A compilation of recent African American acquisitions by the MSU Libraries.
Embodying Black experience : stillness, critical memory, and the Black body
12 Angry Men : True Stories of being a Black Man in America Today / edited by Gregory S. Parks and Matthew W. Hughey ; with an introduction by Lani Guinier. New York : New Press, c2010. 179pp. Main Library E185.615 .A12 2010 : When Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates was approached by the police on the front porch of his home in an affluent section of Cambridge, many people across the country reacted with surprise and disbelief. But many African American men from coast to coast were not surprised in the least. “Gatesgate” serves as the most recent manifestation of a phenomenon many black men experience regularly: being the subject of increased suspicion because of the color of their skin....In 12 Angry Men, a dozen eloquent authors tell their own personal versions of this story. From a Harvard law school student tackled by security guard on the streets of Manhattan, a federal prosecutor detained while walking in his own neighborhood in Washington, DC, and a high school student in Colorado arrested for “loitering” in the subway station as he waits for the train home, to a bike rider in Austin, Texas, a professor at a big ten university in Iowa, and the head of the ACLU’s racial profiling initiative (who was pursued by national guardsmen after arriving on the red-eye in Boston’s Logan airport), here are true stories of law-abiding Americans who happen also to be black men....Cumulatively, the effect is staggering, and will open the eyes of anyone who thinks we live in a “post-racial” or “color-blind” America.
A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights / Cornelius L. Bynum. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2011 [c2010]. 244pp. Main Library E185.97.R27 B97 2011 : A. Philip Randolph's career as a trade unionist and civil rights activist fundamentally shaped the course of black protest in the mid-twentieth century. Standing alongside individuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey at the center of the cultural renaissance and political radicalism that shaped communities such as Harlem in the 1920s and into the 1930s, Randolph fashioned an understanding of social justice that reflected a deep awareness of how race complicated class concerns, especially among black laborers. Examining Randolph's work in lobbying for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatening to lead a march on Washington in 1941, and establishing the Fair Employment Practice Committee, Cornelius L. Bynum shows that Randolph's push for African American equality took place within a broader progressive program of industrial reform. Some of Randolph's pioneering plans for engineering change--which served as foundational strategies in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s--included direct mass action, nonviolent civil disobedience, and purposeful coalitions between black and white workers. Bynum interweaves biographical information on Randolph with details on how he gradually shifted his thinking about race and class, full citizenship rights, industrial organization, trade unionism, and civil rights protest throughout his activist career.
Abolition movement / T. Adams Upchurch. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Greenwood, c2011. 195pp. Main Library E441 .U6 2011 : Part of the Landmarks of the American Mosaic series highlighting important events or ideas that contribute to America's multicultural heritage, this volume focuses on the history of the abolition movement in the first half of the nineteenth century. The narrative covers five periods in the movement, slavery and its opponents before 1816, the development of a cohesive anti-slavery movement from 1816 to 1840, the setbacks between 1840 to 1848, abolition in the West, and the end of slavery, 1856-1865. The work includes a comprehensive timeline, biographical essays on important figures and a collection of important primary source documents. The work is appropriate for high school or undergraduate students and would appeal to general readers in American history.
Advancing the Ball : Race, Reformation, and the Quest for Equal Coaching Opportunity in the NFL / N. Jeremi Duru. New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. 204pp. Main Library GV706.32 .D87 2011 : Two days before Super Bowl XLI in 2007, the game's two opposing head coaches posed with the trophy one of them would hoist after the contest. It was a fairly unremarkable event, except that both coaches were African American---a fact that was as much of a story as the game itself....As N. Jeremi Duru reveals in Advancing the Ball, this unique milestone resulted from the work of a determined group of people whose struggles to expand head coaching opportunities for African Americans ultimately changed the National Football League. Since the league's desegregation in 1946, opportunities had grown plentiful for African Americans as players but not as head coaches---the byproduct of the NFL's "old boy" network and lingering stereotypes of blacks' intellectual inferiority. Although Major League Baseball and the NBA had, over the years, made progress in this regard, the NFL's head coaches were almost exclusively white up until the mid-1990s....Advancing the Ball chronicles the campaign of former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman John Wooten to right this wrong and undo decades of discriminatory head coach hiring practices---an initiative that finally bore fruit when he joined forces with attorneys Cyrus Mehri and Johnnie Cochran. Together with a few allies, the triumvirate galvanized the NFL's African American assistant coaches to stand together for equal opportunity and convinced the league to enact the "Rooney Rule," which stipulates that every team must interview at least one minority candidate when searching for a new head coach. In doing so, they spurred a movement that would substantially impact the NFL and, potentially, the nation....Featuring an impassioned foreword by Tony Dungy, Advancing the Ball offers an eye-opening, firsthand look at how a few committed individuals initiated a sea change in America's most popular sport and added an extraordinary new chapter to the civil rights story.
African American civil rights : early activism and the Niagara movement / Angela Jones. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2011. 281pp. Main Library E185.5.N53 J66 2011 : The Niagara Movement of 1905-1910, founded by W. E. B. Dubois and 28 other African American men and women, made the public aware of injustices to African Americans, priming the pump for later activism. Author Jones (sociology, Farmingdale State College, State University of New York) charts the history of the Niagara Movement and its impact on the Civil Rights Movement and American politics. The author offers scholars a new framework for understanding social movements: the importance of 'publics,' or groups of people from different organizations who come together to question hegemonic discourses and shift public opinion by debating, talking, and interacting in public. The book draws on archival research including correspondence, meeting minutes, and financial records, as well as articles from newspapers run by founders of the movement. Brief biographies of the 29 original founders of the Niagara Movement are included.
African American consciousness : past and present / James L. Conyers, Jr., editor. New Brunswick, N.J. : Transaction Publishers, c2012, . 190pp. Main Library E185.625 .A368 2011 : African American Consciousness focuses on ideas of culture, race, and class within the interdisciplinary matrix of Africana Studies. Even more important, it uses a methodology that emphasizes interpretation and the necessity of interdisciplinary research and writing in a global society. Worldview, culture, analytic thinking, and historiography can all be used as tools of analysis, and in the process of discovery, use pedagogy, and survey research of Africana history. Advancing the idea of Africana Studies, mixed methodology, and triangulation, the contributors provide alternative approaches toward examining this phenomena, with regard to place, space, and time....The essays in this volume include Reynaldo Anderson, “Black History dot.com”; Greg Carr, “Black Consciousness, Pan-Africanism and the African World History Project”; Karanja Carroll, “A Genealogical Review of the Worldview Concept and Framework in Africana Studies”; Denise Martin, “Reflections on African Celestial Culture”; Serie McDougal “Teaching Black Males”; Demetrius Pearson, “Cowboys of Color”; Pamela Reed, “Heirs to Disparity”; and Andrew Smallwood, “Malcolm X's Leadership and Legacy.”...The researchers in this volume investigate, explore, and review patterns of functional, normative, and expressive behavior. The past and present of Africana culture is represented, showing how reflexivity can be an adjustable concept to organize, process, and interpret data. Moreover, humanism and social science demonstrate how researchers establish, extract, and identify the limitations and alternative approaches to research of the historic conditions of black Americans.
The African American roots of modernism : from Reconstruction to the Harlem Renaissance / James Smethurst. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2011. 252pp. Main Library PS153.N5 S555 2011 : The period between 1880 and 1918, at the end of which Jim Crow was firmly established and the Great Migration of African Americans was well under way, was not the nadir for black culture, James Smethurst reveals, but instead a time of profound response from African American intellectuals. The African American Roots of Modernism explores how the Jim Crow system triggered significant artistic and intellectual responses from African American writers, deeply marking the beginnings of literary modernism and, ultimately, notions of American modernity....In identifying the Jim Crow period with the coming of modernity, Smethurst upsets the customary assessment of the Harlem Renaissance as the first nationally significant black arts movement, showing how artists reacted to Jim Crow with migration narratives, poetry about the black experience, black performance of popular culture forms, and more. Smethurst introduces a whole cast of characters, including understudied figures such as William Stanley Braithwaite and Fenton Johnson, and more familiar authors such as Charles Chesnutt, Pauline Hopkins, and James Weldon Johnson. By considering the legacy of writers and artists active between the end of Reconstruction and the rise of the Harlem Renaissance, Smethurst illuminates their influence on the black and white U.S. modernists who followed.
The African American struggle for secondary schooling, 1940-1980: closing the graduation gap / John L. Rury. New York : Teachers College Press, 2011 [c2012]. 261pp. Main Library LC2717 .R87 2011 : This is the first comprehensive account of African American secondary education in the postwar era. Drawing on quantitative datasets, as well as oral history, this compelling narrative examines how African Americans narrowed the racial gap in high school completion. The authors explore regional variations in high school attendance across the United States and how intraracial factors affected attendance within racial groups. They also examine the larger social historical context, such as the national high school revolution, the civil rights movement, campaigns to expand schooling and urging youth to stay in school, and Black migration northward. Closing chapters focus on desegregation and the ''urban crisis'' of the 1960s and 1970s that accelerated ''white flight'' and funding problems for urban school systems. The conclusion summarizes these developments and briefly looks at the period since 1980, when secondary attainment levels stopped advancing for Blacks and Whites alike.
African American Voices From Iwo Jima : Personal Accounts of the Battle / Clarence E. Willie ; with forewords by Frank E. Petersen, John R. Piatak. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2010. 252pp. Main Library D767.99.I9 W56 2010 : Nearly 900 African Americans fought in the Battle of Iwo Jima, but accounts of their service have gone largely unrecorded. This book seeks to correct that omission for the sake of the brave Americans who served and for the sake of a more inclusive American history. Eleven veterans contribute their memories and experiences, starting with their youth in the Depression, their enlistment, the battle itself, and their experience of returning to a nation that continued to treat them as second-class citizens. Appendices include a history of the Montford Point Marines, a history of the Army's 476th Amphibian Truck Company, a chronology of the Battle of Iwo Jima and a task organization chart for the participating U.S. forces.
African American women writers' historical fiction / by Ana Nunes. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 248pp. Main Library PS153.N5 N86 2011 : This volume explores African American historical fiction written by women in the last four decades of the twentieth century. Comprehensive in scope, this book refers to over thirty authors whose work has contributed to the tradition, from Margaret Walker to Sherley Anne Williams to Toni Morrison. Ana Nunes's approach to the text emphasizes the narrative and thematic achievements of individual novels against the backdrop of the main trends and developments of the contemporary African American historical novel.
African American Writers and Classical Tradition / William W. Cook and James Tatum. Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2010. 454pp. Main Library PS153.N5 C665 2010 : Constraints on freedom, education, and individual dignity have always been fundamental in determining who is able to write, when, and where. Taking the singular instance of the African American writer to heart, William W. Cook and James Tatum here argue that African American literature did not develop apart from canonical Western literary traditions but instead grew out of those literatures, even as it adapted and transformed the cultural traditions and religions of Africa and the African diaspora along the way....Tracing the interaction between African American writers and the literatures of ancient Greece and Rome, from the time of slavery and its aftermath to the civil rights era through the present, the authors offer a sustained and lively discussion of the life and work of Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Ellison, and Rita Dove, among other highly acclaimed poets, novelists, and scholars. Assembling this brilliant and diverse group of African American writers at a moment when our reception of classical literature is ripe for change, the authors paint an unforgettable portrait of our own reception of “classic” writing, especially as it was inflected by American racial politics.
African Americans and the Haitian revolution : selected essays and historical documents / edited by Maurice Jackson and Jacqueline Bacon. New York : Routledge, 2010. 259pp. Main Library E185.625 .A3843 2010 : Bringing together scholarly essays and helpfully annotated primary documents, African Americans and the Haitian Revolution collects not only the best recent scholarship on the subject, but also showcases the primary texts written by African Americans about the Haitian Revolution. Rather than being about the revolution itself, this collection attempts to show how the events in Haiti served to galvanize African Americans to think about themselves and to act in accordance with their beliefs, and contributes to the study of African Americans in the wider Atlantic World.
African Americans Doing Feminism : Putting Theory Into Everyday Practice / [edited by] Aaronette M. White. Albany : State University of New York Press, c2010. 303pp. Main Library HQ1410 .A35 2010 : How might ordinary people apply feminist principles to everyday situations? How do feminist ideas affect the daily behaviors and decisions of those who seek to live out the basic idea that women are as fully human as men? This collection of essays uses concrete examples to illuminate the ways in which African Americans practice feminism on a day-to-day basis. Demonstrating real-life situations of feminism in action, each essay tackles an issue---such as personal finances, parenting, sexual harassment, reproductive freedom, incest, depression and addiction, or romantic relationships---and articulates a feminist approach to engaging with the problem or concern. Contributors include African American scholars, artists, activists, and business professionals who offer personal accounts of how they encountered feminist ideas and are using them now as a guide to living. The essays reveal how feminist principles affect people's perceptions of their ability to change themselves and society, because the personal is not always self-evidently political...."The topic of thinking about feminism and feminist theory as functional is very important: students often want to know more about how they can put feminist thinking and politics into action. Having concrete, lived examples of how various people have done so is a real contribution to the field."---Vivian M. May, author of Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction
The Agony of Masculinity : Race, Gender, and Education in the Age of "New" Racism and Patriarchy / Pierre W. Orelus. New York : Peter Lang, c2010. 218pp. Main Library E185.625 .O74 2010 : Drawing on critical race theory and empirical data from case studies involving fifty men of African descent, this book presents a new perspective on black masculinity, maleness, sexism, and institutional racism. The book situates black masculinity in a racial, socio-historical, and postcolonial context to provide innovative ways of understanding the profound effects of institutional racism. Although its focus is primarily on people of African descent, the book addresses issues concerning all races and ethnicities, explores the harmful effects of sexism and homophobia on women and queer people, and proposes practical steps that can be taken to fight against socio-economic inequality and injustice that is racially-, gender-, and sexually-based. Given the practical nature and interdisciplinary dimension of this book, readers and educators studying race, racism, sexism, and gender issues will find it germane to their needs and their classes.
All Labor has Dignity / Martin Luther King, Jr. ; edited, with introductions by Michael K. Honey. Boston : Beacon Press, 2011. 224pp. Gast Business Library HD6971.8 .K56 2011 (and accompaning CD) : People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation. He fought throughout his life to connect the labor and civil rights movements, envisioning them as twin pillars for social reform. As we struggle with massive unemployment, a staggering racial wealth gap, and the near collapse of a financial system that puts profits before people, King’s prophetic writings and speeches underscore his relevance for today. They help us imagine King anew: as a human rights leader whose commitment to unions and an end to poverty was a crucial part of his civil rights agenda....Covering all the civil rights movement highlights—Montgomery, Albany, Birmingham, Selma, Chicago, and Memphis—award-winning historian Michael K. Honey introduces and traces King’s dream of economic equality. Gathered in one volume for the first time, the majority of these speeches will be new to most readers. The collection begins with King’s lectures to unions in the 1960s and includes his addresses during his Poor People’s Campaign, culminating with his momentous “Mountaintop” speech, delivered in support of striking black sanitation workers in Memphis. Unprecedented and timely, “All Labor Has Dignity” will more fully restore our understanding of King’s lasting vision of economic justice, bringing his demand for equality right into the present.
