Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is an award-winning investigative reporter covering civil rights at ProPublica in New York City.

5.18.13 This year's Pulitzer in general non-fiction

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My boss Stephen Engelberg sits on the Pulitzer board. When earlier this year he told me about a must-read book I had a feeling it might take home the highest prize in literature. And so it did.

I just started reading Gilbert King's "Devil in the Grove" and I am already hooked. The subject matter is, of course, absolutely fascinating. But it is the writing that makes your eyes devour the page. 

I have read countless books on the Civil Rights Movement and its icons, but I was somewhat surprised when it struck me that I have never read a book on Thurgood Marshall. Just a few pages in I have already learned how little I know about this under-appreciated architect of the black struggle for equal rights. I can tell, it's not going to take me long to get through this one. 

5.5.13 Sonia Sotomayor: My Beloved World

I just finished reading Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's memoir. It was fantastic, mostly because she is unflinchingly honest. In doing so, this daughter of the Bronx and first Latino Supreme Court justice gives hope to kids growing up in housing projects and other struggling neighborhoods across the country that success won't come easily, but it can come. Even when few who cross your path believe it.

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On a side note, I saw Justice Sotomayor speak this week in NYC and she was exceptionally gracious. After her talk, many in the audience rushed the stage, hoping to touch her hand or be graced with a smile. And the woman who sits at the nation's highest court obliged. The event did not include a book signing, but Justice Sotomayor signed my book anyway. Classy. 

"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." Ida B. Wells, muckracking journalist.