Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show” named recipient of Zora Neale Hurston Award

For Immediate Release
Fri, 01/13/2017


Leighann Wood

Sr. Program Officer

Reference and User Services Association (RUSA)

ATLANTA--Trevor Noah, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show and author of Born a Crime, was named the 2017 recipient of the Zora Neale Hurston Award, an annual achievement award administered by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award honors an individual who has demonstrated leadership in promoting African-American literature. An acclaimed American author and folklorist who was closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance, Hurston is best known for her novels, but she also published many short stories, plays, ethnographic essays, and anthropological studies about the African-American experience. 

Mr. Noah has consistently featured notable African American figures on his Emmy and Peabody Award-winning show. Mr. Noah will receive an honorary ALA membership for his immeasurable efforts of showcasing and promoting African American writers, artists and cultural contributors and the works they’ve created. Guests of the show have included Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me), socio-political comedian W. Kamau Bell, John Lewis (March series), Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing) and former President Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance).

As a #1 New York Times Bestseller, his recently published memoir, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, 2016), was named One of The Best Books of the Year by ALA’s Booklist, The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, NPR and offers readers a comedic perspective on life growing up during apartheid.

Although he will not attend ALA's Annual Conference in Chicago he will be acknowledged for his outstanding efforts in raising awareness and promoting African American literature. The award prizes including, a $1,250 to fund travel expenses to Annual Conference, two tickets to the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea and The Laugh’s On Us, two complete sets of Zora Neale Hurston’s books and audiobooks will be donated to an honorable mention of the Zora Neale Hurston Award selected by the committee.

The Zora Neale Hurston Award committee includes: Barbara Bibel (Chair), Retired, Oakland Public Library; Serena Smith, Nova Southeastern University; Cynthia Sorrell, University of Maryland, McKeldin Library.

The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers’ advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need. Learn more about RUSA’s Book and Media Awards at