Black Print Culture

A 45-minute panel discussion followed by 15 minutes of Q&A held on Tuesday, 1 September 2020, 5–6 p.m. ET, via Zoom. 

The purpose of this session was to explore ways that scholars in the Black community are continuing to move the scholarship of Black print culture forward. Building on important projects, such as the American Antiquarian Society’s “Black Self-Publishing” and the University of Delaware’s “Colored Conventions Project,” this conversation further highlighted ways that the traditional study of bibliography is being challenged and also the need to expand scholarship in the field. Some of the areas explored included Black-owned letterpress printeries and type foundry companies, a business perspective of African American magazines, and paper conservation of African American print materials. The main goal for bringing together these areas of interest was to explore the ways in which the research of the past, present, and future of Black print culture and scholarship can inform and expand approaches for diversifying typefaces, business practices of African American magazines, and the preservation and conservation of these print materials.

Follow the conversation on social media using hashtags #RBSOnline and #RBSBlackPrintCulture.

This panel discussion was presented live in September 2020. The session was recorded, and you are invited to watch the recording of the event below via our RBS YouTube channel.

This event’s panelists were Jesse Erickson, Brenna W. Greer, and Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. Vanesa Evers and Curtis Small co-moderated the session.


Jesse Erickson is Coordinator of Special Collections and Digital Humanities; Assistant Professor, Department of English; and Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, Special Collections & Museums at the University of Delaware.

Brenna W. Greer is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College. She is a Junior Fellow in Rare Book School’s Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography.

Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr., is a book artist and papermaker, as well as the owner of Kennedy Prints!


Vanesa Evers is Program Manager for The Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Heritage at Rare Book School. 

Curtis Small is Senior Assistant Librarian and Coordinator of Public Services in Special Collections & Museums at the University of Delaware Library.


Header image: Bernard W. Bell, The Folk Roots of Contemporary Afro-American Poetry (Detroit: Broadside Press, 1974); The Black Scholar, February 1972; The Crisis, November 1953, and November 1967; Dr. Charles Johnson, Fifty Years of Progress in Social Development (Pittsburgh: The Courier Publishing Company, 1950); The Negro History Bulletin, January 1958; Southern Newsletter, vol. 5, no. 3, May–June 1960.