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Dr. Daniel Black: Black on Black

Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 5:30 PM

Dr. Daniel Black to deliver Keynote Lecture
Acclaimed scholar and author visits as part of Slate Seminar programming


On September 21, 2023, William & Mary will host Dr. Daniel Black, acclaimed author, scholar, and Professor of African American Studies at Clark Atlanta University, who will deliver a keynote lecture in the Commonwealth Auditorium in the Sadler Center.   

Dr. Black will start with a reading from his 2023 book of essays, Black on Black: On Our Resilience and Brilliance in America. “I want to speak about the critical importance of writing and why African Americans need this art form desperately,” said Black. “Then I’ll read an excerpt from The Coming and speak about the centrality of the Middle Passage to American history.”  

Black on Black received critical acclaim when released in January of this year, as it speaks “a truth that renders Black lives sacred, valued, and luminous.” The Coming, released in 2015, was noted by the New York Times as “an example of how fiction is not just a form of literature but a place.”   

Dr. Black’s visit to the university follows his March 2022 participation in the annual W&M Lemon Symposium, and a campus visit to the W&M Bray School Lab in April 2023. Dr. Black’s visit is sponsored by the W&M Bray School Lab and W&M Libraries, in partnership with The Lemon Project and the Center for Student Diversity.  


“Dr. Black’s visit is the culmination of collaboration and planning that began last Spring, when he first visited William & Mary,” said Dr. Maureen Elgersman Lee, Director of the W&M Bray School Lab. “He met the Bray School Lab and Strategic Cultural Partnerships team, visited the Bray School site, and poured libation at Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved. Dr. Black brings to William & Mary a type of groundedness that focuses on community, heritage, and consciousness. He is a master storyteller, and we are so excited to share his work and energy with the campus and the broader community.” 

Daniel Black is the winner of the Distinguished Writer Award from the Middle-Atlantic Writer’s Association and has been nominated for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, the Ernest J. Gaines Award, and the Georgia Author of the Year Award.  

 Black’s keynote will begin at 5:30 PM, and will be followed by a Q&A, book signing, and reception in the atrium of the Sadler Center. The event is free and open to all members of the public and is made possible in part by a grant from the Mellon Foundation. 

More information is available here