In the Black
The creation of In the Black Publishing Ltd., a grass-roots publishing firm in Denver, was a lengthy and arduous process for partners Ellsworth Grant, president and CEO, and Frances Grant, vice president and COO. With a year of successful publishing behind them, these two entrepreneurs can now look back at what they've learned and use their experiences in the continued evolution of their single title, In the Black.
Throwing the proverbial hat into the ring
"My publishing experience started many years ago," recalls Frances Grant. "I had a boyfriend who used to print neighborhood newspapers, and I started helping him out with that. … I became fascinated as to how you took a blank piece of paper and put a glob of ink on it. We literally had to hand-turn the machine to print the newspapers at that time!"
In later years, Frances Grant became increasingly involved in a number of Denver's community organizations, such as the NAACP and the Urban League. Her past fascination with print production allowed her to gravitate to communication tasks within these organizations. The community activist began to accept positions involving the management of various types of print projects, including brochures and event programs. The experience also allowed her the opportunity to interact with local printers, and her interest in publishing continued to flourish.
In Boston, halfway across the country, Ellsworth Grant (no relation to Frances), was about to embark on his own career in publishing. While working on his MBA degree, he joined the Boston chapter of the National Black MBA Association. Post college, a career opportunity brought him to Denver, where he continued his affiliation with the National Black MBA Association. The chapter opened Ellsworth Grant's eyes to the importance of written communication.
"I just could not believe that (the association) didn't have a way to spread the word. … I suggested a newsletter," Grant recalls.