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Pulitzer Prize Honors Darnella Frazier; Les and Tamara Payne Win for Malcolm X Biography

HeadlineJun 14, 2021

The Pulitzer Prize Board has awarded a special citation to Darnella Frazier, the teen who recorded the police murder of George Floyd last May on her cellphone. Frazier was just 17 years old when she made the recording that would go viral and trigger mass, global protests for racial justice. The footage was also used as evidence in the trial of convicted murderer and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. The Pulitzer Board also commended Frazier for “highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.”

Acclaimed late journalist Les Payne and daughter Tamara were awarded a Pulitzer for their book “The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X.” Les Payne died in 2018 of a sudden heart attack while working on the biography, which his daughter later finished. Democracy Now! spoke to Tamara Payne about “The Dead Are Arising” in December.

Tamara Payne: “What he learned — and he’s a journalist to his core — he learned that there’s a lot about Malcolm that we don’t know, his family life. Who is this person? Malcolm is presented to us fully formed and angry. But that’s not what happened. You know, he has a family. He has lineage. And who was — where was that coming from? And also, what was this world that Malcolm was born into?”

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