Poets and Publishers of the Black Arts Movement

Special Collections & Archives Exhibit

Poets and Publishers of the Black Arts Movement

February 2024 – December 2024
Special Collections & Archives Research Room (ZSR Library Room 625)
Curated by Megan Mulder

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2024 from 4-5:30pm in the Special Collections & Archives Research Room (ZSR Library Room 625). Light refreshments will be served.

The 1960s and 70s saw a flowering of African-American poetry unprecedented in American literary history. The poets of the Black Arts Movement fused artistic experimentation with political engagement, giving voice to the complexities of the Black experience in the years immediately following the civil rights movement. Unlike previous generations of African-American poets, many of these writers were able to make their work available to the public through Black-owned and operated presses, thus freeing themselves from the editorial control of the white literary establishment. Black publishing outlets such as Dudley Randall’s Broadside Press, Haki Madhubuti’s Third World Press, and many others, allowed for a diversity of voices within the African-American community while also linking individual poets to a larger cultural enterprise.

This exhibit draws on ZSR Special Collections’ extensive holdings to highlight the achievements of both the poets and the people who published them during these pivotal decades in American history.