The Chicago-based Third World Press Foundation, the country’s longest independent, continuously running Black publishing enterprise, celebrated its 55th anniversary last year. The Foundation celebrated the historic event with gusto in the fall of 2022, inviting supporters, friends, authors, and family to join them at headquarters.
However, a water pipe burst beneath the headquarters building shortly after, flooding the whole basement. “The flooded region housed the majority of Third World Press’ book inventory,” stated Haki Madhubuti, founder of Third World Press and American Book Award recipient. “Our loss has been devastating, both emotionally and financially.”
Another unfortunate coincidence was that the flooding came right in the heart of the Foundation’s busy season, as they were prepared to fill holiday orders for the Kwanzaa and Christmas gift-giving seasons. “Our stolen inventory included many of our best sellers,” Third World Foundation Board Member Dr. Keith Gilyard told NBC Chicago. “To say we are saddened would be an understatement.”
The Foundation is looking for donations to offset their losses, which include damaged books, furniture, computers, and bookshelves, as well as the relocation of salvageable books to the first level. Already, the Foundation had to close for two weeks during its busiest season, losing revenue for the year-end holidays and fundraising. Third World Press Foundation requires the public’s assistance to survive this disaster.
The Foundation is classified as 501(c)3 nonprofit status, so all donations are tax-deductible. No contribution is too small! $125,000 has been raised so far but donations are still being accepted online via their GoFundMe page at https://gofund.me/e98d712c