Black Creators of Legacy and Digital Media
McFarland & Company, Inc (Jefferson, North Carolina)
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Collection Editors: Joshua K. Wright, Ph.D., Adria Y. Goldman, Ph.D., and Alexa Harris, Ph.D.

Digital technologies have significantly impacted the media landscape, from production practices and editing techniques to interactive viewing experiences. A notable potential of digital media is the opportunity for diverse and inclusive representation. For example, streaming services, social media influencers, and video-sharing websites have contributed to visibility for under- and misrepresented identities in media. Black creators, especially, have tapped into this potential by producing and consuming content representing Black people and their intersecting identities.

Historically, Black audiences have had a challenging relationship with all forms of media. While they have been heavy consumers of its content, the media has not represented genuine Black experiences. Stereotypical representations, tokenism in casting, and Black stories created and controlled by non-black people have resulted in inaccurate, one-dimensional, and unrelatable content for Black audiences. While legacy media–like television and film–have seen improvements over time in ownership, production, and representation, digital media have made substantial changes for Black representation at a faster rate. A Nielsen study found a growing interest in streaming services, social media, and podcasting within the Black community because of the access to more relatable content created by Black creators.

McFarland & Company, Inc. has published several books about films and television and recently released books about digital media, such as The Age of Netflix (2017). Thus, the company has solicited a new collection that compares the work of Black creators and how they have used legacy (traditional) and digital media to challenge existing narratives, present "authentic" representations to like audiences, and create opportunities for themselves and others. Though a space for increased access and visibility, digital media is not free of discrimination, unequal opportunity, cultural appropriation, and other challenges for Black creators. Thus, the project welcomes critical pieces that explore industry challenges, social issues, and power dynamics that impact Black creators' works and experiences. In addition, the collection recognizes the blurring lines between legacy and digital media and welcomes essays that explore traditional media converted to or re-imagined in digital formats by Black creators.

The project aims to feature an interdisciplinary collection of research and creative works from academic scholars, professional media practitioners, and public figures. Chapters in the collection will explore Black creators in film, TV, and digital media from 2000 to the present, including their professional journeys, creative projects, and cultural influence. While all ideas are welcomed, the editors have included a list of suggested topics at the end of this call for papers. Inclusion in the final collection requires approval from the series editors and McFarland.

Submission Details. Interested parties are invited to submit an extended abstract (up to 1500 words) and brief author bio (50 words) as one Microsoft Word document to by May 15th. The abstract should provide an overview of the paper, including main arguments, necessary context, methodological choices, and existing findings. Selected writers will be notified in July. First drafts (15-20 pages) are due October 1st. References, illustrations, and notes should not be included in the page.  The final draft with suggested revisions is due August 1st, 2025.  Essays should be formatted following the 7th edition of APA.  The use of images, song lyrics, and human subjects all require appropriate permissions.  Send any questions about the collection or abstract requirements to  

All topics refer to content by "Black Media Creators," defined by this project as Black persons who are content creators, directors, producers, writers, or showrunners. Contributors can use or blend the following sample topics to present a novel perspective.

Black creators shaping media, culture, and society.

Black creators' use of African American Rhetoric and other rhetorical devices.

Black Bodies in Historically White Spaces.

Representations of Identity and Intersectionality by Black Creators.

Black Diaspora in Media.




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