Welcome to the Real Black Grandmothers (RBGM) submission system. If you have any trouble with this site, please email submissions@realblackgrandmothers.com. You can also call RBGM for assistance: 844.984.RBGM (7246).

Submitting online is the best way to submit to RBGM. However, there are three additional ways to submit if an online submission is impossible.

By Phone
1.844.984 (RBGM) 7246

By Mail
7511 Greenwood Ave. N. #815
Seattle, WA 98103

By Email
submissions@realblackgrandmothers.com

Please read the instructions thoroughly:

How do I get my submission published on the RBGM website?

  • Regardless of how you submit to RBGM please be sure to include the information requested.
  • Each section of the RBGM website has its own submission guidelines. Please read and follow the instructions for the section you plan to submit to by clicking on it below.

Why will RBGM not publish my submission?

  •  A phone number or email address is necessary should we need to contact you with any questions regarding your submission. We are committed to ensuring that we have all of the information needed to accurately process your submission! As such, we do not process submissions missing the information requested.

How can I receive RBGM updates?

  •  Although providing your address is optional, if you would like to receive RBGM updates and a token of our appreciation for your submission please share your mailing address below. We will not sell or share your personal information with anyone else period (see privacy policy).

Contact Information

Social Media Information

We would love to share your submission with you and your community! Please provide your social media account information:

Grandmother Information

Grandmother
Grandchild
Other:
Approximate if necessary, and indicate that you are approximating by writing, “approximately AGE”.
* If you would like RBGM to assist you in gathering missing information about your grandmother’s life (e.g., birth or death year, place of birth) please indicate so in the description box above.
* If there is an online obituary please insert the URL into the description box below. You can also photograph or scan the obituary and attach it with your submission. This will help us to provide as much context about your grandmother as possible.

Grandmother Story


Testimonies by Grandmother
  • Testimonies are personal stories shared by grandmothers and their grandchildren about black grandmothering. They focus on the impact that black grandmothers make in the lives of their grandchildren and others, including family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Testimonies come in numerous forms including narratives, pictures of cultural artifacts (e.g., quilts, baked goods, canned vegetables) with short narratives, creative writing (e.g., poetry, short stories), audio and video files (e.g., songs, interviews, short films).

  • Testimonies can be short vignettes of 100-500 words or longer pieces, maximum 5 pages.

  • At the outset, please consider that there is no “traditional” or “typical” black grandmother. If you are a black woman with grandchildren—biological or fictive—we value your story and believe you have something to offer that makes the world better (or magic—we couldn’t resist).

  • Provide your birthday and location.

  • As a grandmother, tell us about yourself. Consider the following prompts to do so (these are only suggestions):

    • What do you want or wish people knew about you? What do you want most for yourself and your grandchildren? What or who helps you to make it happen? What or who makes it difficult?

    • Tell us about your journey to and experience of grandmotherhood. Has it changed as you’ve aged? How does your grandmothering differ from one grandchild to the next?

    • What do you remember about when your grandchild/grandchildren were born?

    • How has your life changed since becoming a grandmother?

    • What values and lessons do you want to most impart to your grandchildren?

    • What are your fondest grandmothering moments?

    • What are your most challenging grandmothering moments?

    • What rituals have you enjoyed sharing with your grandchildren (e.g., baking, going to church, sitting on the porch)?

    • What challenges do you experience in your relationship with your grandchildren?

    • How have you worked to overcome them?

  • Testimonies are personal stories shared by grandmothers and their grandchildren about black grandmothering. They focus on the impact that black grandmothers make in the lives of their grandchildren and others, including family, friends, and neighbors.

  • Testimonies come in numerous forms including narratives, pictures of cultural artifacts (e.g., quilts, baked goods, canned vegetables) with short narratives, creative writing (e.g., poetry, short stories), audio and video files (e.g., songs, interviews, short films).

  • Testimonies can be short vignettes of 100-500 words or longer pieces, maximum 5 pages.

  • Remember to provide your grandmother’s birthday or birth year. If she is deceased, provide her death date or year. If possible, also tell us where she was born and raised, as well as where she resides.

  • Consider the following prompts when writing about your grandmother’s impact on your life:

    • What time period did she live in and how did this impact her life and those around her?

    • How did she navigate the challenges associated with being a black woman during this time period?

    • What made her special, unique, fierce, inspiring, problematic, faith-filled?

    • What is your favorite childhood memory of her? What memory makes you laugh? Cry?

    • What did your grandmother teach about aging, beauty, money, relationships, education, love, gender/sexuality, race, work, family, coping, creativity, and so forth?

    • What is your favorite ritual that you shared with her (e.g., baking, going to church, sitting on the porch)?

    • What challenges did you experience in your relationship with her? How did you work to overcome them?

RBGM welcomes submissions of all art forms, including video, music, visual, writing, and textiles.

Video
RBGM appreciates short film about black grandmothers of any genre that is under 12 minutes and in .avi, .mp4, or .mpeg format. Submission must be no more than 200 MB in size. While we love original work we also welcome film that features black grandmothers belonging to others. If you are sharing a film made by someone else, you must share only a trailer or a publicly accessible version of the film. We do not offer payment for short films showcased on RBGM, but you retain full rights. We also do not accept pirated films of any type.

Music
RBGM appreciates music from any genre that is under 5 minutes and mp3 format only. Music can be original or recorded by someone else. Music submissions must provide the name of the person who the music belongs to so that RBGM can acknowledge ownership. Music submissions must also be accompanied by a description of its importance to the person submitting it. What does the song have to do with black grandmothers? We do not offer payment for music showcased on RBGM, but you or the musician to whom it belongs retains full rights.

Visual
RBGM appreciates Visual Art of all styles. Images must be .jpg or .png format and no more than 8MB in size. Artwork can be original or belong to someone else. Visual art submissions must provide the name of the person who the visual representation belongs to so that RBGM can acknowledge ownership. Visual Art submissions must also be accompanied by a description of its importance to the person submitting it. What does the Visual Art have to do with black grandmothers? We do not offer payment for visual art showcased on RBGM, but you retain full rights.

Writing
Please submit poetry, short stories, non-fiction essays, memoirs, and blog posts. Writing must be by or about black grandmothers. Creative writing can be original work or work created by someone else. Written submissions must provide the name of the person who wrote the piece so that RBGM can acknowledge ownership. Creative writing submissions must also be accompanied by a description of its importance to the person submitting it. What does the written submission have to do with black grandmothers? Poetry guidelines include: 1-2 poems per submission, maximum 4 pages each poem. Non-fiction essays, memoirs, and blog posts should not exceed 1,500 words. Short stories should be no more than 8,000 words. We do not offer payment for creative writing showcased on RBGM, but you retain full rights.

RBGM welcomes submissions of news stories featuring black grandmothers. You can paste the URL for the news article into description box below. You can also scan the document and attach it in the upload section. Please answer the following questions in the description box in case there is a problem with the URL:

  • What media outlet published the story?
  • When was it published?
  • Who or what did the story concern?

RBGM welcomes quotes capturing things you say to your grandchildren or that your grandmother said to you. Please share your favorite thing that you say to your grandchildren or that your grandmother says/said to you here. Quotes must be accompanied by an explanation of what the quote means for those of us who may not know.

I coined the Inked concept to capture an idea shared with me by the website’s designer, Kimberly Merilus. Asking grandmothers to answer questions about themselves in a succinct way allows RBGM to gather information about real black grandmothers while also adding a personal touch by displaying their penmanship. Inked worksheets can be found here here. They must be scanned and attached below.

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