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

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Since the second decade of the nineteenth century, there have been black-owned book publishers in the United States, addressing the special concerns of black people in ways that other book publishers have not. This is the first work to treat extensively the individual publishing histories of these firms. Though largely ignored by historians, the story of these publishers, as documented in this study, reveals fascinating details of literary history, as well as previously unknown facts about the contribution of blacks to Western civilization.

Donald Franklin Joyce offers comprehensive profiles of forty-six publishing companies, selected for inclusion through an examination of major bibliographic works, book advertisements, periodical literature, and business directories. Each profile contains information on the company's publishing history, books and other publications that were released, information sources about the firm, other titles issued, libraries holding titles produced by the publisher, and officers and addresses, where appropriate. Entries are arranged alphabetically by the publisher name, while an appendix presents a geographic listing of the firms and an index offers author, title, and subject access. This work will be an important resource for students, scholars, and researchers interested in cultural and intellectual black history, as well as public and academic libraries seeking specific information on individual publishing companies.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This dictionary provides informative and readable histories of 46 black-owned publishing companies. Each profile contains information on the company's publications, lists of libraries holding them, bibliographies containing sources on the companies, and the names of officers and addresses for current organizations. Joyce's earlier work, Gatekeepers of Black Culture: Black-Owned Book Publishing in the United States, 1817-1961 (Greenwood, 1983), profiled 68 companies in its lengthy appendix and covered the history of the industry in its main text. All but four of the companies included here were cited in this earlier work, leaving one to wonder why the current work is not more comprehensive. Still, the book is of interest to public and academic libraries with collections in black history and culture.-- Marie F. Jones, Muskingum Coll. Lib., New Concord, Ohio
Since the second decade of the 19th century, there have been Black- owned book publishers in the US, addressing the special concerns of Black people in ways that other book publishers have not. Joyce offers comprehensive profiles of 46 of these publishing companies, selected for inclusion through an examination of major bibliographic works, book advertisements, periodical literature, and business directories. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313267833
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1991
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1350L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

DONALD FRANKLIN JOYCE is Director of the Felix G. Woodward Library at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee.

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Table of Contents


The Dictionary

Appendix: Geographical Distribution of Black-Owned Book Publishers


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