Jointly presented by the Southern Regional Council and the University of Georgia
Libraries, the Lillian Smith Book Awards
honor those authors who, through their outstanding writing about the American South, carry on Smith's legacy of elucidating the condition of racial and social inequity and proposing a vision of justice and human understanding.
Since 1968, the awards have been presented annually, except for 2003 when the Southern Regional Council experienced funding shortfalls. It is the South's oldest and best-known book award, and is presented in fiction and non-fiction categories.
- Dan T. Carter for Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South, Louisiana State University Press.
- John Egerton for Generations: An American Family, University of Kentucky Press.
- Alice Walker for In Search of Our Mother's Gardens: Womanist Prose, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
- Eudora Welty - Special Lifetime Award.
- A.J. Mojtabai for Blessed Assurance: At Home with the Bomb in Amarillo, Texas, Houghton Mifflin.
- Thomas L. Johnson, and Phillip C. Dunn (ed.) for A True Likeness: The Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts, 1920-1936, Algonquin Books.
- Pauli Murray for Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage, Harper & Row.
- Mary Hood for And Venus is Blue: Stories, Ticknor & Fields.
- Wayne Flynt for Poor But Proud: Alabama's Poor Whites, University of Alabama Press.
- Dori Sanders for Clover: A Novel, Algonquin Books.
- J.L. Chestnut, Jr., and Julia Cass for Black in Selma : The Uncommon Life of J.L. Chestnut, Jr.: Politics and Power in a Small American Town, Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
- Mary Ward Brown for Tongues of Flame, E.P. Dutton.
- Charles W. Eagles for Outside Agitator: Jon Daniels and the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, University of North Carolina Press.
- William Baldwin for The Hard To Catch Mercy, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
- Margaret Rose Gladney for How Am I To Be Heard? Letters of Lillian Smith, University of North Carolina Press.
- Charles M. Payne for I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle, University of California Press.
- Adam Fairclough for Race & Democracy: The Civil Rights Struggle in Louisiana, 1915-1972, University of Georgia Press.
- Mary Lee Settle for Choices, Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.
- Michael D'Orso for Like Judgment Day: The Ruin and Redemption of a Town Called Rosewood, Grosset/Putnam.
- Constance Curry for Silver Rights, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
- Anthony Grooms for Trouble No More, La Questa.
- J. Morgan Kousser for "Colorblind Injustice: Minority Voting Rights and the Undoing of the Second Reconstruction", University of North Carolina Press.
- Leroy Davis for A Clashing of the Soul: John Hope and the Dilemma of African-American Leadership and Black Higher Education in the Early Twentieth Century, University of Georgia Press.
- Lawrence N. Powell for Troubled Memory: Anne Levy, The Holocaust, and David Duke's Louisiana, University of North Carolina Press.
- Andrew M. Manis for A Fire You Can't Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birmingham's Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, University of Alabama Press.
- Michael Keith Honey for Black Workers Remember: An Oral History of Segregation, Unionism and the Freedom Struggle, University of California Press.
- Hal Crowther for Cathedrals of Kudzu: A Personal Landscape of the South, Louisiana State University Press.
- Pam Durban for So Far Back, Picador USA Robert P. “Bob” Moses, Charles E. Cobb, Jr., Radical Equations, Beacon Press.
- Natasha Trethewey for Domestic Work, Graywolf Press.
- Anthony Grooms for Bombingham, Free Press.
- Mark Newman for Getting Right with God: Southern Baptists and Desegregation, 1945-1995, University of Alabama Press
- Keith Wailoo for Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health, University of North Carolina Press.
- William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, and Robert Korstad editors, with Paul Ortiz, Robert Parrish, Jennifer Ritterhouse, Keisha Roberts, Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South, The New Press.
- Barbara Ransby for Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement; A Radical Democratic Vision, University of North Carolina Press.