International Black Writers Conference, Revisited

Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 11 am – 6 pm

The University of Chicago
5550 S. Greenwood
Chicago, IL 60637

Since its founding in 1970, the International Black Writers Conference (IBWC) served as an important point of connection for Black writers in Chicago and beyond under the leadership of its founding executive director, Alice Browning, who organized the conference until her passing in 1984. 

Therefore, as a tribute to Browning’s legacy and as part of the Smart Museum of Art's exhibition The Time Is Now!: Art Worlds of Chicago’s South Side, 1960–1980, her work will be honored and uplifted through a revisiting of the International Black Writers Conference (IBWC). Bringing together literary giants across genres and experience levels, IBWC showcased writers at the top of their game and the global Black literary community by focusing on the challenges, points of progress, and pressing questions of the industry. This revisiting of IBWC will do the same while bringing together writers who participated in the original conferences and also seasoned and emerging Chicago-based writers who are unknowingly continuing Alice Browning’s legacy in their own ways. 

The conference will include a series of intimate roundtable discussions and readings that explore the topics of Poetry and Lyricism; Narrative and Storytelling in Film and on Stage; Cultural Commentary and Criticism; and Black Press, Publishing, and Journalism.