Three black writers are among this year’s prestigious Pulitzer Prize winners, taking home awards in history, poetry, and criticism.

Manning Marable posthumously won the award for his seminal biography on the life of Malcolm X. Dr. Marable spent the latter part of his life working on the controversial book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention, which was also nominated for a National Book Award and was named one of the New York Times’ top books of 2011.

Tray K. Smith won this year Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her collection Life on Mars, which was praised for its adept commentary on humans and our relationship to the universe.

Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris’ adroit criticism of the film The Help aided the writer in taking home this year’s best criticism prize. Although he said it was an honor to win such a celebrated accolade, Morris says winning awards never factors into his work.

“It’s a huge honor,” Morris told the Globe, but “Awards are not something you think about when you’re doing your job.”

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