CFP: Black People Don't Read: An Exploration into Black American Literacy (10/31/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Courtney Young
contact email: 

*Call for Papers: "Black People Don't Read": An Exploration into Black
American Literacy, **Reading**, and Writing *

* *

*Proposals are sought for a new edited collection on reading, writing and
Black culture*

* *

"Black people don't read" is a pervasive stereotype illuminating the fictio=
that American Black culture maintains an anti-intellectual, disinterested
philosophy towards knowledge, exploration, and curiosity. Seeking to explor=
possibilities outside of this stereotype, this collection of essays will
start a long overdue conversation by assembling an array of articulate,
critical, and thoughtful papers about reading, writing, and the Black
community. Contributions may seek to address (but are by no means limited)
to the following topics:

-- Literacy and Black Stardom (i.e. what is the impact of stars such as
Fantasia and R.Kelly's illiteracy)

-- Historical Analyses of Black Intellectualism, Writing, Reading and/or

-- "Urban Fiction" (i.e. Zane, Eric Jerome Dickey) and Black Publishers who
solely focus on urban fiction. What is its place in Black literature if
there is one? Is its widespread appeal and success a boon to the perception
of the Black community in literary circles?

-- Contemporary authors of the African diaspora who have widespread appeal
and their impact on Blackness and reading, etc. (i.e. Zadie Smith, Edward P=
Jones, etc.)

-- Oprah Winfrey's impact on literacy and reading

-- Cultural analyses exploring the stereotype of "why Black people don't
read". The role reading plays in Black communities, contemporary Black
attitudes towards reading/writing, etc.

-- Black Literary Circles and Book Clubs

-- Analyses of the role class plays in literacy, reading, and/or writing in
the Black community

-- LeVar Burton and "Reading Rainbow"

-- Contemporary Black attitudes to reading, writing, and/or literature

-- Libraries and their role in the Black community

-- Literacy and reading in Black popular culture =96 cinema, music,
periodicals, etc.

While the vast preponderance of this collection will focus on analytical
essays, I am also looking for a few personal narratives about Black people
and their own experiences with reading, writing and/or literature. If
interested in submitting something to the collection, please send me the
following information to my e-mail ( or a
resume or one-page biography, an abstract of your essay topic of no more
than 500 words and your complete contact information. I will be receiving
abstracts until October 31st as this project is moving forward quickly.
Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Thanks so much! J

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Received on Fri Oct 06 2006 - 15:58:10 EDT