Beacon Press: The King Legacy Series
For Immediate Release
Contact: Pamela MacColl
Beacon Press Announces Exclusive Publishing Agreement
with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr.
May 27th Beacon Press announced today an exclusive agreement to partner
with the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. in a new publishing program, "The
King Legacy," which will give Beacon the sole right to print new editions
of previously published King titles and to compile Dr. King's writings, sermons,
orations, lectures, and prayers into entirely new editions, including significant
new introductions by leading scholars. This partnership brings together the
legacy of one of the most important civil rights and social justice leaders
in the world with one of the oldest and most respected independent publishing
houses in America.
Helene Atwan, director of Beacon Press said "We feel enormously privileged
to be the new publishers of Dr. King's work. His vision and his message are
more essential than ever in a world where, despite great gains, the global aspects
of the radical inequities Dr. King devoted his life to exposing and addressing
are all too apparent. He has much to teach us, perhaps as much today as in his
own lifetime." Gayatri Patnaik, executive editor at the press added, "Publishing
Dr. King in the age of our first African American president reminds us of his
prescience: in addition to being a civil rights legend, he was an early global
visionary, deeply concerned about peace and nonviolence, not only in America
but indeed the world. And his commitment to the rights of the poor is as important
and pressing now as it was fifty years ago."
Dexter Scott King, representing The Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc, said
"We are very happy to join with Beacon Press to announce that the Estate
of Martin Luther King Jr. and Beacon Press will be entering into an historic
partnership to publish the words and writings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Beacon Press will be a dedicated public outlet for his work, and will help bring
his urgently needed teachings of nonviolence and human dignity, and his dream
of freedom and equality to a new global audience."
With roots that date back to the abolitionist movement, Beacon is uniquely
dedicated to publishing books on social justice, human rights, and racial equality.
A department of the Unitarian Universalist Association, the press has published
pioneering books on race and social justice, including James Baldwin's Notes
of a Native Son, Derrick Bell's Confronting Authority, Cornel
West's Race Matters,
Lani Guinier's Becoming
Gentlemen, and Geoffrey Canada's Fist
Stick Knife Gun, along with award-winning titles by James
Wright Edelman, Robert
Moses, and Roger
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)
is a faith community of more than 1000 self-governing congregations that bring
to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. The
Rev. William G. Sinkford, president of the UUA, said, "I am delighted that
Beacon Press is partnering with the Martin Luther King Jr. estate to bring Dr.
King's papers to a wider audience. The UUA's history is connected to Dr. King's
through his call to our ministers to come to Selma in 1965. After Rev. James
Reeb's murder in Selma, it was Dr. King who eulogized his memory at Brown Chapel.
And it was Dr. King who, the following Spring, delivered a major lecture on
Sleep Through the Revolution,' to Unitarian Universalists as we gathered
at our General Assembly in Florida. Dr. King's legacy has informed our own work
as we struggle as a denomination to understand and reconcile our own history
around race and class. We know we still have along way to go to create the Beloved
Community, and I believe sharing these visionary works with a new generation
of readers will help keep that dream alive."
Tom Hallock, associate publisher at Beacon, explained the plan, which is to
begin with the new editions of the books published in Dr. King's lifetime that
have been unavailable since the 1990s, publishing them on the Martin Luther
King, Jr. holiday in 2010, along with a new title, as yet unconfirmed. After
that, the press hopes to publish two to three new works each year, working with
a range of renowned scholars to introduce each volume, with the assistance of
Clayborne Carson, who currently serves as Director of the Martin
Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
The University of California's The
King Papers Project, a comprehensive multi-volume collection of King's work,
will continue to issue hardcover volumes intended for scholars and libraries.
Dr. Carson, who is also Executive Director of the Morehouse
College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, will be taking on the additional
role of General Editorial Advisor for The King Legacy.