First African American to Receive Genius Award
Published By Sharon L. West on 2012-04-27 32 Views
The MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant is one of the most prestigious awards one can win for creative work. Twenty to Forty United States citizens that are considered promising in their fields by the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation are awarded this wonderful grant every year. Anyone can be awarded the award. There is no way to apply for the Genius Grant.
Awardees can be any age and n any field. The award is met to enhance the ability of the receiver to have funding to continue on their creative journey without being financially strapped while trying to pursue a creative career. To receive the award, your work must be considered dynamic.
The oldest person as of 2012 has been 82 years old and the youngest 18. The amount is a quarter of a million dollars, paid quarterly and for a period of 5 years. The one exceptional aspect of this award is that it can only be obtained by being nominated by an anonymous group of people who nominate to an anonymous group of people who donate money for this award. The process started around 2007.
Science Fiction writer Octavia E. Butler who died February 24, 2006 at the age of 36, became one of the 756 people to be offered this fellowship. She was the first African American to ever receive the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant. When looking for her work, one would do best to find it in African American literature. She has several books, short stories and novels she managed to have published. Probably due in part of her early death is why Ms. Butler is not recognized as being an exceptional writer of both fantasy and sci-fi type novels by today’s generation as readily.
The book Kindred is one of her most recognized piece. Nevertheless, she has won awards for various writings including receiving nomination for her book, Parable of the Sower for a Nebula for best novel. Ironically, she actually won the award for the sequel to that book, Parable of the Talents. African American female writer, Octavia E. Butler, was a bright young talent who has left a legacy of thought provoking books.
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© 2012 Sharon L. West.