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"As long as you're a black man, you're an African,'' sang Peter Tosh on his 1977 album "Equal Rights.''

To heighten this sense of common ancestry, a professor of engineering and a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst have launched African World: The Forum of People of African Descent, a bimonthly magazine.

Bartholomew Nnaji, the professor and publisher, and Okey Ndibe, who serves as editor, hope their new magazine will help reunite African descendents with the continent by examining political, economic, and social issues from the African perspective.

"It's time black people began to control the production of the images about themselves. For a long time, we have been defined by others,'' explained Mr. Ndibe, a native of Nigeria.

The magazine's first issue, which appeared last November, focused on the question "Can African-Americans Save Africa?'' Future issues will include the writing of Toni Morrison, Nadine Gordimer, and the South African poet Dennis Brutus.

Subscriptions are $15 for one year (six issues) and $29 for two years (12 issues). Write to: African World, 29 Cottage St., Amherst, Mass. 01002.

Highlights for Children has established a new publishing house that is encouraging teachers to write and submit book manuscripts about teaching grades K-12.

Stenhouse Publishers will publish six to eight books next fall, most of which will be written and edited by teachers. "We are interested in the reality of the classroom and in what teachers are currently thinking,'' Tom Seavey, the marketing director, said.

Possible topics for the fall list include multi-age classrooms, schools as community centers, the changing role of the teacher, and positive parental involvement in schools.

To receive a guide on how to prepare a manuscript for submission, write to: Stenhouse Publishers, P.O. Box 360, York, Me. Or fax (207) 363-9730.

A new series created by the Modern Language Association, M.L.A. Text and Translations, provides companion volumes of original texts and new English translations of works previously not available in affordable editions.

The first two titles of the series, Letters of Mistress Henley Published by Her Friend and Letters From a Peruvian Woman, were written in French by women during the 18th century.

Works in German, Spanish, and Russian are also being considered.

The trade paperback books cost between $3.95 and $5.95 and will be available in bookstores this month.

Merlyn's Pen: The National Magazine of Student Writing has expanded its readership to include grades 6, 11, and 12. The publication, which now offers both senior and intermediate editions, encourages student writing and art submissions and provides a teacher's guide. For more information, write to: P.O. Box 1058, East Greenwich, R.I., 02818 or call (800) 247-2027.--MEGAN DRENNAN.

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