This year’s honor of the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award to recognize courage in journalism was given to Leonard Pitts Jr., an American commentator, journalist, and novelist. Currently writing for the Miami Herald, he is well known for his nationally syndicated column that often addresses issues of race, politics, and culture. In a career that spans close to 45 years, Pitts worked as a columnist, a college professor, a radio producer, and a lecturer. He is also the author of a series of critically acclaimed books, including Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, and his latest, The Last Thing You Surrender. Pitts was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 2004.
Lovejoy, 1826 valedictorian at Colby, was a crusading abolitionist editor who was murdered in 1837 for his anti-slavery editorials. He was called America’s first martyr to freedom of the press by John Quincy Adams.