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E. Ethelbert Miller

E. Ethelbert Miller

Former Chair of the Humanities Council of Washingon, DC

E. Ethelbert Miller, a multifaceted artist and literary activist, is synonymous with the cultural heartbeat of Washington, D.C. More than just a poet, Miller is a force for inclusivity, amplifying unheard voices and fostering connection through language. His journey in the city began in the Bronx, but it's in D.C. where his voice resonated, resonating across decades and leaving an indelible mark.

Miller's artistic journey started with poetry. His works delve into themes of social justice, identity, and community, capturing the complexities of the Black experience in America. From "How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love" to "Whispers, Secrets, and Promises," his poems pulsate with honesty and raw emotion, resonating deeply with readers.

But Miller's impact extends far beyond the written word. He became a cornerstone of the D.C. literary scene. He founded the Ascension Poetry Reading Series, one of the oldest in the city, providing a platform for emerging poets and established voices alike. He served as director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University for over 40 years, fostering intellectual dialogue and nurturing young minds. His tireless advocacy for literary arts led to him being inducted into the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame and earning an honorary doctorate from Emory & Henry College.

Beyond literature, Miller has dedicated himself to amplifying unheard voices across various mediums. He is the host of "On The Margin," a weekly talk show on WPFW, engaging in critical conversations about social issues and human rights. He has also served as an editor for various publications, ensuring diverse narratives find their place in the literary landscape.

E. Ethelbert Miller's profound contributions to Washington DC are illuminated through his multifaceted endeavors, from nurturing literary spaces to championing social justice. As the founder of the Ascension Poetry Reading Series and director of the African American Resource Center at Howard University, Miller has played a pivotal role in fostering literary dialogue and providing platforms for diverse voices to be heard. His dedication to amplifying marginalized voices extends to his hosting of the radio show "On The Margin" and his editorial roles in various publications. Through his poetry, activism, and community engagement, Miller continues to advocate for social justice and equity. In acknowledgment of his immense impact, September 28th is officially recognized as "E. Ethelbert Miller Day" in Washington, D.C., honoring his lasting legacy and contributions to the city's cultural and social landscape.

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