Pulitzer Prizes go to guests of theGrio’s ‘Writing Black’

Rhiannon Giddens, Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa all earned Pulitzer Prizes this week — and all discuss their work and craft on theGrio's "Writing Black" podcast.

TheGrio’s “Writing Black” podcast was created to honor the work of Black writers — and this week, several of our first-season guests were honored with Pulitzer Prizes! On Monday, musician Rhiannon Giddens and former Washington Post colleagues Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa were all named part of the Pulitzers’ class of 2023, as were fellow Black writers Caitlin Dickerson, staff writer at The Atlantic (for Explanatory Reporting) and Carl Phillips, who won the Poetry prize for “Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

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(L-R), Rhiannon Giddens, Roberts Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa (Photos: Getty Images)

Samuels and Olorunnipa earned their General Nonfiction honor for their groundbreaking biography, “His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice” (Viking). Comprised of over 400 interviews across more than 400 pages, the book explores the intricacies of Floyd’s life in the broader context of America’s long history of racial injustices, leading scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to deem it “an essential work of history.”

Grammy Award winner and 2017 MacArthur Fellow Rhiannon Giddens can now add a Pulitzer to her growing list of accolades; her opera “Omar,” co-written with Michael Abels, earned this year’s Music prize. As described on the Pulitzer site, “Omar” is “an innovative and compelling opera about enslaved people brought to North America from Muslim countries, a musical work that respectfully represents African as well as African American traditions, expanding the language of the operatic form while conveying the humanity of those condemned to bondage.”

Excitingly, Samuels, Olorunnipa, and Giddens all delve into the process and inspiration behind their Pulitzer Prize-winning works while in conversation with me, Maiysha Kai, on theGrio’s “Writing Black.” You can revisit those conversations and more on theGrio’s Black Podcast network, and view the entire list of 2023 Pulitzer Prize winners on the organization’s website.


Maiysha Kai is theGrio’s lifestyle editor, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades of experience in fashion and entertainment, great books, and the brilliance of Black culture. She is also the editor-author of Body: Words of Change series.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black‘ with Maiysha Kai.

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