National Black Writers Conference Opens March 22 at Medgar Evers College
Organized this year with a focus on “race, resistance, and activism,” the 14th National Black Writers Conference will be held March 22 to 25 at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.
This year’s NBWC will honor authors Colson Whitehead, Kwame Dawes, David Levering Lewis, Susan L. Taylor, Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due, and Eugene B. Redmond.
Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams will serve as this year’s Honorary Chair. An iconic pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Evers-Williams is the wife of slain Civil Rights activist Medgar Evers, and worked with him to open the first NAACP state office in Mississippi in the years before Evers was assassinated in 1963. She is an author and journalist, a former chair of the National Black Writers Conference and former chairwoman of the national board of the NAACP.
Organized by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, the 2018 NBWC will operate under the theme of “Gathering at the Waters: Healing, Legacy and Activism in Black Literature,” in acknowledgement of the current issues around social inequality and injustice and a legacy of African American social activism.
Indeed, according to a prepared statement by the Center for Black Literature, the conference will focus on how Black writers “explore and convey messages that heal and restore our individual selves and collective community.” The NBWC will also examine the role black writers play in building cultural history, how black writers impact a new generation of readers and how their personal activism is used to support political and social change. The NBWC conference, the CBL said, will focus on “Community conversations on race, resistance and activism.”
A complete list of programming and events can be found on the National Black Writers Conference website.
The conference will feature a wide variety of writers from the New York area and beyond across four days of workshops, receptions, readings and panels to discuss and highlight the current state of black literature. The event will include community receptions, screenings of films on writers Lorraine Hansberry and Sonia Sanchez, Panels on the Black Arts Movement, and a panel on the state of black publishing that will include One World editor in chief Chris Jackson and Feminist Press editorial director Jamia Wilson.
In addition to the seven authors named NBWC honorees, the conference will also feature contributions by such writers as Victor Lavalle, Britney Cooper, Bakari Kitwana, Sonia Sanchez, Tony Medina, Desiree Cooper, Margo Jefferson, Bernice McFadden, Marita Golden, Mychal Denzel Smith, Jacqueline Jones LaMon and others.
The mission of the Center for Black Literature is to expand, broaden and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of the value of black literature. Mlore information is available on the CBL website.