Jacob S. Dorman’s Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions (Oxford University Press, 2013) has been selected to receive the 2014 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions.
This award is given each year to an academic book that reflects the ethos and mission of the Journal of Africana Religions, an interdisciplinary journal that publishes scholarship on African and African diasporic religious traditions. Albert J. Raboteau, for whom the prize is named, is author of the classic Slave Religion: The Invisible Institution in the Antebellum South, a book that has made a lasting impact in the field of Africana religions. To become eligible for the award, books must be nominated by an academic publisher, and a prestigious five-member committee is responsible for assessing these nominations and determining a winner. The selection, thus, is international in scope and highly competitive.
Dorman’s book examines several African American religious groups linked by their shared claims of descent from ancient Black Israelites. It includes discussion of Black Israelite identities among Holiness and Pentecostal Christians, Black Jews, and Rastafarians. The book’s author, Jacob Dorman, is an associate professor of history and American studies at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
PREVIOUSLY AWARDED BOOKS
Michael Brown’s African-Atlantic Cultures and the South Carolina Lowcountry (Cambridge University Press, 2012) was winner of the inaugural 2013 Albert J. Raboteau Book Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions.
Brown’s book examines perceptions of the natural world revealed by the religious ideas and practices of Africa’s Kongo region and among African-descended communities in South Carolina from the colonial period into the twentieth century. Brown is an Associate Professor in the History department and the Africana Studies department at the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.