The award was given for cartoons mostly focusing on race and on the killings of unarmed black men by police in Ferguson, MO and New York in 2014. Read more about it in this interview with the Washington Post.

An excerpt:

DARRIN BELL is one of the brightest talents we have on America’s editorial pages, and that is perhaps because his political cartoons don’t communicate merely with cleverness and the practicals tools of satire. They also stand up and connect with the depth of emotional content.

When Bell comments on the larger events in Ferguson or Cleveland, Staten Island or Baltimore, for instance, this art from the heart of experience not only makes a razor-sharp point. You often also feel something that cannot be rendered if the artist is drawing from “on high,” instead of from bracing street-level clarity:

You feel, and sense, the fear and the outrage and the fatigue of repeated history, from the socially pent-up to the emotionally spent. These are cartoons that don’t just be; they also breathe.