Had I known there was a Pulitzer Prize in criticism I would have started being critical earlier in life. Also, how has this prize never been won by anyone on New Jersey’s radio station, New Jersey 101.5?

I mean we’re the biggest station in arguably the most critical, sharpest-tongued state in the U.S. Our hosts have been critical of governors, policies, scandals, laws, movies, sports teams, pizza, Central Jersey, and that smell around Exit 13A just to rattle off a few.

Never fear. A Jersey girl has taken up the slack.

Salamishah Tillet, a contributing critic at The New York Times and Professor of African American Studies & Creative Writing just won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism.

From Pulitzer.org, she won “for learned and stylish writing about Black stories in art and popular culture–work that successfully bridges academic and nonacademic critical discourse.”

Even though she was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1975 we will gladly claim this Pulitzer winner as our own. In 1988 she moved to Orange, New Jersey and went to school at Newark Academy in Livingston from 8th through 12th grades. This is where she fell in love with and became deeply involved with literature, and she also set records on the track team in 300-meter and 600-meter.

She attended the University of Pennsylvania where she earned a bachelor’s in English and Afro-American studies and graduated phi beta kappa. She achieved a master’s from Brown then earned a doctorate in the History of American Civilization from Harvard.

Are we impressed?

100%. And we are proud to have a Pulitzer winner teaching at one of our state schools.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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