Our Mission

Expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of Black literature by people of the African Diaspora.


A Call for Submission for the Killens Review of Arts & Letters

We've named the theme for the 16th National Black Writers Conference in 2022: “The Beautiful Struggle: Black Writers Lighting the Way.” With that in mind, we intend for the upcoming fall/winter 2021 issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters to be in alignment with that theme. We encourage you to submit your works of creative nonfiction, fiction essays, interviews, book reviews, poetry, memoir, and visual artwork. The deadline is Monday, July 12, 2021 (11:59 pm ET)

Experience the #WritersOnWriting​ Radio Program

Dr. Brenda Greene interviews Jamal Greene, author of "How Rights Went Wrong, Why Our Obsession with Rights is Tearing America Apart" (HMH, March 2021). He teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, the law of the political process, First Amendment, and federal courts at Columbia University. He is also the son of Dr. Greene.

Dr. Brenda Greene interviews Tamara Payne, the co-author with Les Payne of the biography The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X. Payne is the daughter of the late legendary journalist Les Payne and has worked with her father as a research assistant. She completed the book after he died in 2018. The book won the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) from Earlier This Year


Broadcasted on March 11, 2021
The COVID-19 Writers Project captured the viewpoint of the coronavirus pandemic from inside the virus’s hotspot—NYC—while examining the extent to which health outcomes are impacted by socioeconomics, education, and race. This event is part of the monthly John Oliver Killens Reading Series.


Broadcasted on March 27, 2021
The 2021 National Black Writers Conference, “They Cried I Am: The Life and Work of Paule Marshall and John A. Williams, Unsung Black Literary Voices,” celebrated the life and works of these two great literary voices.

Thank you to all who made this a successful event!


Broadcasted on April 8, 2021
The Center for Black Literature presented the renowned hip hop artist and activist Talib Kweli in conversation with Akiba Solomon, senior editor at The Marshall Project, about his new book Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story. This event was a part of our monthly John Oliver Killens Reading Series. Watch the replay!

About the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY

For nearly 20 years, the public and academic programs of the Center for Black Literature (CBL) have been highly revered and have had a dynamic impact in the literary field. The author readings and book signings, journals, symposia, conferences, panel discussions, and writing workshops—and the Center’s intellectual and accessible approach to programming—form an integrative approach that sets CBL apart from others. CBL’s body of work is known for the way in which it ensures that Black literary scholarship and conversations are valued and sustained.

Contact Us

Center for Black Literature at
Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CBL)
1534 Bedford Avenue, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11216

Office: (718) 804-8883
Email: writers@mec.cuny.edu

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To carry out our mission, we rely heavily on donations from the public. Please MAKE A DONATION today. Every dollar counts!

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