MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An African-American author and professor has won University of Alabama's annual non-fiction writing award for her work on women and black southern writers.

A university statement on Friday names Dr. Trudier Harris as this year's winner of the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing.

Harris has written or edited more than two dozen books including her award-winning work "The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South."

The Tuscaloosa native has also taught for 36 years. She is currently an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Clarence E. Cason Award is named after Alabama's journalism department founder. Cason's writing criticized southern race relations at a time when they were most tense.