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Black Papers 

IN THE TRADITION OF ITS NAMESAKE, the W.E.B. Du Bois Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy provides critical and timely policy position papers known as Black Papers. The purpose of Black Papers is to provide scholars, activists, public officials, students, journalists, and others the opportunity to provide an intellectual and literary medium to make public policy statements that impact Black communities in America and the African Diaspora.

W.E.B. Du Bois, throughout his life, provided consistent commentary on how public policy and salient issues impacted black communities. Many of these observations and position statements can be found in his personal letters, public statements, speeches, and the Crisis newspaper. These treasured writing allowed scholars who preceded him to understand the complexities, contradictions, and critiques of the times in which he lived by providing intellectual prophecy and providence on the condition of black folk.
In this same tradition, the Du Bois Southern Policy Center seeks to provide a space to present innovative and cutting-edge ideas to the public. 

The requirements for publication are as follows.

  1. The paper must focus on an issue or problem within the material conditions of black communities in their current or predictive future status.

  2. The paper must address the potential public policy implications of such an issue or problem. 

  3. The paper must make an argument, take a position, or offer a solution based on evidence, logic, and reason, not conjuncture, conspiracy, or concoction.

  4. The paper must be clear, concise, and compelling, with a word count of less than 2500-3500 words or 5-7 pages, not including the title and a work cited page (if necessary).

In the absence of footnotes or endnotes, papers can hyperlink statements to verify the validity of claims made. However, links must be tied to reputable or scholarly sources of information.  


Although these papers can be polemical in nature, we have a high expectation of quality writing. Papers will be reviewed by the Du Bois Southern Policy Center staff monthly. Papers are on a rolling basis and published monthly. To submit a Black Paper, please send your full draft to

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