Multi Award-winning Nigerian literary icon, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has added another prestigious feather to her many awards as she received the highest honour of Harvard University, the W. E. B. Du Bois Medal on Thursday, 6th October 2022.
The prolific writer shared the news on her Instagram page with the caption: “I felt so honoured to be honoured with Harvard University’s DuBois Medal. And in such good company — @betyesaar, @lavernecox, @devalpatrick, Agnes Gund, @rayformayor, and @kareemabduljabbar_33
Oh and that last hug! Apologies to the great Mr. Abdul Jabbar for having to bend so low. Imagine how much worse it would have been without my heels. 🤷🏾♀️“
The W. E. B. Du Bois Medal is Harvard’s highest honour in the field of African and African American studies, which is awarded to individuals in the United States and across the globe in recognition of their contributions to African and African American culture and the life of the mind.
The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research had stated that the medal was for people “who embody the values of commitment and resolve that are fundamental to the Black experience in America”.
A Director of the Hutchins Center, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., in an official statement, said that the 2022 honourees represent “unyielding commitment to pushing the boundaries of representation and creating opportunities for advancement and participation for people who have been too often shut out from the great promise of our times.”
Other recipients of the award include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Laverne Cox, Agnes Guns, Raymond J McGuire, Deval Patrick and Betye Saar.
Chimamanda is known for her elegant storytelling and her advocacy for gender equality. She was a speaker at the Harvard College Class Day in 2018 and was previously a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow between 2011 and 2012.
Adichie holds sixteen honorary doctorate degrees from some of the world’s best universities including Yale University and many notable awards which includes MacArthur Fellowship (2008), International Nonino Prize (2009), PEN Pinter Prize (2018) among others.
The medal allows her to join the list of trailblazers like Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Ava Duvernay, Dave Chappelle, Queen Latifah, Nasir “Nas” Jones, John Lewis, Steven Spielberg, athlete-activist Colin Kaepernick, and others who are past recipients of the medal.
Story: Christy Dung