Black Book Publishers in the United States: A Historical Dictionary of the Presses, 1817-1990

Black Book Publishers in the United States: A Historical Dictionary of the Presses, 1817-1990

Black Book Publishers in the United States: A Historical Dictionary of the Presses, 1817-1990

Black Book Publishers in the United States: A Historical Dictionary of the Presses, 1817-1990

Synopsis

This book offers the first extensive look at black-owned publishing companies from 1817 to 1990, and reveals previously unknown facts about the contributions of blacks to Western civilization. By studying bibliographic works, book advertisements, periodical literature, and business directories, Joyce has collected a wealth of information on 46 firms. Included are publishing histories, bibliographic data, information sources, libraries holding specific titles, and officers and addresses where appropriate. The entries are arranged alphabetically by firm, and a geographical listing and author/title/subject index are also provided.

Excerpt

Since the second decade of the nineteenth century, black-owned book publishing has existed in the United States. The books released by these publishing enterprises have vindicated blacks, documented black culture and history, and addressed the special concerns of black people in ways which white book publishers have not. The fascinating story of the book publishing efforts of black Americans has been largely ignored by historians.

RELIGIOUS PUBLISHERS

The earliest black book publishers were religious denominational publishers. They came into existence to publish books and other literature to present black religious denominational doctrine and history and to assist clergy and laymen in their understanding and performance of denominational practices.

The AME Book Concern, the oldest black book publisher, was established by the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1817. This firm published religious as well as secular books.

Likewise, the National Baptist Publishing Board, which was established in 1896 by Richard Henry Boyd under the auspices of the National Baptist Convention in reaction to the decision of the American Baptist Publication's Society to discontinue publishing black writers, was another black religious publisher that produced religious and secular books. In 1909, for example, this publisher released Archard H. Boyd The Separate or "Jim Crow" Car Laws. Other black religious publishers of both secular and religious books were the AME Sunday School Union and Publishing House (Nashville, Tennessee, 1886-) and the Townsend Press Division of the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. (Nashville, Tennessee, 1916-).

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