Save the date

   Nov. 1, 2023

   Distinguished American novelist Terry McMillan will receive the 2024 Sankofa Freedom Award, presented by Tulsa City-County Library’s African American Resource Center and the Tulsa Library Trust. McMillan will accept the award and give a free public presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 at Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford.

  McMillan is known for her character-driven novels that appeal to various ages, races and genders. Her love of reading began as a teenager, when she shelved books at a local library. Previously unexposed to Black writers, she immersed herself in African American literature in college, which inspired her to write books that encapsulate and normalize the experiences of Black women.

   Her first novel, “Mama,” become an instant New York Times bestseller and won the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction award and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. She also is the author of the New York Times bestselling books “It’s Not All Downhill From Here,” “I Almost Forgot About You” and “Who Asked You?.” Other books by McMillan include “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Waiting to Exhale,” which were made into major motion pictures starring Angela Bassett; “A Day Late and a Dollar Short” and “Disappearing Acts,” which became successful made-for-TV movies; “Getting to Happy”; “The Interruption of Everything”; and one work of nonfiction, “It’s Ok If You’re Clueless.”  

   Sankofa is a word from the Akan language, which is spoken in southern Ghana.  Literally translated, Sankofa means: “We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward; so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today.” The Sankofa Freedom Award consists of a $10,000 cash prize and an engraved medallion. It is awarded biennially in February during African American History Month to a nationally acclaimed individual who has dedicated his or her life to educating and improving the greater African American community. Previous recipients of the Sankofa Freedom Award include Walter Mosley (2022), Anita Hill (2020), Iyanla Vanzant (2018), Tavis Smiley (2016), Susan L. Taylor (2014), Hill Harper (2012), Pearl Cleage (2010), Nikki Giovanni (2008) and Michael Eric Dyson (2006).

   For more information about the Sankofa Freedom Award or the African American Resource Center, call 918-549-7323 or visit

   # # #