2016 winners also included Ibram X. Kendi in nonfiction; Daniel Borzutzky in poetry; and John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell in young people's literature.
The National Book Foundation also announces winners in poetry and young people's literature.
"Between the World and Me" is among a list of candidates revealed Wednesday.
At a Brooklyn Academy of Music event, the two famous authors wield words and imaginary swords.
Louise Glück, Evan Osnos and Jacqueline Woodson were also winners at the National Book Foundation's annual awards.