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Jonathan Morley

An imprint of Heinemann International Division publishing African literature, running from 1957 to 2003. In 1957Van Milne at Heinemann received a manuscript of Chinua Achebe'sThings Fall Apart, the seminal English‐language African novel. He commissioned the work, together with its sequel, No Longer At Ease, Cyprian Ekwensi'sBurning Grass, and a history book by Kenneth Kaunda, soon to be the democratic President of Zambia. The four books were published together in 1962, Achebe taking the editorship of the new series. Things Fall Apart would sell 8 million copies, translated into 32 languages.

Independent Africa's three Nobel Laureates for Literature—Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt), and Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)—were included, as were politicians such as Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) and Nelson Mandela, whose collection of letters, speeches, articles, and trial transcripts, No Easy Walk to Freedom, was published in 1986 several years ...

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Colleen J. McElroy (b. 1935) was in her thirties before she began writing poetry, fiction, and memoirs in earnest. Until then, she had trained as a speech therapist, earning a doctorate while studying ethnolinguistic patterns at the University of Washington, where she became the first African American woman to be promoted to full professor. As the daughter of an army sergeant, McElroy was also well-traveled by the time her writing career took off, living in multiple American cities as well as overseas. Both of these experiences are on display in her collection of short stories, Driving Under the Cardboard Pines (1990), which, in the words of one reviewer, depicts the "mysticism and brutality" of the African American experience by bringing together voices of a diverse collection of characters (Barbara Smith, "Homeward Bound," The Kenyon Review). Although her previous collection, Jesus and Fat Tuesday 1987 is based mainly in ...

Article

Kerima M. Lewis

The African Methodist Episcopal Church Review (AME Church Review) has the distinction of being the oldest magazine owned and published by African Americans. The denomination's first periodical, the African Methodist Episcopal Church Magazine, appeared in September 1841. The General Conference that met in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1884 changed the name of this periodical to the AME Church Review. The AME Church saw a need for a scholarly magazine to complement its Christian Recorder, which had been published as a weekly newspaper since 1852. Headquarters for the magazine was set up in Philadelphia, and Bishop Benjamin Tucker Tanner was appointed the first editor-manager.

As a quarterly magazine the Review was not limited to the news and business of the AME Church but provided thought-provoking, intellectual, and scholarly articles. The first issue of the AME Church Review appeared in July 1884 with the lead ...

Article

Joel Gordon

Egyptian journalist and newspaper magnate in collaboration with his twin brother, Mustafa Amin, was born in Cairo on 21 February 1914. Their father was Amine Youssef Bey, a prominent lawyer and politician, and their mother was a niece of nationalist leader Saʿd Zaghlul. The boys grew up in Zaghlul’s Cairo villa, a political nerve center, eventually known as Bayt al Umma (the “House of the Nation”). In 1919 Zaghlul headed the national delegation that sought British permission to attend the Paris Peace Conference. Their arrest and exile sparked the 1919 “revolution” that inaugurated the constitutional monarchy (1923–1953). In 1922, the Amin twins embarked upon their first journalistic ventures, a series of handwritten magazines.

Ali attended the Royal Awqaf School from 1926 to 1928 but was expelled for participating in demonstrations against one of numerous minority governments He attended several preparatory schools one associated with the ...

Article

Rami Ginat

Egyptian journalist, novelist, scriptwriter, publisher, and politician, was born in Cairo on 21 February 1914. He said, “When I hold my pen I feel that I hug the most beautiful woman in the world; I have therefore lived a long love-story. I cannot imagine myself live a single day without my pen … When I pass away I ask to lay my pen next to me in my tomb since I may need it when I write a journalistic research story about the resurrection day” (Mustafa, p. 6). Mustafa Amin, or al-Ustadh the teacher as he was often referred to by his colleagues and followers was one of Egypt s most eminent journalists of the twentieth century Many in the Arab world have regarded him as the father of Arab journalism His pen Mustafa Amin kept reminding his readers was mightier than the dictator s sword a reference ...

Article

Frank A. Salamone

In 1909—the same year that W. E. B. Du Bois helped found the NAACP and that the African American Matthew Henson went with Robert Peary on what became the first successful journey to the North Pole—James Henry Anderson from South Carolina established the New York Amsterdam News. Anderson was born soon after the Civil War. At the age of twelve he left South Carolina, a runaway who worked an assortment of jobs, finally settling in New York City. He came up with the idea of establishing a newspaper aimed directly at the needs of an African American audience. This was a brave move on his part: at the time, there were only about fifty such newspapers in the entire country.

