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Black Classic Press

BCP Director, Paul Coates, talks the past and future of Black Classic Press

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Printing and Publishing at Black Classic Press

Independent Publishing

By Calvin Reid |

May 22, 2015




After running Black Classic Press for nearly 40 years, founder W. Paul Coates said he is proud of his work as an independent publisher. But he said his work running BCP Digital Printing, a short-run printing operation, may be more significant: “I don’t know of any other full-time African-American printers. It kind of freaks me out. I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve been looking for 20 years. ”

Coates founded Black Classic Press in Baltimore in 1978, with a mission to reprint classic out-of-print works of African-American scholarship and history. He launched BCP Digital Printing in 1995. “It’s more affordable to go into printing today—it used to take millions of dollars—but I still can’t find any other book printers who are black,” he said. “Maybe a copy shop but not on a large scale—full-time, turning out books every day.”

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