National HBCU Week

September 22, 2023

A photo of #AWP23 HBCU Creative Advisor, Faculty Fellows, and Student Fellows

Celebrate National Historically Black Colleges & Universities week with AWP! Join us in taking the time to recognize all the accomplishments HBCUs have made throughout history. In honor of HBCU week, we’re highlighting excerpts below from AWP HBCU Fellowship Program student fellows from the #AWP23 Conference & Bookfair.

Members can browse full reflections in the Writer’s Chronicle. Become a member with AWP today to gain access to our digital publication.


Reflections from the #AWP23 HBCU Fellowship Program Inaugural Cohort


“During the AWP HBCU Fellowship Luncheon, we discussed how the Black community may have lost something through assimilation. While inclusion in the broader community is desirable, it has led to the splintering of the inner group. We wondered how to build community in HBCUs and get students to participate in shared experiences. Separate but equal is a legacy. Being at the forefront of a new legacy means locating the words that lay out my sense of purpose. It is willful participation. My will sitting cross-legged in meditation and clouded by a thought bubble, a breath, the individual voice made legion.”

—Dana Little, #AWP23 HBCU Faculty Fellow


“I learned that community isn’t always based on what we have in common but on what we can create and support together. Although writing is something we do alone, our community improves it and holds us accountable. We must ask questions in order to create the community for us. We must ask why we are creating the community and what is it for. Being with my mentors and the other student fellows ignited a passion for connecting with community.”

—Brianna Yancey, #AWP23 HBCU Student Fellow


“The most monumental lesson I learned during my Seattle trip was to stay true to my artistry. Being exposed to new genres of writing in an assortment of media, as well as writers with differing backgrounds and perspectives enabled me to see the individuality behind every piece of literature. Regina Brooks, founder of Serendipity Literary Agency and AWP board advisor of the AWP HBCU Fellowship Program, said to us mentees, ‘first you have to learn all the rules. Then you can break them.’”

—Christen Montgomery, #AWP23 HBCU Student Fellow


Other Resources

  • Maryland Public Television features more than twenty-seven hours of content on HBCUs, their programs, and their legacies.  
  • Learn about the HBCU Week initiatives happening in Willmington, Delaware, and Atlanta, Georgia, with aims of garnering interest in attending HBCUs among high-school aged youth. 
  • The National HBCU Week Conference takes place this year September 24 through September 28 in Arlington, Virginia. It will feature workshops, engagements, keynote addresses and interactive exhibits that will connect the HBCU community with federal resources.
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