2020 Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Documentary Now Available To Stream

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From the Playhouse Square stage, Lillian Faderman began her acceptance of this year’s nonfiction award with a story of how she discovered she won. After Faderman received an email from jury chair Henry Louis Gates requesting her phone number, her wife Phyllis Irwin remarked that he must be soliciting support for the Hilary Clinton campaign.

Neither considered that he would be reaching out to tell her she had won this year’s Anisfield-Wolf prize for The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle. The skepticism was appropriate, Faderman remarked: “In the past, writers of LGBTQ history have seldom been recognized outside of our community as worthy of awards. So I’m doubly grateful to the AW jury for believing the time has come to regard LGBTQ history as part of American history.” 

As is our tradition, we interview each of our winners prior to the busyness of the evening to get their quiet thoughts on what being recognized means to them. Here is Faderman’s reflection on what the award means to her:

Lillian Faderman, 2016 winner for nonfiction from Anisfield Wolf on Vimeo.

Following in our tradition, each of our winners will speak at the awards ceremony, and each will talk and read separately in a second, more intimate setting in Northeast Ohio. Mark your calendars and make plans to join us in September for a string of these illuminating events, designed to bring readers and winners into each other’s orbits.

Orlando Patterson, Lifetime Achievement
“What Have We learned About Culture, Disadvantage and Black Youth?”
Baker-Nord Center
Wednesday, September 14
4:30-6 p.m.

Mary Morris, The Jazz Palace
South Euclid-Lyndhurst Branch, along with jazz pianist Jackie Warren and jazz trumpeter Kenny Davis
Cuyahoga County Public Library
Wednesday, September 14
4-5:30 p.m.

Lillian Faderman, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle
“A Very Long and (Almost) Victorious Battle: The Struggle for Gay Civil Rights”
The City Club of Cleveland
Friday, September 16, noon
Register here

Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Planetarium
Friday, September 16
3:30 p.m.

Brian Seibert, What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing
Beck Center for the Arts
Friday, September 16
5-6 p.m.