57 Books Published by Just Us Books an Imprint of Just Us Books, Inc.
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Wade and Cheryl Hudson were parents on a desperate search for children’s books that reflected the diversity of Black history, heritage and experiences. Disappointed by the limited number and their unreliable availability, the couple embarked upon a mission: to produce the kind of positive, vibrant Black-interest books that they wanted for their own two children. Combining their professional experience in marketing and graphic design, Wade and Cheryl developed a number of manuscripts including the AFRO-BETS ABC BOOK, which taught the alphabet using Afrocentric themes and images. They began presenting their ideas to various publishing houses. Although most editors liked the concepts, the Hudsons received rejection after rejection. “There’s no market for Black children’s books,” one editor said.
So in 1987 the Hudsons published the AFRO-BETS ABC BOOK themselves. Thanks to targeted marketing and grassroots outreach, orders poured in from parents, teachers and Black bookstores before the book was even printed. In less than three months, 5,000 copies of the title had been sold.
In 2004, the company launched its first imprint, Sankofa Books, to bring previously out-of-print Black classic books back to the marketplace. Through the new imprint, the publisher welcomed into its family of book creators literary legends such as Camille Yarbrough, Rosa Guy, and James Haskins.
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