Black New England

2019 call for papers 

13th Black New England Conference

BLACK INK: African American News from Slave Songs to Social Media

Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester NH

October 25-26, 2019



“We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”

From slaves improvising songs to warn of slave patrols or to announce secret religious meetings, to the ways Black Twitter both circulates stories that impact black communities and critiques racially biased narratives told by mainstream media, “Black News” has been integral to black liberation. Black newspapers and magazines have been vehicles for black self-representation and political advancement. John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish wrote in the first issue of their paper Freedom’s Journal in 1827, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us,” describing the function of the Black press in a way that still resonates in the 21st century.

Through oral communication, print, websites, and social media, “Black News” has and will continue to shape African American understandings of themselves and resist the racist narratives told about them.   

The Black New England Conference is accepting abstracts for 10- to 15-minute presentations that examine any number of questions related to the Black Press. The 2019 Conference will explore the varied ways African Americans have produced and spread news. We will examine the roles African American have played in the mainstream media, covering politics, sports, money and social issues, alongside the role Black publications like Ebony and Jet played in shaping class aspirations.  We will also consider the future of "Black News," how it might reimagine what it means to be black in America.   Presentations should deepen an understanding and appreciation for African American cultural traditions and promote critical engagement.

The Black New England Conference, now in its 13th year, is an annual 2-day gathering where academics, artists, activists, and community members share insights and research on Black experiences, past and present, in New England and beyond. The Conference is both an academic conference and a celebration of Black life and history.

Submit an Abstract

For consideration, please submit the title of the proposed presentation, an abstract, and a brief biography (the title, abstract, and bio should be in one document and not exceed one page). Please send abstracts to 

Deadline for Submission: July 30, 2019
Notification of Acceptance: August 30, 2019

For More Information

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Phone: 603-318-5120