Third World Press Celebrates 44 Years - Higher Education
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Third World Press Celebrates 44 Years


by Angela P. Dodson

Third World Press, the Chicago-based publisher of books from the African Diaspora, has been leading the way in black publishing since 1967.

Founded as a beacon of the Black Arts Movement by the poet and educator known then as Don L. Lee, now Haki R. Madhubuti, who remains its publisher, the company is celebrating its 44th anniversary this fall.

Third World has published such stellar poets, writer and historians as Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sanchez, Derrick Bell, John Henrik Clarke, Lerone Bennett, Jr., Gloria Naylor and Acklyn Lynch.

In 2006, Third World Press published the Covenant With Black America, with introduction by Tavis Smiley, which reached No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

With his wife and partner of 37 years, Dr. Carol D. Lee, Madhubuti, also supports the Third World Press Foundation, which focuses on literacy, cultural knowledge, family stability, community cohesiveness and empowerment.

TWP has had a forty-year partnership with the Institute of Positive Education that operates four schools that provide an African-centered education to more than 1,000 young people each day: New Concept School, a preschool; Betty Shabazz International School (K-8); Barbara Ann Sizemore Academy (K-8); and Dusable Leadership Academy (9-12).

“Our mission for over 44 years was/is to build independent Black institutions that would not betray the legacy of W.E.B. DuBois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary McLeod Bethune and thousands of other African Americans too numerous to name,” Madhubuti says.

To celebrate its anniversary, Third World Press plans to publish 10 new titles before the end of the year, including the company’s first venture in African American religion with In His Image, Black images from the Bible by the late Italian American printmaker, Letterio Calapai. The tabletop book presents illustrations of such favorite biblical stories as David and Goliath, Noah and the Flood and others. It includes a Foreword by the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., an Afterword by the Reverend Dr. Frank M. Reid and commentary by the Reverend Dr. Cain Hope Felder. 

Additional titles will include:

44 on 44, Forty-Four African American Writers on the Election of Barack Obama 44th President of the United States, edited by Lita Hooper, Sonia Sanchez and Michael Simanga

Feeding the Soul: Black Music, Black Thought, edited by Dr. Diane D. Turner, exploring the Afrocentric underpinnings of Black music

Razor, essays by Amiri Baraka, poet, playwright, essayist and social critic on the political and cultural scene in America.

Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America by Dr. Thabiti Lewis.

The NAACP: Fighting Neo-Slavery in the 21st Century by Dr. Ronald Walters

Onion of Wars, poetry from Dr. Tony Medina.

The Classroom and the Cell, conversations between Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Mumia Abu Jamal

By Any Means Necessary, Malcolm X: Real, Not Reinvented, edited by Herb Boyd, Ron Daniels, Maulana Karenga and Haki R. Madhubuti, critical conversations on Manning Marable’s biography of Malcolm X

Pedagogical Imagination by Dr. Edmund Gordon III, an autobiographical thesis on his long life in education, psychology, human rights struggle

(See for more details)

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