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Just Us Books Celebrates 25 Years!

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We can hardly believe it! Twenty-five years ago we started Just Us Books as a fledging children's book publishing company. Full of enthusiasm, zeal, a sense of purpose, but limited capital, we set out to address the need for more books for children and young adults that presented stories and characters drawing from Black culture, Black history and Black experiences. Along the way, we think we have made a difference. When we first began our publishing efforts, very few books for children that featured Black characters, or that had their settings in Black environments, were being published. Those that were being published did not often find their way onto the shelves of books stores, libraries and other outlets for books. This sad state existed for other people of color as well. 


The percentage of multicultural books being published today is still severely disproportionate to the diverse population of our country and our world. Getting those books that are being published to a wider market continues to be a challenge with enormous hurdles. Yet, we cannot overlook the fact that there are significantly more multicultural books being published and made available today than when Just Us Books started 25 years ago.


Much still needs to be done to address the many inequities in the industry we have come to love. But we are committed to continuing the coming years with the same enthusiasm, zeal and sense of purpose that motivated us in 1988. And we know we are not alone. Over these 25 years, we have met and become friends with so many others - authors, illustrators, publishers, librarians, educators, community leaders, and parents, who share our vision of a truly diverse and representative body of literature for our children and young adults.

--Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson, October 10, 2013  






The start of it all - the AFRO-BETS Kids. Before founding Just Us Books, Wade and Cheryl Hudson created the AFRO-BETS Kids, six characters who twisted and turned to form letters of the alphabet. The AFRO-BETS Kids were first featured on Cheryl's handmade nameplates, then on t-shirts, posters, and ultimately, The AFRO-BETS ABC Book, the first book in Just Us Books' catalog. Pictured: Stephan Hudson and Kaylan Moore modeling the t-shirts in 1985. We.will continue share memories from our past years as we celebrate this major milestone.



Share the Stories with Wade and Cheryl Hudson

Meeting the authors and illustrators who create their favorite books can be an exciting experience for children and adults alike. Many Just Us Books authors and illustrators are available for school visits, workshops, panels and other special events that help make books come alive.


With dual roles as publishers and authors, Wade and Cheryl Hudson offer unique perspectives into the world of children’s literature, education, diversity, publishing and entrepreneurship. Their expertise spans many areas, including: The ABCs of Children's Book Publishing, Creative Children's Book Writing, Marketing and Distribution, Building a Curriculum of Diversity, Multicultural Children’s Book Publishing, Building a Business and Marketing to an Under-Served or Niche Market.


To arrange a school visit, community event or speaking engagement, please contact Katura Hudson @ katura_hudson@justusbooks.com or call (973) 672-7701.




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