Articulating rights : nineteenth-century American women on race, reform, and the state / Alison M. Parker. DeKalb : Northern Illinois University Press, c2010. 290pp. Main Library HQ1236.5.U6 P37 2010 : In this original study of six notable reformers, Alison Parker skillfully illuminates the connections between the gradual transformation of reform strategies over the course of the 19th century and the political ideas of the reformers themselves. Parker argues that American women’s political thought evolved from an emphasis on reform through moral suasion and local control into an endorsement of expanded federal power and a strong central state. This book reveals Fanny Wright, Sarah Grimké, Angelina Grimké Weld, Frances Watkins Harper, Frances Willard, and Mary Church Terrell to be political thinkers who were engaged in re-conceptualizing the relationship between the state and its citizens. ...Collectively and individually, black women made a significant contribution to the shift toward an activist central state by strongly supporting a federal government with expanded authority to protect and enforce civil rights. Offering profiles of two black reformers, Parker explores the complex role that race played in the political thought and strategies in both black and white women reformers. Paying particular attention to the ways in which women’s ideas about the state and citizenship factored into their struggles for racial and sexual equality, Parker illuminates the wide-ranging and creative ways in which they engaged in politics. For scholars interested in 19th-century women, race, or reform in American history, this significant study offers a fresh take on these vital topics.
The Assassination of Fred Hampton : How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther / Jeffrey Haas. Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, c2010. 376pp. Main Library HV6289.C4 H33 2010 : On December 4, 1969, Fred Hampton, the 21-year-old chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was shot dead in his bed during a police raid. Hass and his law partner, Flint Taylor of the perpetually underfunded People's Law Office, spent the next decade fighting a well-financed opposition team and a hostile judge to prove that Hampton had been shot not in self-defense, as the police advocates claimed, but as the result of an FBI assassination The dramatic David and Goliath struggle embodies many of the era's fiercest debates, but Haas lacks the skill to transmute his experience into compelling reading. The prose is studded with clichés, and nearly every physical description reads like a checklist: age, size, build, skin color and length of Afro. Hass strays from the narrative to relate irrelevant information about his personal life, as when he recollects that his third wife first captured his attention when she “propped her red, calf-length boots” on his desk. The book is most engaging when Hass offers a straightforward account of the legal process, a testament to the power of the story—not the author's proficiency.
The assimilationist impulse in four African American narratives: Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson, Richard Wright, and Leroi Jones / Gordon E. Thompson ; with a foreword by Robert B. Stepto. Lewiston : Edwin Mellen Press, c2011. 234pp. Main Library E185.86 .T443 2011 : "[The author] has reopened a huge debate...that will create controversy in discussions of African-American life and culture." (Prof. Robert B. Stepto Yale University) "...bold and original....The book distinguishes itself in what has become an increasingly important field."
At the dark end of the street : black women, rape, and resistance : a new history of the civil rights movement from Rosa Parks to the rise of black power / Danielle L. McGuire. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 324pp. Main Library E185.61 .M4777 2010 : Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery's city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement....The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written....In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead. The president of the local NAACP branch office sent his best investigator and organizer to Abbeville. Her name was Rosa Parks. In taking on this case, Parks helped to launch a movement that ultimately changed the world....The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era when white men assaulted black women to enforce rules of racial and economic hierarchy. Black women's protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during World War II and went through to the Black Power movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that struggle....At the Dark End of the Street describes the decades of degradation black women on the Montgomery city buses endured on their way to cook and clean for their white bosses. It reveals how Rosa Parks, by 1955 one of the most radical activists in Alabama, had had enough. "There had to be a stopping place," she said, "and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around." Parks refused to move from her seat on the bus, was arrested, and, with fierce activist Jo Ann Robinson, organized a bus boycott....The protest, intended to last for twenty-four hours, became a yearlong struggle for dignity and justice. It broke the back of the Montgomery city bus lines and bankrupted the company....We see how and why Rosa Parks, instead of becoming a leader of the movement she helped to start, was turned into a symbol of virtuous black womanhood, sainted and celebrated for her quiet dignity, prim demeanor, and middle-class proprietyùher radicalism all but erased. And we see as well how thousands of black women whose courage and fortitude helped to transform America were reduced to the footnotes of history. A controversial, moving, and courageous book.
At the jazz band ball : sixty years on the jazz scene / Nat Hentoff. Berkeley : University of California Press, 2010. 246pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML60 .H4982 2010 : Nat Hentoff, renowned jazz critic, civil liberties activist, and fearless contrarian-"I'm a Jewish atheist civil-libertarian pro-lifer"-has lived through much of jazz's history and has known many of jazz's most important figures, often as friend and confidante. Hentoff has been a tireless advocate for the neglected parts of jazz history, including forgotten sidemen and women. This volume includes his best recent work-short essays, long interviews, and personal memories. From Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman and Quincy Jones, Hentoff brings the jazz greats to life and traces their art to gospel, blues, and many other forms of American music. At the Jazz Band Ball also reflects Hentoff's keen, cosmopolitan intellect on a wide range of issues. The book shows how jazz and education are a vital partnership, how free expression is the essence of liberty, and how social justice issues like health care and strong civil rights and liberties keep all the arts-and all members of society-strong.
Beauty Shop Politics : African American Women's Activism in the Beauty Industry / Tiffany M. Gill. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2010. 192pp. Main Library E185.86 .G494 2010 : From the founding of the National Negro Business League in 1900 and onward, African Americans have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit by starting their own businesses, but black women's forays into the business world were overshadowed by those of black men. With a broad scope that encompasses the role of gossip in salons, ethnic beauty products, and the social meanings of African American hair textures, Gill shows how African American beauty entrepreneurs built and sustained a vibrant culture of activism in beauty salons and schools. Enhanced by lucid portrayals of black beauticians and drawing on archival research and oral histories, Beauty Shop Politics conveys the everyday operations and rich culture of black beauty salons as well as their role in building community.
Behind the Dream : the Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation / Clarence B. Jones and Stuart Connelly. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 204pp. Main Library E185.97.K5 J576X 2011 : "I have a dream." When those words were spoken on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, in front of a quarter of a million people, it marked a turning point in history -- not just for America, but for the world. As the crowd stood, electrified, Martin Luther King, Jr. brought the plight of African Americans to the public consciousness and firmly established himself as one of the greatest orators of all time. The speech is commonly regarded along with the Gettysburg Address and FDR's Infamy Speech as one of the finest in American history....Behind the Dream is the thrilling, behind the-scenes account of the weeks leading up to the great event -- the government paranoia, the clashing egos, and the last-minute legal-pad brainstorming -- as the Movement battled the clock to bring the impossibly complicated March on Washington to life. Told by Clarence B. Jones himself -- he was not only Dr. King's personal counsel, adviser, and close friend, but the man who helped Dr. King craft and shape his speech -- this important story sheds new light on the moment that defined the Civil Rights Movement and paved the way for a new America.
Being black, living in the red : race, wealth, and social policy in America / Dalton Conley. Berkeley, Calif. ; London : University of California Press, 2010. 227pp. E185.8 .C77 2010 : Being Black, Living in the Red demonstrates that many differences between blacks and whites stem not from race but from economic inequalities that have accumulated over the course of American history. Property ownership--as measured by net worth--reflects this legacy of economic oppression. The racial discrepancy in wealth holdings leads to advantages for whites in the form of better schools, more desirable residences, higher wages, and more opportunities to save, invest, and thereby further their economic advantages. A new afterword by the author summarizes Conley's recent research on racial differences in wealth mobility and security and discusses potential policy solutions to the racial asset gap and America's low savings rate more generally.
Benching Jim Crow : the rise and fall of the color line in southern college sports, 1890-1980 / Charles H. Martin. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2010 and Chicago. 374pp. GV706.32 .M37 2010 : Chronicling the uneven rise and slow decline of segregation in American college athletics, Charles H. Martin shows how southern colleges imposed their policies of racial exclusion on surprisingly compliant northern teams and explains the social forces that eventually forced these southern schools to accept integrated competition. Martin emphasizes not just the racism prevalent in football and basketball in the South, but the effects of this discrimination for colleges and universities all over the country. Southern teams such as the University of Alabama, University of Mississippi, and the University of North Carolina were obsessed with national recognition, but their Jim Crow policies prevented them for many years from playing against racially mixed teams from other parts of the country....Devoting special attention to the Southeastern Conference, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and teams in Texas, Martin explores the changing social attitudes and culture of competition that turned the tide and allowed for the recruitment of black players and hiring of black coaches. He takes a close look at the case of Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso), the first major white university in an ex-Confederate state to recruit African American athletes extensively. Martin skillfully weaves existing arguments and documentation on the integration of college sports with wide-ranging, original research, including previously unpublished papers and correspondence of college administrators and athletic directors uncovered in university archives.
Better Than the Best : Black Athletes Speak, 1920-2007 / John C. Walter and Malina Iida. Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2010. 264pp. Library GV697.A1 .W34 2010 : In These Engaging And Forthright Interviews, thirteen African American athletes talk about how they endured through pain, loneliness, and rejection to become champions. In sports as diverse as football and fencing, wrestling and track and field, these men and women triumphed over the odds to become better than the best. Their legacy is in their accomplishments and in their determination to continue contributing to the societal transformation their efforts helped make possible.
Between Good and Ghetto : African American Girls and Inner City Violence / Nikki Jones. New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, c2010. 211pp. Main Library HT164.U6 J66 2010 : With an outward gaze focused on a better future, Between Good and Ghetto reflects the social world of inner city African American girls and how they manage threats of personal violence....Drawing on personal encounters, traditions of urban ethnography, Black feminist thought, gender studies, and feminist criminology, Nikki Jones gives readers a richly descriptive and compassionate account of how African American girls negotiate schools and neighborhoods governed by the so-called "code of the street"--the form of street justice that governs violence in distressed urban areas. She reveals the multiple strategies they use to navigate interpersonal and gender-specific violence and how they reconcile the gendered dilemmas of their adolescence. Illuminating struggles for survival within this group, Between Good and Ghetto encourages others to move African American girls toward the center of discussions of "the crisis" in poor, urban neighborhoods.
Beyond blackface : African Americans and the creation of American popular culture, 1890-1930 / edited by W. Fitzhugh Brundage. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2011. 373pp. Main Library P94.5.A372 U536 2011 : This collection of thirteen essays, edited by historian W. Fitzhugh Brundage, brings together original work from sixteen distinguished scholars in various disciplines, ranging from theater and literature to history and music, to address the complex roles of black performers, entrepreneurs, and consumers in American mass culture during the early twentieth century....Moving beyond the familiar territory of blackface and minstrelsy, these essays present a fresh look at the history of African Americans and mass culture. With subjects ranging from representations of race in sheet music illustrations to African American interest in Haitian culture, Beyond Blackface recovers the history of forgotten or obscure cultural figures and shows how these historical actors played a role in the creation of American mass culture. The essays explore the predicament that blacks faced at a time when white supremacy crested and innovations in consumption, technology, and leisure made mass culture possible. Underscoring the importance and complexity of race in the emergence of mass culture, Beyond Blackface depicts popular culture as a crucial arena in which African Americans struggled to secure a foothold as masters of their own representation and architects of the nation's emerging consumer society.
Black comix : African American independent comics, art and culture / Damian Duffy & John Jennings ; foreword by Keith Knight. New York : Mark Batty Publisher, c2010. 175pp. Special Collections Comic Art PN6725 .D818 2010 : The immense popularity of comics and graphic novels cannot be ignored. But in light of the comics boom that has taken place over the past 10 years, the artists, writers and publishers that make up the vibrant African American independent comics community have remained relatively unknown – until now. Black Comix brings together an unprecedented collection of largely unheard of, and undeniably masterful, comics art while also framing the work of these men and women in a broader historical and cultural context....With a foreword by Keith Knight and over 50 contributors, including Phonzie Davis, Jan-Michael Franklin, Frances Liddell, Kenjji Marshall, Lance Tooks, Rob Stull, Ashley A. Woods and many, more, the cross section of comics genres represented includes manga, superheroes, humor, history, science fiction and fantasy. This book is a must-have for comics readers.
Black Conservative Intellectuals In Modern America / Michael L. Ondaatje. Philadelphia [Pa.] : University of Pennsylvania Press, c2010. 220pp. Main Library E185.89.I56 O53 2010 : In the last three decades, a brand of black conservatism espoused by a controversial group of African American intellectuals has become a fixture in the nation's political landscape, its proponents having shaped policy debates over some of the most pressing matters that confront contemporary American society. Their ideas, though, have been neglected by scholars of the African American experience—much of the responsibility for explaining black conservatism's historical and contemporary significance has fallen to highly partisan journalists. Typically, those pundits have addressed black conservatives as an undifferentiated mass, proclaiming them good or bad, right or wrong, color-blind visionaries or Uncle Toms....In Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America, Michael L. Ondaatje delves deeply into the historical archive to chronicle the origins of black conservatism in the United States from the early 1980s to the present. Focusing on three significant policy issues—affirmative action, welfare, and education—Ondaatje critically engages with the ideas of nine of the most influential black conservatives. He further documents how their ideas were received, both by white conservatives eager to capitalize on black support for their ideas and by activists on the left who too often sought to impugn the motives of black conservatives instead of challenging the merits of their claims. While Ondaatje's investigation uncovers the themes and issues that link these voices together, he debunks the myth of a monolithic black conservatism. Figures such as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the Hoover Institution's Thomas Sowell and Shelby Steele, and cultural theorist John McWhorter emerge as individuals with their own distinct understandings of and relationships to the conservative political tradition.
The Black Diaspora of the Americas : Experiences And Theories Out of the Caribbean / Christine Chivallon; translated from the French version by Antoinette Titus-Tidjani Alou. Kingston [Jamaica] : Ian Randle Publishers, 2011. 231pp. Main Library E29.N3 C4513 2011 : The forced migration of Africans to the Americas through the transatlantic slave trade created primary centres of settlement in the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States - the cornerstones of the New World and the black Americas. However, unlike Brazil and the US, the Caribbean did not (and still does not) have the uniformity of a national framework. Instead, the region presents differing situations and social experiences born of the varying colonial systems from which they were developed. Using the Caribbean experience as the focus, Christine Chivallon examines the transatlantic slave trade and slavery as founding events in the identification of a Black diaspora experience. The exploration is extended to include the United States to exemplify contrasting situations in slavery-based systems and identifies the links between the expressions of culture emanating from the black populations of the New World and the diversity of interpretations of the cultural identities of the Black Americas. Divided into three main parts, The Black Diaspora of the Aamericas firstly examines the foundation of the Black experiences of the New World by considering the slave trade. The second part takes a more theoretical examination of 'Black diaspora' using Rastafarianism, Garveyism and Pan-Africanism while referencing the work of a range of thinkers including Stuart Hall, Paul Gilroy, Richard Price, Edouard Glissant, Melville Herskovits and Sidney Mintz. The work is concluded in the third part with the proposition of an a-centred community of persons of African descent - a culture devoid of centrality. The Black Diaspora of the Americas brings together the key arguments about creolisation and the concept of a Black diaspora and presents an outstanding contribution to understanding the dynamics of diaspora.
The Black Experience in the Civil War South / Stephen V. Ash. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2010. 127pp. Main Library E185.18 .A84 2010 : Drawing from memoirs, autobiographies, and other sources, Ash provides a comprehensive study of the Southern black experience of the Civil War, for scholars, students, and Civil War buffs. Organized by theme, chapters examine the lives of blacks in the Confederate states and the non-seceding Southern states; on farms and plantations and in towns and cities; in industry and the military; and black men, women, and children. This includes blacks who resided in Union "contraband camps" and on free-labor plantations, those in the Union army, those who escaped from slavery, and the small minority of Southern blacks who were free when the war started. He does not discuss the Confederacy movement to reform slavery or the late-war movement to recruit slaves as Confederate soldiers.
