Our Mission

Expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of Black literature by people of the African Diaspora, since 2002.

The New Issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters Is Here!

The tumultuous events that have occurred over the past eighteen months are inconceivable. With the global health pandemic, national and international issues of racial and social unrest making headlines, life as we knew it has been drastically altered. The Fall/Winter 2021 issue of the Killens Review of Arts & Letters explores the ways in which writers, poets, and artists of various genres found inspiration over the past year and a half when matters of personal safety and self-preservation, affected by nationwide and world affairs, became a primary concern.

This inspiring issue includes works from the legendary Otto Neals, Dr. Richard Gillum, S. Pearl Sharp, and Nathaniel G. Nesmith. Visual artist Stacey Billups said, “During that time of uncertainty, creating artwork helped to ease my anxieties about the events that were occurring both globally and locally. I was motivated to create works that evoke those emotions that center us through our struggles, love, joy, togetherness, and serenity.”

We hope you enjoy!

Select Fall 2021 Program Highlights

On Thursday, December 9, 2021, the Center hosted an evening with Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of the newly published novel The Love Songs of W. E. B. Du Bois (HarperCollins Publishers). Jeffers's epic best-selling debut novel explores the history of an African American family in the American South, from the time before the American civil war and slavery, through the Civil Rights Movement, to the present.

Click the image above to watch the video or click HERE.

Dr. Brenda Greene interviews Uwem Akpan, author of the best-selling work "Say You're One of Them" (2008) and the soon-to-be-released "My New York, My Village" (November 2, 2021, WW Norton). Uwem's short stories and autobiographical pieces have appeared in the special editions of The New Yorker, Oprah magazine, the Nigerian Guardian, and other publications.

Click the image above to watch the video or click HERE.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It), Watch the Replays!

Facebook Event Cover copy

Broadcasted on September 30, 2021
Jennifer Baker (senior editor, Amistad Books at HarperCollins Publishers), far left, moderated a stellar panel of gifted writers for the September edition of our John Oliver Killens Reading Series. The panel featured Ladee Hubbard (The Rib King), second from left; Morowa Yejidé (Creatures of Passage), second from right; and Karla FC Holloway (Gone Missing in Harlem), far right.

- TheMinisterPrimarily_Collage3

Proudly Broadcasted on September 16, 2021
Fittingly, the inaugural event of the 2021-2022 program season was a tribute to literary giant JOHN OLIVER KILLENS. It also highlighted his novel The Minister Primarily (written in the '60s and published posthumously in 2021).

Purchase the book from the African American Literature Book Club: https://bit.ly/theminister. Read the review from The New York Times: https://nyti.ms/2WG0u5R

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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