Associated Publishers

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Associated Publishers

The historian Carter G. Woodson (18751950) founded Associated Publishers in 1922 in Washington, D.C. Frustrated by his inability to get his own work published by white publishers, Woodson decided to form his own publishing company. He not only helped black scholars find publishers for their work, he also hoped to make money to support research programs initiated through the Association for the Study of Afro-American (originally Negro) Life and History, now known as Association for the Study of African-American Life and History. Although he tried to interest black scholars in becoming financial partners in his new firm, only a few close associates invested. Among them were Louis Mehlinger, who served as secretary, and John W. Davis, who was treasurer.

Although they published scores of books by black authors, as well as works by whites who wrote on black subjects, they did not make money for Woodson's association and actually drained the organization financially. By the late 1930s, authors needed to pay a subvention to have their work published, though Associated Publishers continued to issue scholarly works, as well as those directed to a mass audience. Although published in smaller runs than books issued during the 1920s and 1930s, more than a dozen volumes were published in the 1940s, many directed at schoolchildren and a mass audience. Volumes that otherwise would not have been published came out under their auspices. Even English translations of books by foreign authors were published, including Arthur Ramos's The Negro in Brazil.

See also Association for the Study of African American Life and History; Woodson, Carter G.


Conyers, James L., Jr. Carter G. Woodson: A Historical Reader. New York: Garland, 1999.

Goggin, Jacqueline. Carter G. Woodson: A Life in Black History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993.

jacqueline goggin (1996)
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Associated Publishers