Garden City Park, NY: February is Black History Month. Here at Square One Publishers, we choose to celebrate this important annual recognition by shining a light on four of our titles that remain historically and culturally important in reference to 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 newest 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.
This just in . . . an adapted excerpt from Black Health Matters is being shared online by the popular specialty publication African-American Golfer's Digest. (To see the link, click here.)
And speaking of golf, Square One also wants to share news of a special new memoir title that touches on the deeper meaning of truths at the center of Black History Month—albeit from a white person's perspective. Written by National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) founder Fred Engh with Jann Seal, Matchsticks: An Education in Black & White (ISBN: 978-0-7570-0505-3, $24.95 USD) tells the story of how Engh was one of the first white students to attend an all-Black college starting in 1961. What he learns during this experience is a testament to the continued need for Black History Month nationwide, and his book even presents a series of significant timelines for the Black community in the US that resonates with the life lessons that Fred learned while at Maryland State College (now known as University of Maryland Eastern Shore). To see a video about Fred's inspiring experience, feel free to click here.
The Gift of Black Folk, Black Broadway, Black Health Matters, and Matchsticks: An Education in Black & White are available here from Square One Publishers, and wherever else good books are sold.