Contributor Guidelines | Guest Editor Guidelines

Guidelines For Contributors To TBS (2012)

To view or download in PDF: Submission Guidelines

THE BLACK SCHOLAR is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal devoted to the exploration of cultural, political, social, and economic issues affecting black Americans and other peoples of African descent across the world. To provide full range for the development of black thought in a climate where fora are still limited, we emphasize writings by black authors. The journal retains its policy of publishing both academic and non-academic intellectuals from a variety of professions and walks of life and its choices are the sole responsibility of its editorial staff.

Prospective writers should use the following guidelines. Also, we strongly recommend you familiarize yourself with recent issues of the journal.

Please email queries to:
Sundiata ChaJua, Senior Editor (History/Social Sciences/Politics):
Louis Chude-Sokei, Senior Editor (Literature/Media/Popular Culture/the Caribbean/Africa):
Shannon Hanks-Mackey, Managing Editor (General Questions):

Mailing Address The Black Scholar
Box #1001
4739 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105-4412

General Information:

The Black Scholar (TBS) publishes articles, essays, interviews, and reviews. Poems and fiction are reserved for special issues and noteworthy occasions. Because we strive for a public and interdisciplinary space of intellectual exchange, we discourage highly specialized or professional language and encourage open, argumentative work that is well written. Do not assume that our readers will understand your references to other works and authors. Target your submission to an engaged, educated but general audience. Reviewers should keep in mind that TBS is not interested in vituperative evaluations or shallow reviews that lack substance. Enlightening the audience is the primary goal, as is situating the work in an ongoing set of conversations or debates. Reviews should communicate a strong sense of the work under consideration in terms of style, context, and actual content.

For unsolicited manuscripts, please submit an abstract of 100–200 words that clearly states the nature and point of the article/essay. A biographical statement of 50–75 words, suitable for publication, should accompany all submissions.

We prefer electronic submissions. Please use Word in a PC compatible form. Send files as .rtf or .doc files. You may submit to one of the editors at their email address, or submit directly to

All manuscripts sent by post should be sent in triplicate. Please include a SASE. TBS is not responsible for the fate of unsolicited manuscripts.


Submissions to The Black Scholar must be original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere. The author agrees that he or she is granting the Publisher for a fixed term the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the submission including reprints, photographic reproductions, microfilm, or any other reproductions and translations.


Submissions should be typed in double spacing on one side of 8-1/2 x 11 size paper, leaving a one-inch left-hand margin. Full-length pieces may range in length from 15 to 30 pages/4,000–9,000 words. As compensation, every author will receive two free copies of the issue to which he or she has contributed.

Reference Notes

TBS uses endnotes. Please use the automatic linkage function between note numbers in document and endnotes. Manuscripts that do not adhere to this system will be returned for correction by the author.

Photographs, Tables and Figures

Photographic images should be high contrast black and white glossy prints or JPEG files of a resolution no lower than 300 ppi (or dpi). Permission to reproduce them must be obtained by authors prior to submission, and any acknowledgements should be included in the captions. Tables and figures should be included in separate files and separate sheets with the desired position in the text indicated by a numbered note within the text (e.g., INSERT figure 1 here).

Style Guide

Our preferred guide is the Chicago Manual of Style, but here are a few general pointers.

Reviewers should note the following variations from the main style guidelines: