The AMS Department congratulates Dr. Stacy Morgan for winning the 2018 Wayland D. Hand Prize for Outstanding Book in Folklore and History for his monograph Frankie and Johnny: Race, Gender, and the Work of African American Folklore in 1930s America (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2017).
In the words of the Award Committee, “This book analyzes a ballad/legend, “Frankie and Johnny,” in the historical context of the 1930s and finds that in tough times it was critical to building a more democratic and inclusive America. Morgan insightfully explores the origins and evolution of “Frankie and Johnny” in relation to folk and popular culture and the fine arts, with close attention to the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, and resurgent nationalism. The chapter on Leadbelly is especially impressive. The book is eloquently written and engaging.”
The Wayland D. Hand Prize, established by the history and folklore section of the American Society in 2004, honors the eminent folklorist and historian Wayland D. Hand (1907-1986), former president of the American Folklore Society and an inspiring scholar-teacher who encouraged use of historical methodology in folkloristic research.