Opening Minds. Challenging Minds.

The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards recognize books that have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and our appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures.


2016 Honorees with juror Rita Dove and Cleveland Foundation President & CEO Ronn Richard at center.

For more than 80 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have opened and challenged our minds. Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book prizes in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for issues of social justice. Today it remains the only American book prize focusing on works that address racism and celebrate diversity. Past winners have presented the extraordinary art and culture of peoples around the world, explored human-rights violations, exposed the effects of racism on children, reflected on growing up biracial, and illuminated the dignity of people as they search for justice.


To learn about the latest honorees and how you can get tickets to the ceremony held each fall in Cleveland.

The Cleveland Foundation, the world’s first community foundation, has administered the Anisfield-Wolf prize since 1963. The awards jury of globally prominent scholars and writers is overseen by Henry Louis Gates Jr., the acclaimed scholar, lecturer, social critic, writer, and editor.