If there is a moment that captures the resonance of our accomplishments in 2004 with our magazine and in black publishing, it is the sound of the African drums accompanying the procession of exhibitors as we marched en masse for the first time to the African American Publisher's Pavilion at BookExpo of America in Chicago back in June.
This was only one of many milestones for Black Issues Book Review this year. Our President and Editor-in-Chief William E. Cox and our Associate Publisher Adrienne Ingrum were proud to participate in organizing the pavilion and in the founding this past spring of the National Association of Black Book Publishers. Both accomplishments are symbols of the marketing power black publishers have already achieved, which will be key in building the industry.
As we near file end of 2004 and BIBR prepares to celebrate our 6th anniversary this January, we look back on an extraordinary time.
We have covered the broadest spectrum of cutting-edge subjects: including, the ever-increasing popularity of urban/street/hip-hop/ghetto fiction "It's Urban, It's Real, But Is This Literature?" (September-October 2004). We launched new departments and bolstered some favorites to improve coverage of books on faith, scholarship, gays and lesbians, young adults, romance and leisure--all growing genres enriched by black authors.
We also chronicled the accomplishments of writers as diverse as the award-winning novelist Edward P. Jones and intellectuals like Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West to urban entrepreneurs like Victoria Stringer and Carl Weber.
As a staff, individually or collectively, we have participated in numerous events. Bill Cox, our president, interviewed Jayson Blair, the disgraced reporter/memoirist, before an electrified, standing-room-only crowd near Washington, D.C., live on C-SPAN. Others of us stood in line for hours for the historic Bill Clinton book signing in...