We give you the scuttlebutt on academic journals—aiding you in selecting the right journal for publication—in reviews that are sometimes snarky, sometimes lengthy, always helpful. Written by Princeton University graduate students and Wendy Laura Belcher.
For those interested in publishing articles that address black life, black culture, black suffering, black death, black sexual politics, black religion, black liberation and all things related to black people in the Americas and across the African diaspora. This journal is widely considered to be the top journal in African American studies.
Founded in 1969 by Robert Chrisman and Nathan Hare, during the Black Power, Black Arts, and Black Studies Movements, The Black Scholar emerged as an intellectual space where scholars, activists, artists, and political leaders could convene to discuss issues related to black people living in the United States and across the globe. The journal publishes academic articles, poems, roundtable discussions, interviews, transcripts, book reviews, so on and so forth. Given the multiplicities of black expression, the journal prizes itself for being able to capture rigorous scholarly work in the same pages as more artistic, abstract pieces.
The Black Scholar is also a site of contention. Over its nearly 50 years of existence, the journal has featured debates on sexism, queer sexualities, class and classism, reparations, presidential campaigns, and multiculturalism, among many other subjects. Within its 46+ issues, the journal has also featured the likes of Muhammad Ali, Kwame Ture/Stokeley Carmichael, Anglea Davis, and Shirley Chisholm. The Black Scholar is the top journal in African American Studies and should be of interest to all who do work related to black people across genders, sexualities, class experiences, etc.
In the last five years, the journal has featured many debates and conversations on the future of black feminism, including attention to hip hop feminism and black feminist pleasure principles (See Volume 45, Issue 4 and Volume 46, Issue 2 for instance). There have also been issues completely devoted to popular culture, namely Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal (See “Scandalous” Volume 45, Issue 1). These types of special issues can be proposed to the editorial board, with suggested wording for the CFP. The journal also has transatlantic and transdiasporic interests (See “Black Dominican Studies” Volume 45, Issue 2) and there have been essays/issues devoted to the Caribbean and other parts of Latin America. The Black Scholar also welcomes issues and essays that critique Black Study or Black Studies (See “States of Black Studies” Volume 44, Issue 2).
Scholars across disciplines are encouraged to submit. Even those who are not traditional scholars inside of the academy are welcome to submit. The Black Scholar redefines intellectualism in the context of problack political movements, and calls into question hierarchies of oppression and systems of domination present in the binary of black scholar and black non-scholar, which are products of the academic industrial complex. TBS turns the word “scholar” on its head in a way that honors those in and outside of the academy in refreshing and convicting ways.
Reviewed by Ahmad Greene-Hayes
Useful for Submission
Issues per year: 4 (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer)
Current volume number: 46
Articles per year: varies
Citation style: Chicago Manual of Style
Abstract length (if required): 100-200
Upcoming special issues (if available):