2 Publications from Blacksmith Books
Blacksmith Books, LLC, was a small independent publisher established in 2005 that specialized in high-quality fiction and nonfiction for the discerning African American reader. Its logo, the blacksmith’s anvil, is an acknowledgment of our ancestors who, during and after slavery, were masters of the craft.
In general, contemporary material published by and about African Americans lacks balance, often dwells on stereotype, and fails to reflect the cultural richness and diversity of African American life in the United States.
This reality echoes the situation that African American writer Zora Neale Hurston addressed in her essay “What White Publishers Won’t Print,” published in Negro Digest in 1950, where she lamented the lack of “incisive and ‘full-dress’ stories around Negroes above the servant class,” i.e., middle class African Americans.
Fast forward to 2007, where “ghetto fiction,” “urban pulp,” and “street lit” have replaced the servant class that Hurston wrote of. This state of affairs in publishing has led many critics, booksellers, consumers, and writers alike to deplore the glut of poorly written and edited material that dominates the African American book-buying marketplace today, noting the lack of diversity within diversity. Many of these critics yearn for a more textured, expansive view of black life. It is the mission of Blacksmith Books to respond to that yearning.