Call For Papers and Other Works

Black California Dreamin’

Social Vision and the Crisis of California’s African American Communities

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Black California Dreamin’: Social Vision and the Crisis of California’s African American Communities is a book and internet project sponsored by the University of California, Santa Barbara’s Center for Black Studies Research. Articles, essays, and other works will be published in different formats by the Center in July of 2011. A conference on the findings will be held in May, 2011.

The Crisis of California’s African American Communities project is designed to critically examine the multiple challenges faced by Black individuals, families, and communities as a result of the global economic downturn of 2008 and the subsequent state fiscal crisis. Prior to these extraordinary events, African Americans already led the state with the highest rates of high school dropouts, homelessness, incarceration, and mortality. Since the economic crisis, they have also experienced extreme rates of layoffs, unemployment and housing foreclosure, the elimination of life sustaining social and educational programs, and the closure of major organizations, institutions, organizations and cultural programs.

The purpose of the project is as follows:

  • To investigate the central role African Americans have played in transforming their communities, the state, and the nation during the last three decades.  

  • To document the origins of the multiple crises currently facing African American communities.

  • To examine the impact of the current economic crisis and the emergence of new conditions, policies, communities, organizations, institutions, social movements, and cultural practices and movements. Of particular interest are differential regional realities and responses.

  • To identify solutions to the crisis emerging throughout the state.

We invite community members, scholars, researchers and students to submit research papers (a maximum 6000 words), shorter essays, policy analysis, poetry, artwork, photographs, photo-essays, lyrics, biographies, autobiographies, organizational profiles, profiles of solution-oriented projects, interviews, dialogues, agendas, and multi-media projects. Additionally, we are particularly interested in documenting the perspectives of youth, women, families, the African American “pioneers” who arrived in California during the 1940s and 1950s.

The work will be published by the Center for Black Studies Research. Abstracts for papers and other works (a maximum of 500 words) should be submitted to Professor Clyde Woods, before November 15, 2010. Final works will be due on April, 1, 2011.

Editors: Professors Clyde Woods (UCSB), Gaye Johnson (UCSB), George Lipsitz (UCSB), Ula Taylor (UCB), Daniel Widener (UCSD), and Program Coordinator Alva Stevenson (UCLA Libraries). Editorial Board:  Curator Susan Anderson ( Collecting Los Angeles, UCLA), Prof. Stephanie Batiste (UCSB),  Laurica Brown (UCSB), Prof. Wendel Eckford (LACC), Gregory Everett (filmmaker), Prof. Dawn-Elissa Fischer (SFSU), Julie Grigsby (UTexas), Alison Jefferson (UCSB), Yusef Omowale (Southern California Library),  Prof. Shana Redmond (USC), Dr. Damien Schnyder (UCSB), and  Miya Williams (Emerson Univ.)

For further information contact the Center for Black Studies Research, University of California, Santa Barbara,  4603 South Hall, University of California Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3140. Phone: (805) 893-3914. Fax: (805) 893-7243. Email:, Website: