KU News Release

Oct. 4, 2011
Contact: Kenton Rambsy, Project on the History of Black Writing, 785-864-2560

Exhibit will highlight NYC in African-American literature

LAWRENCE — On Thursday, Oct. 6, The Project on the History of Black Writing at the University of Kansas will present selections from its 100 Novels project that highlight the significance of “place” for African-American writers.

This one-day walk-through exhibit, called the Black Literary Suite, will be open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. in the Kansas Union Governor’s Room.

The 100 Novels Project explores and celebrates the political, social, cultural and historical significance of 100 works of black literature. The project is a relatively new research initiative that utilizes quantitative research to enhance understandings of black literary history. The temporal scope of the works is wide-ranging, spanning from the late 19th century to the 21st century. Many of the works have been transformed into film and were staples on The New York Times’ best-seller list.

As part of this initiative, The Black Literary Suite was designed to engage the public, shed new light on the Project on the History of Black Writing’s holdings and stimulate discourse about the value of studying African-American literature as an entire body of work. The exhibit will focus on the significance of New York City, specifically Harlem, in relationship to the novels and authors in the collection.

The Project on the History of Black Writing has been in the forefront of research and inclusion efforts in higher education for 25 years. Founded in 1983 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, the Project on the History of Black Writing has more than 900 novels in its collection published by African-American authors since William Wells Brown’s “Clotel; or, the President’s Daughter” (1853). The project is dedicated to archiving every novel ever published by an African-American.

For more information about the Project on the History of Black Writing and its resources, visit its webpage, blog or Facebook fan page, or follow @ProjectHBW on Twitter.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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