OVERVIEW: Massachusetts Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Activities

Presented by:
Mass Humanities
Current Initiative: Centennial Campfires National Partner: The Pulitzer Prizes Local Partner: Colleges and Universities, Libraries, Nonprofits, Other Subject: African American/Black, History, Journalism, Other, Varies Audience: All

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prizes, Mass Humanities created a two part series of events. The first, Common Good Reads, took place during 2016 and was a reading and discussion program held in different parts of the state. The second is another series of reading and discussion programs slated to take place in the fall and winter of 2017.


Common Good Reads Discussion Series was supported by Mass Humanities Common Good Reads grants, which were part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative. The Common Good Reads Discussion Series allowed participants to engage in constructive dialogue on cultural diversity, immigration, and negotiations of social contracts and notions of the common good, especially through readings of novels and articles—all winners of Pulitzer Prizes.


Mass Humanities will host a city-wide, scholar-facilitated, reading and discussion program in Greater Boston in the fall of 2017 culminating in a public forum featuring a film screening and panel discussion on the topic of Civil Rights, Equality, and Public Education.

The reading for the program will be the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning series of columns written by Boston Globe journalist Farah Stockman on the legacy of Boston’s experience in the mid-1970s with forced busing to achieve the court-ordered racial desegregation of the public schools.  An earlier account written by another Globe journalist, J. Anthony Lukas, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986. Participants will be encouraged to also read Lukas’ book, Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families.

The public forum will include a special preview screening of the NEH-funded documentary film, The Harvest, co-produced by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Douglas Blackmon.  The film is about school desegregation in the small town in the Mississippi Delta where Blackmon grew up.


  • Peabody Institute Library
  • Franklin County Sherrif’s Office
  • M.G. Parker Memorial Library


  • Boston, MA
  • Peabody, MA
  • Greenfield, MA
  • Dracut, MA

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