The Tenth Annual National Black Writers’ Conference (NBWC), hosted by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, will be held from March 25 to 28, 2010. With Toni Morrison as the Honorary Chair, the National Black Writers’ Conference will also honor Amiri Baraka, Kamau Brathwaite and Dr. Edison O. Jackson. Also, more than 80 Black writers, literary agents and editors will come from throughout America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
The NBWC has grown to boast a stellar list of participants and honorees, including Cornel West, Susan L. Taylor, Randall Robinson, Marita Golden, Sonia Sanchez and Terry McMillan. This year’s conference attendees can again look forward to panels, readings and workshops with highly regarded authors Herb Boyd, L. A. Banks, Carol Boyce Davies, Kamau Brathwaite, Stacyann Chin, Breena Clarke, Edwidge Danticat, Bernice McFadden, Tayari Jones, Willie Perdomo, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Kevin Powell, Sonia Sanchez, Thomas Ellis Sayers, Colson Whitehead, Frank Wilderson III and Jewel Parker Rhodes, among others.
Notes Dr. Brenda Greene, Conference Chair, “The theme of the National Black Writers’ Conference is And Then We Heard the Thunder: Black Writers Reconstructing Memories and Lighting the Way. Through a series of panel discussions, roundtables, author readings and storytelling, the National Black Writers’ Conference will use the metaphor of thunder, memory and light to examine the historical representation of the literature of Black writers and the representation of new and future directions for contemporary and emerging literary voices.”
The NBWC is designed to uplift, strengthen and empower the community-the literary community, the student body community, and the African-American community at large, says Dr. Greene, who is also Executive Director for the Center of Black Literature. It is an opportunity for promising writers to connect with seasoned writers and gain an understanding of the challenges in publishing. It is also an opportunity for writers and readers to intellectually spar on hot social topics that are often reflected in literature and to debate with some of the sharpest minds in American culture.
The conference incorporates a series of special events which includes: the Poetry Caf‚, featuring Stacyann Chin and Willie Perdomo (Thursday, March 25); a tribute to Toni Cade Bambara with words by Sonia Sanchez, Hattie Gossett, Eugene Redmond and others (Friday, March 26); the first conference-sponsored concert featuring Talib Kweli, Gary Bartz and a very special guest to be announced (Friday, March 26); the VIP reception honoring Toni Morrison, Amiri Baraka, Kamau Brathwaite and Dr. Edison O. Jackson with presentations by Sonia Sanchez and Cornel West (Saturday, March 27).
“It is our responsibility to light the path for theAfricaof writers and help mold them into the writers they will become,” says Dr. Greene. “We gladly accept the responsibility to do so.” For more information and the full schedule, please visit www.nationalblackwritersconference.org.