You don’t have to look hard for predictions of the end of the publishing industry. Frightening stuff if you’re a book lover, especially one for whom a book still means paper and a spine. For now, however, presses continue to bring books to market. Here are six African-American publishers who remain in the trade, committed to sharing high-quality literature and non-fiction to challenge and inform.
Third World Press
Haki Madhubuti entered the world of book peddling on a Chicago street corner. At one dollar a pop he sold 600 copies of his poetry collection in a single day. When a $400 literary award came through, he formalized the enterprise, purchasing a mimeograph machine, and with the aid of two friends, set up shop in his basement apartment. The year was 1967 and it wasn’t long before Madhubuti, a lead figure in the Black Arts Movement, was distributing the work of his contemporaries — Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka among them. Scholarly works joined literary texts, the result of which is one of the most extensive rosters of progressive black thought in the world.