Hardcover coloring book retailer Black Books and a former editor of a black-owned tabloid have released their best-selling memoir, Black Lives Matter: The Story of the Black Lives Movement, in hardcover.
The book chronicles the story of the activists and organizers who mobilized against police brutality, as well as the people who fought for them.
The author of the book, former Daily News editor Chris Hedges, has also penned a book, Black Messiah: The Rise of a Nation of Black Messiahs, in paperback.
The first book in the trilogy, which came out last year, was #OpBaltimore.
It was the catalyst for the mass demonstrations and police brutality in Baltimore that began on April 15, 2016.
The #OpBlackLivesMatter movement, which has since morphed into Black Lives Matters, has taken root in the U.S. and the world.
“It was a huge opportunity for Black LivesMatter to be heard, to be seen and to be celebrated,” Hedges told Politico.
The second book in Black Lives Matter, titled Black Messiah, was released in February 2017.
“Black Messiah” follows the history of the movement from its beginning as a hashtag movement on social media to the now-familiar rallying cry that Black Lives are more important than white lives.
Hedges’ book is titled the work of Black Lives.
It is a collection of interviews with activists, writers and other voices on the movement.
The story of Black Jesus and Black Messiah is the most popular book on Amazon, Hedges said, citing Black Messiah’s popularity on Twitter and other platforms.
“I’ve never heard of any Black Messiah book being on a New York bestseller lists.
I was a bit shocked.”
Black Lives is not the first book to be published by Black Books.
The publisher launched a black book publisher in 2011.
Hedgers was approached to become the publisher by Black Lives founder and Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton, who was the first black leader to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
“Huey Newton was the guy that wanted to do it,” Hedgers said.
“He had the vision.
He was really, really smart and he had an incredible vision.
That was the driving force behind it.”
Black Books is one of the few black-run bookstores to have published a bestseller in 2017.
Black Books co-founder and president, James Smith, was the founder of the Brooklyn-based Black Books, which also published the books of the late author N. K. Jemisin and his son, Luke.
Smith said Black Books was a one-stop shop for black authors and their fans.
“There’s a great relationship there between the bookseller and the people that come to bookstores and book events and book parties,” Smith said.
Black Lives has been one of Hedges favorite books.
He said he wanted to tell the story in a way that had a narrative to it, something that resonated with black readers.
“For a lot of us that are passionate about race, we’re very curious about it,” he said.
Hedeps said Black Lives was an inspiration to him and his wife, and he hopes to make the book available for free at Black Books sometime in the future.
“We’re going to go ahead and do that,” he told Politico about the free print edition.
“When we’re done with it, it’ll be available to everyone.”
Hedges was the author of The Color Purple, the novel that helped inspire the Black Panthers’ uprising in 1969.
It tells the story, with a twist, of how a group of revolutionaries turned a city’s first black mayor, Martin Luther King Jr., into an icon.
He also wrote the autobiographical book The Secret Life of Malcolm X, about the life of Martin Luther.
“If we can make this book available to all the people, then we’ve done a tremendous service,” Hedeps told Politico, saying he is currently working on another book with Malcolm X. “What we want to do is just take it from there.
We want to make this into a living, breathing book that people can enjoy.”
Black Matters’ book also inspired Hedges to create the Black Messiah series, which follows the rise of the black Messiahs.
The series, featuring three black men and a woman, was originally a book of poetry that Hedges read in the late 1990s.
“That’s how I started writing it, in my head,” he recalled.
The Black Messiah books have been released in hardback, paperback and e-book formats, but Black Books has a long list of upcoming releases.
The books are currently available for preorder through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retailers.
“This is the beginning of something that I’m very excited about,” Hedmes said.
In the months leading up to the release of Black Matters, the Black Books team spent a lot time preparing for its release.
Black books are typically made from books that have been published