Down to The Wire:
An Anthology of Black Thought on HBO’s Greatest Show Ever
~call for submissions~
HBO’s The Wire came out of left field and captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of devoted viewers in Black communities throughout the country. The question is, “Why?” On one level, the show gave numerous Black actors the opportunity to showcase their talents and to breathe life into nuanced, three-dimensional roles. “Stringer
Yet, as excellent as those characters and performances were, The Wire did not always reflect back images black folks wanted to embrace. Many of the show’s best characters were drug dealers. Filmed on location in the most blighted sections of
“Down to The Wire” will be a collection of essays exploring the cultural significance of The Wire, particularly to Black folks and our communities. The collection will explain why, contrary to popular belief, The Wire is indeed the greatest TV show ever produced by HBO.
The editors welcome submissions from emerging and established Black writers, entertainers, cultural critics, and other observers. We seek well-constructed critical essays and creative nonfiction which address such topics as:
Getting Out of the Life: The vision of Stringer Bell
Gay Thugs: Omar and Snoop
The White Perspective Still Comes Through: The death of Proposition Joe and the skewering of Black Baltimore history
Crying Foul: White Characters and the Race Card
I’m Just a Gangster, I Suppose: Avon Barksdale, Marlo Stanfield and the New Day Co-op
Playing with the Boys: Snoop Pearson, Kima Greggs, Marla Daniels and Nerese Campbell
Real-Life Drama: How The Wire changed the lives of individual viewers and their contributions to the communities in which they live
The Wire as scholarship: What did the show teach us about American society, culture, racism, classism, economics, and public policy? Can these lessons translate into meaningful social change and exchange?
Why was The Wire so popular with black viewers, but less so with white viewers?
Does The Wire glorify drugs and violence? If so, why do we give it a pass?
Hopeful or Hopeless: Bubbles and Duquan
This is not, of course, an exhaustive list of possibilities. Generally speaking, we are interested in original, provocative musings and analyses which address what The Wire means to Black folks.
Take a position and defend it. Tell a well-crafted story. Make us laugh, cry, think, shout.
Up to 6,000 words
We will only consider submissions of previously unpublished works and those for which the author hold rights allowing for re-printing.
Please include your name, email address, mailing address, phone number, and a short bio (50 words or less) with your submission.
Email is the preferred method of submission. Send essays within the body of the email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject heading: Down to The Wire submission. No attachments, please.
Submissions may also be postmarked by the above date and sent via regular
Down to The Wire
c/o Roland Laird
Posro Media LLC
PO Box 585
Unfortunately, we cannot acknowledge every submission. Authors of those essays selected for inclusion in the anthology will be notified via email by
About the Editors:
Roland Laird is a published author and entrepreneur. His book, Still I Rise: A Cartoon History of African Americans, was named “One of the Best Books in Print” by the New York Review of Books Readers Catalog when it was published by W.W. Norton in 1997. He recently completed an update of Still I Rise with his co-author and wife Taneshia for a February 2009 release by Sterling Publishing He is also the founder of Posro Media an entertainment company specializing in producing compelling African American images. Roland and Posro have been the subject of numerous media stories including in the New York Times, The Washington Post, and on NBC’s Sunday Today Show and on MTV. Roland holds an A.B. in mathematics from
Deesha Philyaw is a freelance writer whose publication credits include Essence, Wondertime (a Disney parenting magazine), Bitch, and The Washington Post. Her writing has been anthologized in Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined (Seal Press), and Just Like a Girl: A Manifesta! (GirlChild Press). Deesha writes a monthly column at AntiRacistParent.com, a website for parents committed to raising children with an anti-racist outlook. Prior to that, for four years, she wrote a column that was in part based on her experiences as an adoptive mother, for LiteraryMama.com. Deesha holds a B.A. in economics from