Issues Facing Black Writers

  • Despite wide acceptance of writers such as Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Terry McMillan, Walter Mosley, Charles Johnson and John Edgar Wideman, many African‐Americans writers continue to write in the margins of mainstream American letters.
  • There are too few black editors and writers in permanent positions at the major publishing houses and this does not reflect the diversity of the U.S. population.
  • There is a shortage of black literary publications in that only a handful of publishing companies, including Third World Press and Black Classic Press, are owned and operated by African Americans, and these few cannot publish the work of the entire community.
  • Agency representation for black writers is still a problem. Marie Brown and Faith Childs are popular agents overwhelmed with manuscripts.
  • Few newspapers, radio and TV newsrooms reflect the diversity of the communities they cover. According to New York University Journalism Professor Pamela Newkirk, author of Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media, so long as newsrooms pressure journalists of color to mirror the perspectives of whites, or to write stories that conform to societyʹs fixed views of race and ethnicity, the flight of journalists of color from the newsrooms—and the paralysis of Americaʹs racial discourse—will continue.