B. Denham Jolly's memoir about growing up Black in Toronto wins Toronto Book Award
Author, activist and entrepreneur B. Denham Jolly has won the 2017 Toronto Book Awards for his memoir In the Black. The $10,000 prize recognizes books that have literary merit and is evocative of Toronto.
In the Black documents the overt racism and discrimination Jolly endured while establishing a successful business in 1950s Toronto. Those experiences led Jolly to engage in social activism and to found the first Black-owned FM radio station in the city, Flow 93.5.
"With humour and colourful anecdotes, In the Black shines a light on many of the hurdles faced by immigrants trying to make a better life for themselves and their children," the judges said in a statement.
The other nominated books were the memoir I Hear She's a Real Bitch by Jen Agg, the novel Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, the memoir Life on the Ground Floor by James Maskalyk and the essay collection Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer, edited by Jane Farrow and John Lorinc, et al. The remaining finalists will each receive $1,000.