Download the membership form.
Founded in 2003, the mission of the Center for Black Literature is to expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of the value of black literature. Through a series of programs that build an audience for the reading, discussion, and critical analysis of contemporary black literature and that serve as a forum for the research and study of black literature, the Center convenes and supports various literary programs and events such as author signings, writing workshops, panel discussions, conferences, and symposia.
The Center also collaborates with Medgar Evers College programs and various organizations including public schools, the Brooklyn Public Library, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, the PEN American Center, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center. In order to accomplish its mission and sustain its programming, the Center must raise funds through its individuals interested in supporting the arts as well as private and public organizations and foundations. Funding for Center programs has been provided by organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the New York Council on the Humanities, Poets and Writers, and Independence Community Bank.
Spearheaded by Dr. Brenda M. Greene, the Center for Black Literature has developed a network of audiences through its programs, newsletter, and conference proceedings. Among its major programs are the National Black Writers Conference, the Re-imagining Our Lives Through Literature CUNY Arts High School Program, the North Country Institute and Retreat for Writers of Color, the Writers on Writing Radio Program and the Elder African American Writers Workshop.
Your tax deductible membership gift of $40.00
Supports general programming for the Center for Black Literature
Provides you with copies of the Center for Black Literature newsletters
Provides you with VIP Tickets to Center for Black Literature Programs
From Friday May 3 through Sunday May 5, 2002, the Center celebrated its official opening. Below is a program of events and links to images from the celebration.
FRIDAY, MAY 3 at 6:00 pm
Medgar Evers College Library
The opening celebration for the new Center for Black Literature
and a tribute to the late scholar and poet Calvin C. Hernton.
Host: Avery Brooks
SATURDAY, MAY 4 at 2:00 pm
Medgar Evers College Auditorium
A Tribute to Calvin C. Hernton
Elaine Brown ~ Steve Cannon ~ Abba Elethu
Meredith Gadsby ~ David Henderson ~ Anton Hernton
Mary O'Callaghan Hernton ~ Rashidah Abu-Baker Ismali
Haki Madhubuti ~ Kevin Powell ~ Ishmael Reed
Eugene Redmond ~ Sonia Sanchez
John A. Williams (Presented by Arthur Flowers)
Spoken Word Performance
Du Ewa Frazier ~ Jessica Care Moore
Tehut Nine ~ Kate Rushkin
Video Taped Presentation
Dr. Maya Angelou
Calvin C. Hernton was a noted poet and scholar widely known for his "landmark study" entitled Sex and Racism in America. He was a was also a prolific writer publishing short stories, a novel, and books of poetry. He also founded Umbra Magazine, which published the works of Langston Hughes, Alice Walker, and others. Until his retirement in 1999, Mr. Hernton was a professor of African-American Studies and Creative Writing at Oberlin University.
He passed of cancer in October 2001.
SUNDAY, MAY 5 at 7:00 pm
Celebration for "Drumvoices Revue" & Tribute to Raymond Patterson
at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Jayne Cortez ~ Michael Datcher ~ David Henderson ~ Tony Media
Ama Patterson ~ Kevin Powell ~ Eugene Redmond ~ Darlene Roy