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Third World Press Foundation celebrates 50 years of continuous publishing

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Dr. Haki R. Madhubuti

Third World Press Foundation (TWPF) has big plans for its 50th anniversary, themed “Fearlessly Publishing About the Black Experience for 50 Years!” TWPF50 is a weeklong celebration from Saturday, September 30 – Saturday, October 7 with Black literary and artistic luminaries including Danny Glover, Ta-Nehisi Coates and Sonia Sanchez. Founded in 1967 by Chicago poet and educator Dr. Haki Madhubuti, TWPF is the oldest continuously-publishing independent Black press in the United States.

Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra Wilson

The celebration begins Saturday, September 30, with an intergenerational conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Ta-Nehisi; his father, former Black Panther Paul Coates, founder of Black Classics Press; and Madhubuti. The weeklong celebration includes a dinner gala on October 7 with headliner jazz singer Cassandra Wilson. A powerful, star-studded lineup of other TWPF50 events features film screenings, spoken word, conversations, lectures and performances by Sonia Sanchez, Cornel West, Fr. Michael Pfleger, Maulana Karenga, Jessica Care Moore, Michael Simanga, Askia Toure, Kalamu ya Salaam, Maggie Brown, Herb Boyd, Kwame Cobb, Nora Brooks Blakely, Michael Simanga, Bakari Kitwana, Fred Hord and many others.

Actor, activist and humanitarian Danny Glover and CARES Mentoring Movement founder and ESSENCE Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Susan Taylor serve as co-chairs. The Chicago Crusader is the official print media partner. Visit for a full list of TWPF50 events.

For more than 50 years, Third World Press Foundation has published poetry, fiction, and non-fiction by the most prolific writers across multiple generations. Its writers include Pulitzer Prize-winner and Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, Amiri Baraka, Jacob Carruthers, Ossie Davis,

Ruby Dee, Asa Hilliard, Sonia Sanchez, Kalamu ya Salaam, Julianne Malveaux, Gil Scott-Heron, as well as Next Generation writers such as Marc Lamont Hill, Lita Hooper, Michael Simanga, Bakari Kitwana, and many more.

TWPF was, and remains, the go-to publisher for Black writers and poets when mainstream publishing houses refused to accept their manuscripts. “That’s how we started,” says Madhubuti. “After 50 years of this kind of work, it’s become very clear to me that we are the answer to our own problems. People want to control their own cultural imperatives about the healthy replication of themselves. We’ve tried to provide the literature for that healthy replication. We’ve done that by publishing some of the best writers and poets in our nation. And, Gwendolyn Brooks is the best.”

As one of the architects of the Black Arts Movement, Madhubuti has been a pivotal figure in the development of a strong Black literary tradition. His commitment to uplift and empower the Black community was the impetus behind several Chicago Afrocentric educational institutions, including his co-founding of the Institute of Positive Education/New Concept School in 1969 and Betty Shabazz International Charter Schools in 1998. One of the world’s best-selling authors of poetry and non-fiction, his Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous? The African American Family in Transition has sold more than 1 million copies. Co-edited by Dr. Lasana Kazembe, TWPF’s latest book, Not Our President: New Directions from the Pushed Out, the Others, and the Clear Majority in Trump’s Stolen America, is a call-to-action for critical thinking and action, and progressive movement-building among everyday people – the vast majority of whom stand outside Trump’s vision for America.

In honor of the 50th anniversary, all TWPF titles are 50% off now until September 30, 2017.

Individual sales only; not applicable to bookstores. Visit for details. For tickets and a full schedule of TWPF50 events, visit

Call 312.291.4611 for sponsorship information.


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