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Independent publisher Bronzeville Books has now joined the roster of SAG-AFTRA’s signatory audiobook publishers, The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively share. The publisher will produce covered audio recordings through its sister LLC, Bronzeville Pictures effective immediately, after an agreement was facilitated by SAG National Board member and former Screen Actors Guild national first vice president Anne-Marie Johnson.
Recordings will begin with the publisher’s recent book release, Ace Boon Coon: The Tales of Elliot Caprice by Danny Gardner. The book marks the second in the Tales of Elliot Caprice historical crime fiction series centered on a disgraced police officer.
Gardner, an actor, director and screenwriter, founded Bronzeville Books in 2018 to elevate underrepresented voices and stories. “We are committed to producing a generation of racism-free literature to ensure a racism-free future,” the publisher states on its website, also adding that it aims to build a community “where all are welcome, regardless of genre, age group, color, gender, or sexuality.” By now expanding into audiobooks, Bronzeville will be able to create new opportunities for narrators of color.
“We are thrilled to be working with Danny and the team at Bronzeville Books,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “The audiobook industry has been experiencing explosive growth and with that we’ve seen the need for greater diversity and authenticity both in terms of narrators and the stories that are chosen to be told in this format. Bronzeville has a unique role to play in cultivating diverse storytellers.”
SAG-AFTRA currently has more than 65 separate agreements with audiobook publishers and producers. Now as a SAG-AFTRA signatory, Bronzeville Books will have access to a roster of both established and up-and-coming narrators.
“As a member of SAG-AFTRA for more than 30 years, I wanted to leverage my role as a publisher to provide opportunities for actors of color in the same way that the union has taken steps to create diversity and inclusion initiatives for its members,” said Gardner. “I am proud to be involved, both as an actor and a publisher.”
Johnson will serve as a co-producer for Bronzeville and said the partnership “has the potential to not only produce compelling entertainment, but also to help cultivate the pipeline of narrators from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.”
“Americans today demand the kind of authentic, rich storytelling that can only be achieved when both creatives and decisionmakers are committed to recognizing and honoring diverse experiences and voices,” said Johnson
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