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DownSouth Press was founded and created to publish and promote the literature of African-American people that will enrich, enlighten and edify the world.
A people’s culture and history are contained in its literature. Since griots first recounted tales of families and tribes in Africa, the literature of peoples of color has chronicled the struggles and triumphs, bravery and flaws of an entire culture.
DownSouth Press will publish and honor more of these tales – fiction and nonfiction – for the current and future generations. The Press will publish four lists a year. DownSouth’s aim is to make certain that many of our beloved and important writers have a loving home for their work. At the same time, DownSouth realizes that it is vital to our culture that new literary lights are given a chance to shine. Therefore, each list will include a debut work along with works by well-known writers.
Although most of DownSouth’s books will be works of fiction, the company also plans to publish memoirs, non-fiction, spiritual works and children’s literature under its growing imprints as the press progresses. In the future, DownSouth will also reissue modern classics currently out of print.
Despite inroads made into the American leisure time by video games, DVDs , book publishers registered $52 billion in revenues in 2005, according to Publishers Weekly. With the influx of new readers every year along with the established audience of book buyers, African-Americans spent $257 million on books in 2005, about the same amount they used to purchase books the year before. DownSouth Press will target this market as well as the rich cross-over market to white and Latin readers.
DownSouth Press Team
Blanche Richardson, who heads the 40-year-old Marcus Book Stores in San Francisco and Oakland, Calif., is a highly respected editor, author and anthologist. In addition to editing the works of many of the country’s leading African-American writers, including E. Lynn Harris, Iyanla Vanzant, Tina McElroy Ansa and Cornell West, and leading editing workshops around the country, including sessions at the Sea Island Writers Retreate, Ms. Richardson is the editor of and contributor to BEST BLACK WOMEN’S EROTICA. She is at work on a novel to be published soon.
Joneé Ansa is an award-winning filmmaker - director and director of photography - and film and video editor who broke new ground as a first- and second-year Director of Photography Fellow at the American Film Institute (AFI). He heads his own production company, DownSouth Filmworks, Inc. In addition to his film work, Jonee’ has been a black-water scuba diver, still photographer and college professor of theater. He is currently in pre-production as director and screenwriter for the independent feature film “Baby of the Family.” based on the 1989 New York Times Notable Book of the Year of the same title by his wife Tina McElroy Ansa.
as an artist and illustrator, Varnette P. Honeywood is
highly regarded for her use of color and light, patterns and textures.
Her work—primarily paintings, collages, and prints—has received
wide exposure in galleries and individual and group shows, as well as
in books and on television. Honeywood is famous for her upbeat depictions
of black family life. Carrying on the tradition of genre painting, a
black artistic movement that followed in the wake of the Harlem Renaissance,
her work portrays blacks in a range of settings, going about various
activities, always stressing the colorful and creative aspects of African-American
culture. Her work tells stories and communicates ideas and thoughts.
Much of Honeywood's art concerns the history of black Americans, their
sufferings and triumphs, and celebrates the strength and leadership of
black women. Honeywood told Contemporary Black Biography (CBB) that her
art is sometimes described as "figurative abstraction."
Bernadette Adams Davis is a communications professional with experience in journalism, new media and internal communications. She has managed public relations campaigns, publications, events, and Web site content for academic, government and corporate entities. Her background includes employment with the Florida A&M University College of Law, Cox Interactive Media (a division of Cox Enterprises), the University of Central Florida and Chernoff/Silver and Associates. In addition to her public relations experience, Bernadette is a successful freelance writer with credits in Book Page, Black Issues Book Review, Black Enterprise, the Christian Science Monitor, the Orlando Business Journal and Bookreporter.com.
Shelia C. Worthy is the owner of Words...Worthy to Read, LLC, a greeting card business whose cards not only entertain, motivate and inspire but also touch. Through the development of Ms. Worthy's business, she has done extensive research on marketing plans and strategies and will bring those concepts to DownSouth Press. Ms. Worthy lives in the Atlanta area and is the mother of Joi Worthy and the grandmother of Jaiya Worthy who live in Chicago, Ilinois.
Kara Walker is an experienced professional web developer whose expertise consists of creating informative websites in public and private sectors for academic institutions, non-profit organizations, published authors, and special interest groups. She holds a masters degree in Information Design and Communications from Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, GA. Kara manages the web services group for Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. She is also working on her first novel.
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