Between Reconstruction and the end of legalized Jim Crow segregation in the 1960s, the black press flourished in the United States. Critics and reporters on the arts beat not only brought to light the creative output of black musicians, filmmakers, writers, actors, and visual artists, but also investigated the role the arts played in the long struggle against oppression, as well as the economic and cultural impact of the arts on the black community and the United States as a whole. This conference at Yale University seeks to bring together scholars from diverse disciplines to study the coverage of the arts in the black press during the era of legalized segregation. By focusing on the black press, we hope to highlight African Americans' critical responses to the heterogeneous artistic scene of black America, which thrived even within an oppressive environment that constantly discounted and disrespected black lives. In doing so, we seek to understand in greater depth how the black press might illuminate new facets and/or alternative narratives of black cultural and social history. We welcome papers that explore any relevant questions including topics such as the black press and diasporic perspectives, the influence of gender or class, formation of collective memory, etc.
We invite submissions from scholars at any stage of their careers for 20-minute conference presentations. Please submit an abstract of 250 words to conference organizers Lucy Caplan and Kristen Turner (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 15, 2016. Include the title of the presentation and your full contact details. Panel submissions are welcome: please include a 100-word description of the panel topic as well as abstracts for individual papers.
Lucy Caplan or Kristen Turner, conference co-organizers