The Black History of the White House / Clarence Lusane. San Francisco : City Lights Books, c2011. 575pp. Main Library F204.W5 L87 2011 : Official Histories of the United States have almost universally ignored the fact that 25 percent of all U.S. presidents were slaveholders, and that black people were held in bondage in the White House itself. And while the nation was born under the banner of "freedom and justice for all," many colonists only risked rebelling against England in order to protect their lucrative slave business from the growing threat of British abolitionism. These historical facts, commonly excluded from schoolbooks and popular versions of American history, have profoundly shaped the course of race relations in the United States....In this unprecedented work, Clarence Lusane presents a comprehensive history of the White House from an African American perspective. Here are the stories of those who were forced to work on the construction of the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and the determined leaders who pressured U.S. presidents to outlaw slavery; White House slaves, servants and Secret Service agents; black artists and intellectuals invited to the White House; Washington insiders who rose to the highest levels of power; community leaders who waged presidential compaigns, and many others. Juxtaposing significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for civil rights, Clarence Lusane makes plain that the White House has always been a prism through which to view the social struggles and progress of black Americans.
Black Los Angeles : American dreams and racial realities / edited by Darnell Hunt and Ana-Christina Ramón. New York : New York University Press, c2010. Main Library F869.L89 N3194 2010 : Los Angeles is well-known as a temperate paradise with expansive beaches and mountain vistas, a booming luxury housing market, and the home of glamorous Hollywood. During the first half of the twentieth century, Los Angeles was also seen as a mecca for both African Americans and a steady stream of migrants from around the country and the world, transforming Los Angeles into one of the world’s most diverse cities. The city has become a multicultural maze in which many now fear that the political clout of the region’s large black population has been lost. Nonetheless, the dream of a better life lives on for black Angelenos today, despite the harsh social and economic conditions many confront....Black Los Angeles is the culmination of a groundbreaking research project from the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA that presents an in-depth analysis of the historical and contemporary contours of black life in Los Angeles. Based on innovative research, the original essays are multi-disciplinary in approach and comprehensive in scope, connecting the dots between the city’s racial past, present, and future. Through historical and contemporary anecdotes, oral histories, maps, photographs, illustrations, and demographic data, we see that Black Los Angeles is and has always been a space of profound contradictions. Just as Los Angeles has come to symbolize the complexities of the early twenty-first-century city, so too has Black Los Angeles come to embody the complex realities of race in so-called “colorblind” times.
Black Mecca : the African Muslims of Harlem / Zain Abdullah. New York, N.Y. : Oxford University Press, 2010. 294pp. Main Library BP67.U62 N483 2010 : The changes to U.S. immigration law that were instituted in 1965 have led to an influx of West African immigrants to New York, creating an enclave Harlem residents now call ''Little Africa.'' These immigrants are immediately recognizable as African in their wide-sleeved robes and tasseled hats, but most native-born members of the community are unaware of the crucial role Islam plays in immigrants' lives. Zain Abdullah takes us inside the lives of these new immigrants and shows how they deal with being a double minority in a country where both blacks and Muslims are stigmatized. Dealing with this dual identity, Abdullah discovers, is extraordinarily complex. Some longtime residents embrace these immigrants and see their arrival as an opportunity to reclaim their African heritage, while others see the immigrants as scornful invaders. In turn, African immigrants often take a particularly harsh view of their new neighbors, buying into the worst stereotypes about American-born blacks being lazy and incorrigible. And while there has long been a large Muslim presence in Harlem, and residents often see Islam as a force for social good, African-born Muslims see their Islamic identity disregarded by most of their neighbors. Abdullah weaves together the stories of these African Muslims to paint a fascinating portrait of a community's efforts to carve out space for itself in a new country.
The Black Megachurch : Theology, Gender, and the Politics of Public Engagement / Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs. Waco, Tex. : Baylor University Press, c2011. 255pp. Main Library BR563.N4 T83 2011 : An explosion of flourishing black megachurches has changed the landscape of American religious life. Boasting memberships into the tens of thousands and meeting within both adorned walls and refurbished warehouse buildings, these contemporary fruits of the Civil Rights Movement hold many of the resources necessary to address America's contemporary social disparities. After studying nearly 150 black megachurches, Tamelyn N. Tucker-Worgs asks, How are these church communities engaging the public sphere? And, why are their approaches so varied?...The Black Megachurch sets aside the broad assumptions usually applied to the study of black churches and analyzes the three factors most necessary for social engagement--theological orientation, organization of community development initiatives, and gender-based spheres of labor and leadership. In doing so, Tucker-Worgs underscores the myriad ways in which black megachurches have responded to the changing social climate and concludes that while some have lived up to their potential, others have a long way to go.
Black Nationalism in the United States : From Malcolm X to Barack Obama / by James Lance Taylor. Boulder, Colo. : Lynne Rienner Publishers, c2011. 415pp. E185.615 .T387 2011 : Black nationalism. Is it an outdated political strategy? Or, as James Taylor argues in his rich, sweeping analysis, a logicMain Library al response to the failure of post civil rights politics?...Taylor offers a provocative assessment of the contemporary relevance and interpretation of black nationalism as both a school of thought and a mode of mobilization. Fundamental to his analysis is the assertion that black nationalism should be understood not simply as a separatist movement, the traditional conception, but instead as a common-sense psychological orientation with long roots in US political history. Providing entirely new lines of insight and analysis, his work ranges from the religious foundations of black political ideologies to the nationalist sentiments of today s hip-hop generation.
Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment : the Military Career of Charles Young / Brian G. Shellum. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2010. 360pp. Main Library E185.97.Y63 S54 2010 : An unheralded military hero, Charles Young (1864–1922) was the third black graduate of West Point, the first African American national park superintendent, the first black U.S. military attaché, the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death. Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment tells the story of the man who—willingly or not—served as a standard-bearer for his race in the officer corps for nearly thirty years, and who, if not for racial prejudice, would have become the first African American general....Brian G. Shellum describes how, during his remarkable army career, Young was shuffled among the few assignments deemed suitable for a black officer in a white man’s army—the Buffalo Soldier regiments, an African American college, and diplomatic posts in black republics such as Liberia. Nonetheless, he used his experience to establish himself as an exceptional cavalry officer. He was a colonel on the eve of the United States’ entry into World War I, when serious medical problems and racial intolerance denied him command and ended his career. Shellum’s book seeks to restore a hero to the ranks of military history; at the same time, it informs our understanding of the role of race in the history of the American military.
Black Sexualities : Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies / edited by Juan Battle and Sandra L. Barnes. New Brunswick, NJ : Rutgers University Press, c2010. 462pp. Main Library E185.86 .B536 2010 : From questioning forces that have constrained sexual choices to examining how Blacks have forged healthy sexual identities in an oppressive environment, Black Sexualities acknowledges the diversity of the Black experience and the shared legacy of racism. Contributors seek resolution to Blacks' understanding of their lives as sexual beings through stories of empowerment, healing, self-awareness, victories, and other historic and contemporary life-course panoramas and provide practical information to foster more culturally relative research, tolerance, and acceptance.
Black social dance in television advertising : an analytical history / Carla Stalling Huntington. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2011. 190pp. Main Library GV1624.7.A34 H86 2011 : "This work investigates the anthropologic aesthetic of black social dance in television advertising. Covering the 1950s through 2010 in the United States, each decade is explored as dance is shown to provide value to brands, thus effecting consumption. The text provides a theory of dance for a culture that has drawn upon African-American arts to sell products.
Black talk, blue thoughts, and walking the color line : dispatches from a Black journalist / Erin Aubry Kaplan ; with a foreword by Michael Eric Dyson. Boston : Northeastern University Press, c2011. 278pp. E185.625 .K29 2011 : Los Angeles has had a ringside seat during the long last century of racial struggle in America. The bouts have been over money and jobs and police brutality, over politics and poetry and rap and basketball. Minimizing blackness itself has been touted as the logical and ideal solution to the struggle, but in Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line Erin Aubry Kaplan begs to differ. With eloquence, wit, and high prose style she crafts a series of compelling arguments against black eclipse....Here are thirty-three insightful and wide-ranging pieces of literary, cultural, political, and personal reporting on the contemporary black American experience. Drawn from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Salon.com, and elsewhere, this collection also features major new articles on President Barack Obama, black and Hispanic conflicts, and clinical depression. In each, Kaplan argues with meticulous observation, razor-sharp intelligence, and sparkling prose against the trend of black erasure, and for the expansion of horizons of the black American story.
Black warriors : the Buffalo soldiers of World War II : memories of the only Negro infantry division to fight in Europe during World War II / by Ivan J. Houston ; with Gordon Cohn. Bloomington, IN : iUniverse, Inc., c2011. 223pp. Main Library D810.N4 H68 2011 : Numbering 4,000 select officers and men, Combat Team 370 was part of n Europe during World War II the 92nd Infantry Division, the only all-Negro division to fight in Europe during World War II. In Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II , author Ivan J. Houston recounts his experiences, when, as a nineteen-year-old California college student, he entered the US Army and served with the 3rd Battalion, 370th Infantry Regiment, 92nd Division of the US Fifth Army from 1943 to 1945. Drawn from minute-by-minute records of the unit's activities compiled by Houston during his deployment in Italy, this account describes both the historic encounters and the achievements of his fellow black soldiers during this breakthrough period in American military history. It tells of how the Buffalo Soldiers fought alongside other American troops, including Japanese Americans and soldiers from Great Britain, Brazil, South Africa, and India. With photos and maps included, Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of World War II provides a compelling, firsthand account of the segregated Buffalo Soldiers' experiences while they fought not only the power of the Nazi war machine but also racism and the widely held belief they were not up to the task. Their achievements prove otherwise.
Black Yanks in the Pacific : race in the making of American military empire after World War II / Michael Cullen Green. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2010. 207pp. Main Library E185.63 .G725 2010 : By the end of World War II, many black citizens viewed service in the segregated American armed forces with distaste if not disgust. Meanwhile, domestic racism and Jim Crow, ongoing Asian struggles against European colonialism, and prewar calls for Afro-Asian solidarity had generated considerable black ambivalence toward American military expansion in the Pacific, in particular the impending occupation of Japan. Over the following decade, however, military service enabled tens of thousands of African Americans to interact daily with Asian peoplesùencounters on a scale impossible prior to 1945. It also encouraged African Americans to share many of the same racialized attitudes toward Asian peoples held by their white counterparts and to identify with their government's foreign policy objectives in Asia....In Black Yanks in the Pacific, Michael Cullen Green tells the story of African American engagement with military service in occupied Japan, war-torn South Korea, and an emerging empire of bases anchored in those two nations. After World War II, African Americans largely embraced the socioeconomic opportunities afforded by service overseasùdespite the maintenance of military segregation into the early 1950'sùwhile strained Afro-Asian social relations in Japan and South Korea encouraged a sense of insurmountable difference from Asian peoples. By the time the Supreme Court declared de jure segregation unconstitutional in its landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, African American investment in overseas military expansion was largely secured. Although they were still subject to discrimination at home, many African Americans had come to distrust East Asian peoples and to accept the legitimacy of an expanding military empire abroad.
Blues music in the Sixties : a story in Black and White / Ulrich Adelt. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010. 192pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML3521 .A34 2010 : Can a type of music be "owned"? Examining how music is linked to racial constructs and how African American musicians and audiences reacted to white appropriation, Blues Music in the Sixties shows the stakes when whites claim the right to play and live the blues....In the 1960s, within the larger context of the civil rights movement and the burgeoning counterculture, the blues changed from black to white in its production and reception, as audiences became increasingly white. Yet, while this was happening, blackness--especially black masculinity--remained a marker of authenticity. Crossing color lines and mixing the beats of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Janis Joplin; the Newport Folk Festival and the American Folk Blues Festival; and publications such as Living Blues, Ulrich Adelt discusses these developments, including the international aspects of the blues. He highlights the performers and venues that represented changing racial politics and addresses the impact and involvement of audiences and cultural brokers.
Body and soul : the Black Panther Party and the fight against medical discrimination / Alondra Nelson. Minneapolis ; London : University of Minnesota Press, , ©2011. 289pp. RA448.5.N4 N45 2011 (Also available online) : Between its founding in 1966 and its formal end in 1980, the Black Panther Party blazed a distinctive trail in American political culture. The Black Panthers are most often remembered for their revolutionary rhetoric and militant action. Here Alondra Nelson deftly recovers an indispensable but lesser-known aspect of the organization’s broader struggle for social justice: health care. The Black Panther Party’s health activism—its network of free health clinics, its campaign to raise awareness about genetic disease, and its challenges to medical discrimination—was an expression of its founding political philosophy and also a recognition that poor blacks were both underserved by mainstream medicine and overexposed to its harms....Drawing on extensive historical research as well as interviews with former members of the Black Panther Party, Nelson argues that the Party’s focus on health care was both practical and ideological. Building on a long tradition of medical self-sufficiency among African Americans, the Panthers’ People’s Free Medical Clinics administered basic preventive care, tested for lead poisoning and hypertension, and helped with housing, employment, and social services. In 1971, the party launched a campaign to address sickle-cell anemia. In addition to establishing screening programs and educational outreach efforts, it exposed the racial biases of the medical system that had largely ignored sickle-cell anemia, a disease that predominantly affected people of African descent....The Black Panther Party’s understanding of health as a basic human right and its engagement with the social implications of genetics anticipated current debates about the politics of health and race. That legacy—and that struggle—continues today in the commitment of health activists and the fight for universal health care.
Brainwashed : Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority / Tom Burrell. New York, NY : Smiley Books ; Carlsbad, CA : Distributed by Hay House, 2010. 285pp. Main Library E185.86 .B866 2010 : “Black people are not dark-skinned white people,” says advertising visionary Tom Burrell. In fact, they are a lot more. They are survivors of the Middle Passage and centuries of humiliation and deprivation, who have excelled against the odds, constantly making a way out of “no way!” At this point in history, the idea of black inferiority should have had a “Going-Out-of-Business Sale.” After all, Barack Obama has reached the Promised Land....Yet, as Brainwashed: Erasing the Myth of Black Inferiority testifies, too much of black America is still wandering in the wilderness. In this powerful examination of “the greatest propaganda campaign of all time”—the masterful marketing of black inferiority—Burrell poses 10 provocative questions that will make black people look in the mirror and ask why, nearly 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, so many blacks still think like slaves. Brainwashed is not a reprimand; it is a call to deprogram ourselves of self-defeating attitudes and actions. Racism is not the issue; how we respond to racism is the issue. We must undo negative brainwashing and claim a new state of race-based self-esteem and self-actualization. Provocative and powerful, Brainwashed dares to expose the wounds so that we, at last, can heal.
The Bridge : the Life and Rise of Barack Obama / David Remnick. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 656pp. Browsing Collection (1 East) E908 .R46 2010 : No story has been more central to America’s history this century than the rise of Barack Obama, and until now, no journalist or historian has written a book that fully investigates the circumstances and experiences of Obama’s life or explores the ambition behind his rise. Those familiar with Obama’s own best-selling memoir or his campaign speeches know the touchstones and details that he chooses to emphasize, but now—from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is without peer—we have a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of a young man in search of himself, and of a rising politician determined to become the first African-American president....The Bridge offers the most complete account yet of Obama’s tragic father, a brilliant economist who abandoned his family and ended his life as a beaten man; of his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who had a child as a teenager and then built her career as an anthropologist living and studying in Indonesia; and of the succession of elite institutions that first exposed Obama to the social tensions and intellectual currents that would force him to imagine and fashion an identity for himself. Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allows us to see how a rootless, unaccomplished, and confused young man created himself first as a community organizer in Chicago, an experience that would not only shape his urge to work in politics but give him a home and a community, and that would propel him to Harvard Law School, where his sense of a greater mission emerged....Deftly setting Obama’s political career against the galvanizing intersection of race and politics in Chicago’s history, Remnick shows us how that city’s complex racial legacy would make Obama’s forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story—from both sides—of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. By looking at Obama’s political rise through the prism of our racial history, Remnick gives us the conflicting agendas of black politicians: the dilemmas of men like Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Joseph Lowery, heroes of the civil rights movement, who are forced to reassess old loyalties and understand the priorities of a new generation of African-American leaders....The Bridge revisits the American drama of race, from slavery to civil rights, and makes clear how Obama’s quest is not just his own but is emblematic of a nation where destiny is defined by individuals keen to imagine a future that is different from the reality of their current lives.
Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance / James Wilson. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2010. 260pp. Main Library PS338.N4 W555 2010 : Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies shines the spotlight on historically neglected plays and performances that challenged early twentieth-century notions of the stratification of race, gender, class, and sexual orientation. On Broadway stages, in Harlem nightclubs and dance halls, and within private homes sponsoring rent parties, African American performers of the 1920Æs and early 1930Æs teased the limits of white middle-class morality. Blues-singing lesbians, popularly known as "bulldaggers," performed bawdy songs; cross-dressing men vied for the top prizes in lavish drag balls; and black and white women flaunted their sexuality in scandalous melodramas and musical revues. Race leaders, preachers, and theater critics spoke out against these performances that threatened to undermine social and political progress, but to no avail: mainstream audiences could not get enough of the riotous entertainment....Many of the plays and performances explored here, central to the cultural debates of their time, had been previously overlooked by theater historians. Among the performances discussed are David Belasco's controversial production of Edward Sheldon and Charles MacArthur's Lulu Belle (1926), with its raucous, libidinous view of Harlem. The title character, as performed by a white woman in blackface, became a symbol of defiance for the gay subculture and was simultaneously held up as a symbol of supposedly immoral black women. African Americans Florence Mills and Ethel Waters, two of the most famous performers of the 1920's, countered the Lulu Belle stereotype in written statements and: through parody, thereby reflecting the powerful effect this -fictional character had on the popular imagination....Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies is based on extensive archival research including readings of eyewitness accounts, newspaper reports, songs, and playscripts. Employing a cultural studies framework that incorporates queer and critical race theory, It argues against the widely held belief that the stereotypical forms of black, lesbian, and gay show business of the. 1920's prohibited the emergence of distinctive new voices. Specialists in American studies, performance studies, African American studies, and gay and lesbian studies will find the book appealing, as will general readers interested in the vivid personalities and performances of the singers and actors introduced in the book
Children of fire : a history of African Americans / Thomas C. Holt. New York : Hill and Wang, 2010. 438pp. Main Library E185 .H57 2010 : Ordinary people don’t experience history as it is taught by historians. They live across the convenient chronological divides we impose on the past. The same people who lived through the Civil War and the eradication of slavery also dealt with the hardships of Reconstruction, so why do we almost always treat them separately? In this groundbreaking new book, renowned historian Thomas C. Holt challenges this form to tell the story of generations of African Americans through the lived experience of the subjects themselves, with all of the nuances, ironies, contradictions, and complexities one might expect....Building on seminal books like John Hope Franklin’s From Slavery to Freedom and many others, Holt captures the entire African American experience from the moment the first twenty “Negars” were sold to Captain John Smith at Jamestown in 1621. Each chapter focuses on a generation of individuals who shaped the course of American history, hoping for a better life for their children but often confronting the ebb and flow of their civil rights and status within society. Many familiar faces grace these pages—Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, and Barack Obama—but also some overlooked ones. Figures like Anthony Johnson, a slave who bought his freedom in late seventeenth century Virginia and built a sizable plantation, only to have it stolen away from his children by an increasingly racist court system. Or Frank Moore, a WWI veteran and sharecropper who sued his landlord for unfair practices, but found himself charged with murder after fighting off an angry white posse. Taken together, their stories tell how African Americans fashioned a culture and identity amid the turmoil of four centuries of American history.
Cinderella Story : A Scholarly Sketchbook About Race, Identity, Barack Obama, The Human Spirit, and Other Stuff That Matters / James Haywood Rolling Jr. Lanham, MD : Altamira Press, c2010,  263pp. Main Library E185.625 .R65 2009 : Cinderella Story is an experimental autoethnography that explores critical racial issues in America through the media of language and images.
The Civil Rights Movement and the Logic of Social Change / Joseph E. Luders. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2010. 246pp. Main Library E185.61 .L82 2010 : Social movements have wrought dramatic changes upon American society. This observation necessarily raises the question: Why do some movements succeed in their endeavors while others fail? This book answers this question by introducing an analytical framework that begins with a shift in emphasis away from the characteristics of movements toward the targets of protests and affected bystanders, their interests, and why they respond as they do. Such a shift brings into focus how targets and other interests assess both their exposure to movement disruptions as well as the costs of conceding to movement demands. From this vantage point, diverse outcomes stem not only from a movement's capabilities for protest but also from differences among targets and others in their vulnerability to disruption and the substance of movement goals. Applied to the civil rights movement, this approach recasts conventional accounts of the movement's outcome in local struggles and national politics, and also clarifies the broader logic of social change.
Climbing Jacob's Ladder : the Black Freedom Movement Writings of Jack O'Dell / edited and introduced by Nikhil Pal Singh . Berkeley : University of California Press, c2010. 319pp. Main Library E185.61 .O29 2010 : This book collects for the first time the black freedom movement writings of Jack O'Dell and restores one of the great unsung heroes of the civil rights movement to his rightful place in the historical record. For the Duration puts O'Dell's historically significant essays in context and reveals how he helped shape the civil rights movement. From his early years in the 1940s National Maritime Union, to his pioneering work in the early 1960s with Martin Luther King Jr., to his international efforts for the Rainbow Coalition during the 1980s, O'Dell was instrumental in the development of black consciousness and the institutions that underpinned several decades of anti-racist struggle. He was a member of the outlawed Communist Party in the 1950s and endured red-baiting throughout his long social justice career. This volume is edited by Nikhil Pal Singh and includes a lengthy introduction based on interviews he conducted with O'Dell on his early life and later experiences. For the Duration provides readers with a firm grasp of the civil rights movement's left wing, which O'Dell represents, and calls into question the insular narrative of American twentieth century history.
Colored cosmopolitanism : the shared struggle for freedom in the United States and India / Nico Slate. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c2011. 321pp. Main Library E185.61 .S6185 2011 : A hidden history connects India and the United States, the world's two largest democracies. From the late nineteenth century through the 1960s, activists worked across borders of race and nation to push both countries toward achieving their democratic principles. At the heart of this shared struggle, African Americans and Indians forged bonds ranging from statements of sympathy to coordinated acts of solidarity. Within these two groups, certain activists developed a colored cosmopolitanism, a vision of the world that transcended traditional racial distinctions. These men and women agitated for the freedom of the “colored world,” even while challenging the meanings of both color and freedom....Colored Cosmopolitanism is the first detailed examination of both ends of this transnational encounter. Nico Slate tells the stories of neglected historical figures, like the “Eurasian” scholar Cedric Dover, and offers a stunning glimpse of people we thought we knew. Prominent figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Swami Vivekananda, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Martin Luther King Jr. emerge as never before seen. Slate reveals the full gamut of this exchange--from selective appropriations, to blatant misunderstandings, to a profound empathy--as African Americans and South Asians sought a united front against racism, imperialism, and other forms of oppression.
Coltrane on Coltrane : the John Coltrane interviews / edited by Chris DeVito. Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, c2010. 396pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML419.C645 A5 2010 : John Coltrane grew up “under the spell,” as he put it, of Charlie Parker. But he needed to create a new sound, a music that had nothing to do with anyone except himself. The path he chose was difficult and risky. Nevertheless, he persisted. His work now stands with the greatest music of all time, and continues to inspire devotion, adoration, and joy nearly 50 years after his death....Coltrane was also one of the few musicians whose life, thoughts, and words are as inspiring as his music. This book collects, for the first time, those words....Coltrane was a gracious interviewee. His responses were thoughtful and measured; he rarely said anything negative about others (though he could be highly self-critical). Interviewers noted how different Coltrane seemed from his music--this quiet man whose music was so volcanic....Coltrane on Coltrane includes every known Coltrane interview, many in new transcriptions, and several previously unpublished; articles, reminiscences, and liner notes that rely on interviews; and some of Coltrane’s personal writings and correspondence....John Coltrane never wrote an autobiography. This book is as close to one as possible.
The condemnation of blackness : race, crime, and the making of modern urban America / Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010. 380pp. HV6197.U5 M85 2010 (Also available online via Ebrary): "The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged. Well known are the lynch mobs and racist criminal justice practices in the South that stoked white fears of black crime and shaped the contours of the New South. In this illuminating book, Muhammad shifts our attention to the urban North as a crucial but overlooked site for the production and dissemination of those ideas and practices." "Following the 1890 census - the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery - crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites - liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners - as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. What else but pathology could explain black failure in the land of opportunity? Social scientists and reformers used crime statistics to mask and excuse anti-black racism, violence, and discrimination across the nation, especially in the urban North." "The Condemnation of Blackness is the most thorough historical account of the enduring link between blackness and criminality in the making of modern urban America. It is a startling examination of why the echoes of America's Jim Crow past continue to resonate in "color-blind" crime rhetoric today."
Confessions of a slot machine queen : a memoir / Sandra Adell. Madison, Wis. : EugeniaBooks, 2010. 161pp. Main Library HV6710.3.A34 A34 2010 : This moving memoir describes how a black woman beat the odds stacked against her as a young and unwed teen mother from Detroit to become a professor at a major mid-western university only to risk losing everything she worked for after becoming addicted to slot machine gambling. The author renders her downward spiral into addiction and despair in such clear and unaffected prose that you'll think you were there in the casino watching her.
Cross-cultural visions in African American literature : West meets East / edited by Yoshinobu Hakutani. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 214pp. PS153.N5 C79 2011 : Just as American culture is the hybridization of Eastern and Western cultures, so is African American culture. Because the European and African cultural visions that Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and others acquired were buttressed by the universal humanism that is common to all cultures, this ideology was shown to transcend the problems of society. Fascinated by Eastern thought and art, Wright, Alice Walker, Sonia Sanchez, and James Emanuel wrote highly accomplished poetry and prose. While modernism, especially Western modernism, smacks of elitism, postmodernism, as shown by the later Wright, Walker, and Toni Morrison, is widely concerned not only with the mundane but also with other kinds of knowledge and other cultures, especially Eastern cultures. The most influential East-West artistic, cultural, and literary exchange that has taken place in modern and postmodern times was reading and writing of haiku. Among others, Wright distinguished himself as a haiku poet by writing over 4,000 haiku in his last eighteen months of his life while in exile in Paris. Wright’s haiku have made an impact on some of the contemporary American poets, most notably Robert Haas, Sonia Sanchez, and James Emanuel. However historically different their ideas and representations may have been, African American modernists and postmodernists have both mediated upon the possibility of multiple worlds for human subjectivity. This topic will be of interest to the readers who see African American literature as a cross-cultural movement.
The cross of redemption : uncollected writings / James Baldwin ; edited and with an introduction by Randall Kenan. New York : Pantheon Books, c2010. 304pp. Main Library PS3552.A45 C76 2010 : Growing up poor, black, and gay in a household dominated by an abusive preacher stepfather, Baldwin gained perspective on every prejudice indulged by America in his lifetime—an epic saga from poverty and obscurity to comfort and world renown. This collection offers Baldwin’s previously uncollected essays, profiles, reviews, and letters, fully displaying the breadth of his struggle to come to terms with the injustice and, worse, the immorality of life in a nation that prided itself on equality. Baldwin is biting and insightful in his critique of religious fundamentalism, the prospects of a black president, the hypocrisy of the American art and cultural scene, the challenges of black nationalism, and the complexities of race and identity. In the long passages of his essays and the short, acerbic comments in his interviews, Baldwin shows a masterful sweep of language and ideas and feelings that continues to resonate. Includes pieces that explore such topics as religious fundamentalism, Russian literature, and the possibility of an African-American president.
Crusades for freedom : Memphis and the political transformation of the American South / G. Wayne Dowdy. Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, 2010. 183pp. Main Library F444.M557 D69 2010 : During the first half of the twentieth century, the city of Memphis was governed by the Shelby County Democratic Party controlled by Edward Hull Crump, described by Time magazine as "the most absolute political boss in the U.S." Crusades for Freedom chronicles the demise of the Crump political machine and the corresponding rise to power of the South's two minorities, African Americans and Republicans....Between the years 1948 and 1968, Memphis emerged as a battleground in the struggle to create a strong two-party South. For the first time in its history, both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates campaigned vigorously for the Bluff City's votes. Closely tied to these changing political fortunes was the struggle of African Americans to overturn two centuries of discrimination. At the same time, many believed that the city needed a more modern political structure to meet the challenges of the 1950s and 1960s, preferably a mayor-city council governmental structure. By 1968 the segregated social order had collapsed, black politicians were firmly entrenched within the Democratic party, southern whites had swelled the ranks of the GOP, and Memphis had adopted a new city charter.
Cultural codes : makings of a Black music philosophy : an interpretive history from spirituals to hip hop / William C. Banfield. Lanham : Scarecrow Press, 2010. 220pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML3479 .B364 2010 : Exploring the broad history of black music, Banfield (Africana studies, Berklee College of Music) seeks out the "cultural codes" found in Black music from its African roots to Hip Hop, defining "cultural codes" as "sets of principles, representations, practices, and conventions understood to be embraced by an artistic community" and as "cultural, ideological inscriptions of meaning…which suggest certain ways of being, thinking, looking, and styling are normative, preferable, and validated." His exploration of the cultural codes of black music is intended to point the way towards a Black music philosophy driven by the social, cultural, aesthetic, performance history of the music; unique artistry and musical movements; social themes of freedom, equality, identity, finding "voice," empowerment, and cultural preservation; and cultural image construction, cultural rituals, and the public dissemination of expressions of black culture.
The Cultural Rights Movement : Fulfilling the Promise of Civil Rights for African Americans / Eric J. Bailey. Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, c2010. 189pp. Main Library E185.615 .B26 2010 : "With an African American in the White House, there is no better time for assessing the progress the United States has made in protecting the rights of all its citizens. The Cultural Rights Movement: Fulfilling the Promise of Civil Rights for African Americans offers such an assessment, with an in-depth look at the Obama administration<U+2019>s proposed initiatives as they relate to the African American community and a survey of civil rights issues that need to be reexamined in light of Obama<U+2019>s election. The Cultural Rights Movement is a well-researched, powerfully written analysis of why a substantial number of blacks have yet to get their piece of the American dream. Coverage includes discriminatory lending practices; unfair Congressional redistricting; disparities in physician care and health outcomes; the low number of black students, faculty members and coaches in mainstream universities; the phenomenal high rate of blacks being arrested, convicted and incarcerated; the continual growth of black underemployment and poverty; and the near-total neglect of the reparations issue."
