Arnold Rampersad, the award-winning biographer of The Life of Langston Hughes, literary critic, and professor emeritus at Stanford University, is the winner of the 77th Annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, which is the only juried literary competition devoted to recognizing books that have made an important contribution to society's understanding of racism and the diversity of human cultures. The jury, overseen by Henry Louis Gates Jr., includes Rita Dove, Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Pinker, and Simon Schama.

The other winners of the 2012 Anisfield-Wolf Awards, announced this past April, are Esi Edugyan for Half-Blood Blues, David Blight for American Oracle, and David Livingstone Smith for Less than Human.