A black professor of English and author at a university in the United States of America named Kiese Laymon has joined the league of extraordinary achievers by adding the prestigious McArthur award called ” The Genius Grant ” to his accomplishments.
The MacArthur fellowship award or “Genius Grant ” as it’s commonly called is an annual award given to twenty to thirty deserving individuals ,working in any field but have displayed dedication , originality and extraordinary creativity in their career path .
From its inception in 1981 , the ” Genius Grant” made it a mandate to only bestow this feat on diligent and deserving American citizens with the hope of extending the honor to other countries In the years to come. According to the foundation’s website, “the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential,” but it also says such potential is “based on a track record of significant accomplishments.”
Whoever is awarded with the McArthur fellowship is given a current prize money of $800,000 which is paid to them over five years in quarterly installments. Previously it was $625,000. This figure was increased from $500,000 in 2013 which eventually increased to the current amount. Since 1981, 1086 people have been named McArthur fellows with their ages ranging from 18 to 82.
Kiese Laymon a native of Jackson , Mississippi, is an acclaimed award winning author that sheds light on the forms of violence marking the black experience through his essays, fiction and memoirs. He is also the founder of the Catherine Coleman Literary Arts and Justice Initiative which aims to inspire young people in Jackson to become more comfortable reading, writing, and sharing their life stories.
Mr Laymon in January 2022, joined the School of Humanities at Rice University as the Professor of Creative Writing and English. Within just a few months, he made history as the first member of the university’s School of Humanities to earn a MacArthur Fellowship with a mouth watering $800,000 prize. Overall, he is the second faculty member at Rice University to be selected for the award.