CUNY TV's acclaimed series, Black Writers in America, premiered in 2003 with Walter Mosley and Sonia Sanchez as the first guests. Each half-hour program presents two separate 15-minute interviews, introduced by actor Ossie Davis, in which the featured writer is able to reveal the thoughts, process, and intellect behind his or her own acclaimed work. The series can currently be seen on public television stations throughout the United States.
Black Writers in America grew out of the Fifth National Black Writers Conference (NBWC) at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, where all of the previous conferences, beginning in 1986, have been held. Writer and CUNY Professor Elizabeth Nunez was Conference Director. Major funding for all of the Conferences was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In the series, the writers respond to questions from Jerry Carlson, a CUNY Professor and host of CUNY TV's popular City Cinematheque series. series. The camera never leaves the authors' faces, however, resulting in up-close, revealing insights into the writers' personalities, lives, and themes.