Printer Friendly

From the editor-in-chief.

The War in Iraq enters its third week as this issue of BIBR goes to press. As a publisher committed to bringing out a national magazine devoted to black books, I ponder BIBR s place amidst the concerns of the day--economic uncertainty, safety and security, the curtailment of constitutional rights, and, worst of all, bloodshed and loss of life. Does a magazine about black books matter now?

I believe our books are even more significant in times of war and challenge, so I am especially proud to publish the May-June issue of BIBR. We are moving into a season when African Americans observe Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when many of our ancestors first heard that another war--the Civil War had ended. These people had been legally free since the Emancipation Proclamation became effective January 1, 1863--that's 140 years ago this year. But the truth had been withheld from them: They had not been told about Lincoln's decree when it was first announced, nor were they able to read about it.

Juneteenth reminds me of the continuing importance of owning our own publications that allow black writers to tell our own stories and comment upon the issues and events of the day. There is unique value in providing a venue where members of our diverse African American community regularly consider and critique our own works. Essential to our freedom, this effort cannot cease because the repercussions of war make it more difficult.

I urge you to read or reread the important works excerpted in this issue's moving lead feature, "Jubilee/Juneteenth," a literary freedom quilt carefully pieced by our new executive editor, Angela P. Dodson, with an introduction by author A'Lelia P. Bundles. It will affirm your core values in the face of today's global demands.

And I'm delighted to welcome Angela to her new post at the helm of BIBR. A veteran journalist who has worked for the New York Times and written for a many other publications, she has been a BIBR stalwart as contributing editor since our launch more than four years ago. I also welcome back founding editor Susan McHenry, who returns to active duty again after spending a year and a half pursuing other projects. She is now back on the BIBR editorial front lines as consulting editor, partnering with and supporting Angela to bring you the strong publication we need and deserve.

I salute our entire staff. Thanks to Angela, Susan and a tiny team of sister and brother bibliophiles, the current conflict has not prevented BIBR from commemorating freedom time and celebrating family and Black Music Month (see RHYTHM & BOOKS, page 24). We also begin a new department, BIBLIOMANE, that will highlight the many valuable books published by university, independent and small presses. And those of you who love to read books and rub shoulders with the passionate people who write them will be happy to see our expanded national calendar of book signings and other literary events, SIGNINGS & SIGHTINGS (page 10). And don't overlook our insider's guide to the upcoming BookExpo America, the post-Memorial Day weekend mega-gathering in Los Angeles of booksellers from across the country, attended by publishers--large and small--authors, book lovers and vendors of every sort. Publishing-industry observer Diane Patrick gives you the scoop on page 12.

Enjoy the issue. Send us your feedback. Read in peace.
William E. Cox
COPYRIGHT 2003 Cox, Matthews & Associates
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Cox, William E.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Article Type:Editorial
Date:May 1, 2003
Previous Article:Virginia Hamilton. (Tribute).
Next Article:Executive editor's view.

Related Articles
A piece of my heart. (letter from the editor in chief).
Editorials a turnoff for students or, the wounding of Fred Fiske.
At Idaho, editorials reign supreme.
New members of NCEW: January 1-June 30, 2004.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters