Stanford’s Black community invited to document ‘this moment in history’

The deadline for submitting essays, prose, poetry, photographs, original artwork, video essay and short documentaries to the Special Issue is Aug. 1.

The Program in African and African American Studies at Stanford is inviting Black students, staff, faculty, alumni and campus workers to contribute to the Special Issue, which will preserve and document the community’s responses to the worldwide demand for justice and equality for Black people.

Image credit: Sasha Jackson

“This idea emerged from conversations among the members of the program’s advisory board as a way to declare our collective solidarity, create archives of the moment and take steps towards building Stanford, the nation and the world anew,” said Kimberly McNair, a postdoctoral fellow in history and African and African American Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

“Our hope is that we, as a community of Black intellectuals, workers, organizers and artists, will preserve the lessons of this moment, and document our greater communal processes of resistance, mourning and radical possibility.”

McNair said the program is seeking essays, prose (1,000-2,500 words), poetry, photographs, original artwork, video essays and short documentaries.

“Submissions may also include documentation (such as photographs, copies of flyers, memes, pamphlets, programs and other ephemeral objects), reflections, preliminary thoughts on research and hypotheses, and meditations that help us to bridge this world and the world we dream into being,” she said.

McNair said the project carries special significance given the recent deaths of two icons of the civil rights movement: U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), who served in Congress from 1987 until his death July 17 at 80 years old; and the Rev. C.T. Vivian, an advocate of nonviolence who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Barack Obama in 2013. Vivian, who was 95, also died July 17.

Submissions are due Aug. 1 for the Special Issue, which will be featured on a website that is expected to go live in September.

The publication’s editing team is now accepting submissions: McNair (; Hadiya Sewer (, a research fellow in African and African American Studies; and Arnetha Ball (, the program’s interim faculty director and a professor emerita of education in the Graduate School of Education, where she is chair of the Race, Inequality, and Language in Education Program.

For more information about the Program in African and African American Studies, an interdisciplinary undergraduate program that recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, please visit its website here.