Hoxton Cafe Project
1963 - 1969
Copyright © All rights reserved. Gordon Porter
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Glen Thompson


September 24th 1940 to September 7th 2001

· I was very saddened to hear that Glen had died; I have some fond memories of Glen when he first arrived in Hoxton. We had never met anyone quite like Glen before and I think we all had an instant likening for him.

I have managed to collect a few obituaries from different newspapers about Glen.

And have put them altogether in a PDF document which you can read HERE.


· Glenn Thompson

A pioneering black publisher, he saw books as a window for opening the minds of the oppressed


· It is difficult to write about a hero, because a hero is defined not only by his qualities but by his actions. And whereas qualities can be enumerated in an obituary, actions, if they are made to be clear, demand another kind of undying space. Glenn Thompson, a pioneering publisher who has died aged 60, was for me - and many others - a hero.

He was born in Brooklyn, to George and Clara Thompson, but his mother died when he was 11 and, shortly afterwards, his father was sent to prison. Glenn, and his younger brother Denis, spent their time on the streets of Harlem, and were later placed in institutions. His gratitude to an unknown teacher who taught him to read and write was to polarise the rest of his life.

John Berger and Margaret Busby

Wednesday September 12, 2001

The Guardian


· Margaret Busby writes: Never once was Glenn Thompson deterred from his mission to make a difference through publishing. "It isn't so much how you do it, it's that you do it" was a precept he espoused to make available books with the potential to change people's lives, and he was dismayed that current trends in the industry threaten that sort of publishing. His belief in knowledge being accessible, and in giving voice to those denied the opportunity to be heard - whether Palestinian or African-American - was connected with his own route to reading and the written word.


And if we don't start it up

move it along

make some noise


those of us who know

will never convince

those of us

who don't know.



by Asha Bandele