Arts & Culture

University Press of Kentucky author named recipient of the 2023 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Award

Picture of the cover of “An Introduction to Black Studies”
Eric R. Jackson's “An Introduction to Black Studies” (University Press of Kentucky) is the recipient of the 2023 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Award.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 16, 2023) — Eric R. Jackson, author of “An Introduction to Black Studies” (University Press of Kentucky), is the recipient of the 2023 Thomas D. Clark Medallion Award. Connecting the growth and impact of Black studies to the broader context of social justice movements, the book emphasizes the historical and contemporary demand for the discipline and demonstrates the continued importance of Black studies, also known as African American studies, in university curricula.

“I am greatly humbled, somewhat overwhelmed, but very appreciative to receive such a prestigious award,” said Jackson. “I want to thank everyone who played a role in the publication of this much needed and timely volume. Finally, I accept this award as a testament to the millions of African Americans who have struggled and fought to make the nation a better place for all People of Color.”

The Thomas D. Clark Medallion is presented by the Thomas D. Clark Foundation Inc., a private nonprofit that supports the University Press of Kentucky by helping fund scholarly books about Kentucky and its region. Each year, the foundation presents the Clark Medallion Book Award, which includes $1,000 and a public event honoring the author.

“Eric’s work brilliantly epitomizes the high standards for the written word set by Dr. Thomas D. Clark,” said Bennie Ivory, president of the Thomas D. Clark Foundation board of directors.

Previous recipients of the Thomas D. Clark Medallion include “The Gospel of Freedom: Black Evangelicals and the Underground Railroad” by Alicestyne Turley (2022); “Perfect Black” by Crystal Wilkinson (2021); and “Writing Appalachia: An Anthology,” edited by Katherine Ledford, Theresa Lloyd and Rebecca Stephens (2020).

Jackson is a professor of history and associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences at Northern Kentucky University. The former director of the Black Studies program at NKU, he has published reviews and articles in a number of journals, including the Journal of African American History, the Journal of Negro Education, International Journal on World Peace and Journal of Pan African Studies. He is coauthor of “Cincinnati's Underground Railroad” and "Unique Challenges in Urban Schools: The Involvement of African American Parents.”

“An Introduction to Black Studies” was released in February 2023 by the University Press of Kentucky.

The University Press of Kentucky is the statewide nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Serving all Kentucky state-sponsored institutions of higher learning as well as six private colleges and Kentucky’s two major historical societies, it was organized in 1969 as successor to the University of Kentucky Press. UPK is dedicated to the publication of academic books of high scholarly merit as well as significant books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South and Appalachia.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.