*StaLindamichelle Baron jpegrred names denote confirmed participants; ** denotes tentative

Linda Michelle Baron, Emcee


10 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

  • “Afrofuturism: Reimagining the Past, Present and Future”

The genre Afrofuturism emerged in the last two decades and is related to the term coined in 1992 by cultural critic Mark Dery. In his essay “Black to the Future,” Dery describes it as an African diasporic cultural and literary movement whose thinkers and artists see science, technology, and science fiction as a means of exploring the Black experience.” Author Walter Mosley, who also wrote an essay on “Black to the Future,” notes that this genre speaks clearly to the dissatisfied through its power to imagine the first step in changing the world. Panelists will discuss how these genres are represented in the literature produced by Black writers.

Moderator: Kiini Ibura Salaam
Panelists:*Nnedi Okorafor and *Sheree Renée Thomas.

11:45 a.m.–1:15 p.m.

  1. “Decoded: Hip-Hop and Youth Culture”

Elements of poetry and creative wordplay figure prominently in the language of hip-hop and in the various ways today’s youth express themselves.  In what ways is hip-hop culture connected to literature and the works of pioneering Black writers? In what ways can hip-hop raise awareness of the African-American literary canon? What are some of the components that would comprise a hip-hop literary movement? These are just a few of the questions that the panelists will address during this conversation.

Moderator: Joan Morgan
Panelists: *MK Asante, *Marcyliena Morgan, *David Kirkland, and *James Peterson

Lunch 1:15 p.m.–2 p.m.

2 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

  1. “Creating Dangerously: Courage and Resistance in the Literature of Black Writers”

In Edwidge Danticat’s acclaimed book Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work, the author explores the passions and the tribulations that writers and artists face in their roles as chroniclers of cultural and political events and as the voices of opposition that strive to be heard under oppressive circumstances. In this discussion, the panelists will talk about the ways literature sheds light on the risks writers take when working under challenging cultural and political situations. They will also discuss the manner in which individual and collective truths are presented in those works for readers to interpret.

Moderator: Victoria Chevalier
Panelists: *Edwidge Danticat and *Charles Johnson

3:45 p.m.–5 p.m.

  1. “The Politics of Race and Gender in the Literature of Black Writers”

In the age of President Obama, one prevailing question that comes to mind is this: Is the country more racially divided or less racially divided than it was 15 or 20 years ago? Have women honestly made significant strides in traditionally male-dominated fields? Narratives written and published today that focus on racial and gender challenges are emerging heavily in the fiction and creative nonfiction works by Black writers. How do the works of these writers impact the conversations about race in America? In this panel, the writers will discuss some of the key components in literary as well as academic writings that address issues of race and gender and examine whether the works impact the way people view race and gender.

Moderator: Wallace Ford
Panelists: *Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, **Paul Beatty, *Cora Daniels

5:15 p.m.  Videotape Presentation “Between the World and Me” and Ta-Nehisi Coates 
Talkback moderated by Todd Craig


6:45 p.m.– 8 p.m. awards program – PRESENTATION TO HONOREES
Open To The General Public. Suggested Donation $10. (Included in conference registration.)

Hosted by Indira Etwaroo, PhD
Executive Director
Center for Arts & Culture, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation

Rita Dove – Honorary Chair
Edwidge Danticat
Woodie King Jr.
Michael Eric Dyson
Charles Johnson

8 p.m.–9:30 p.m. Jazz program & benefit reception


Skylite Café
1638 Bedford Ave., 2nd FL
Donation $100
Tickets Available

Performance by Dasan Ahanu and Tai Allen, accompanied by Brooklyn Jazz Consortium, performing the works of Gil Scott-Heron and Oscar Brown Jr. and others.

13th National Black Writers Conference

Thursday, March 31 – Sunday, April 3, 2015

Note: Program participants and schedule are subject to change.

Register NOW!

 Key to Locations:

Bedford Building – 1650 Bedford Avenue
[B- Building on the map.]

  • Founders Auditorium -1st Floor
  • President’s Conference Center(Room B1008) -1st Floor
  • N. B. Johnson Lecture Hall (Room B2008) 2nd Floor
  • Rotunda / Ticket booth– 1st Floor in front of Founders Auditorium

Academic Complex Building – 1638 Bedford Avenue

[AB1- on the map.]Map_MEC

  • Edison O. Jackson Auditorium –1st Floor
  • Room L12, Art Gallery-1st Floor
  • Skylight Café– 2nd Floor (Cafeteria)

Student Services Building – 1637 Bedford Avenue

[S- on the map.]

  • Mary S. Pinkett Lecture Hall (Room S122) –1st Floor
  • Atrium – 3rd Floor
  • Conference Room –3rd Floor

Room numbers beginning with “CP” indicates the Carroll St. Portable Buildings-1150 Carroll St. [‘C’ on the map.]

Parking in any MEC, CUNY lots are allowed by “permit only” for Thursday and Friday.

Pre-Registration, On-Site Registration, and Check-In
Location: Rotunda, Medgar Evers College

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Opens *10 AM 10 AM 9:30 AM 9:30 AM
Closes 4:30 PM 8 PM 8 PM 4 PM

*Times subject to adjust based on need. Elementry schools should arrive between 9:00 – 9:30 AM to check in.


  • If you pre-registered on-line, please bring your barcoded confirmation (eventbrite ticket) with you to expedite your entry.
  • Students, Faculty, and Seniors are required to present identification upon check-in.
  • On-site Registration begins on the first day of the Conference.
  • Registration is required for ALL events, panels and workshops.

View full program.