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February Is Black History Month, So Celebrate With Three Key Books From Square One Publishers

Posted: 2021/01/19

Garden City Park, NY: This coming February will be Black History Month. Here at Square One Publishers, we choose to celebrate this important annual recognition by shining a light on three of our titles that remain historically and culturally important in recognition of the African-American experience—past, present, and future.

Commissioned, published, and produced in 1924 by the Knights of Columbus Historical Commission at the height of this country's Black Renaissance, The Gift of Black Folk (ISBN: 978-0-7570-0319-6, $14.95 USD) was the first critically acclaimed black history ever to be written by the late writer and cofounder of the NAACP, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, about whom Dr. King had the following to say in his lifetime: "[Du Bois'] singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people."

Square One's edition of this work represents a newly re-edited and reissued version of the material. The book features an Introduction by Carl Anderson, who, prior to becoming Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, spent nearly a decade working on issues of racial equality as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Anderson states in the Introduction: "A hundred years after W.E.B. Du Bois helped cofound the NAACP, the United States can view its civil rights achievements with pride. African Americans have served on the Supreme Court, in the Cabinet, and, finally, as President of the United States. The Gift of Black Folk allows us to fully appreciate these monumental achievements. It is our belief that Du Bois' classic work will continue to inform and inspire for many generations to come."

Equally groundbreaking in the realm of book publishing history is our publication of Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way (ISBN: 978-0-7570-0388-2, $39.95 USD) by theater historian and six-time Tony award-winning producer Stewart F. Lane. This hardcover book is the first illustrated history or "coffee table"-format title that explores both in words and pictures the tumultuous and often rocky road traveled by African-American actors and actresses over the past two centuries on their way to artistic reward and recognition on the Broadway stage. Featuring a Foreword by Tony award-winning director Kenny Leon, Black Broadway provides an entertaining history of a Broadway of which few are aware.

And since much of Square One's editorial focus remains aimed at issues of alternative and conventional health, we also want to bring readers' attention to our next alternative health title Black Health Matters: The Vital Facts You Must Know to Protect Your Health and Those of Your Loved Ones (ISBN: 978-0-7570-0507-7, $16.95 USD). As reiterated by African-American doctor and our book's author Dr.
Richard Walker, the fact remains that African Americans continue to top the list of groups afflicted by hypertension, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, renal failure, and cancer—and also, as this time of pandemic has shown, with COVID-19. In his book, Dr. Walker shows how key medical research from the past years—much of which points to a chronic lack of Vitamin D3 as the crucial missing puzzle piece of African-American health—can now help determine a commonsense way to prevent, reduce, and possibly eliminate these killers from the basic tenor of the African-American experience at present. Black Health Matters is a book whose time has come, and we believe it will prove a meaningful tool to the African-American community now that the importance of health cannot be overstated.

The Gift of Black Folk, Black Broadway, and (this coming Spring) Black Health Matters are available here from Square One Publishers, on Amazon, and wherever good books are sold nationwide.

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NOTES FROM A DYSLEXIC PUBLISHER - # 1

Posted: 2021/01/12

The Point

Were it not for my having to face my own personal demons,
some of my best books might never have been published.

Garden City Park, NY: Independent publishers have a lot of reasons for bringing out the books they do. Most people never have an opportunity to see what’s behind the curtain. This is just one of the stories I thought I would share with you.

Square One Publishers is my second book publishing company, and will soon be twenty-one years old. I’ve been lucky enough to have brought out my share of successful titles. Over the years, I have spoken to many author groups on the topic of how to get their books published. That led me to write a book called How to Publish Your Nonfiction Book for authors with no clue as to the best way to approach a commercial publisher. One of the things I bring up whenever I speak to these folks is the fact that I am dyslexic—and because of that, I’m never quite sure what will come out of my mouth as I talk. It gets a laugh, but it also happens to be true.

As bad as dyslexia can be, it was actually the thing that first motivated my interest in books. When I was younger, on open school nights, I heard a teacher say to my mother, “He seems so smart, but what’s wrong with him?” This was before a learning disability was a recognized thing. By the time I hit middle school age, I thought everyone else had my problem but had outgrown or overcome it as they got older. Maybe I was a late bloomer—or at least, that was what I told myself.

Then I came up with an idea. I would take a book out of the library, and work at reading it straight through from start to finish. I thought that the more books I read, the more I could make this problem go away. And while it took me a long time to get through each title I took out, I simply forced myself to do it. My problem with words never went away, but I discovered that I really enjoyed reading books. After graduating college and working towards earning my master’s degree in history, I went in May 1970 for an interview as a sales rep for a college textbook company. Nervous as I was, I got the job, and I have never looked back.

Over the years, I had often wished that someone had told my parents that I had a learning problem when I was a kid; but then, perhaps my life would have turned out differently, and I wouldn’t be writing this note to you. What I have always known is that school should not have been as hard as it was for me back then. That experience planted a seed in me early—I thought that as a publisher, working to produce books for parents whose children have learning disabilities might be a helpful and worthy pursuit. And I’m proud to say that this has remained one of my top priorities in turning out books at Square One.

Things really began to click for me in the 1980s, when I first met child education pioneer Glenn Doman and his daughter, Janet. Glenn was the founder of The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, located just outside of Philadelphia. The Institutes had developed a set of groundbreaking teaching techniques designed to help educate average and special needs children alike. Being shown around their facility, while also getting to meet some of their staff and students, was an amazing experience. My friendship with the Domans led me to publish nine of their titles. The “Gentle Revolution Series” has gone on to become this country’s bestselling parenting series, with over 13 million copies in print.