Anderson's small investment led to the Amsterdam News a newspaper that grew to have a strong influence in the black community He named the newspaper after ...

Article

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) is the world's oldest learned society dedicated to the promotion, research, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of information about the life, history, and culture of Africans, African Americans, and the African diaspora. Founded in Chicago on 8 September 1915 as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History by Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950) and four other people, the association was incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia on 3 October 1915. Its stated purposes were to collect sociological and historical data, to publish books on Negro life and history, to promote the study of the Negro through clubs and schools, and to bring about harmony between the races by interpreting the one to the other.

In the beginning the association had very little moral or financial support and its longevity must be ...

Article

Charles Orson Cook

one of the twentieth-century South's most consistent and effective civil rights leaders, perhaps best remembered for her role in the desegregation of Little Rock, Arkansas, Central High School in 1957–1958. Her name has become synonymous with racial integration, and her memoir The Long Shadow of Little Rock (1962) has emerged as one of the standard texts on the subject.

Although accounts vary, she was born Daisy Lee Gaston, probably in 1913 in Huttig Arkansas a small mill town in the southeastern part of the state near the border with Louisiana Her childhood memories are dotted with several episodes of racial discrimination but her recollection that she grew up with foster parents because her mother had died while resisting the assault of white rapists her father subsequently left town and her life left an indelible and horrific mark on her psyche Though her recollections have never been ...

Article

Jeff Loeb

Barry Beckham began his first novel, My Main Mother (1969), while he was a senior at Brown University, completing it while living in New York City. He returned to Brown in 1970 as a visiting lecturer in English and, after being appointed to a professorship, remained there for seventeen years, several as director of the graduate creative writing program. In 1972, his second novel, Runner Mack, was nominated for the National Book Award, and his play Garvey Lives! was produced in Providence. In 1974, he was commissioned to write a biography of New York playground basketball legend Earl Manigault. The book The book was published in 1981 as a “novelized biography,” Double Dunk. In 1987, Beckham moved to Washington, D.C., teaching at Hampton University for two years. Partly because of difficulties with publishers over another of his projects, The Black Student s Guide ...

Article

Frank A. Salamone

author, editor at Ebony magazine for more than fifty years, and popular historian of African American history. Lerone Bennett Jr. was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on 17 October 1928 to Lerone Bennett Sr. and Alma Reed. He grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and graduated from Morehouse College in Georgia in 1949. He became a journalist for the Atlanta Daily World that same year. Four years later he joined Jet in Chicago as associate editor, and the next year he moved to Ebony as associate editor. He moved up the editorial ranks at Ebony, becoming senior editor in 1958. In 1987 he became executive editor. While at Ebony, Bennett also continued to write, and the magazine published his articles on African American history.

Bennett collected his early articles for his first book, Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 1619–1962 (1962 ...

Article

Bim  

The word bim originally referred to a native of Barbados, often of mixed blood; the journal Bim encouraged writers to overcome the legacies of colonialism by affirming the mixed or hybrid nature of culture in the Caribbean. The journal, founded in 1942 by Frank Collimore and Theorold Branes ...

Article

Qrescent Mali Mason

Robert L. Johnson is the black entrepreneur responsible for Black Entertainment Television (BET). Johnson was born in Hickory, Mississippi, on 8 April 1946, the ninth of ten children. He went on to receive his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in 1968. It was at UIUC that Johnson became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and met Sheila Crump, who later became his wife. Johnson completed graduate studies at Princeton University, earning his master's degree in public administration in 1972.

In 1976 Johnson joined the National Cable Television Association (NCTA). At this time, Johnson more closely considered an idea he had to start a channel that focused its programming on African Americans. At an NCTA convention, he met Bob Rosencrans the chief of UA Columbia Cablevision Johnson inquired about using a two hour block of programming time on Friday nights ...

Article

Hayward Woody Farrar

By the end of the nineteenth century a number of black journalists had learned enough from their predecessors to be able to keep normally short-lived black newspapers running. Among these pioneers were W. Calvin Chase of the Washington Bee, T. Thomas Fortune of the New York Age, John Mitchell of the Richmond Planet, Chris Perry of the Philadelphia Tribune, and John H. Murphy Sr. of the Baltimore Afro-American. As of this writing, two of these papers, the Tribune and the Afro-American, are still in existence.

Article

Robert Fay

While working for an insurance company, college student John H. Johnson prepared a summary of news about the African American community for distribution among the company's upper managers. Believing that this same news could be marketed to African Americans, who had been largely ignored by the mainstream press, Johnson began publishing Negro Digest. The first issue reached newsstands in 1942.

