Support the Center for Black Literature

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About the Center for Black Literature

The Center for Black Literature’s mission is to expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of the value of Black literature. The Center for Black Literature depends on a variety of financial resources to fulfill its mission and support our programming. Individual donations play a vital role in keeping our programs alive.

We have produced the National Black Writers Conference and inspiring events with amazing writers and artists including Ta-Nehisi Coates, MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award recipient; Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner; and best-selling authors Victor LaValle, Marita Golden, Nicole Sealey, Willie Perdomo, and M. K. Asante among many others.

Each year, we ask friends and supporters to contribute at all levels. We are continuously working to raise funds to supplement the costs of our programs, and your support keeps events FREE and /or at a low cost to the public and help toward scholarships to students at Medgar Evers College. Please donate what you can so we can continue to support our community of Black writers. No amount is too small or too large. We encourage you to attend one of our upcoming events. Thank you!

Directions for Giving to the Center for Black Literature

Should you choose to make an electronic payment, you may do so online. You can and click “Donate Today” aobve.  IF you have issues, you may use this link, it will direct you to the Research Foundation of The City University of New York (RFCUNY), the nonprofit arm of the City University of New York (CUNY).

RFCUNY is registered as a charitable organization and is a 501 (c)(3). Please press “select” on the “CBL- Center for Black Literature Donations and Individual Contributions” option. You can input the desired amount up to $4,999. There will be an internet processing fee as well.


If you choose to send your contribution via mail, checks are to be made out to: “Research Foundation of the City University of New York” or “RFCUNY” with a notation that reads: CBL Donation.

This should be mailed to the following address:

Center for Black Literature
Medgar Evers College, CUNY
1650 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Should you have any questions, please contact Maeshay k. Lewis directly at 718-804-8882 or via e-mail at (please use the “read receipt” option as there has been a lag on our server recently).

Your contribution supports the following programs:


Tales of Our Times

as part of The Dr. Edith Rock Elders Writing Workshop

To date, the workshop has produced four (4) published anthologies and workshop participants are presently working on their fifth theme-based volume of “Tales of Our Times.”

This workshop is located at Siloam Presbyterian Church, 260 Jefferson Ave., Brooklyn, New York (at the corner of Marcy Avenue), and runs from October through May each Academic Year. There is generally a one-time registration fee for each individual participant.


The Killens Review of Arts & Letters

Open to all writers of the African Diaspora to submit.
The Killens Review of Arts & Letters will be published once or twice a year by the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY. The Killens Review seeks book reviews, essays, short stories, creative nonfiction, art, poetry, and interviews related to the various cultural, sociopolitical, and historical experiences of writers and artists from the African diaspora. The aim is to provide well-known and lesser-known authors as well as educators and students opportunities to create and expand the canon of literature produced by people of color.


Programs and Events

Wild Seeds Writers Retreat [Formerly the North Country Institute & Retreat for Writers of Color.]

The Wild Seeds Writers Retreat (formally The North Country Institute & Retreat for Writers of Color), a collaboration with the Center for Black Literature, the English Department at SUNY, Plattsburgh, and the Paden Institute and Retreat for Writers, provides a writing community where established as well as newly discovered writers of color can focus on the craft of writing and create cross-cultural conversations around the literature created by writers of the African Diaspora.  Writing fellows have an opportunity to draw upon their experiences as writers in a racialized society; to become knowledgeable about the issues and concerns facing writers of color; and to study with a professional in the genres of fiction, memoir, and poetry.


National Black Writers Conference

Both the Center for Black Literature and the National Black Writers Conference are known nationally and internationally for their work. Initially inspired by the late John Oliver Killens, the Conference has been held at Medgar Evers College since 1986.


The John Oliver Killens Reading Series

The John Oliver Killens Reading Series is a testament to the legacy of the late John Oliver Killens to provide authors, poets, and scholars, and writers of the African Diaspora with opportunities to showcase their work and engage the audience in stimulating conversations. The John Oliver Killens (JOK) Reading Series offers a platform for well-regarded authors as well as newly discovered writers to discuss their work and the craft of writing; to read from recently published work; and to discuss issues related to writing and publishing with the college community and the general public.


Re-envisioning Our Lives through Literature Youth Literacy Program [ROLL]

The premise of the Re-Envisioning Our Lives through Literature Program is that literature should be integrated into the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum in creative ways that may include drama, poetry, the spoken word, and story. Using texts written by writers from the African Diaspora, students build their knowledge base about literature from another culture; expand their knowledge of diverse cultures; and improve their critical reading, writing and communication skills.