CHICAGO—Last year marked the 55th anniversary in the publishing business for Third World Press (see The Final Call Vol. 42 No. 5). Third World Press (TWP) has built the oldest, independent, continuously operating Black publishing company in the nation. In October 2022, TWP celebrated and invited supporters, friends, authors and family to its headquarters to commemorate the occasion with founder Haki R. Madhubuti.
The winter season is traditionally busy for us as we fill holiday orders but this year efforts were dampened when a water pipe burst beneath their building on a Friday night and quickly flooded the entire basement. “Unfortunately, the flooded area housed the major portion of Third World Press’ backlist as well as front-listed books. Our loss has been overwhelming and financially crippling,” TWP shared in a January press release.
“Our lost inventory consisted of many of our best sellers and included books by Gwendolyn Brooks, Chancellor Williams, Adelaide Sanford, Fred Hord, Diane Turner, Thabiti Lewis, John Henrik Clarke, Herb Boyd, Edmund W. Gordon, Angela Jackson, Useni Eugene Perkins, Jacqueline Bryant, Keith Gilyard, Jacob H. Carruthers, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, Christine List, Haki R. Madhubuti and many others,” the press release continued.
The considerable dollar amount of the loss is tremendous and is based upon damaged books, furniture, computers, bookshelves, workers’ regular and overtime pay for clean-up and the relocation of salvageable books to the first floor. “We were forced to close the last two weeks of December and the first week of January, thereby losing sales for the year-end holidays and fundraising. These activities make up over one-quarter of our annual revenue.”
Third World Press is reaching out to supporters for assistance and has established a Go Fund Me for those desiring to help. TWP has 501C3 status and donations are tax-deductible within the full extent of the law.
For more information visit thirdworldpressfoundation.org and to assist, visit https://gofund.me/e98d712c