“When I found out that Strong Inside would receive the Lillian Smith Book Award, I set out to learn more about Lillian Smith herself, a woman who was ahead of her time in advocating for civil rights and racial equality in the South. I read Killers of the Dream, her 1949 critique of the ‘Southern Way of Life.’ Smith does a masterful job evoking the Deep South of the first half of the 20th century, before the civil rights movement of the ’50s and ’60s. It’s a brilliant depiction of a place and time, a state of mind and the heavyweight of history. It also gave me a deeper understanding of how visible and unseen burdens handed from one generation to the next contribute to the social and political climate in the region — and the country — today.”

Andrew Maraniss, author of Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of Race and Sports in the South

Maraniss appears Sunday at 2 p.m. in Room 8302, Miami Dade College, at Miami Book Fair