You’ve read our classics, such as Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Octavia Butler’s Kindred, the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son; and many of you know our current list, featuring books by Cornel West, Lani Guinier, Anita Hill, and Christopher Emdin—books that speak to the condition of the world, and add to our understanding of urgent social issues. Whether it’s the environment or race, cultural or class dynamics, we publish all our books with a purpose. Now you can meet the people who work at Beacon Press in our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.” Each month, we’ll introduce to you a member of our staff and give you a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at our office.
For the month of March, we introduce you to Kennia Joseph, our assistant to the associate publisher!
What drew you to publishing, Kennia? How did you find your way to Beacon?
Well, I vividly remember sitting on my bed my sophomore year in college trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, because law school didn’t seem like an amazing option at that time. I remember asking myself, “Self, what do you want to do? What do you like to do?” Insert long story about how I’m a reader/writer and I exhausted most options because I couldn’t see myself doing anything besides being around books and helping them—help in the sense that I thought books weren’t being marketing to their full potential online or in bookstores, and the industry needed help with diversity in both literature and staffing. I found Beacon after I finished my publishing program. I really just wanted a change and to work for a company whose mission I could get behind and one that would help me continue learning after graduating.
What are some of the challenges of being an assistant to the associate publisher? What do you find most rewarding?
Some challenges of being the assistant to the associate publisher are that there are often many many balls in the air at once and I only have two hands. The most rewarding thing is finishing something...anything. But, it’s rewarding to able to help. I love helping people, and if at the end of the day I can do anything to make someone’s job a little bit easier, I'm rewarded.
What is one book on our list that has influenced your thinking on a particular issue?
Spare the Kids, which is about spanking in the black community. It really had me thinking about social construction and how things we don’t think can affect our lives can have a huge effect on our lives.
What are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, When People are Big and God is Small by Edward T. Welch, and What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
Favorite song/album/type of music?
Naming my favorite song and type of music is way too hard, because I listen to everything. But! My favorite album would have to be The Eminem Show. My favorite song on that album would be “Till I Collapse.”
About the Author
Kennia Joseph recently graduated with honors from Rutgers University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English. She also completed the Columbia Publishing Course in July 2016, and hopes to use her experience to continue pursuing a career in book marketing. She joined Beacon Press in 2016.