Kassahun Checole hails from Eritrea in East Africa. Mr. Checole founded these two world-renowned publishing and distribution houses in 1983 and 1985 respectively, to focus on African and African American issues. He began his publishing career with a book by Ngugi wa Thiong’o entitled The Barrel of a Pen. The sister presses have since published over 1400 titles. A graduate with distinction from SUNY Binghamton in Sociology and Political Economy, Mr. Checole has taught at Rutgers University and El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City. At El Colegio de Mexico, Mr. Checole was one of the founders of the first graduate program in African Studies in Latin America. Mr. Checole’s teaching experiences and frustration with the derth of material on Africa fueled his commitment to publishing. Since 1987, Mr. Checole has exclusively focused his efforts on the development of Africa World Press and The Red Sea Press and on the dissemination of information about the history, culture and politics of Africa and the diaspora. Among the many awards and fellowships that he has received is the induction into the “International Literary Hall of Fame.” He is also the recipient of the “2005 Flora Nwapa Society Award” and the first Association of Concerned African Scholars’ “Bud Day Award for Activisim.” Mr. Checole speaks around the country and the world about African publishing and its role in the betterment of the continent.