As I already wrote about, in Fall 2016 Minnesota History published my article on “Senator Allan Spear and the Minnesota Human Rights Act.” When the issue came out, I mailed copies to friends and family (so they could see I actually do what I say I do), and then turned to other projects. For example, I have a forthcoming article on poet John Berryman and am working on a history of the professionalization of nursing in Minnesota during the progressive era. With these — oh, and law school — keeping me busy, my Allan Spear article could not have been further from my mind. But then in October 2017 I received some exciting news.
My article received Minnesota History‘s 2016 Solon J. Buck Award for Best Article of the Year!
Here is the citation from the Minnesota Historical Society Press Blog:
We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Solon J. Buck Award for 2016 is Joshua Preston, whose article, “Senator Allan Spear and the Minnesota Human Rights Act,” appeared in the Fall 2016 issue. Preston tells the story of Senator Spear’s two-decades-long fight to amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, a goal achieved in 1993. Spear died before he could include this story in his unfinished 2010 biography. The judges cited the achievement of the author marshalling a variety of new sources to bring this important story of marginalized and misrepresented voices to the fore. They noted the contemporary relevance of this social justice struggle from a quarter-century ago and were impressed with how Preston told the story of a “bold man and a bold movement” without over-heroizing his subject. Preston, a graduate of the University of Minnesota at Morris, is currently a JD/MA candidate at the University of Minnesota Law School and a 2017 MNHS Legacy Research Fellow.
When I heard the news, I nearly fell out of my seat. This is a tremendous honor, and I am so thankful to both the magazine and the judges for selecting my article. Thank you!
If you haven’t had a chance to read my award-winning article, it is now available on my Academia.edu page here.