Similar in format to Reader's Digest, Negro Digest initially reprinted articles, mostly general-interest pieces about African American life, from other periodicals. Soon, however, the magazine began publishing original articles and essays, including the popular feature “If I Were a Negro,” which featured pieces by famous white people, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. By the end of 1943, Negro Digest had a weekly circulation of 50,000. The magazine's success led Johnson, whose initial one-man operation had grown to become the Johnson Publishing Company to develop ...

Article

Emilio Jorge Rodríguez

was born Fabián Jesús Colón López, but he would use various pseudonyms, such as Miquis Tiquis and Pericles Espada throughout his career. Born on 20 January 1901 in Cayey, Puerto Rico; his father, Mauricio, was a baker and his mother, Paula, was a domestic worker. During his childhood while working in a tobacco factory near his home, he enjoyed reading literary works and absorbed the intellectual stimulation that the public readers in the tobacco shop offered workers throughout the day. After his family moved to San Juan, he attended school at the Escuela José Julián Acosta, where he directed the student paper ¡¡¡Adelante…!!! (1917) and ran the Manuel Fernández Juncos literary society. During this chapter of his life he began to write poetry. In 1917 he traveled to New York on the S.S. Carolina and settled in the home of his older brother Joaquín in Brooklyn Colón ...

Article

 The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races was first published on 1 November 1910 as the official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which itself began in 1909. The Crisis's founding editor W. E. B. Du Bois—the leading black intellectual in the United States, who had already published two classic works, The Philadelphia Negro in 1899 and The Souls of Black Folk in 1903—stated the magazine's purpose in an editorial in its first issue. The Crisis would Du Bois wrote show the danger of race prejudice particularly as manifested today toward colored people It takes its name from the fact that the editors believe that this is a critical time in the history of the advancement of men The world stood at a crossroads it could either make the world old dream of human brotherhood approach realization or ...

Article

Christopher Hogarth

Senegalese intellectual, was born on 10 January 1910 in Saint-Louis, Senegal. Best known as the founder (in 1947) of the literary review and later press Présence Africaine (1949), Diop was a key figure in the movement for the emancipation and recognition of Africa and its cultures.

In his childhood Diop was sent to a qurʾanic school to learn Arabic and the tenets of Islam but was also introduced to Christianity by his maternal aunts As an adult he would be baptized as a Christian in France and given the name Jean After qurʾanic school Diop went to primary school in Dagana and then received his high school education at the Lycée Faidherbe in Saint Louis from which he graduated with a baccalaureate in classics Greek and Latin Since Saint Louis was then among the colonized Senegalese towns considered part of France Diop became a French citizen and ...

Article

Robert Fay

Alioune Diop was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal, whose inhabitants enjoyed automatic French citizenship during the colonial period. He obtained his secondary education at the Lycée Faidherbe in St.-Louis, and then studied in Algeria and at the Sorbonne in Paris. He took a position as professor of classical literature in Paris and represented Senegal in the French senate after World War II (1939–1945). In 1947 Diop founded Présence Africaine, perhaps the most influential intellectual journal of its time on anticolonial and emancipatory culture and politics among Africans and peoples of African descent. With frequent contributions from his friend and associate Léopold Sédar Senghor, Diop’s journal helped foster the Négritude movement, which aimed to promote an African cultural identity and the liberation of the people of Africa and the African diaspora. In 1949 Diop founded Présence Africaine Editions a leading publishing house for African authors Diop ...

Article

Ebony  

Todd Steven Burroughs

Ebony magazine is the first successful national “big picture” magazine to feature African Americans. Ebony was created in 1945—three years after its founder, the magazine publisher John H. Johnson, began publishing Negro Digest. Ebony has documented every major development of black life from 1945 to the present, becoming a staple of the media diet of the African American middle class. Ebony, a fixture in any urban bookstore or newsstand, has helped shape two generations of African Americans, providing information and inspiration to millions. As a result of the Chicago-based magazine's success, Johnson spawned one of the largest black-owned businesses of the twentieth century, realizing a market for black-oriented print advertising along the way.

Johnson adapted established white mainstream magazine formats to black Americans. Ebony was modeled after Life and Look magazines in the same way that Negro Digest (later called Black World) was modeled after Reader ...

Article

Danielle Taana Smith

Black entrepreneurship has been important for the American economy from the 1600s, when the first Africans arrived in America.