Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, 2000 Award Winner
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc is a journalist whose documentary reportage illuminates the lives of adolescents, particularly those living in poverty. Her articles on issues including juvenile justice, women in prison, and outcast children have appeared in the Village Voice, Esquire, and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. She has been a Knight Foundation Fellow at Yale Law School and a Fellow at Radcliffe's Bunting Institute.
Six years after winning the Margolis Award, LeBlanc was selected as a 2006 MacArthur Fellow. In describing her work, the MacArthur foundation wrote, "With an eye for detail and a passion for depth, Adrian LeBlanc is forging a new form of literary reportage and illuminating worlds little known and less understood."
The Center on Crime, Communities & Culture of the Open Society Institute awarded LeBlanc a 2001 Media Fellowship, which enabled her to write a series of articles about the impact of incarceration on children. "The lives of teenagers are demonized, much in the same way that those of children are sentimentalized," said LeBlanc at the time. "When these lives unfold in places exhausted by poverty and its related burdens, the texture of their real experience is obscured. I hope that my work contributes to help clearing up the blind spots that unnecessarily result from that."
LeBlanc won the Margolis Award while working on her book, Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, subsequently published by Scribner in 2003. The book won the Borders Original Voices Award for Nonfiction, was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and was chosen by the New York Times Book Review editors as one of the top nine books of the year. Random Family chronicles the struggles of an impoverished extended family in New York. LeBlanc’s research into these realities was extensive and took her more than 10 years, during which she was present at prison visits, welfare appointments and parent-teacher conferences.