Amplifying the voices of Black and Brown authors


Jonathan Merkh President and Publisher Forefront Books

Forefront Books and the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives have announced a new joint publishing imprint. The Frederick Douglass Books publishing imprint is an effort to establish a pathway for Black and Brown authors to write and publish a professional book with distribution into traditional retailers.

“A goal of Forefront Books from the beginning was to provide a way to serve the black and brown community through a publishing platform,” said Jonathan Merkh, President of Forefront Books. “The Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives is the perfect partner with no greater legacy on which to build. Mr. Douglass found ways to cross tough racial and partisan divides and have meaningful dialogue for the greater good.”

With the large disparity in the amount of Black and Brown authors in the book publishing industry, the Frederick Douglass Books imprint will continue the educational work of Frederick Douglass by giving an opportunity to those with a message for the world.

Kenneth B. Morris Jr. Co-Founder and President FDFI

“My great-great-great-grandfather, Frederick Douglass, published Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, in 1845. He understood the vital importance of telling his story and amplifying the voices of enslaved and oppressed peoples,” said Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., co-founder, and president of FDFI. “His North Star abolitionist newspaper and best-selling autobiography helped nurture a revolution to end slavery in the United States.” Morris continued, “It is my hope that the Frederick Douglass Books imprint will carry on his legacy of education, activism, and liberation commentary and provide a platform for Black and Brown authors to publish their own narratives.”

The Frederick Douglass Books imprint will primarily feature nonfiction works on topics such as: business, self-help, memoirs and history. The first book featured under the imprint will be Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, a book the Library of Congress named one of the eighty-eight “Books That Shaped America”. Published in 1845, Douglass’s first autobiography became an instant bestseller and, having escaped slavery just seven years earlier, put his life in immediate danger. The Narrative helped change the course of the U.S. Abolitionist ever since.

Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives wants to inspire and empower one million young people to do and be more than they ever dreamed possible. In honor of Douglass’s 200th birthday, they published the Bicentennial Edition of the Narrative. FDFI intends to print and distribute one million hardcover copies of this special edition to students across the country.

About Forefront Books

Forefront Books is a unique publishing company that caters to the most successful men and women in their respective fields – the thought leaders, the visionaries, the pioneers, the business owners, and the entrepreneurs who have a compelling story to tell – and delivers a world-class end result from a team which has helped create more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including six number one bestsellers.

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