Manie Barron, former publishing manager at HarperCollins's Amistad Press imprint, will be joining the William Morris Agency as a literary agent in mid-July. He will be the first African-American agent in the 58-year history of the agency's literary department.

Barron began his publishing career at Random House in 1992 as a telephone sales representative and became African-American specialist in trade sales and marketing, then associate editor, before moving to Amistad last year. Prior to his tenure at Random House, Barron held positions as assistant manager for the Doubleday bookstore in New York and buyer for Golden-Lee Book Distributors.

"We're really delighted by the response from the publishing community," said Suzanne Gluck and Jennifer Walsh, senior v-ps and coheads of the WMA literary department. Gluck and Walsh—who themselves joined the agency earlier this year (Hot Deals, Apr. 9)—told PW they invited Barron to join the agency because of his strong reputation.