'This is the first collection to span the diverse range of Black Australian writings. Thirty-six Aboriginal and Islander authors have contributed, including David Unaipon, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, Gerry Bostock, Ruby Langford, Robert Bropho, Jack Davis, Hyllus Maris, William Ferguson, Sally Morgan, Mudrooroo Narogin and Archie Weller. Many more are represented through community writings such as petitions and letters.
Collected over six years from all the states and territories of Australia, Paperbark ranges widely across time and genre from the 1840s to the present, from transcriptions of oral literature to rock opera. Prose, poetry, song, drama and polemic are accompanied by the selected artworks of Jimmy Pike, and an extensive, up-to-date bibliography.The voices of Black Australia speak with passion and power in this challenging and important anthology.' Source: Publisher's blurb.
The Sydney protests against the Bicentenary which took place on 25-26 January 1988 were historic events which captured the attention of the world. Over 30,000 marchers, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, protested against the celebration of 200 years of European occupation of the continent. The following excerpts are taken from a verbatim transcript of the speeches delivered at the post-march gathering.
'Narroondarie is the name of one of the many good men that were sent among the various tribes of the Australian Aborigines...' (David Unaipon, 1924-25)
A story about the arrival of the strange beings, Wondangar (the Whales) and the Goon Na Ghun (the Star Fishes) to Shoal Haven. (David Unaipon, 1924-25)
In this essay Heiss discusses and explains the important role of anthologies in the creation of communities of writers and in acknowledging, consolidating and launching writing careers.
'Since its launch in 2007 BlackWords has enjoyed strong Indigenous leadership and a dedicated Indigenous team, allowing Indigenous storytellers, academics and researchers to determine its look, content, and scope. The BlackWords team of researchers and indexers is a community consisting of individuals from across institutions such as the University of Queensland, the University of Western Australia, Flinders University, the University of Sydney, the University of Wollongong and AIATSIS, each of whom has brought their own expertise and specialist interest to the database (BlackWords; Holt; Kilner 62). ' (Author's introduction)