Looking Back: The Project on the History of Black Writing

[By Goyland Williams]

Over the past week, the Project on the
History of Black Writing have released our Look Back Series as part of HBW’s 30
year anniversary. Collectively, the video series has given a glimpse into key
events, conferences, literary scholars, grants, and institutions that have
helped to ensure the success and mission of the project.
Although HBW’s history spans all the way
back to 1983 at the University of Mississippi, (1989-1997) at Northeastern
University, and (1998-Present) now at the University of Kansas, one factor has
remained fixed—Dr. Maryemma Graham. Graham’s emphasis on collaborative work,
board member support, and her persistence, has been integral for the success
that HBW has enjoyed throughout the years. 
While at the University of Kansas, HBW
has been very successful in receiving funding from the National Endowment in
the Humanities and other external funding devoted to public outreach, professional
development, and literary recovery. Below, I have compiled a list of NEH funded
projects [at KU] that has helped Dr. Graham advance and promote African
American Literature and culture. 
*2001–“Speaking of Rivers: Taking Poetry
to the People” 
*2002–“Language Matters I: Reading and Teaching
Toni Morrison”
*2003–“Speaking of Rivers: Taking
Poetry to the People”
*2004–“Language Matters II: Reading and
Teaching Toni Morrison, The Cardozo Project Model”
*2009–“Making the Wright Connection:
Teaching Black Boy, Native Son, and Uncle Tom’s Children”
*2010–“Language Matters IV: Reading and
Teaching Toni Morrison in Translation”
 *2013–“Don’t Deny My Voice: Reading and
Teaching African American Poetries”