Projects and Programs

HBW Student Staff

National Endowment for the Humanitites (NEH) Institutes

HBW regularly offers scholarly and educational opportunities as well as public programming through its Summer Institutes, with support from programs including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Toni Morrison Society. Literary figures, scholars, and educators come together in these Institutes to engage in important topics dedicated to uncovering Black Writing.

The Black Book Interactive Project (BBIP)

The Black Book Interactive Project (BBIP) seeks to increase the number of Black-authored texts in the study of digital humanities. By generating a metadata schema that accounts for race and difference, BBIP addresses the digital divide in Black-authored texts. BBIP has been funded by the University of Kansas, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Black Literary Suite (BLS)

The Black Literary Suite (BLS) is HBW's exhibit dedicated to introducing the community to lesser-known figures in literature and the arts. Accordingly, BLS is an opportunity for members of the HBW student staff to learn and refine their research skills. Past BLS exhibits have featured authors with a Kansas connection like Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes, Kansas sports figures that complemented KU's “Race and Sports Symposium” and the adaptation of Black fiction to feature length films.  


In 2012, HBW launched its Gems initiative to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of “forgotten” or “less-than-well-known” African American writers who were still living at the time. Gems video presentations, which are based in rigorous research, bring understudied writers’ lives and works to the foreground and remind us that recovery efforts are always ongoing.

The History of Black Writing Blog (2011-2021)

The HBW Blog published regularly for ten years from 2011-2021 at the URL During that time, it served as a major forum for the exchange of information and ideas, as well as a robust network for scholars, teachers, and students from different disciplines around the world.

Guest contributors include leading scholars and writers, but most of the posts were conceived of, researched, and written by HBW's staff of undergraduate and graduate students. Its content consists of feature editorials, book reviews, memorials, and coverage of HBW programming. Altogether, 82 writers contributed more than 750 posts.