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The 2023 MSRC International Black Writers Festival (IBWF) will take place September 26 to 29 in Founders Library on Howard University’s Main Campus. This year’s event draws inspiration from last year’s Writers Festival, which included such literary and intellectual giants as Haki Madhubuti, Eleonor Traylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta, Nicole Hannah-Jones, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Clint Smith, Paul Coates, Marie Brown, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Carol Boyce Davies, and Salamishah Tillet, among others. Highlights from the Festival included student readings and conversations, and book signings in partnership with Sankofa Café.

See the Program Booklet

Livestream for Tuesday, Sept 26th events:

Livestreams for Wednesday-Friday 

2023 IBWF is co-sponsored by the Center for Journalism & Democracy. The Festival will engage the theme Why We Gather. We are in a moment in which Black intellectuals and artists receive the highest awards from historically and predominantly white institutions and organizations. In increasing numbers, Africans and people of African descent in the U.S. serve as professors, deans and presidents at predominantly white colleges and universities. Given this intellectual environment of “inclusion,” Why do we still gather? Why are we gathering? Who defines what constitutes significant Black art and literature, and important political themes and issues of our times?

In addition to Why We Gather, 2023 IBWF hopes participates and attendees will reflect upon the 1968 Toward A Black University Conference. That year, students, activists, and scholars gathered at Burr Gymnasium at Howard to imagine how they might build a truly black university. This gathering, coupled with ’68 student protests, precipitated the university’s administration to approve the creation of the African American Studies Department, the African American Resource Center, Jazz Studies, and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
The Moorland-Spingarn Research Center and The Center for Journalism & Democracy are excited to have a 2023 program that includes Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ibram Kendi, Jacqueline Woodson, Young Guru, Steph Lova, Kamilah Forbes, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Mukoma wa Ngugi, Panashe Chigumadzi, and, among others, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Nikole Hannah-Jones. Walter Mosley will deliver the keynote lecture.

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