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 July 12, 2021 (11:59 pm ET)

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!

Experience the #WritersOnWriting​ Radio Program

Talib Kweli
Dr. Brenda Greene interviews Talib Kweli Greene, an American hip hop artist, lyrical poet, entrepreneur and activist, and the author of Vibrate Higher: A Rap Story (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2021). The memoir, recounts his personal life as well as his views on hip hop, activism, the media, and politics. Kweli also discusses his creative process.

Dr. Mary Helen Washington
Brenda Greene interviews African American literary scholar Dr. Mary Helen Washington and they discuss the value and importance of documenting the work of Black women writers, the themes in the texts of Black women writers, and Washington’s edited collections of scholarship on Black women writers.

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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