The Houston Chronicle has a very nice story on native daughter Annette Gordon-Reed, who won the Pulitzer Prize in history and the National Book Award in non-fiction for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. From the Chronicle article:
As a child in East Texas, [Gordon-Reed] was caught up in the country's conflicted stance on segregation.
In the early 1960s, her school district operated under “freedom of choice,” a system that let families pick which schools their children attended. As a result, many schools remained segregated, despite the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that struck down the laws supporting this.
Gordon-Reed's parents, suspecting “freedom of choice” wouldn't last, sent their daughter to the “white” school in 1963. Her mother, an English teacher, taught in a “black” school nearby.
“Growing up in the end of the '60s, early '70s, I never thought much about studying race,” Gordon-Reed said. “But it never occurred to me that it wouldn't be a part of what I was reading about or writing about. It was always there. If you grow up in a place where race matters, that weight is on you, on your mind.”
Previous lounge coverage of this year's Pulitzer prizes is here.
Thanks to Tim Zinnecker for pointing me to this charming story.