The Brusse Prize 2022 for the best journalistic book was won by Roline Redmond for her book ‘De Doorsons: In Search of an African-American Slave Family in the Caribbean’. The prize is an initiative of the Special Journalistic Projects Fund and was awarded during the radio program With a view to Tomorrow† The prize is accompanied by a cash prize of 10,000 euros.
Redmond worked on the book for over ten years. “I hope that in thirty years’ time people will know a little more about Surinamese history in that period,” she said during the award ceremony.
She started the book because her mother asked her to write down the family’s history just before her death. “That wasn’t easy, because we don’t have an archive of slaves. My ancestors were slaves in Suriname, and slaves had no name. They were goods. It’s a very difficult process to trace where your ancestors came from,” Redmond said on an earlier broadcast of With a view to Tomorrow†
Redmond spoke to relatives in Suriname and also came into contact with descendants of the family in whose property her ancestors lived. According to the jury of the Brusse Prize, all journalistic resources are present that are described in the criteria of the prize. “The winning book will still have meaning in ten years’ time,” said jury chairman Joost Oranje. “It provides insight and describes one of the most discussed topics of our time. This book is not only about archives and facts, but also about people.”
‘A message for new generations’
It is a very layered book, said Oranje. “The book is a search for the history of a family, but it is not just stuck in history. When you read it, at the end it really comes up with something to think about. It sends a message for the future and new generations.”
The other nominees for the Brusse Prize 2022 were ‘De Machine’ by NRC journalists Stijn Bronzwaer, Joris Kooiman and Merijn Rengers about the travel website Booking.com, ‘Gronings gold’ by Wendelmoet Boersema about Groningen gas, ‘Business Prince’ by Michiel Couzy and Maarten. van Dun about prince-landlord Bernhard, and ‘Sanda Dia’ by Pieter Huyberechts about the fatal hazing of the Senegalese-Belgian student Sanda Dia.
Read a review of the winning book here: The history of this Surinamese family is not that special. That’s exactly what makes it so special