Publishers Weekly Has Lost Its Mind

Cover for story on trends in African-American publishing features literal afro-picks

Last Updated: December 15, 2009 @ 3:13 PM

The December 14, 2009 cover of Reed Business Information’s Publishers Weekly, presented without comment:

 

UPDATE: PW senior editor Calvin Reid, who is picked the image and coverline, took to Twitter late Monday to explain his decision to run the cover image:

"Apparently the twitterverse is not amused, though it was intended to amuse."

"I admit that I love afro picks! In the 1970s I had many just like them also stuck in my massive afro … and it’s a story about ‘picking’ books. I love dumb jokes."

"While I respect everyone who may be offended, I think the photo is a delightful and wry expression of historical Afro Americana."

"So just blame Calvin. But do read the article on AF-AM publishing by Felicia Pride. Its [sic] a fine article despite the cover image."

"Remember: the image illustrates a story about picking what’s hot in African American (Afro American?) titles"

UPDATE #2: Publishers Weekly has posted Reid’s official response. Read it here.

[cover image via Harper Studio “Publisher’s Weekly Have You Lost Your Mind?” and Sarah Weinman]