The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, announces the Twelfth National Black Writers Conference (NBWC), beginning Thursday, March 27 – Sunday, March 30, 2014.
The Conference– which will be held at various venues around Medgar Evers College, located at 1650 Bedford Avenue– is a highly anticipated gathering of the some of the most celebrated writers of the African Diaspora in America.
This year’s honorees include Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott; best-selling author Walter Mosley; author and poet Quincy Troupe; and French-Caribbean writer Maryse Conde.
The conference also will present a posthumous honor to Margaret Burroughs, co-founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History.
“The notion of what it means to write as a black writer is complicated,” said Dr. Brenda Greene, executive director of the Center for Black Literature. “Hence, there is still a need for ‘spaces’ in which to document the writing and work of Black writers, to study the craft of writing, and to expose a cross-generation of students and the general public to a range of writers throughout the African Diaspora.
The 2014 theme of the 12th annual conference is “Black Writers Reconstructing the Master Narrative.”
In an interview with Bill Moyers in March of 1990, Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison defined “the master narrative” as whatever ideological script that is being imposed by the people in authority on everybody else. In other words, the master narrative is created by those in power.
In analyzing the master narrative found in literature, The National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) offers us an opportunity to present to the public the complexity of the texts produced by black writers throughout the African Diaspora.
Also, Dr. Myrlie Evers-Williams will chair this year’s conference, where writers, students, literary agents, editors and the general public will have an opportunity to attend panels, roundtables and readings, participate in workshops, and take in performances over the four days of the Conference.
Some of the esteemed panelist include Sonia Sanchez, Quincy Troupe, Angela Davis, Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due, Nalo Hopkinson, N. K. Jemisin, Victor LaValle, Emily Raboteau, Ishmael Reed, Steve Cannon, Ayana Mathis, William Jelani Cobb, Marc Lamont Hill, Boyce-Taylor, Tyehimba Jess, Staceyann Chin, Hermina Marcellin and many more.
There will be a featured poetry café, and a film series hosted by African Voices Magazine/Reel Sisters will include a screening of Gordon Park’s Solomon Northup’s Odyssey, which premiered in 1984 and was the basis for the award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave.
On Friday, March 28, the conference will feature a concert off-site, “Words Meet Music,” featuring pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs, artists Dasan Ahanu and Tai Allen, and Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets.
And the Center for Black Literature will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with a fund-raiser and gala reception on Saturday, March 29, at 7 p.m. in the Skylight Café.
“There is a rich history of the impact of the work by black writers in black culture, as well as American culture,” said Dr. Greene.
“This Conference offers writers, students, scholars and professionals in the literary and publishing worlds, as well as the general public, opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue on the ways black literature impacts and influences their lives and the lives of people on a global scale.”
For more information about the Twelfth National Black Writers Conference and a full list of events, go here.