Ujamaa 2004.

Author:Cox, William E.
Position:From the editor-in-chief - Editorial

If there is one unifying theme in this issue of Black Issues Book Review, it is collective economics, or Ujamaa, the fourth principle of Kwanzaa. This is the idea that we are individually and collectively the keepers of our own culture. Our special package on self-publishing (page 26) goes to the heart of how we as African Americans are finding ways to tell our own stories and encouraging other black writers. Since our very first issues, BIBR has emphasized self-published authors and the impact they are having on black books. We're proud to have been one of the first periodicals to review noteworthy self-published titles and the very first to devote a full department in every issue to them. We encourage self-publishers, writing in all genres, to continue their groundbreaking efforts.

Our articles on the revival of interest in spirituals and hymns (page 20) are examples of how we as a people have managed to keep important cultural traditions alive by teaching them to each successive generation. Nothing reflects the collective consciousness of black America like these songs. The books documenting them are treasures to be celebrated, especially during the Christmas season, when we focus on faith.

That theme of Ujamaa also ties with our cover piece, in which Essence Communications Partners' Susan L. Taylor--in conversation with Simon & Schuster's Malaika Adero--reminds us of the role black editors have had in identifying and nurturing talented writers. Some may find it odd for a magazine to place someone so strongly identified with another publication on its cover. It takes a...

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