University of Illinois Acquires the Papers of Poet, Educator, and Publisher Haki Madhubuti

The Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois has acquired the papers of poet Haki Madhubuti and the archives of the Third World Press, the oldest independent Black-owned publisher in the United States.

The materials provide a record of the workings of the press, including its editorial processes, correspondence documenting key literary and professional relationships, business records, marketing, distribution and fundraising. They also include manuscripts by leading Third World Press poets and writers.

Madhubuti, a poet, educator and activist, felt strongly about the papers remaining in the state of Illinois. He turned down several offers from universities outside of the state that were interested in acquiring them. Madhubuti was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and grew up in Detroit, but he has lived most of his adult life in Chicago, where he founded Third World Press in 1967.

Professor Madhubuti, who holds a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa, is the former University Distinguished Professor and a professor of English at Chicago State University and the former Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University in Chicago. He is the author of several books including Black Men: Obsolete, Single, Dangerous?: The African American Family in Transition (1990), which has sold over 1 million copies.


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  1. Here’s another glaring example of so-called Black scholars willingly giving their invaluable materials and written works to an Historically White College and University (HWCU) instead of an HBCU(Historically Black College and University). This is a classic case of Cognitive Dissonance.

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