This Juneteenth, celebrate the resilience of Black literary arts organizations

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“come celebrate

with me that everyday

something has tried to kill me

and has failed.”

Excerpt from Lucille Clifton’s won’t you celebrate with me

Dear Friends,

As we commemorate Juneteenth — won’t you celebrate with us — the resilience of Black literary arts organizations whose legacies continue to provide essential support to the community and make significant contributions to the American and global cultural landscape.

Juneteenth, the date in 1865 when Black folks in Texas “got word” of the Emancipation Proclamation, is an important time to reflect on the historical context from which Black literary arts organizations emerged and still profoundly reverberates in our present day. While it is no secret that the literary field at large operates among conditions of relative scarcity and financial precarity, these conditions are exacerbated by structural racism and inequality, making the survival of Black literary arts organizations especially difficult within an already challenging field.

Our research project, Magnitude and Bond: A Field Study on Black Literary Arts Service Organizations, will explore the organizational needs, strategies, and models that enable Black literary arts organizations in the United States to thrive despite adverse socioeconomic conditions. In advance of releasing the full report in spring of 2025, over the next few weeks we will begin to share the story of how Cave Canem and its sister organizations in the collective Getting Word: Black Literature for Black Liberation, also advisors to the Magnitude and Bond, have been instrumental in shifting the American literary and cultural landscapes and amplifying voices of the African Diaspora.

Our goal is simple, to establish a tradition of supporting the organizations behind America’s Black authors during this celebratory season of liberation and independence.

This Juneteenth, join our movement to #FundBlackLiterature.

Donate

All donations will support and be shared equally amongst the five Black literary organizations that collectively make up the Getting Word: Black Literature for Black Liberation.

In light,

Lisa Willis

Executive Director