(re)Centering the Narrative: Black Women’s Voices of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Teaching African American Studies Summer Institute
July 10–14, 2023 at the National Humanities Center

Participants in the 2022–23 Teaching African American Studies Summer Institute. Photo by Joel Elliott.

Seeing how the literature of their time failed to reflect the truth of their lives, many Black women began writing to fill that void—to provide more accurate examples of their experiences. And in sharing their stories in fiction and other genres, these authors expanded not only the perspectives available but also began to experiment with traditional literary tropes and forms, offering up familiar voices from their communities and the sound of the streets.

This week-long institute will explore the voices of Black women as they have documented, inspired, and reflected the Black experience in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Participants will engage with literature and poetry, primary sources, and the historical record to center Black women in the African American identity.

In partnership with the Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice at Prairie View A&M University, the National Humanities Center is proud to host the second annual Teaching African American Studies Summer Institute. Open to all K–12 educators, this program will provide an immersive, hands-on learning experience to better understand the approaches and the historical perspective required to create and teach African American studies. Each day’s sessions will include readings and viewings, primary source analysis, and expert scholarship from NHC Fellows.

Participants will work with scholars of African American studies to better understand the complexities of the field and the introduction of key concepts in the K–12 classroom. Participants will create classroom-ready instructional resources and publish them as Open Education Resources (OER) in the Humanities in Class Digital Library.

Application Process

Detailed application information will be available beginning January 5, 2023. Participants will be selected from a competitive application pool. Each will receive a stipend for successful completion of the institute, and all travel expenses will be covered in full.

All current K–12 educators are eligible for this program. However, this institute is primarily designed for middle grades (6–8) and secondary level (9–12) educators. Applicant must be a full-time educator for the 2023–24 academic year.

For more information, contact Andy Mink, Vice President for Education Programs.

Application Timeline

Applications open: January 5, 2023
Applications due: February 15, 2023
Announcements made: March 1, 2023


  • Andy Mink

    Vice President for Education Programs, National Humanities Center

  • Marco Robinson

    Assistant Director of the Ruth J. Simmons Center for Race and Justice; Associate Professor of History, Prairie View A&M University

  • Mike Williams

    Education Projects Manager, National Humanities Center