Robert Ellsberg


“I have fought the good fight, run the race, kept the faith.” I thought of St. Paul’s words on hearing the news that our distinguished author, and beloved friend, James H. Cone, had died on April 28. Just last month, we shared news of his receiving the prestigious Grawemeyer Award. That was followed by news that he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. But we knew, by that point, that his journey was nearing an end. In delivering his final book, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody, which will appear this fall, he told me: “This is my last word. I have left it all on the page.” And that was true.

It was our privilege to have published all of James Cone’s books, including reprints of his earliest titles, Black Theology and Black Power, A Black Theology of Liberation, and his more recent works, Martin & Malcolm & America, and finally The Cross and the Lynching Tree. That book has already been acclaimed as a modern classic, and it found him a new audience in this time of Black Lives Matter. Signs appeared with the hashtag, “James Cone Was Right.”


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