Dr. Edith Rock Writing Workshop for Elders (Since 2003)

The Dr. Edith Rock Writing Workshop for Elders is “intended to preserve the memoirs of elders throughout the African Diaspora whose lives span a major part of the twentieth century and beyond.” As we know, many Black people from older generations, some descendants of enslaved Africans, made tremendous sacrifices in their lifetime. Some left their families and migrated to various parts of the United States with the hope of a better life. Most faced discrimination, racism, and segregation during their journey and even after they were settled in their new communities. Their stories, in turn, have become our history.

This CBL program began as the Writing Project for Older African Americans. Its purpose was to gather information from older African Americans whose history is likely to be distorted or lost for lack of original documentation. Workshop members were encouraged to recall the past so that their recollections would be crafted into inspirational memoirs and stories. To date, the collective has published five theme-based anthologies titled Tales of Our Times.

The Dr. Edith Rock Writing Workshop for Elders is presented in collaboration with Siloam Presbyterian Church (located at 260 Jefferson Avenue in Brooklyn, New York). The church has been the gathering place for workshop participants for many years. As a testament to their commitment to the craft, the elder writers continued the writing workshop via Zoom meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Typically, the program runs from October through May each academic year. There is an application to join the group and a one-time suggested registration fee. No one is turned away, however.

Those interested in learning more about the program are directed to Clarence V. Reynolds, director of literary programs, at (718) 804-8883 or reynolds@centerforblackliterature.org.

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The Dr. Edith Rock Writing Workshop for Elders is sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY; Poets & Writers; and the Amazon Literary Partnership. The Center receives generous support from the NYC Council Brooklyn Delegation and the Office of NYC Council Member Charles Barron. Also, the Center for Black Literature is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Contact Us

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

Phone: (718) 804-8883
Email: info@centerforblackliterature.org

Donate to CBL Today!

To carry out our literary programs and special events, we depend on generous financial support from the public. Donations are welcome year-round. Click HERE to make a donation today. You will be routed to the Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY) webpage. Thank you in advance!
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The Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College is supported in part by an American Rescue Plan Act grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to support general operating expenses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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