This call for papers is for a proposed panel for the 2014 Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) annual convention. The convention theme is “Civil Rights in America.” In keeping with the theme this panel explores the way the Black Press has constructed cultural, political and social discourses central to African Americans’ fight for equal rights. From its inception in 1827, the Black Press has been instrumental in reinforcing the democratic ideals on which American society was founded. At the cornerstone of the Black Press tradition is its function as a counter public or a subaltern public sphere where African Americans could not only give voice to their experiences and concerns but also construct and redefine the semiotics of discussions about African Americans struggle for civil rights.
Our panel thus far consists of one paper on the radical Black Press and U.S. educational policy in the 1960s and 1970s. Drawn from oral histories with former editors and analysis of Muhammad Speaks from 1961 – 1973 and The Panther from 1968 – 1971 the study evaluates the role of radical Black newspapers in framing public discourse on two prevailing U.S. education policy issues: school desegregation and curriculum reform. The second paper examines Black newspaper papers’ role in producing and facilitating discourse on interracial romantic relationships in the 1920s and 1930s. This discourse intersected with Black newspapers’ civil rights platforms in other coverage in the Black Press.
We are seeking a paper that fits in with the topic of the panel, as well as the greater theme of the conference. More specifically, we are looking for scholarship, which focuses on discourses about civil rights either in the 19th century Black Press or the Black Press during World War II.
Please submit a 250 word abstract and a CV to Kim Gallon by March 31, 2014 at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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