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Barksdale-Turner Scholarship

Barksdale-Turner Scholarship in
African American/Black Literature

The Black Caucus takes great pride in honoring the memory of Dr. Barksdale and Dr. Turner with this scholarship. Active in numerous education and professional organizations, including NCTE and CCCC, they were founding and active members of the Black Caucus of NCTE/CCCC. Established by the Black Caucus of NCTE and CCCC in recognition of Richard K. Barksdale and Darwin T. Turner, this award honors two leading scholars, critics, and teachers in the field of African American / Black Literature.

In Honor of

Dr. Richard K. Barksdale, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois

Dr. Darwin T. Turner, Professor of English, University of Iowa

The scholarship is intended to support the continued education of a Black student who is an English major with a demonstrated interest in African American/Black literature. The student must plan to teach.


The applicant must be a Black student nominated by a financial Black Caucus member. The letter of nomination must state why applicant should be considered with reference to her or his scholarship and potential as a teacher leader.

  • Applicant must submit a letter of application, including ground and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Applicant must submit proof of enrollment at a four-year accredited college or university.
  • Applicant must be ranked as one of the following at a four-year accredited college or university: a junior undergraduate; a senior undergraduate, pending acceptance and enrollment in graduate school; or a graduate student.
  • Applicant must be an English major with a demonstrated interest in African American/Black Literature.
  • Applicant must include a statement explaining why she or he has chosen African American / Black Literature as a field of study.
  • Applicant must plan to teach and include statement explaining why.
  • Applicant must submit names, ground and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of two additional references and ask each person to send a letter of recommendation.
  • Award: One $500.00 scholarship


Each applicant must submit the application letter and one copy of each required item, assembled as follows:

  • letter of application
  • nomination letter
  • proof of college/university enrollment
  • requested statements
  • list of references
  • two letters of recommendation*
*Two letters of recommendation should be sent directly to Dr. Tonya B. Perry by the persons writing the recommendations. The student should send the nomination and application packet electronically (excluding the two letters of recommendation) as a PDF to Dr. Tonya B. Perry. 


DEADLINE: September 29, 2017

Kendra Mitchell (fifth from the left), Florida State University, Tallahassee was named the 2011 recipient of the Barksdale Turner Scholarship in African American/Black Literature.

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts