Since 1992, the Pontas Agency’s mission has been to bring diversity into literature, coming from the five continents, from all kinds of communities, and take these stories to the bookshops across the world. In solidarity with the uprisings all over the United States in response to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others in the long history of black people being murdered in that country, the publishing industry worldwide is supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and have joined both the ‘Blackout Tuesday’ and the ‘June 8th Day Off’ giving their salaries to different organizations. And of course, we do support these initiatives too. But we feel we all must do more. And not just one day, or two days: we must do more all the time and everywhere. At Pontas we have decided not to stop working one minute: it’s more important than ever that all of us continue amplifying the voices and stories of black authors internationally. As much as we can. Every single day.
Minna Salami (whose debut non-fiction book came out in the middle of the pandemic) says: “I am uplifted to see people of all ethnicities and backgrounds take a stand (or get down on their knees) to show solidarity with black people. I have been writing and talking about race and blackness for over a decade and could never have imagined such a powerful moment of cohesion as this. But if we do not complicate all forms of black-and-white thinking (intended wordplay), I am not convinced that neither the covid-19 nor the Black Lives Matter demonstrations will lead us to go beyond what is permanent. In addition, we must seek out new ideas and refuse to adapt to old ways.”
From Pontas we encourage people to read books that address systemic racism as a way to raise awareness and to fight against it. Of course, we also encourage people to read the titles already published by the Pontas authors and to stay tuned on the new titles that are coming soon.