BCBA Spotlight:Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson

It is most appropriate during Black History Month to spotlight the pioneering achievements of publishers Wade and Chery Willis Hudson, a husband and wife team who has dedicated their lives to ensuring that Black children see themselves reflected in literature. Their journey began after several failed quests to find positive Black interest books for their children that celebrated culture, experience and history. Publishers repeatedly rejected their first manuscript, Afro-Bets ABC Book; one of the reasons they gave was that it wasn’t marketable. Instead of giving up, the Hudsons founded Just Us Books in 1988 and soon discovered a sizable market eager to purchase Black interest books.

Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson have each written over twenty books that include fun and educational picture and middle grade titles that portray the images and content they went searching for years ago. In addition to publishing their own stories, they have “given a number of talented new authors and illustrators their start in the children’s book publishing industry.” They exemplify the spirit of making it happen no matter what. To read more about Wade and Cheryl Willis Hudson, see the sources below. Happy Black History Month!

As a company, Just Us Books has helped prove that there is a year-round need and viable market for Black-interest children’s books—that we shouldn’t limit our book buying to Black History Month or holidays.

Cheryl Willis Hudson

One can never take any image for granted. Images, whether in print, on film, or television, or on stage, are constantly shaping the way we feel and what we think and believe. That is particularly crucial to the black community, which has been deliberately given negative images of its history and culture. I find it rewarding to help reshape and change those negative images to reflect the truth. I think the struggle to present the correct images—the truth—is the most important one facing us all.

Wade Hudson

Additional Resources

Cheryl Willis Hudson's Website and Twitter  | Wade Hudson's Twitter | Just Us Books' Twitter

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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