Dangerous or Endangered? : Race and the Politics of Youth in Urban America / Jennifer Tilton. New York : New York University Press, c2010. 296pp. Main Library E185.93.C2 T55 2010 : How do you tell the difference between a “good kid” and a “potential thug”? In Dangerous or Endangered?, Jennifer Tilton considers the ways in which children are increasingly viewed as dangerous and yet, simultaneously, as endangered and in need of protection by the state....Tilton draws on three years of ethnographic research in Oakland, California, one of the nation's most racially diverse cities, to examine how debates over the nature and needs of young people have fundamentally reshaped politics, transforming ideas of citizenship and the state in contemporary America. As parents and neighborhood activists have worked to save and discipline young people, they have often inadvertently reinforced privatized models of childhood and urban space, clearing the streets of children, who are encouraged to stay at home or in supervised after-school programs. Youth activists protest these attempts, demanding a right to the city and expanded rights of citizenship....Dangerous or Endangered? pays careful attention to the intricate connections between fears of other people's kids and fears for our own kids in order to explore the complex racial, class, and gender divides in contemporary American cities.
Dark Days, Bright Nights : From Black Power to Barack Obama / Peniel E. Joseph. New York, NY : BasicCivitas Books, c2010. 277pp. Main Library E185.615 .J677 2010 : The Civil Rights Movement is now remembered as a long-lost era, which came to an end along with the idealism of the 1960s. In Dark Days, Bright Nights, acclaimed scholar Peniel E. Joseph puts this pat assessment to the test, showing the 60s—particularly the tumultuous period after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—to be the catalyst of a movement that culminated in the inauguration of Barack Obama....Joseph argues that the 1965 Voting Rights Act burst a dam holding back radical democratic impulses. This political explosion initially took the form of the Black Power Movement, conventionally adjudged a failure. Joseph resurrects the movement to elucidate its unfairly forgotten achievements....Told through the lives of activists, intellectuals, and artists, including Malcolm X, Huey P. Newton, Amiri Baraka, Tupac Shakur, and Barack Obama, Dark Days, Bright Nights will make coherent a fraught half-century of struggle, reassessing its impact on American democracy and the larger world.
A Day Late and a Dollar Short : High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Postracial" America / Robert E. Pierre and Jon Jeter. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2010. 246pp. Main Library E185.615 .P535 2010 : Could this be the final victory for civil rights, or the first of many to come? Beyond the initial euphoria of witnessing a breakthrough that many African-Americans never thought they would see in their lifetime, what does the election of Barack Obama really mean to Black America and race relations in this country? Talking to African-American men and women from all walks of life, Joe Jeter and Robert Pierre find hope, apathy, anger, and joy, and paint a nuanced portrait of a side of the nation rarely seen in the national spotlight. (1) Goes beyond uplifting rhetoric to expose the deeper thoughts and feelings of Black America on a landmark achievement in U.S. history. (2) Gives readers a State of the Black Union address, timed for Obama's first official State of the Union address. Written by Jon Jeter, a former producer for NPR's This American Life and Robert Pierre, a reporter for the Washington Post. (3) Tells the stories of people from across the spectrum of African-American experience, from a hip-hop activist to a well-off small business owner, from an aging sugar plantation worker to a soldier in Iraq. Honest and engaging, In Obama's Wake paints a picture of the nation that the rest of the media rarely looks at.
Defying disfranchisement : Black voting rights activism in the Jim Crow South, 1890-1908 / R. Volney Riser. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010. 326pp. Main Library JK1929.A2 R57X 2010 : In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Jim Crow strengthened rapidly and several southern states adopted new constitutions designed primarily to strip African American men of their right to vote. Since the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibited eliminating voters based on race, the South concocted property requirements, literacy tests, poll taxes, white primaries, and white control of the voting apparatus to eliminate the region's black vote almost entirely. Desperate to save their ballots, black political leaders, attorneys, preachers, and activists fought back in the courts, sustaining that resistance until the nascent NAACP took over the legal battle....In Defying Disfranchisement, R. Volney Riser documents a number of lawsuits challenging restrictive voting requirements. Though the U.S. Supreme Court received twelve of these cases, that body coldly ignored the systematic disfranchisement of black southerners. Nevertheless, as Riser shows, the attempts themselves were stunning and demonstrate that African Americans sheltered and nurtured a hope that led to wholesale changes in the American legal and political landscape....Riser chronicles numerous significant anti-disfranchisement cases, from South Carolina's Mills v. Green (1985), the first such case to reach the Supreme Court, and Williams v. Mississippi, (1898), the well-known but little-understood challenge to Mississippi's constitution, to the underappreciated landmark Giles v. Harris---described as the "Second Dred Scott" by contemporaries---in which the Court upheld Alabama's 1901 state constitution. In between, he examines a host of voting rights campaigns waged throughout the country and legal challenges initiated across the South by both black and white southerners. Often disputatious, frequently disorganized, and woefully underfunded, the anti-disfranchisement activists of 1890-1908 lost, and badly; in some cases, their repeated and infuriating defeats not only left the status quo in place but actually made things worse. Regardless, they brought attention to the problem and identified the legal questions and procedural difficulties facing African Americans....Rather than present southern blacks as victims during the roughest era of discrimination, in Defying Disfranchisement Riser demonstrates that they fought against Jim Crow harder and earlier than traditional histories allow, and they drew on their own talents and resources to do so. With slim ranks and in the face of many defeats, this daring and bold cadre comprised a true vanguard, blazing trails that subsequent generations of civil rights activists followed and improved. By making a fight at all, Riser asserts, these organizers staged a necessary and instructive prelude to the civil rights movement.
Delia's Tears : Race, Science, and Photography in Nineteenth-Century America / Molly Rogers. New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010. 350pp. Main Library E445.S7 R64 2010 : In 1850 seven South Carolina slaves were photographed at the request of the famous naturalist Louis Agassiz to provide evidence of the supposed biological inferiority of Africans. Lost for many years, the photographs were rediscovered in the attic of Harvard’s Peabody Museum in 1976. In the first narrative history of these images, Molly Rogers tells the story of the photographs, the people they depict, and the men who made and used them. Weaving together the histories of race, science, and photography in nineteenth-century America, Rogers explores the invention and uses of photography, the scientific theories the images were intended to support and how these related to the race politics of the time, the meanings that may have been found in the photographs, and the possible reasons why they were “lost” for a century or more. Each image is accompanied by a brief fictional vignette about the subject’s life as imagined by Rogers; these portraits bring the seven subjects to life, adding a fascinating human dimension to the historical material.
Disintegration : the splintering of Black America / Eugene Robinson. New York : Doubleday, c2010. 254pp. Main Library E185.86 .R618X 2010 : The African American population in the United States has always been seen as a single entity: a “Black America” with unified interests and needs. In his groundbreaking book Disintegration, longtime Washington Post journalist Eugene Robinson argues that, through decades of desegregation, affirmative action, and immigration, the concept of Black America has shattered. Now, instead of one, there are four distinct groups: a Mainstream middle-class majority with a solid stake in society; a large Abandoned minority with less hope than ever of escaping poverty; a small Transcendent elite, whose enormous wealth and power makes even whites genuflect; and newly Emergent groups of mixed-race individuals and recent black immigrants who question what “black” even means....Using historical research, reporting, census data, and polling, Robinson shows how these groups have become so distinct that they view each other with mistrust and apprehension. And yet all are reluctant to acknowledge division. Disintegration shines light on crucial debates about affirmative action, the importance of race versus social class, and the ultimate questions of whether and in what form racism and the black community endure.
The dream is freedom : Pauli Murray and American democratic faith / Sarah Azaransky. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2011. 166pp. Main Library E185.97.M95 A93X 2011 : Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was a poet, lawyer, activist, and priest, as well as a significant figure in the civil rights and women's movements. Throughout her careers and activism, Murray espoused faith in an American democracy that is partially present and yet to come. ...In the 1940s Murray was in the vanguard of black activists to use nonviolent direct action. A decade before the Montgomery bus boycott, Murray organized sit-ins of segregated restaurants in Washington DC and was arrested for sitting in the front section of a bus in Virginia. Murray pioneered the category Jane Crow to describe discrimination she experienced as a result of racism and sexism. She used Jane Crow in the 1960s to expand equal protection provisions for African American women. A co-founder of the National Organization of Women, Murray insisted on the interrelation of all human rights. Her professional and personal relationships included major figures in the ongoing struggle for civil rights for all Americans, including Thurgood Marshall and Eleanor Roosevelt....In seminary in the 1970s, Murray developed a black feminist critique of emerging black male and white feminist theologies. After becoming the first African American woman Episcopal priest in 1977, Murray emphasized the particularity of African American women's experiences, while proclaiming a universal message of salvation. ...The Dream Is Freedom examines Murray's substantial body of published writings as well personal letters, journals, and unpublished manuscripts. Azaransky traces the development of Murray's thought over fifty years, ranging from Murray's theologically rich democratic criticism of the 1930s to her democratically inflected sermons of the 1980s. Pauli Murray was an innovative democratic thinker, who addressed how Americans can recognize differences, signaled the role of history and memory in shaping democratic character, and called for strategic coalition building to make more justice available for more Americans.
Duke Ellington's America / Harvey G. Cohen. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010. 688pp. Fine Arts, Music Collection ML410.E44 C56 2010 : Few American artists in any medium have enjoyed the international and lasting cultural impact of Duke Ellington. From jazz standards such as “Mood Indigo” and “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” to his longer, more orchestral suites, to his leadership of the stellar big band he toured and performed with for decades after most big bands folded, Ellington represented a singular, pathbreaking force in music over the course of a half-century. At the same time, as one of the most prominent black public figures in history, Ellington demonstrated leadership on questions of civil rights, equality, and America’s role in the world....With Duke Ellington’s America, Harvey G. Cohen paints a vivid picture of Ellington’s life and times, taking him from his youth in the black middle class enclave of Washington, D.C., to the heights of worldwide acclaim. Mining extensive archives, many never before available, plus new interviews with Ellington’s friends, family, band members, and business associates, Cohen illuminates his constantly evolving approach to composition, performance, and the music business—as well as issues of race, equality and religion. Ellington’s own voice, meanwhile, animates the book throughout, giving Duke Ellington’s America an intimacy and immediacy unmatched by any previous account....By far the most thorough and nuanced portrait yet of this towering figure, Duke Ellington’s America highlights Ellington’s importance as a figure in American history as well as in American music.
Embodying Black experience : stillness, critical memory, and the Black body / Harvey Young. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2010. 259pp. Main Library E185.625 .Y68 2010 : In 1901, George Ward, a lynching victim, was attacked, murdered, and dismembered by a mob of white men, women, and children. As his lifeless body burned in a fire, enterprising white youth cut off his toes and, later, his fingers and sold them as souvenirs. In Embodying Black Experience, Harvey Young masterfully blends biography, archival history, performance theory, and phenomenology to relay the experiences of black men and women who, like Ward, were profoundly affected by the spectacular intrusion of racial violence within their lives. Looking back over the past two hundred years---from the exhibition of boxer Tom Molineaux and Saartjie Baartman (the "Hottentot Venus") in 1810 to twenty-first century experiences of racial profiling and incarceration---Young chronicles a set of black experiences, or what he calls, "phenomenal blackness," that developed not only from the experience of abuse but also from a variety of performances of resistance that were devised to respond to the highly predictable and anticipated arrival of racial violence within a person's lifetime....Embodying Black Experience pinpoints selected artistic and athletic performances---photography, boxing, theater/performance art, and museum display---as portals through which to gain access to the lived experiences of a variety of individuals. The photographs of Joseph Zealy, Richard Roberts, and Walker Evans; the boxing performances of Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali; the plays of Suzan-Lori Parks, Robbie McCauley, and Dael Orlandersmith; and the tragic performances of Bootjack McDaniels and James Cameron offer insight into the lives of black folk across two centuries and the ways that black artists, performers, and athletes challenged the racist (and racializing) assumptions of the societies in which they lived....Blending humanistic and social science perspectives, Embodying Black Experience explains the ways in which societal ideas of "the black body," an imagined myth of blackness, get projected across the bodies of actual black folk and, in turn, render them targets of abuse. However, the emphasis on the performances of select artists and athletes also spotlights moments of resistance and, indeed, strength within these most harrowing settings.
The Eyes of Willie McGee : A Tragedy of Race, Sex, and Secrets in the Jim Crow South / Alex Heard. New York : Harper, c2010. 404pp. Main Library HV8699.U6 M744 2010 : A gripping saga of race and retribution in the Deep South and a story whose haunting details echo the themes of To Kill a Mockingbird...In 1945, Willie McGee, a young African-American man from Laurel, Mississippi, was sentenced to death for allegedly raping Willette Hawkins, a white housewife. At first, McGee's case was barely noticed, covered only in hostile Mississippi newspapers and far-left publications such as the Daily Worker. Then Bella Abzug, a young New York labor lawyer, was hired by the Civil Rights Congress—an aggressive civil rights organization with ties to the Communist Party of the United States—to oversee McGee's defense. Together with William Patterson, the son of a slave and a devout believer in the need for revolutionary change, Abzug and a group of white Mississippi lawyers risked their lives to plead McGee's case. After years of court battles, McGee's supporters flooded President Harry S. Truman and the U.S. Supreme Court with clemency pleas, and famous Americans—including William Faulkner, Albert Einstein, Jessica Mitford, Paul Robeson, Norman Mailer, and Josephine Baker—spoke out on McGee's behalf....By the time the case ended in 1951 with McGee's public execution in Mississippi's infamous traveling electric chair, "Free Willie McGee" had become a rallying cry among civil rights activists, progressives, leftists, and Communist Party members. Their movement had succeeded in convincing millions of people worldwide that McGee had been framed and that the real story involved a consensual love affair between him and Mrs. Hawkins—one that she had instigated and controlled. As Heard discovered, this controversial theory is a doorway to a tangle of secrets that spawned a legacy of confusion, misinformation, and pain that still resonates today. The mysteries surrounding McGee's case live on in this provocative tale of justice in the Deep South....Based on exhaustive documentary research—court transcripts, newspaper reports, archived papers, letters, FBI documents, and the recollections of family members on both sides—Mississippi native Alex Heard tells a moving and unforgettable story that evokes the bitter conflicts between black and white, North and South, in America.
Fathers, preachers, rebels, men : black masculinity in U.S. history and literature, 1820-1945 / Edited by Timothy R. Buckner and Peter Caster. Columbus : Ohio State University Press, c2011. 272pp. Main Library PS374.M37 F38 2011 : Brings together scholars of history and literature focused on the lives and writing of black men during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the United States. The interdisciplinary study demonstrates the masculine character of cultural practices developed from slavery through segregation. Black masculinity embodies a set of contradictions, including an often mistaken threat of violence, the belief in its legitimacy, and the rhetorical union of truth and fiction surrounding slavery, segregation, resistance, and self-determination. The attention to history and literature is necessary because so many historical depictions of black men are rooted in fiction. The essays of this collection balance historical and literary accounts, and they join new descriptions of familiar figures such as Charles W. Chesnutt and W. E. B. Du Bois with the less familiar but critically important William Johnson and Nat Love.
