As statistics continue to show that six out of 625 students in the inner city of Philadelphia cannot pass standardized reading test and fall below the reading level Essence Magazine bestselling author, Mark Anthony, is aiming to serve the growing demand in one of the fastest-growing publishing segments through his company, Q-Boro Books. These books serve as a safe haven for the many young black men who fail to read for pleasure let alone for academics.
Marc Anthony has sparked a major interest in reading among black men, particularly inner city black men through the New York based company where he acts as president and publisher of Street-Lit books. He says, “the marked rise in reading among the 18-40 year old black male demographic can be attributed to the fact that Street-Lit books often portray stories that closely mirror real life in many urban settings and have plots and circumstances that many black men can relate to.”
Charles Small a junior at the University of Pittsburgh says “reading novels and books for pleasure is the last thing young men think about, especially if they are in college playing a sport.”
Justin Faust a sophomore football player at Howard University says “it’s hard to maintain reading for pleasure when you have to practice, win games and still get good grades.”
With four hugely popular titles in print, Q-Boro Books plans to release 12 books in 2005 and 24 books in 2006. Q-Boro Books novels are not all centered on stereotypical urban violent themes as some would think. Q-Boro publishes stories that are rooted in urban settings but which are diverse in their portrayal. That is one of the reasons why Street-Lit is not just popular among black males.
The reach of Q-Boro Books novels are wide sweeping and growing in their influence. Street Lit novels are not just a passing trend. Some say that it is just a matter of time before the books published by Q-Boro Books and similar Street-Lit replace the mainstream books that appear on the New York Times bestsellers List.
Marc Anthony’s company is so successful because he wants young African American males to expand and to reach higher heights. The writing is powerful, in that stories that Q-Boro Books publishes are allotted shelf space in major bookstores such as Borders and Waldenbooks for one reason only and that is because they sell and they sell very well.