African American Review• Official publication of the Division on Black Literature and Culture of the Modern Languages Association
• Affiliated with Saint Louis University
• Dr. Joe Weixlmann, ed.Dr. Joe Weixlmann, provost of Saint Louis University, clearly recalls what he felt his first task should be when he moved to Indiana State University in 1976 and was asked to take on editorial duties.
The journal in question was the Negro American Literature Forum founded in 1967 by the School of Education to help teachers who wanted to tackle literature about which little had been written.
“The first thing I decided was that the name had to go,” Weixlmann says. The journal dropped its focus on pedagogy and became the Black American Literature Forum. Then, in 1992 — in response to further changes in the editorial format — it was renamed the African American Review.
The African American Review has enjoyed significant success during Weixlmann’s tenure. Its associate editors — Dr. Houston Baker, Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Dr. Nellie McKay — are household names among scholars of African American studies. And its financial condition is strong as well. Subscriptions, after rising to a height of 5,000 a decade ago, have stabilized at 2,000. There is a small endowment, and the magazine is completely financially self-supporting.
This could be a delicate time in the journal’s history. After 28 years, Weixlmann is stepping down as editor. But he feels strongly that the review is sturdy enough to weather a change in leadership.
However, he would love for his journal to have a bit of competition. “What this country really needs is someone who’s young and energetic enough and can get a little capital together to bring Black World back,” Weixlmann says.
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