Fierce angels : the strong black woman in American life and culture / Sheri Parks. New York : One World/Ballantine Books, c2010. 244pp. Main Library E185.86 .P277 2010 : An important work on an essential subject, Fierce Angels explores and explodes the idea of the “strong black woman” as never before. Authoritative yet deeply personal and daringly confessional, Sheri Parks’s bold new study of the black female’s role as communal savior and martyr will challenge and change anyone who reads it.... Fierce Angels exposes the overwhelming emotional costs—as well as the benefits—attached to this role. Parks, an esteemed scholar and popular media personality, provides exclusive interviews and astute analysis, as well as accounts of her own searing and inspiring experiences, to highlight the myths and the realities of black women’s lives....Beginning with the oldest ongoing archetype, the Dark Feminine, Parks reveals the layered significance of the fertility of darkness—the abyss out of which the world was spoken into existence, the primordial creator in ancient Greek, Sumerian, and West African cultures, and the essence of Mother Earth herself. As these myths matured, they played critical parts in the assignment of maternal roles to women of African descent, the Dark Feminine acquiring a particularly acrid scent once she crossed the Atlantic Ocean in shackles, bound for a life of slavery....Parks traces the development of the “strong black woman” throughout her life on Southern plantations and New York streets and in countless kitchens in between. From the Black Madonna celebrated by Italian Americans to the nurturing and selfless “Mammy” forced to nurse her master’s child before her own, these abiding symbols of fortitude and dependability only solidified the mold into which the powerful dark woman was cast and paved a path that her descendants would have no choice but to follow....Fierce Angels follows the inheritors of this legacy of power, compassion, and familial devotion into today’s world, seeing her in Coretta Scott King, who relinquished her dreams for those of her husband, and in Angela Dawson, a mother in East Baltimore whose home was fire-bombed when she tried to save her community from drug dealers. Parks also shares important examples from entertainment, cogently reexamined and in some cases surprisingly reclaimed, from Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind to the no-nonsense Lieutenant Anita Van Buren played by S. Epatha Merkerson on Law & Order....Bringing it all home, Parks recalls the personal costs she’s paid for her own identity and fascinatingly captures those moments when she is expected to be all and know all, whether for her students at work or for strangers in the produce aisle in the supermarket. She investigates the support systems holding these stereotypes in place—latched onto by those both within and outside the traditional black community—and challenges readers, mothers, and daughters alike to examine how damaging and rewarding the assignment of this role can be and to take control of it within their lives....Credible and cathartic, piercing and provocative, Fierce Angels is a book born of pain and introspection, a work sure to stir debate and become the primary source on this vital topic.
Fly away : the great African American cultural migrations / Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2010. 408pp. Main Library E185.6 .R87 2010 : The Great Migration -- the mass exodus of blacks from the rural South to the urban North and West in the twentieth century -- shaped American culture and life in ways still evident today. Peter M. Rutkoff and William B. Scott trace the ideas that inspired African Americans to abandon the South for freedom and opportunity elsewhere....Black Southerners fled the Low Country of South Carolina, the mines and mills of Birmingham, Alabama, the farms of the Mississippi Delta, and the urban wards of Houston, Texas, for new opportunities in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They took with them the South's rich tradition of religion, language, music, and art, recreating and preserving their Southern identity in the churches, newspapers, jazz clubs, and neighborhoods of America's largest cities. Rutkoff and Scott's sweeping study explores the development and adaptation of African American culture, from its West African roots to its profound and lasting impact on mainstream America....Broad in scope and original in its interpretation, Fly Away illuminates the origins, development, and transformation of national culture during an important chapter in twentieth-century American history.
For All the World to See : Visual Culture and The Struggle for Civil Rights / Maurice Berger ; foreword by Thulani Davis. New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, c2010. 207pp. Main Library E185.625 .B474 2010 : In 1955, shortly after Emmett Till was murdered by white supremacists in Mississippi, his grieving mother distributed to the press a gruesome photograph of his mutilated corpse. Asked why she would do this, she explained that by witnessing with their own eyes the brutality of segregation and racism, Americans would be more likely to support the cause of racial justice. “Let the world see what I’ve seen,” was her reply. The publication of the photograph inspired a generation of activists to join the civil rights movement....Despite this extraordinary episode, the story of visual culture’s role in the modern civil rights movement is rarely included in its history. This is the first comprehensive examination of the ways images mattered in the struggle, and it investigates a broad range of media including photography, television, film, magazines, newspapers, and advertising....These images were ever present and diverse: the startling footage of southern white aggression and black suffering that appeared night after night on television news programs; the photographs of black achievers and martyrs in Negro periodicals; the humble snapshot, no less powerful in its ability to edify and motivate. In each case, the war against racism was waged through pictures—millions of points of light, millions of potent weapons that forever changed a nation. Through vivid storytelling and incisive analysis, this powerful book allows us to see and understand the crucial role that visual culture played in forever changing a nation.
Freedom Is Not Enough : the Moynihan Report and America's Struggle Over Black Family Life : From LBJ to Obama / James T. Patterson. New York : Basic Books, c2010. 264pp. Main Library E185.86 .P33 2010 : On June 4, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson delivered what he and many others considered the greatest civil rights speech of his career. Proudly, Johnson hailed the new freedoms granted to African Americans due to the newly passed Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act, but noted that “freedom is not enough.” The next stage of the movement would be to secure racial equality “as a fact and a result”....The speech was drafted by an assistant secretary of labor by the name of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who had just a few months earlier drafted a scorching report on the deterioration of the urban black family in America. When that report was leaked to the press a month after Johnson’s speech, it created a whirlwind of controversy from which Johnson’s civil rights initiatives would never recover. But Moynihan’s arguments proved startlingly prescient, and established the terms of a debate about welfare policy that have endured for forty-five years....The history of one of the great missed opportunities in American history, Freedom Is Not Enough will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand our nation’s ongoing failure to address the tragedy of the black underclass.
Freedom rights : new perspectives on the civil rights movement / edited by Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer. Lexington : University Press of Kentucky, c2011. 392pp. Main Library E185.615 .F735 2011 : In his seminal article "Freedom Then, Freedom Now," renowned civil rights historian Steven F. Lawson described his vision for the future study of the civil rights movement. Lawson called for a deeper examination of the social, economic, and political factors that influenced the movement's development and growth. He urged his fellow scholars to connect the "local with the national, the political with the social," and to investigate the ideological origins of the civil rights movement, its internal dynamics, the role of women, and the significance of gender and sexuality....In Freedom Rights: New Perspectives on the Civil Rights Movement, editors Danielle L. McGuire and John Dittmer follow Lawson's example, bringing together the best new scholarship on the modern civil rights movement. The work expands our understanding of the movement by engaging issues of local and national politics, gender and race relations, family, community, and sexuality. The volume addresses cultural, legal, and social developments and also investigates the roots of the movement. Each essay highlights important moments in the history of the struggle, from the impact of the Young Women's Christian Association on integration to the use of the arts as a form of activism. Freedom Rights not only answers Lawson's call for a more dynamic, interactive history of the civil rights movement, but it also helps redefine the field.
Freeing Charles : the Struggle to Free a Slave on the Eve of the Civil War / Scott Christianson. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2010. 214pp. Main Library E450.N225 C47 2010 : Freeing Charles recounts the life and epic rescue of captured fugitive slave Charles Nalle of Culpeper, Virginia, who was forcibly liberated by Harriet Tubman and others in Troy, New York, on April 27, 1860. Scott Christianson follows Nalle from his enslavement by the Hansborough family in Virginia through his escape by the Underground Railroad and his experiences in the North on the eve of the Civil War. This engaging narrative represents the first in-depth historical study of this crucial incident, one of the fiercest anti-slavery riots after Harpers Ferry. Christianson also presents a richly detailed look at slavery culture in antebellum Virginia and probes the deepest political and psychological aspects of this epic tale. His account underscores fundamental questions about racial inequality, the rule of law, civil disobedience, and violent resistance to slavery in the antebellum North and South.
From Africa to America : Religion and Adaptation among Ghanaian Immigrants in New York / Moses O. Biney. New York : New York University Press, 2011. BX9211.N5 P743 2011 : In From Africa to America, Moses O. Biney offers a rare full-scale look at an African immigrant congregation, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in New York (PCGNY). Making use of personal stories, notes from participant observation, and interviews, Biney explores the complexities of the social, economic, and cultural adaptation of this group, the difficult moral choices they have to make in order to survive, and the tensions that exist within their faith community. Most notably, through his compelling research Biney shows that such congregations are more than mere "ethnic enclaves; or safe havens from American social and cultural values. Rather, they help to maintain the essential balance between cultural acclimation and ethnic preservation needed for these new citizens to flourish.
From Jubilee to Hip Hop : Readings in African American Music / Kip Lornell, editor. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall, c2010. Fine Arts Library Music Collection ML3479 .F76 2010 : From Jubilee to Hip Hop includes 36 reading selections that underscore the breath and variety of African American musical culture....Each of these selections relates something notable and interesting about African American musical culture since the Emancipation....For one semester courses in African American Music.
From Slavery to Freedom : a History of African Americans / John Hope Franklin, Evelyn Higginbotham. New York : McGraw-Hill, c2011. 9th edition, 710pp. Main Library E185 .F8266 2011 : From Slavery to Freedom remains the most revered, respected, and honored text on the market. The preeminent history of African Americans, this best-selling text charts the journey of African Americans from their origins in Africa, through slavery in the Western Hemisphere, struggles for freedom in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States, various migrations, and the continuing quest for racial equality. Building on John Hope Franklin's classic work, the ninth edition has been thoroughly rewritten by the award-winning scholar Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham. It includes new chapters and updated information based on the most current scholarship. With a new narrative that brings intellectual depth and fresh insight to a rich array of topics, the text features greater coverage of ancestral Africa, African American women, differing expressions of protest, local community activism, black internationalism, civil rights and black power, as well as the election of our first African American president in 2008. The text also has a fresh new 4-color design with new charts, maps, photographs, paintings, and illustrations.
Germans and African Americans : Two Centuries of Exchange / edited by Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp. Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, 2011. 224pp. Main Library E185.61 .G37 2011 : Germans and African Americans, unlike other works on African Americans in Europe, examines the relationship between African Americans and one country, Germany, in great depth....Germans and African Americans encountered one another within the context of their national identities and group experiences. In the nineteenth century, German immigrants to America and to such communities as Charleston and Cincinnati interacted within the boundaries of their old-world experiences and ideas and within surrounding regional notions of a nation fracturing over slavery. In the post-Civil War era in America through the Weimar era, Germany became a place to which African American entertainers, travelers, and intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois could go to escape American racism and find new opportunities. With the rise of the Third Reich, Germany became the personification of racism, and African Americans in the 1930s and 1940s could use Hitler's evil example to goad America about its own racist practices. Postwar West Germany regained the image as a land more tolerant to African American soldiers than America. African Americans were important to Cold War discourse, especially in the internal ideological struggle between Communist East Germany and democratic West Germany....Unlike many other countries in Europe, Germany has played a variety of different and conflicting roles in the African American narrative and relationship with Europe. It is this diversity of roles that adds to the complexity of African American and German interactions and mutual perceptions over time.
Getting to happy / Terry McMillan. New York : Viking, 2010. 375pp. Browsing Collection (1 East) PS3563.C3868 G48 2010 : A sequel to "Waiting to Exhale" picks up fifteen years later to find Savannah contemplating divorce, Bernadine succumbing to painkiller addiction after a second husband's swindle, Robin falling into shopaholism, and Gloria confronting profound change after a fateful event.
The Grace of Silence : a memoir / Michele Norris. New York : Pantheon Books, 2010. 185pp. Main Library PN4874.N64 A3 2010 : In the wake of talk of a “postracial” America upon Barack Obama’s ascension as president of the United States, Michele Norris, cohost of National Public Radio’s flagship program All Things Considered, set out to write, through original reporting, a book about “the hidden conversation” on race that is unfolding nationwide. She would, she thought, base her book on the frank disclosures of others on the subject, but she was soon disabused of her presumption when forced to confront the fact that “the conversation” in her own family had not been forthright....Norris unearthed painful family secrets that compelled her to question her own self-understanding: from her father’s shooting by a Birmingham police officer weeks after his discharge from the navy at the conclusion of World War II to her maternal grandmother’s peddling pancake mix as an itinerant Aunt Jemima to white farm women in the Midwest. In what became a profoundly personal and bracing journey into her family’s past, Norris traveled from her childhood home in Minneapolis to her ancestral roots in the Deep South to explore the reasons for the “things left unsaid” by her father and mother when she was growing up, the better to come to terms with her own identity. Along the way she discovered how her character was forged by both revelation and silence....Extraordinary for Norris’s candor in examining her own racial legacy and what it means to be an American, The Grace of Silence is also informed by rigorous research in its evocation of time and place, scores of interviews with ordinary folk, and wise observations about evolving attitudes, at once encouraging and disturbing, toward race in America today. For its particularity and universality, it is powerfully moving, a tour de force.
Hands on the freedom plow : personal accounts by women in SNCC / edited by Faith S. Holsaert ... [et at.]. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2010. 616pp. Main Library E185.96 .H24 2010 : In Hands on the Freedom Plow, fifty-two women---northern and southern, young and old, urban and rural, black, white, and Latina---share their courageous personal stories of working for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) on the front lines of the Civil Rights Movement....The testimonies gathered here present a sweeping personal history of SNCC: early sit-ins, voter registration campaigns, and Freedom Rides; the 1963 March on Washington, the Mississippi Freedom Summer, and the Movements in Alabama and Maryland; and Black Power and anti-war activism. Since the women spent time in the Deep South, many also describe risking their lives through beatings and arrests and witnessing unspeakable violence. These intense stories depict women, many very young, dealing with extreme fear and finding the remarkable strength to survive....The women in SNCC acquired new skills, experienced personal growth, sustained one another, and even had fun in the midst of serious struggle. Readers are privy to their analyses of the Movement---its tactics, strategies, and underlying philosophies. The contributors revisit central debates of the struggle including the role of nonviolence and self-defense, the role of white people in a black-led movement, and the role of women within the Movement and the society at large....Each story reveals how the struggle for social change was formed, supported, and maintained by the women who kept their "hands on the freedom plow." As the editors write in the introduction, "Though the voices are different, they all tell the same story---of women bursting out of constraints, leaving school, leaving their hometowns, meeting new people, talking into the night, laughing, going to jail, being afraid, teaching in Freedom Schools, working in the field, dancing at the Elks Hall, working the WATS line to relay horror story after horror story, telling the press, telling the story, telling the word. And making a difference in this world."
Hellhound on his Trail : the Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt For His Assassin / Hampton Sides. New York : Doubleday, c2010. 459pp. Main Library E185.97.K5 S534 2010 : On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Missouri State Penitentiary, escaped in a breadbox. Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man—whose real name was James Earl Ray—drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace’s racist presidential campaign....On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage men were crushed to death in their hydraulic truck, provoking the exclusively African American workforce to go on strike. Hoping to resuscitate his faltering crusade, King joined the sanitation workers’ cause, but their march down Beale Street, the historic avenue of the blues, turned violent. Humiliated, King fatefully vowed to return to Memphis in April....With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the crushing moment at the Lorraine Motel when the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King’s funeral, Sides gives us a riveting cross-cut narrative of the assassin’s flight and the sixty-five-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England—a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover’s FBI....Magnificent in scope, drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates one of the darkest hours in American life—an example of how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing down the great.
A home elsewhere : reading African American classics in the age of Obama / Robert B. Stepto. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2010. 179pp. Main Library PS153.N5 S75 2010 : Drawing on a lecture series inspired by the election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, Stepto examines the canon of African American literature through the perspective of a nation with a troubled racial past at a pivotal point in its history. In part 1, he draws parallels between Obama’s Dreams from My Father (1995) and Frederick Douglass’ My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) as narratives of two biracial men looking for identity and dealing with absent fathers. Stepto further explores themes of departure and desertion in comparison to the works of W. E. B. Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Toni Morrison. He examines Obama’s recollections of racial awakening in the context of similar struggles in fictional characters likewise engaged in the enduring struggle to make sense of racial rejection and identification. In part 2, Stepto takes a broader view of the classics of African American literature—and his own experiences—through the lens of a nation forever changed by the election of its first black president.
