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Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah has added another great accomplishment to her résumé: winning a Pulitzer Prize.

On Thursday, the writer was honored with the 2018 best feature writing award for her GQ profile on Charleston mass murderer and White supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof. Ghansah, 36, represents Black excellence as an essayist and author whose work is as emotionally stirring as it is culturally relevant.

Here are a few facts about Ghansah:

She’s A Columbia University Graduate

Ghansah has a Master’s degree in fine arts from Columbia University, the very school that presents the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism, literature and musical composition.

She Has Penned Profiles On Several Influential Figures

The essayist has crafted stories on a myriad of people including Toni Morrison, Dave Chapelle and James Baldwin. Her work won acclaim from many aspiring writers and working creatives.

“Ghansah is an unparalleled architect of the profile,” writer Danielle Jackson wrote about the author in a Longreads piece last September. “She can strike an ideal balance between scene and exposition, lyricism and plot. She can bring a subject to life with fresh insight, and keep herself in the narrative in a way that is unobtrusive and necessary. Because she is obsessed with beginnings and origin stories, she never fails to account for a sense of place  — the sights and smells and sounds of the space her subjects take up — giving her work an exciting viscerality.”

Jackson continued about Ghansah, “The subjects she has often chosen — among them Dave Chappelle, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Beyoncé — have been arbiters of black excellence, geniuses who, in Ghansah’s work, exist not in a vacuum, not as exceptions, but in a community that has incubated the genius.”

She Is A Writer Tackling The Toughest Of The Times

Ghansah has also crafted work on the Watts Riots and Trayvon Martin.

“I like writing about people who look like me and the people I know who don’t have good pieces written about them, because we deserve it,” she said in a PBS News Hour interview in April 2016.


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