers finally stormed the site shooting and killing innocents. When prison guards regained control of the facility, they mercilessly brutalized Big Black due to false assumptions that led them to believe he was the ring leader of the uprising. Big Black spent nearly 30 years filing liable suits for restitution. In the year 2000, he won a $12 million settlement for himself and all the other inmates who were falsely charged for encouraging the incident.

Johnson, Antonio. YOU NEXT: Reflections in Black Barber Shops. September 2020. Lawrence Hill. $26.99. Hardback. 240 pages. 9781641602853. Young Adult. Historically, black men have systemically been weakened as figureheads of authority in their households and communities. Such a separations made them inadequate in the role as protectors, advisors, and providers. In You Next: Reflections in Black Barbershops the readers are presented with intimate pictorial accounts of the ways in which Black barber shops historically fill in the gap operating as sites for the cultivation of Black male identity and wellness.