Release Date:
Release ID: 2220


SILVER SPRING, MD ( Freightnet ) JUNE 5, 2008: A new web site, inviting visitors to contribute essays about Senator Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy was launched today by the Beckham Publications Group.

According to Barry Beckham, CEO of the black-owned publishing company, after registering at the site, visitors can upload their essays to appear in one of several categories including foreign policy, education, and science and technology.

The best essays will be collected in a volume called “Why Obama: Essays by Citizens Hungry for Change,” scheduled for release as a trade paperback in August by the Beckham Publications Group.

Beckham announced that Washington, DC Attorney and legal rights activist Timothy L. Jenkins will be editor-in-chief of the final published version. Jenkins, an author and former publisher of “American Visions” magazine, served as interim president of the University of the District of Columbia.

Phil W. Petrie, who was interim editor of the NAACP’s “Crisis” magazine and an editor at “Black Enterprise” magazine, will be managing editor.

“We need to deepen the discussion about reshaping the office of the president,” declares Jenkins. He says that he was disturbed that the mainstream press had dismissed Obama’s candidacy as “a casual political event ( ) tied to race.”

Says Beckham, “I was immediately excited when Timothy approached me with the idea of encouraging citizens beyond Senator Obama’s established circle of talented advisors

to voice their heart-felt public advice. We expect a laundry list of urgent innovations that an Obama administration should pursue--beyond the ‘business-as-usual’ politics.” Adds Beckham, “We see the book as an ‘emergency’ publication that will lift the political discussion to a higher level.”

The publisher will use print on demand technology to speed up the publishing calendar. Beckham says that the volume can be published in fewer than three months and available for purchase at both offline and online stores like Amazon. Readers are offered a pre-publication discount if they buy the book before a July deadline.

“Not only is it fast, but print on demand publishing is growing dramatically,” Beckham points out, referring to a recent survey by R.R. Bowker. They reported that the production of print on demand titles increased by more than 300% in the five-year period ending in 2007, while traditionally published titles increased by only 29 percent.

Beckham said that he and his editors will invite well-known professionals and writers—some who have already written about Obama—to submit to the site. According to Bill Perry, a former publicist for major corporations who submitted the first essay from Peterborough, NH, "This is an unusual and great opportunity to comment on an historic political—shift ( ) that will clearly distinguish the 21st Century as distinctly different from the American political past.”

PO Box 4066

Silver Spring MD 20914

Phone 301-384-7995

Fax 866-659-3306




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