UPDATE: Black People Don't Read: An Exploration into Black American Literacy (1/31/07; collection)

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

*UPDATE FOR CFP -- "Black People Don't Read": An Analysis of the Role
Literacy, Reading, and Writing in African American Culture *

Proposals are sought for a new edited collection on the function of literac=
in African American culture. "Black people don't read" is a stereotype tha=
magnifies the over arching categorization that African American culture is
anti-intellectual and maintains a purposeful distance from engagement in
literature and literacy. This collection seeks to engage this stereotype in
all the possibilities it may elicit. The ultimate goal of the collection is
to start a dialogue 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, hip-hop and literacy)

-- Historical Analysis of American slavery and its role in contemporary
African American literary practices

-- Historical Analyses of Black Intellectualism, Writing, Reading and/or
Literature (DuBois, Booker T. Washington, Harlem Renaissance, etc.)

-- "Urban Fiction" (i.e. Zane, Donald Goines, Vickie Stringer and Triple
Crown Publishing, etc.) What is its place in Black literature? Is its
widespread appeal and success a boon to the perception of the Black
community in literary circles? In the national consciousness? Is the
question posed by Nick Chiles, the author of the NY Times op-ed article
'Their Eyes Were Reading Smut' accurate to urban fiction: "=85how are we go=
to explain ourselves to the next generation of writers and readers who will
wonder why they have so little to read of import and value produced in the
early 21st century, why their founts of inspiration are so parched?"

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

-- Oprah Winfrey's impact on literacy and reading

-- Literacy and its association with "whiteness" or 'acting white'.

-- Black Literary Circles and Book Clubs (History of, contemporary examples=

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

-- LeVar Burton and "Reading Rainbow" and/or Morgan Freeman and "Easy Rider=

-- Libraries and their role in the Black community

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

This is by no means an exhaustive list of topics. You can expand on some of
the above topics or instead develop your own. The papers, while they should
not be erudite in anyway, should maintain smart and scholarly narrative. If
you are interested in submitting something for the collection, please send
an abstract of your proposed topic (500-750 words) along with a resume or
one page bio to cocacy_at_gmail.com no later than January 31, 2007.

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Received on Fri Dec 15 2006 - 20:16:47 EST