Founded 30 years ago by the pioneering African-American publishing executive Charles Harris (who died late last year), Amistad Press marked its anniversary with a new bestselling title: Another Brooklyn, by 2015 National Book Award–winner Jacqueline Woodson. It’s her first adult novel in 20 years, and it was nominated last week for an NBA for fiction.

Three decades after its founding, Amistad continues to be a major platform for diversity in publishing, releasing a mix of literary and genre fiction, literary nonfiction, and popular bestsellers by a distinguished list of African-American authors. When it was founded by Harris, Amistad was the first large-scale independent African-American-owned general trade house to specialize in works by and about African-Americans. In 1999, Harris sold the house to HarperCollins, where it became an imprint.

Today the imprint is overseen by editorial director Tracy Sherrod, who joined the house in 2013 and acquires titles for the imprint with the support of associate editor Laura Brown. Sherrod reports to Jonathan Burnham, senior v-p and publisher of the Harper Group.

“Over its 30 years, Amistad has published a hefty number of New York Times bestsellers and impressive award-winning authors,” Sherrod said. She also pointed to The Known World by Edward P. Jones, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Amistad authors have also included the late Ebony publisher John Johnson, movie historian Donald Bogle, and tennis star Arthur Ashe, who was one of Amistad’s early financial investors. “Amistad has made a name for itself,” Sherrod said. “We are an innovative publisher, and we compete well for books that are popular.”

Woodson’s Another Brooklyn currently has 40,000 copies in print since it was released in August. The top-selling Amistad titles since it became an imprint at HarperCollins include three books by Emmy-winning comedian Steve Harvey, Act like a Lady, Think like a Man (2009), Straight Talk, No Chaser (2012), and Act like a Success, Think like a Success (2014), as well as The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2004) and The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner (2006).

Amistad publishes about 10 titles a year, and Woodson’s bestselling new novel is one of several big books on its current list. Yvvette Edwards’s The Mother was published in May and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In July, Amistad published Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide: A Memoir by rap star Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, cofounder of the classic hip-hop group Run DMC. And in September, the house published My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire by Maurice White, the late founder of the acclaimed band.

Forthcoming projects include books by NBA-nominated author Elizabeth Dowling Taylor (The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the Story of a Forgotten Era) and nonfiction from Steve Harvey and acclaimed literary novelist Paul Beatty.

Earlier this summer, Amistad redesigned and relaunched its website, and a series of special events are planned to mark its anniversary, including bookstore readings and signings in Sag Harbor, a Long Island village known for its longtime African-American community. Sag Harbor is also close to where the press’s namesake, the slave ship La Amistad, went ashore in Montauk in 1839 with a group of 53 illegally purchased African slaves following their successful mutiny. And in honor of the Harlem Renaissance, Amistad authors Pamela Newkirk and Paula Madison (Finding Samuel Lowe) held small invitation-only monthly literary salons in private homes in Harlem over the summer.

Also during the summer, Amistad threw a 30th-anniversary celebration in Harlem, hosted by Blackish star Jenifer Lewis, with authors Woodson and Paula Madison attending, featuring a tribute to the group of African-American professionals who were instrumental to its history. Honored at the gala event were Malaika Adero, Amistad’s first editor under Harris; former Amistad publisher Dawn Davis; former associate publisher Rockelle Henderson; and former Amistad publicist Gilda Squire.

Much has changed in publishing and society since Amistad joined HC 17 years ago. “More editors are interested in publishing in the multicultural space, as other cultures are reading more multicultural literature,” Sherrod said. “In 1999, there was a larger black middle class than today and the community was more eager to learn about black culture.”

Today, Sherrod said, “the focus is on keeping gentrifiers at bay, lead-free water, and not being shot by the police.” She added, “There’s a great deal of competition for our attention and dollars.”

Still, Sherrod believes that Amistad has a distinct mission: “Amistad is the oldest imprint devoted to titles for the African-American market at any major New York City publishing house. My goal is to give African-American writers a home to tell their stories as they want them told.”