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50in50: Letters to Our Sons
The AUDELCO and Obie Award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre announces its annual call for Black women writers 50in50: Letters to Our Sons 2020 with founding partner Obie Award-winning Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop. For the fourth year, MacArthur “Genius” Dominique Morriseau’s curatorial statement calls Black women and girls from all walks of life to tell their stories. A diverse group of 50 stories will be selected to be read by a renowned collective of Black women actors in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.


- Submission Deadline: Friday, February 21, 2020 at 11:59PM | Submissions at
- Selected Writers will be Announced: February 24, 2020
- 50in50: Letters to Our Sons Readings in Brooklyn and LA: March 2020

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou
Thank you for sharing your story with us!


What does it mean to mother young Black men? Does it mean to birth them from your very womb? Or to teach and educate them in your classroom? Does it mean to coach them on a sports team? To be their case worker? Their legal adviser? Their therapist? (If they even partake in therapy at all) Their spiritual counselor? Pastor? Village of praying hands, summoning their protection and preservation?

When we follow the mothers of movements, who are often also mothers of slain sons, we see women who have something to say to the world that hosts these young Black men... that it be kinder and offer them more grace. That it recognizes the value of their lives. That they are counted. This is what we collectively are demanding of the world at large.

But when the world is distracted, what will we have to say to these men directly? When we, ourselves as Black women, have bore the brunt of their fight and their oppression. When we are their protectors and sometimes their victims. How are we reckoning with our role as nurturers while also pushing for our own liberation?

If sons are not just born of our loins, but also born of our collective energies, then what do we want to say to our sons? This legion of men who will grow up in a post #metoo, post #blacklivesmatter, post #timesup era? When we have been the defenders of men whose un-muted music continues to defile and degrade our sacred bodies? When we know these sons are also growing up in a world with our daughters, who do we want them to become? What wish, what lesson, what truth do we want them to know that could turn their course? Create a future of warriors, gentle giants, gracious, kind, loving, life-sustaining men? What do we want them to know about us and about themselves? And if we could create a map for their survival, what would be the route?

As Black women writers, many of us grew up on the genius literature of Black men writers: James Baldwin, Alex Haley, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, etc. These were required readings for many of us, and so our empathy has grown for Black men because we’ve been reading, living, breathing their truth from their own mouths. So when our sons are listening to and reading us...what will we have to say to help shape their humanity?

May this spark something magnificent in your creative imagination. Happy writing!

(Dominique Morisseau - Playwright/Actress)
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