Read. Write. Build.

We are a Black activist publishing company publishing books for and about the liberation of Black people and all oppressed people. This is our Read. Write. Revolt. Mission…


We believe in the power of words and the value of reading as we seek to end the miseducation of Black history and educate writers about the publishing world. Knowledge is power. Reading is essential. We are on a mission to promote revolutionary thought, Black consciousness, creative expression, and authentic human connections.


We believe in self-determination and equality and are working to make a difference in the world of book writing, promoting authors and perspectives that aren’t often heard. We want to amplify Black people who’s thoughts and views are minimized in our contemporary racist society and connect, and build across areas of struggle.


Pens Up Press is a platform for change as people of African descent and people of color are too often denied access to the publishing industry. In addition to supporting and promoting these authors, we also seek to change power structures in the way we publish, share revenue, and share information. Furthermore, we are dedicated to the liberation of Black people and all oppressed people generally as our books explore ideas about power, history, gender, sexuality, culture, identity, LGBTQ oppression and liberation, resources, finances, capitalism, general politics of oppression, liberation/freedom, and self-esteem.

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Kristin Richardson Jordan (Pens Up Press Founder)

I am an activist poet and teaching artist passionate about anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-imperialist education. I love to read and write, especially poetry, and I believe in the power of all people, and particularly Black people, to liberate ourselves. Much of my work focuses on questions of Black liberation and women’s liberation as it relates t.o Black women. In addition to being a published author myself, I am the founder of Pens Up Press, a radical printing press for writers of color, and the founder of Uproar Poetry, an online poetry platform for activist poets.


Dior Manning (Social Media Marketing) I am a college grad interested in popular culture, intersectionality, and the sociology of media and messaging. As part of my coursework, I have studied methodologies, literature, africana studies, gender and media. I was immersed in a study abroad project on women’s access to public space in Mumbai, and coursework centered around sustainable development, women’s development, and social change. I have experience with website management and organizational outreach at the New York Botanical Garden. Currently, I am excited about opportunities where I create content on Pens Up Press’s blog and social media, and to research consumer trends to dictate marketing direction.

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11206053_1539295072976764_4908456736476231315_n-1Karla M. Born in Mexico, but raised in the Bronx – I am a child of the diaspora. My exposure to the struggle of both nations has made me a very conscious person. I would like for people to be able to connect the struggles of all the people of color around the world and what better way to do that than using words. I believe that Pens Up Press has a lot to offer as a platform for readers to connect to each other. With my writing I hope to use this platform as a window into the daily struggles of the undocumented people living in the Unites States but also all the oppressed people around the globe. I believe that united the people will overcome all obstacles and prosper together.


Janet E. Williams (Pens Up Press Author)

As author of A Lighter Shade of Black, I explored my interest in fictional slave narratives and the divisions between light skinned (rich, house slave) and dark skinned blacks (poor, field slave). I am very interested in how this and other dynamics from slavery affect us today. I am also passionate about conquering the divisions between us as a people and imparting important social, cultural, and historical knowledge to the next generation.



  1. Bonnie says

    You Go My Sister!!!!!!!
    Love the website. Why not share ur knowledge & beliefs. Proud of u.
    Luv u Bunches,

  2. Yvette Heyliger says

    Very proud of Kristen starting her own press! Read. Write. Revolt. Love it!

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