2017 National Black Writers Biennial Symposium
“Our Miss Brooks: A Centennial Celebration”
Saturday, March 25, 2017; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Medgar Evers College, CUNY; Founders Auditorium
1650 Bedford Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11225
10a.m. –– 6 p.m.
9:30 AM Doors Open
10 AM Check-in and Registration
10:30 AM – 10:35 AM Welcome/Intro: Kel Spencer, Master of Ceremonies
10:36 AM – 10:41 AM Welcome: Dr. Brenda M. Greene, Executive Director, The Center for Black Literature; Chair of the English Department, Medgar Evers College, CUNY
10:42 AM – 10:47 AM Greetings: Dr. Rudolph F. Crew, President
Medgar Evers College, CUNY
10:48 AM – 10:58 AM Presentation of Resolutions
Senator Kevin S. Parker, 21st Senate District
10:59 AM – 11:05 AM Student Reading
Kesed Ragin, Medgar Evers College Student
11:06 AM – 12:35 AM Presentation of Papers:
“Black Poetics and Black Protest in the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks”
Coordinated by College Language Association’s Black Studies Committee (Thabiti Lewis and Kameelah Martin). Presenters:
- Jennifer Williams, “To Bronzeville with Love”
- Eve Dunbar, “Loving Gorillas: Reimagining Possibilities—Human/Non-human interactions in Maud Martha”
- Lillian Bertram, “It’s Not a Coincidence: The Aeneid and Gwendolyn Brooks’ The Anniad”
12:40 PM – 12:45 PM Keynote Speaker: Introduction by Herb Boyd
12:45 PM – 1:45 PM Speaker Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, publisher and founder of Third World Press
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM — Lunch/ Break
2:45 PM – 4:15 PM The Life and Works of Miss Gwendolyn Brooks
Panel Conversation moderated by Quraysh Ali Lansana. Poets and scholars share personal reflections and discuss the impact of the voice and works of Gwendolyn Brooks on writers and the African-American and Western literary canon. Invited panelists include Angela Jackson, an award-winning poet, playwright, and writer; Cheryl L. Clarke, Black lesbian poet, essayist, and educator; Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti, author and publisher of Third World Press; and award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson.
4:30 PM – 5:15 PM Intergenerational Poetic Readings:
Poets Soré Abaje, Marilyn Nelson, Nicole Sealey, and Rebecca Plunkett and Shirley V.H. Cooper, members of the Elders Writing Program, will offer a selection of readings from the works of Gwendolyn Brooks.
Dramatic Readings: Coordinated by Darrel Holnes
5:20 PM – 6:00 PM Musical Performance:
“Bronzeville Blues,” curated by Artistic Director Karma Mayet, takes us on a walk down Chicago’s 47th Street and on a journey through generations of the Black search for sovereignty, through the power of sound. Two voices are joined by guitar and electronic percussion to give flight to Brooks’ text. Musicians are: Jerome Jordan, guitar; Val Jeanty, Afro-electronix; Queen Esther, vocals; and Queen GodIs, text, vocals.
6:15 PM – 9 PM Reception: Skylight Café, AB1 Building; Medgar Evers College, 1638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11225
* As of March 17, 2017. Program schedule is subject to change.