The Lillie M. Newton Hornsby Award recognizes the best unpublished, original essay by a Black woman undergraduate student pursuing a degree in History or related field. The winners will be notified in fall 2024, and she/they will be honored at our annual business meeting.

In 1995, Alton Hornsby Jr. (1940-2017), a professor of history at Morehouse College, created the Lillie M. Newton Hornsby Award to honor his late mother. Mrs. Hornsby is remembered for her unwavering commitment to the education of her children and her community at large. Dr. Hornsby continued his mother’s example of self-sacrifice for the greater collective good through his support of this award for African-descended undergraduate women.

The nominated essay must:

  • be at least 2,000 words not counting footnotes or endnotes (i.e., about 7 pages) from an undergraduate class or a chapter in an undergraduate thesis chapter completed between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024
  • be wholly focused on some aspect of history on Black women in the U.S. and/or African Diaspora
  • involve interpretation of primary sources
  • focus on the ideas or actions initiated among Black women in the U.S. and/or African Diaspora

The applicant must:

  • be a Black woman undergraduate student currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in History or a related field (or be a recent undergraduate student awarded her/their bachelor’s degree between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024)
  • have a minimum 3.0 GPA (Note: applicant must submit a transcript [official or unofficial copy])
  • have submitted on her/their behalf up to two letters of recommendation from professors and/or academic advisors on letterhead (Note: One of the recommendations must come from a current ABWH member in good standing. The letters must be submitted via email directly from the recommenders to the award committee.)

An applicant does not have to be an ABWH member.

To nominate an essay, please submit PDF copies of all of the following items in a single email to the Hornsby Prize Committee at abwhhornsby@gmail.com (please write 2024 Hornsby Prize Nomination in the subject line):

  • Minimum 2,000-word essay from an undergraduate class or a thesis chapter completed between June 1, 2023 and May 31, 2024
  • transcript (official or unofficial copy)
  • name(s) of the person(s) who will submit recommendation letter(s)

Recommendation letters must be emailed directly from the recommender(s) to the award committee. Recommenders, please email a PDF copy of your letter to the Hornsby Prize Committee at abwhhornsby@gmail.com. Please write 2024 Hornsby Prize Nomination and the nominee’s name in the subject line. Important:

  • 1 letter of recommendation must come from a current ABWH member in good standing
  • Optional: 1 additional letter of recommendation from a professor and/or academic advisor

A student may self-nominate an article. A student does not have to be an ABWH member. ABWH members are strongly encouraged to nominate eligible students and to encourage eligible students to apply. The essay and all required materials (including letters of recommendation) must be submitted to abwhhornsby@gmail.com by Sunday, June 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m. EST (no exceptions).

Please direct any questions to abwhhornsby@gmail.com.

See a list of all ABWH awards here.