Watching a TV segment several years ago on 60 Minutes, I saw an interview with an educator and psychologist named Helen Irlen, who had devised a unique system of improving or eliminating the effects of dyslexia with the applied use of different colored lenses. Appearing on that news piece was a dyslexic girl from Australia, who Helen first asked to read aloud a paragraph without the help of her colored lenses. As she read before the camera, her hesitant and uncertain tone reminded me of, well, me. She then put on a pair of Irlen’s colored-lens glasses; and when she read the same paragraph out loud this time, she read it perfectly. I was blown away. On the following Monday, I tracked Helen down and introduced myself as a publisher who was dyslexic and wanted to know more. A few weeks later, I took a flight to the Irlen Institute in Long Beach, California—to meet with her, but also to be tested. What I discovered was that her lenses work beautifully for some people, but not for everyone—including me.

That wasn’t the end for me, though. I went on to learn that there are a number of things that can cause one’s brain to misinterpret the words and numbers that one sees. And while these causes are different, the end result for all remains the same—dyslexia. For those who see print that becomes distorted or have headaches or other physical symptoms when reading, these Irlen lenses might very well be the cure. I have published Helen Irlen’s book The Irlen Revolution, and Square One will soon be coming out with a new Irlen-based book for parents to use with their child called The Word Gobblers by a dedicated Irlen method educator Catherine Matthias.

These are only a few of the titles Square One has come out with over the years to help parents overcome their children’s learning difficulties. And while I am still dyslexic, many of the people who have learned about and worn the Irlen lenses as a result of our books have had their world changed. As I learned many years ago after that first fateful trip to the library, books can change your life. My colleagues and I at Square One remain proud and committed to making the kinds of books that aim to bring about positive change for all who embrace them.

Regards,

Rudy Shur, Publisher
Square One Publishers, Inc.

P.S. Here below is the link to our list of "Learning Disabilities" titles. Perhaps someone you know could use a little help:

http://www.squareonepublishers.com/Search/Category/LearningDisabilities

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Watch MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM on Netflix - then read about it in our celebrated book, BLACK BROADWAY!

Posted: 2021/01/02

Garden City Park, NY: Trumpeted now as much for the superb August Wilson play on which it is based as it is for being the final screen appearance of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, the Netflix-distributed film Ma Rainey's Black Bottom has received all manner of top critical accolades since it began to stream last month.

With so many watching the film at home, though, it begs questions as to just where this play came from and when it was first seen. The answer to that question, along with many others from over a century of enthused chronicle, can be found in our critically-acclaimed hardcover illustrated history book Black Broadway: African Americans on the Great White Way ($39.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0388-2).

Written by six-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and theater historian Stewart F. Lane, this book uses words and illustrations—including more than 275 assorted b&w and color photographs—to capture the often rocky but ultimately triumphant road that African Americans have travelled to the Great White Way. The story stretches from the mid-1800s up to present day, and shows a progression through vaudeville to the Jazz Age and Second Harlem Renaissance all the way up to the present.

Here's what reviewers have said about Black Broadway to date:

* "Essential for any theater collection." —Library Journal (starred review)

* "Wonderfully illustrated and researched." —Booklist

*
"You've got to get this book. This is what it's all about." —Ben Vereen

* "
A brisk, fascinating overview [with] hundreds of rare and revealing photographs." —New York Magazine

*
"This book is a must-have in every Black family's library, whether you are into Black theater or not. It is a tribute to the talent of our people."The New York Amsterdam News

As we all begin the new year seeking an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us also eagerly await a return to live theatre on Broadway and theatres nationwide. If you love the theatre, then you'll love Black Broadway!

Black Broadway is available in hardcover or as a digital eBook on Amazon, B&N, Bookshop, and wherever else books are sold.

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THE DEFIANT gets its own documentary (set to first air on Jewish Life TV/JLTV - Friday, January 1, 2021 at 8:00pm ET/PT)

Posted: 2021/01/01

Garden City Park, NY: At a time when both anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are again on the rise, Square One is proud to announce that a new documentary has been made based on its acclaimed memoir The Defiant: A True Story of Escape, Survival & Resistance by Holocaust survivor Shalom Yoran.

The documentary, set to first air Friday January 1 2021 at 8:00pm ET/PT on the Jewish Life TV (JLTV) network, is based on Yoran's book and tells the personal and moving story of the author's World War II experiences and how Shalom (after his parents were killed) refused to yield to the Nazis and chose to become a Jewish resistance fighter. The book further chronicles the bravery of a group of men and women who carried on a forest war, using antiquated guns and living on instinct. From the brutal behavior of Polish peasants to direct confrontations with storm troopers, The Defiant sheds light on events that few have known about in this country.

This documentary will be shown another three times this year, not counting additional airings during JLTV fund drives similar in nature to those televised by the PBS network. It will also air:

* April 25, 2021 (Sunday - at 3:00pm ET)

* August 13, 2021 (Friday - at 8:00pm ET / PT)

* November 13, 2021 (Saturday - at 8:00pm ET / PT)

To see where the JLTV network may be carried where you live, be sure to click here for a full list of cable systems that carry it.

Our book of The Defiant ($15.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0078-2) is now available in paperback and ePub formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookShop, and wherever else books are sold.

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Happy - and HEALTHIER - New Year in 2021!

Posted: 2020/12/31

Square One wishes everyone a very HAPPY - and HEALTHIER - NEW YEAR for 2021!

For those looking to get off on the right foot health-wise, check out our book with macrobiotics pioneer and natural health advocate Bill Tara, How to Eat Right & Save the Planet ($16.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0486-5).

A better life, and a better Earth, can be yours with a better diet. Be sure to get a copy of How to Eat Right & Save the Planet, and start your new year right.

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