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Center for Black Literature

The mission of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CBL) is to expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and appreciation of Black literature and the literary works produced by people of the African Diaspora and the African continent.

Founded in 2002 by Dr. Brenda M. Greene, CBL achieves its mission, and actively engages audiences of all ages, through a variety of public programs, publications, and partnerships. Some of them include:

  • National Black Writers Conference

  • Writers on Writing Radio Program

  • Re-Envisioning Our Lives through Literature Program (R.O.L.L.)

  • John Oliver Killens Reading Series

  • Killens Review of Arts & Letters

  • Wild Seeds Writers Retreat

  • Dr. Edith Rock Writing Workshop for Elders

  • Musings (Student Blog)

CBL’s approach to programs and activities is integrative. The Center’s focus on the literary arts and cultural values informs the work of Black writers and expands the vision in which these works influence society.

The Center’s strategic collaborations with public schools and organizations serve as a means for cultivating critical reading and writing habits of a cross-generation of emerging and established readers and writers. Over the years, just a few of CBL’s local and national partners have included:

  • Brooklyn Public Library

  • RestorationART at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

  • African Voices

  • Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

  • The Center for Fiction

  • PEN America

Funding and other critical support for Center programs and publications have been provided by:

  • Con Edison

  • Amazon Literary Partnership

  • National Endowment for the Arts

  • Humanities New York

  • Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation

  • New-York Historical Society

  • Poets & Writers

  • Brooklyn Community Council

  • Community Council for Medgar Evers College, Inc.

  • African American Literature Book Club (AALBC)

  • City of New York and State of New York elected officials

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