Hot From Harlem : Twelve African American Entertainers, 1890-1960 / Bill Reed. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2010. 261pp. Fine Arts Library Music Collection ML3556 .R36 2010 : From the early days of minstrelsy to Black Broadway, this book is the story of African American entertainment as seen through the eyes of its most famous as well as some of its most obscure practitioners. The book forms a chronological arc that moves from the beginning of African American participation in show business up through the present age. Will Marion Cook and Billy McClain are discovered in action at the very dawn of black parity in the entertainment field; six chapters later, the young Sammy Davis Jr. breaks through the invisible ceiling that has kept those before him "in their place." In between, the likes of Valaida Snow, Nora Holt, Billy Strayhorn, Hazel Scott, Dinah Washington, and others are found making contributions to the fight against racism both in and out of "the business."
Ice : a memoir of gangster life and redemption-- from South Central to Hollywood / Ice-T and Douglas Century. New York : One World : Ballantine Books, c2011. 251pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection ML420.I3 A3 2011 : The Grammy Award-winning hip-hop and television star shares the story of his early life, marked by the deaths of his parents, his involvement in gangs and the single-minded work ethic that enabled his rise to international fame.
If we must die : from Bigger Thomas to Biggie Smalls / Aime J. Ellis. Detroit, Mich. : Wayne State University Press, c2011. 213pp. Main Library E185.86 .E436 2011 :
Imagining Black womanhood : the negotiation of power and identity within the Girls Empowerment Project / Stephanie D. Sears. Albany : State University of New York Press, c2010. 189pp. Main Library HQ1197 .S43 2010 : Imagining Black Womanhood illuminates the experiences of the women and girls of the Girls Empowerment Project, an Africentric, womanist, single-sex, after-school program located in one of the Bay Area's largest and most impoverished housing developments. Stephanie D. Sears carefully examines the stakes of the complex negotiations of Black womanhood for both the girls served by the project and for the women who staffed it. Rather than a multigenerational alliance committed to women's and girls' empowerment, the women and girls often appeared to struggle against each other, with the girls' "politics of respect" often in conflict with the staff's "politics of respectability," a conflict especially highlighted in the public contexts of dance performances. This groundbreaking case study offers significant insights into practices of resistance, identity work, youth empowerment, cultural politics, and organizational power.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks / Rebecca Skloot. New York : Crown Publishers, c2010. 369pp. Browsing Collection (1 East) RC265.6.L24 S55 2010 : Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions....Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave....Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells....Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of....Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family—especially Henrietta’s daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother’s cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn’t her children afford health insurance?...Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
The Imperative of Integration / Elizabeth Anderson. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010. 246pp. Main Library HN90.S6 A64 2010 : More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would argue that we have finally arrived at a postracial America, but The Imperative of Integration indicates otherwise. Elizabeth Anderson demonstrates that, despite progress toward racial equality, African Americans remain disadvantaged on virtually all measures of well-being. Segregation remains a key cause of these problems, and Anderson skillfully shows why racial integration is needed to address these issues. Weaving together extensive social science findings--in economics, sociology, and psychology--with political theory, this book provides a compelling argument for reviving the ideal of racial integration to overcome injustice and inequality, and to build a better democracy. Considering the effects of segregation and integration across multiple social arenas, Anderson exposes the deficiencies of racial views on both the right and the left. She reveals the limitations of conservative explanations for black disadvantage in terms of cultural pathology within the black community and explains why color blindness is morally misguided. Multicultural celebrations of group differences are also not enough to solve our racial problems. Anderson provides a distinctive rationale for affirmative action as a tool for promoting integration, and explores how integration can be practiced beyond affirmative action. Offering an expansive model for practicing political philosophy in close collaboration with the social sciences, this book is a trenchant examination of how racial integration can lead to a more robust and responsive democracy.
The Imperfect Revolution : Anthony Burns and the Landscape of Race in Antebellum America / Gordon S. Barker. Kent, Ohio : Kent State University Press, c2010. Main Library E450.B93 B37 2010 : On June 2, 1854, crowds lined the streets of Boston, hissing and shouting at federal authorities as they escorted the fugitive slave Anthony Burns to the ship that would return him to his slaveholders in Virginia. Days earlier, handbills had littered the streets decrying Burns's arrest, and abolitionists, intent on freeing Burns, had attacked with a battering ram the courthouse in which he was detained, leaving one dead, several wounded, and thirteen in custody. In the end it would take federal officials nearly 2,000 troops and $40,000 to send Burns back to Virginia. No fugitive slave would be captured in Boston again....Carried out under the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which permitted slaveholders to seize runaway slaves across state lines by merely testifying ownership, Burns's arrest and Boston's subsequent campaign to free him is generally regarded by scholars as the impetus that spurred the adoption of outright confrontational tactics by abolitionists across the North--an impetus that led, ultimately, to war. Such interpretations, however, gloss over the confusion and chaos many midcentury Bostonians felt over abolition....Author Gordon Barker challenges the traditionally held notion that the rendition of Anthony Burns fueled an antislavery groundswell in the North. He exposes the diverse beliefs--many of which were less than noble--held by Bostonians struggling to make sense of the racial, class, and ethnic conflicts arising in the city. Drawing on newspaper accounts, cutting-edge scholarship, and Burns's own writings, Barker shows how antislavery sentiments competed with a wide range of other opinions, including the desire to preserve the Union as it was, concerns about law and order, mistrust of whites by their black neighbors, and racism.
Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare : photography and the African American freedom struggle / Leigh Renee Raiford. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2011. 293pp. Main Library E185.61 .R234 2011 : In Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare, Leigh Raiford argues that over the past one hundred years activists in the black freedom struggle have used photographic imagery both to gain political recognition and to develop a different visual vocabulary about black lives. Raiford analyzes why activists chose photography over other media, explores the doubts some individuals had about the strategies, and shows how photography became an increasingly effective, if complex, tool in representing black political interests....Offering readings of the use of photography in the antilynching movement, the civil rights movement, and the black power movement, Raiford focuses on key transformations in technology, society, and politics to understand the evolution of photography's deployment in capturing white oppression, black resistance, and African American life. By putting photography at the center of the long African American freedom struggle, Raiford also explores how the recirculation of these indelible images in political campaigns and art exhibits both adds to and complicates our memory of the events.
In the cause of freedom : radical Black internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 / Minkah Makalani. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2011. 309pp. Main Library E185.61 .M23 2011 : In this intellectual history, Minkah Makalani reveals how early-twentieth-century black radicals organized an international movement centered on ending racial oppression, colonialism, class exploitation, and global white supremacy. Focused primarily on two organizations, the Harlem-based African Blood Brotherhood, whose members became the first black Communists in the United States, and the International African Service Bureau, the major black anticolonial group in 1930s London, In the Cause of Freedom examines the ideas, initiatives, and networks of interwar black radicals, as well as how they communicated across continents....Through a detailed analysis of black radical periodicals and extensive research in U.S., English, Dutch, and Soviet archives, Makalani explores how black radicals thought about race; understood the ties between African diasporic, Asian, and international workers' struggles; theorized the connections between colonialism and racial oppression; and confronted the limitations of international leftist organizations. Considering black radicals of Harlem and London together for the first time, In the Cause of Freedom reorients the story of blacks and Communism from questions of autonomy and the Kremlin's reach to show the emergence of radical black internationalism separate from, and independent of, the white Left.
In the heart of the beat : the poetry of rap / Alexs Pate. Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2010. 142pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection ML3531 .P38 2010 : Pate (African American and African studies, U. of Minnesota) describes rap and hip hop music in terms of their powerful and effective poetry rather than their negative cultural impression, and encourages readers to see the literary and poetic dimensions of the music. Through a variety of songs, he examines rap poetry's construction, saturation, elements, language, flow, imagery, texture, durability, and meaning, and demonstrates how it is a link in the evolution of African American literature and black consciousness.
In the Shadow of the Black Beast : African American Masculinity in the Harlem and Southern Renaissances / Andrew B. Leiter. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2010. 283pp. Main Library PS374.N4 L45 2010 : Andrew B. Leiter presents the first book-length study of the sexually violent African American man, or "black beast," as a composite literary phenomenon. According to Leiter, the black beast theme served as a fundamental link between the Harlem and Southern Renaissances, with writers from both movements exploring its psychological, cultural, and social ramifications. Indeed, Leiter asserts that the two groups consciously engaged one another's work as they struggled to define roles for black masculinity in a society that viewed the black beast as the raison d'Ãªtre for segregation....Leiter begins by tracing the nineteenth-century origins of the black beast image, and then provides close readings of eight writers who demonstrate the crucial impact anxieties about black masculinity and interracial sexuality had on the formation of American literary modernism. James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Walter White's The Fire in the Flint, George Schuyler's Black No More, William Faulkner's Light in August, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind, Allen Tate's The Fathers, Erskine Caldwell's Trouble in July, and Richard Wright's Native Son, as well as other works, provide strong evidence that perceptions of black male sexual violence shaped segregation, protest traditions, and the literature that arose from them....Leiter maintains that the environment of southern race relations--which allowed such atrocities as the Atlanta riot of 1906, numerous lynchings, Virginia's Racial Integrity Act, and the Scottsboro trials--influenced in part the development of both the Harlem and Southern Renaissances. While the black beast image had the most pernicious impact on African American individual and communal identities, he says the "threat" of black masculinity also shaped concepts of white national and communal identities, as well as white femininity and masculinity. In the Shadow of the Black Beast signals a fresh interpretation of a literary stereotype within its social and historical context.
In the shadow of freedom : the politics of slavery in the national capital / edited by Paul Finkelman and Donald R. Kennon. Athens : Published for the United States Capitol Historical Society by Ohio University Press, c2010 248pp. E445.D6 I6 2010 : Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there. While slaves quietly kept the nation’s capital running smoothly, lawmakers debated the place of slavery in the nation, the status of slavery in the territories newly acquired from Mexico, and even the legality of the slave trade in itself. In the Shadow of Freedom, with essays by some of the most distinguished historians in the nation, explores the twin issues of how slavery made life possible in the District and how lawmakers in the District regulated slavery in the nation.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl : Written by Herself / by Harriet Jacobs ; with related documents ; edited with an introduction by Jennifer Fleischner. Boston : Bedford/St. Martins, c2010. 286pp. Main Library E444.J17 A3 2010 : Much of what is known about the experience of slavery comes from first-person accounts written by formerly enslaved men. In this volume, Jennifer Fleischner examines the first- and best-known female account of life under, and escape from, slavery — Harriet Jacobs’ autobiography. In her introduction, Fleischner shows how Jacobs used the written word to liberate herself and promote the end of slavery by carefully discussing her sexual exploitation as a slave in ways that would inspire sympathy in — and not offend — her Victorian white, middle-class, female audience. The rich collection of related documents that accompany Jacobs’ complete narrative — including a selection of Jacobs’ letters and her brother’s account of some of the same incidents Jacobs describes — illuminate Jacobs’ life, her thoughts about writing, and her relationships with white women abolitionists. Document headnotes, a chronology, questions for consideration, a selected bibliography, and a chart of the pseudonyms Jacobs used for her real-life characters further enrich this important contribution to the history of slavery in America.
The indignant generation : a narrative history of African American writers and critics, 1934-1960 / Lawrence Patrick Jackson. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2011, [c2010]. 579pp. PS153.N5 J37 2010 : This the first narrative history of the neglected but essential period of African American literature between the Harlem Renaissance and the civil rights era. The years between these two indispensable epochs saw the communal rise of Richard Wright, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, and many other influential black writers. While these individuals have been duly celebrated, little attention has been paid to the political and artistic milieu in which they produced their greatest works. With this study, the author recalls the lost history of a crucial era. Looking at the tumultuous decades surrounding World War II, Jackson restores the "indignant" quality to a generation of African American writers shaped by Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, the growth of American communism, and an international wave of decolonization. He also reveals how artistic collectives in New York, Chicago, and Washington fostered a sense of destiny and belonging among diverse and disenchanted peoples. As he shows, through contemporary documents, the years that brought us Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, and Invisible Man also saw the rise of African American literary criticism by both black and white critics. Fully exploring thecadre of key African American writers who triumphed in spite of segregation, this work paints a portrait of American intellectual and artistic life in the mid-twentieth century.
Integrated but unequal : Black faculty in predominately white space / edited by Mark Christian. Trenton NJ : Africa World Press, c2012, . 250pp. Main Library LC2781.5 .I58 2011 : This book is groundbreaking and unique. The emphasis is on Black faculty based in the US and UK working in predominately White universities. The scholars in this volume are all successful in their chosen fields, some are extremely successful. Yet they have reached the heights of victory in academia against tremendous odds, existing in Integrated but Unequal institutions of higher learning. They have overcome hurdles, the glass ceiling, and other impediments that have a historical reality related fundamentally to their human connections to African heritage. This volume is not for the timid who believe we are in a post-racial world. Rather it is for the realist who comprehends that we still have a long way to go before there is parity among all faculty in higher education, regardless of one's social background, color, gender, or philosophical grounding. Crucially, it is a book for students, faculty, and high-level administrators in higher education. This collection of scholarly articles on the experiences of faculty of color at predominately white institutions (PWI) of higher learning is profound in its truth-telling about the challenges and triumphs of these experiences. The wonderfully illuminating title of this edited volume suggests the paradoxes of the modern civil-rights movement for equity and inclusion, vis-Ã -vis the illusion that in the Obama era our society has become race neutral. Quite the contrary, this collection reaffirms that race matters! This is an excellent book for any person of color who may be considering a faculty position at a PWI; and for any university administration that earnestly wants develop a welcoming and nurturing environment for faculty of color. Terry Mills, PhD, Dean for Research and Director of Sponsored Programs Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA Having taught in higher education since the 1980s, I can state from experience that the testimonies in this book are basic truths, unfortunately representing the tip of the iceberg for Black faculty. Regarding the low percentage of Black male scholars, unquestionably the primary targets for the dominant culture, it is important to note that the Black woman today has become the New Black Man, the recipient of cruel racial discrimination, frequently accused of being, like her male counterpart, threatening and intimidating. That stated, this evocative book is relevant both inside and outside of higher education... Clenora Hudson-Weems, Professor, Department of English, University of Missouri-Columbia In this book, the contributors describe the continuing challenges involving race and gender in academia. The subtle bias, continuing skepticism about the legitimacy of Black Studies, and other race and gender-related issues are obstacles to professional growth and development. However, this is not a book about victims; it celebrates the success of black academics that have surmounted the many challenges encountered. The keen insights that the contributors provide makes this book an engaging and much needed addition to the existing literature.
Integrating the Gridiron : Black Civil Rights and American College Football / Lane Demas. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010. 180pp. Main Library GV959.5.U6 D46 2010 : Even the most casual sports fans celebrate the achievements of professional athletes, among them Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, and Joe Louis. Yet before and after these heroes staked a claim for African Americans in professional sports, dozens of college athletes asserted their own civil rights on the amateur playing field, and continue to do so today....Integrating the Gridiron, the first book devoted to exploring the racial politics of college athletics, examines the history of African Americans on predominantly white college football teams from the nineteenth century through today. Lane Demas compares the acceptance and treatment of black student athletes by presenting compelling stories of those who integrated teams nationwide, and illuminates race relations in a number of regions, including the South, Midwest, West Coast, and Northeast. Focused case studies examine the University of California, Los Angeles in the late 1930s; integrated football in the Midwest and the 1951 Johnny Bright incident; the southern response to black players and the 1955 integration of the Sugar Bowl; and black protest in college football and the 1969 University of Wyoming "Black 14." Each of these issues drew national media attention and transcended the world of sports, revealing how fans--and non-fans--used college football to shape their understanding of the larger civil rights movement.
