Just Us Books, Inc.
Just Us Books, Inc. is
an independent publishing company specializing in books and learning materials
for children and young people. It focuses on Black history, Black culture and
Black experiences. Founded by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson in 1988, this
innovative company is now considered one of the leading publishers of Black
interest titles for young people.
Just Us Books has had a major impact on the publishing industry from its inception. When the company released its first title, AFRO-BETS� ABC Book, there were very few Black interest books being published and widely distributed. The pioneering efforts of the Hudsons have helped to demonstrate that there is a viable market for Black interest books. Today, more Black interest books for children and young people are published annually, and more of these books find their way onto the shelves of book stores and retail outlets.
In October 1997, Income Opportunities magazine named the couple "Small Business Pioneers of the Year" for the success they have achieved with Just Us Books, Inc. "Call it the power of positive thinking," said the monthly magazine. "For husband-and-wife team Wade Hudson and Cheryl Hudson, it's what propelled their business, Just Us Books, from its meager beginnings to a million-dollar publishing company."
"For those who doubt it, they need talk to the Hudsons only briefly to become believers as well. It comes up again and again when they talk of the impetus behind starting their company (over twelve years ago), the content of its line of books (which focuses on the experiences of Black youngsters ages 2 to 12) and their impressive sales in an industry where most books end up in the bargain bin."
"The Hudson's achievement is particularly notable because they faced twin hurdles of a very slim budget and racial stereotypes. When they first presented the book idea (AFRO-BETS� ABC Book) to mainstream publishers, they were told the book had no market and their manuscript was repeatedly rejected. But that didn't stop them."
As we celebrate our twelfth year (12th) in this business of children's book publishing, we do so proudly," states Wade. "Today, many more Black interest books for children are being published. As a result, more Black writers and artists now have the opportunity to be published and it is no longer a surprise to find Black interest books in bookstores, retail stores and libraries. We realize that much more needs to be done to make books and the publishing industry more reflective of our diverse society. We are, however, proud to be among those who have helped to bring about the changes that have occurred."