man looking at photos

History of Black Writing

Building lasting change in the American literature canon and supporting the legacy of African-American writers, the History of Black Writing (HBW) nurtures research opportunities for students, writers, and scholars.

Activist/educator Nikki Giovanni stands with large group of students in the Kansas Union


HBW is a research center focused on elevating innovative scholarship in American literature, book history, and digital humanities.

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History Timeline

Founded at Oxford, Mississippi
Launched at the University of Kansas
Established the Black Book Interactive Project (BBIP)
University of Kansas Library

Interactive Research

HBW's research and collection building creates a corpus of fiction and non-fiction to drive program initiatives like the Black Literary Suite and Gems, as well as research institutes like Hurston on the Horizon in 2021.

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Public Engagement

HBW is a portal into centuries of Black literature and an introduction to scholarship about the tradition. It is also a platform for exploration, collaboration and publishing, including the use and application of digital tools.
Activist/educator Nikki Giovanni presents to a full room at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union