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Black Classic Press

Black Classic Press Blog

Celebrations All Around

Posted by W. Paul Coates on

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Did you get the New York Times on Saturday? I didn't know it at the time because I did not have the physical paper, but Saturday’s edition came out with a large article on Ta-nehisi and an equally large article on Haki and Third World Press. Nothing like this has been done before making that edition for people like me, who follow and collect our history, one precious commodity.

To top it off, Ta-nehisi moderated a discussion in Chicago between Haki and me about our inspirations, motivations, and publishing. It turns out we both came awoke after reading Richard Wright, we both were early readers and admirers of Russian literature, and we both started our publishing in our basements.

It was a great event and an honor for me to share the light with Haki commemorating a half a century of guiding Third World Press and its work preserving our history and culture. And it was Ta-nehisi’s born day.

If you have a copy of the New York Times for Saturday, Sept. 30, hold on to it. If you don’t, immediately try to find one. This edition represents a significant marker in Black literary history.

Get the Best Experience in Independent Publishing: Work for Black Classic Press

If you’ve always wanted to work in book publishing and learn the ins and outs of production and administration from the ground up, this could be the right opportunity for you. Black Classic Press has a position open for a publishing assistant. At the direction of the publisher, the publishing assistant helps coordinate multiple aspects of Black Classic Press operations, [...]

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Branding Power & Unpopularity

Publisher’s Note: It wasn’t until we were halfway into the project that Jared, Todd, another key member of the project team, and I decided that A Lie of Reinvention would be a perfect counter-title to Marable’s A Life of Reinvention. We also agreed that our title would speak directly to the numerous problems that critics have identified with Marable’s book, which included [...]

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In Appreciation: Six Teachers, Many Lessons Learned

Throughout the different stages of my life, I’ve always had memorable teachers. They all played a role in shaping who I am today, and I appreciate each one of them for the contributions they made to my growth as a student and person.One of my teachers in elementary school was Ms. Bacon, who was an “old school, school teacher.” [...]

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One Man, One Hundred Countries, & a One-Track Mind: A Conversation with Dr. Runoko Rashidi

Scholar, historian, author, and lecturer Dr. Runoko Rashidi credits Black Class Press Director W. Paul Coates with providing the inspiration for his latest book, My Global Journeys in Search of the African Presence(Black Classic Press, 2016). “I’ve worked with BCP in some capacity or another since the 1980s,” he said, “and I have been writing travel notes since the 1990s. [...]

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A Shout Out for Independent Bookstore Day

Each year the American Booksellers Association designates the last Saturday in April as Independent Bookstore Day.I have always been and continue to be an avid supporter of independent bookstores, particularly those owned and operated by Black booksellers.Before officially founding Black Classic Press in 1978, I operated a bookstore in Baltimore called the Black Book from 1972-1978. And my relationship and association [...]

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Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day

Today is the day. As part of National Poetry Month, thousands of people will celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day by selecting a poem, carrying it with them, and sharing it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, workplaces, and on Twitter using the hashtag #pocketpoem. In honor of the day, which began in [...]

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Beyond the Frontier, But Never Beyond the Wonder

Publisher’s Note: This year marks the 15th anniversary of our publication of Beyond the Frontier, an important collection poetry showcasing the early work of today’s finest Black poets. In honor of the occasion, I asked the collection’s editor, E. Ethelbert Miller, to write a post reflecting on the book’s significance then and now. In addition to Beyond the Frontier, the [...]

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How an Ex-Black Panther Waged a Successful, Four-Decade Revolution In Publishing Without Planning To

The following article was published in the Atlanta Black Star on February 22 and was written by D. Amari Johnson.Paul Coates never planned to become a member of the Black Panther Party. Recently returned from a three-year military stint in Vietnam, the Philadelphia native and avid reader relocated to Baltimore in 1968, where he subsequently [...]

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Ta-nehisi Comes Home to ASALH

Last month I had the wonderful experience of attending the Association for the Study of African American Life and History's annual conference. The highlight for me was attending the luncheon on Saturday. My son Ta-nehisi Coates was the special guest speaker. I sat through the luncheon thinking about his first ASALH Annual Conference. I smiled as I remembered how his mother [...]

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