Winners of the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday and actually included some names we recognized. We’ve never felt more refined. From the breaking of the #MeToo Movement to the first ever inclusion of a rap album for the music category, the 2018 Pulitzer Prizes are, dare we say, almost accessible?
This year’s Pulitzer Prize for Public Service was awarded to The New York Times writers Jodi Kantor, Meghan Twohey, Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt, as well as The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. All five journalists are being applauded for their work in the #MeToo movement, namely helping to bring down Hollywood A-list producer Harvey Weinstein, who in the wake of The New York Times October 2017 article was exposed as one of the most notorious serial abusers in the history of Hollywood.
The exposes in The New York Times and The New Yorker not only helped to bring down Weinstein, who for decades was protected by his money and power in Hollywood, but it also sparked a domino effect that led to more men and women speaking out again their powerful abusers, including Bill O’Reilly and Charlie Rose.
In the Music category–for the first time ever–the Pulitzer Prize did not go to an artist producing classical music or jazz, but instead a rapper. Compton, California native Kendrick Lamar is now the first rapper to ever receive a Pulitzer Prize in music, thanks to his stunning 2017 album DAMN. The 30-year-old released his fourth studio album DAMN on April 17, 2017 and found critical and commercial success, hitting number one in the US and Canada and reaching the second position on the charts in Europe. The album’s lead single “Humble” went to number one on the Billboard chart, with Lamar taking home the award for Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
The Pulitzer Prize board called Lamar’s DAMN “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” Damn, indeed.
Also making history this year was freelance reporter Rachel Kaadzki Ghanash, whose portrait of Dylann Roof, the man who killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston in 2015, earned the first Pulitzer Prize award for GQ Magazine.
You can find the full list of this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners here.