Integration Interrupted: Tracking, Black Students, and Acting White After Brown / Karolyn Tyson. New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. 222pp. Main Library LC2771 .T97 2011 : An all-too-popular explanation for why black students aren't doing better in school is their own use of the "acting white" slur to ridicule fellow blacks for taking advanced classes, doing schoolwork, and striving to earn high grades. Carefully reconsidering how and why black students have come to equate school success with whiteness, Integration Interrupted argues that when students understand race to be connected with achievement, it is a powerful lesson conveyed by schools, not their peers. Drawing on over ten years of ethnographic research, Karolyn Tyson shows how equating school success with "acting white" arose in the aftermath of Brown v. Board of Education through the practice of curriculum tracking, which separates students for instruction, ostensibly by ability and prior achievement. Only in very specific circumstances, when black students are drastically underrepresented in advanced and gifted classes, do anxieties about "the burden of acting white" emerge. Racialized tracking continues to define the typical American secondary school, but it goes unremarked, except by the young people who experience its costs and consequences daily. The rich narratives in Integration Interrupted throw light on the complex relationships underlying school behaviors and convincingly demonstrate that the problem lies not with students, but instead with how we organize our schools.
Invisible families : gay identities, relationships, and motherhood among Black women / Mignon R. Moore. Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c2011. 298pp. HQ75.6.U5 M66 2011 : Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible--gay women of color--in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, Invisible Families explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status. Overturning generalizations about lesbian families derived largely from research focused on white, middle-class feminists, Invisible Families reveals experiences within black American and Caribbean communities as it asks how people with multiple stigmatized identities imagine and construct an individual and collective sense of self.
Jesus, Jobs, and Justice : African American Women and Religion / Bettye Collier-Thomas. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010. 695pp. Main Library BR563.N4 C644 2010 : Historian Bettye Collier-Thomas gives us an account of the religious faith, social and political activism, and extraordinary resilience of black women during the centuries of American growth and change. It shows the beginnings of organized religion in slave communities and how the Bible was a source of inspiration. The author makes clear that while religion has been a guiding force in the lives of most African Americans, for black women it has been essential. As co-creators of churches, women were a central factor in their development. This book explores the ways in which women had to cope with sexism in black churches, as well as racism in mostly white denominations, in their efforts to create missionary societies and form women's conventions. It also reveals the hidden story of how issues of sex and sexuality have sometimes created tension and divisions within institutions....Black church women created national organizations such as the National Association of Colored Women, the National League of Colored Republican Women, and the National Council of Negro Women. They worked in the interracial movement, in white-led Christian groups such as the YWCA and Church Women United, and in male-dominated organizations such as the NAACP and National Urban League to demand civil rights, equal employment, and educational opportunities, and to protest lynching, segregation, and discrimination. And black women missionaries sacrificed their lives in service to their African sisters whose destiny they believed was tied to theirs....Jesus, Jobs, and Justice restores black women to their rightful place in American and black history and demonstrates their faith in themselves, their race, and their God.
Jim Crow's counterculture : the blues and Black southerners, 1890-1945 / R.A. Lawson. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010. 275pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Book Collection ML3521 .L38 2010 : In the Late Nineteenth Century, black musicians in the lower Mississippi Valley, chafing under the social, legal, and economic restrictions of Jim Crow, responded with a new musical form---the blues. In Jim Crow's Counterculture, R. A. Lawson offers a cultural history of blues musicians in the segregation era, explaining how by both accommodating and resisting Jim Crow life, blues musicians created a counterculture to incubate and nurture ideas of black individuality and citizenship. These individuals, Lawson shows, collectively demonstrate the African American struggle during the early twentieth century....Derived from the music of the black working class and popularized by commercially successful songwriter W.C. Handy, early blues provided a counterpoint to white supremacy by focusing on an anti-work ethic that promoted a culture of individual escapism---even hedonism---and by celebrating the very culture of sex, drugs, and violence that whites feared. According to Lawson, blues musicians such as Charley Patton and Muddy Waters drew on traditions of southern black music, including call and response forms, but they didn't merely sing of a folk past. Instead, musicians saw blues as a way out of economic subservience....Lawson chronicles the major historical developments that changed the Jim Crow South and thus the attitudes of the working-class blacks who labored in that society. The Great Migration, the Great Depression and New Deal, and two World Wars, he explains, shaped a new consciousness among southern blacks as they moved north, fought overseas, and gained better-paid employment. The "me"-centered mentality of the early blues musicians increasingly became "we" -centered as these musicians sought to enter mainstream American life by promoting hard work and patriotism. Originally drawing the attention of only a few folklorists and music promoters, popular black musicians in the 1940s such as Huddie Ledbetter and Big Bill Broonzy played music that increasingly reached across racial lines, and in the process gained what segregationists had attempted to deny them: the identity of American citizenship....By uncovering the stories of artists who expressed much in their music but left little record in traditional historical sources, Jim Crow's Counterculture offers a fresh perspective on the historical experiences of black Americans and provides a new understanding of the blues: a shared music that offered a message of personal freedom to repressed citizens.
Joe Louis : Hard Times Man / Randy Roberts. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010. 308pp. Main Library GV1132.L6 R63 2010 : Joe Louis defended his heavyweight boxing title an astonishing twenty-five times and reigned as world champion for more than eleven years. He got more column inches of newspaper coverage in the 1930s than FDR did. His racially and politically charged defeat of Max Schmeling in 1938 made Louis a national hero. But as important as his record is what he meant to African-Americans: at a time when the boxing ring was the only venue where black and white could meet on equal terms, Louis embodied all their hopes for dignity and equality....Through meticulous research and first-hand interviews, acclaimed historian and biographer Randy Roberts presents Louis, and his impact on sport and country, in a way never before accomplished. Roberts reveals an athlete who carefully managed his public image, and whose relationships with both the black and white communities—including his relationships with mobsters—were far more complex than the simplistic accounts of heroism and victimization that have dominated previous biographies....Richly researched and utterly captivating, this extraordinary biography presents the full range of Joe Louis’s power in and out of the boxing ring.
John Coltrane and black America's quest for freedom : spirituality and the music / conceived and edited by Leonard Brown. New York City : Oxford University Press, 2010. 235pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection ML419.C645 J63 2010 : John Coltrane's unique and powerful saxophonic sound is commonly recognized among jazz scholars and fans alike as having a "spiritual" nature, imbued with the perfomer's soul, which deeply touches musicians and listeners worldwide. This revered and respected musician created new standards, linked tradition with innovation, challenged common assumptions, and relentlessly pursued spiritual goals in his music, which he aimed openly to use as a means to help listeners see the beauty of life. More than four decades after Coltrane's death, it is this spiritual nature of the music that has kept his sound alive - and thriving - on the contemporary jazz scene....Edited by prominent jazz musician and scholar Leonard Brown, John Coltrane and Black America's Quest for Freedom is a timely exploration of Coltrane's sound and its spiritual qualities as they relate to Black American music culture and aspirations for freedom. A wide-ranging collection of essays and interviews featuring many of the most eminent figures in jazz studies and performance--Tommy Lee Lott, Anthony Brown, Herman Gray, Emmett G. Price III, Dwight Andrews, Tammy Kernodle, Salim Washington, Eric Jackson, and TJ Anderson (foreword)-- the book examines the full spectrum of Coltrane's legacy. Each essay approaches this theme from a different angle, in both historical and contemporary contexts, focusing on how Coltrane became a quintessential example of the universal and enduring qualities of Black American culture. The contributors address Coltrane as the Black intellectual, the visionary master of musical syntax, the man and the media icon, and ultimately the symbol of the spiritual core of Black American music.
Just neighbors? : research on African American and Latino relations in the United States / Edward Telles, Mark Sawyer and Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, editors. New York : Russell Sage Foundation, c2011. 375pp. Main Library E185.615 .J87 2011 : Blacks and Latinos have transformed the American city together these groups now constitute the majority in seven of the ten largest urban areas. Large-scale immigration from Latin America has been changing U.S. racial dynamics for decades, and Latino migration to new destinations is changing the face of the American south. Yet most of what social science has helped us to understand about these groups has been observed primarily in relation to whites not each other. Just Neighbors? challenges the traditional black/white paradigm of American race relations by examining African Americans and Latinos as they relate to each other in the labor market, the public sphere, neighborhoods, and schools. The book shows the influence of race, class, and received stereotypes on black-Latino social interactions and offers insight on how finding common ground may benefit both groups....From the labor market and political coalitions to community organizing, street culture, and interpersonal encounters, Just Neighbors? analyzes a spectrum of Latino-African American social relations to understand when and how these groups cooperate or compete. Contributor Frank Bean and his co-authors show how the widely held belief that Mexican immigration weakens job prospects for native-born black workers is largely unfounded especially as these groups are rarely in direct competition for jobs. Michael Jones-Correa finds that Latino integration beyond the traditional gateway cities promotes seemingly contradictory feelings: a sense of connectedness between the native minority and the newcomers but also perceptions of competition. Mark Sawyer explores the possibilities for social and political cooperation between the two groups in Los Angeles and finds that lingering stereotypes among both groups, as well as negative attitudes among blacks about immigration, remain powerful but potentially surmountable forces in group relations. Regina Freer and Claudia Sandoval examine how racial and ethnic identity impacts coalition building between Latino and black youth and find that racial pride and a sense of linked fate encourages openness to working across racial lines....Black and Latino populations have become a majority in the largest U.S. cities, yet their combined demographic dominance has not abated both groups social and economic disadvantage in comparison to whites. Just Neighbors? lays a much-needed foundation for studying social relations between minority groups. This trailblazing book shows that, neither natural allies nor natural adversaries, Latinos and African Americans have a profound potential for coalition-building and mutual cooperation. They may well be stronger together rather than apart.
Keepin' it hushed : barbershops and African American hush harbor rhetoric / Vorris L. Nunley. Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 2010. 214pp. Main Library PE3102.N42 N86 2010 : African American rhetoric in the public sphere is often "hushed" because many African Americans still see the public sphere as "hegemonically White, heteronormative, male, and dangerous," according to Nunley (English and rhetoric, U. of California at Riverside), and the hidden rhetorics of African American life, culture, and knowledge therefore remain relegated to the metaphorical (or sometimes not so metaphorical) "barbershop," a "hush harbor" where a different rhetoric reigns. Utilizing an interdisciplinary method utilizing critical theory, philosophy, cultural studies, and rhetoric, Nunley theorizes this African American hush harbor rhetoric and what it reveals about African American subjectivities and knowledge through the examination of literary, poetic, theatrical, filmic, animated, and public texts.
King of the Court : Bill Russell and the Basketball Revolution / Aram Goudsouzian ; with a foreword by Harry Edwards. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2010. 423pp. Main Library GV884.R86 G68 2010 : Bill Russell was not the first African American to play professional basketball, but he was its first black superstar. From the moment he stepped onto the court of the Boston Garden in 1956, he began to transform the sport in a fundamental way, making him, more than any of his contemporaries, the Jackie Robinson of basketball. In King of the Court, Aram Goudsouzian provides a vivid and engrossing chronicle of the life and career of this brilliant champion and courageous racial pioneer. Russell's leaping, wide-ranging defense altered the game's texture. His teams provided models of racial integration in the 1950s and 1960s, and in 1966, he became the first black coach of any major professional team sport. Yet, like no athlete before him, Russell challenged the politics of sport. Instead of displaying appreciative deference, he decried racist institutions, embraced his African roots, and challenged the nonviolent tenets of the civil rights movement. This beautifully written book-sophisticated, nuanced, and insightful-reveals a singular individual who expressed the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. while echoing the warnings of Malcolm X.
Langston Hughes and American Lynching Culture / W. Jason Miller. Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 2011. 168pp. Main Library PS3515.U274 Z6843 2011 : W. Jason Miller investigates the nearly three dozen poems written by Langston Hughes on the subject of lynching to explore its varying effects on survivors, victims, and accomplices as they resisted, accepted, and executed this brutal form of sadistic torture....
In this work, Miller initiates an important dialogue between America's neglected history of lynching and some of the world's most significant poems. He begins with Hughes's teenage years during the Red Summer of 1919, moves on to the Scottsboro case beginning in 1931, then continues through WWII, the McCarthy era, the Red Scare, his interrogation before HUAC in the 1950s, and at last to the civil rights movement that took root toward the end of Hughes's life....Key poems, including "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," "Christ in Alabama," and "Dream Deferred," revisit the height of Hughes's overt resistance and anger as he ardently wrote to keep this topic in the forefront of American consciousness. Miller then traces the poet's use of allusion in his later works and ultimately examines how Hughes used strategies learned from photography to negotiate censorship in the 1950s....This volume represents a crucial and long-overdue contribution to our understanding of the art and politics of Langston Hughes---a man who never knew of an America where the very real threat of lynching was absent from the cultural landscape.
A level playing field : African American athletes and the republic of sports / Gerald L. Early. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c2011. 263pp. Main Library GV583 .E26 2011 : As Americans, we believe there ought to be a level playing field for everyone. Even if we don't expect to finish first, we do expect a fair start. Only in sports have African Americans actually found that elusive level ground. But at the same time, black players offer an ironic perspective on the athlete-hero, for they represent a group historically held to be without social honor....In his first new collection of sports essays since Tuxedo Junction (1989), the noted cultural critic Gerald Early investigates these contradictions as they play out in the sports world and in our deeper attitudes toward the athletes we glorify. Early addresses a half-century of heated cultural issues ranging from integration to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Writing about Jackie Robinson and Curt Flood, he reconstructs pivotal moments in their lives and explains how the culture, politics, and economics of sport turned with them. Taking on the subtexts, racial and otherwise, of the controversy over remarks Rush Limbaugh made about quarterback Donovan McNabb, Early restores the political consequence to an event most commentators at the time approached with predictable bluster....The essays in this book circle around two perennial questions: What other, invisible contests unfold when we watch a sporting event? What desires and anxieties are encoded in our worship of (or disdain for) high-performance athletes?...These essays are based on the Alain Locke lectures at Harvard University's Du Bois Institute.
Life upon these shores : looking at African American history, 1513-2008 / Henry Louis Gates, Jr. New York : Knopf, 2011. 497pp. Main Library E185 .G27 2011 : "Henry Louis Gates, Jr., gives us a sumptuously illustrated, landmark book tracing African American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama. Informed by the latest, sometimes provocative scholarship, and including more than eight hundred images--ancient maps, art, documents, photographs, cartoons, posters--Life Upon These Shores focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as the achievements of people famous and obscure. Gates takes us from the sixteenth century through the ordeal of slavery, from the Civil War and Reconstruction through the Jim Crow era and the Great Migration; from the civil rights and black nationalist movements through the age of hip-hop on to the Joshua generation. By documenting and illuminating the sheer diversity of African American involvement in American history, society, politics, and culture, Gates bracingly disabuses us of the presumption of a single "Black Experience." Life Upon These Shores is a book of major importance, a breathtaking tour de force of the historical imagination"
Lightnin' Hopkins : His Life and Blues / Alan Govenar. Chicago : Chicago Review Press, c2010. 334pp. Fine Arts Library Music Collection ML420.H6357 G68 2010 : By the time of his death in 1982, Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins was likely the most recorded blues artist in history. This brilliant new biography--the first book ever written about him--illuminates the many contradictions of the man and his myth....Born in 1912 to a poor sharecropping family in the cotton country between Dallas and Houston, Hopkins left home when he was only eight years old with a guitar his brother had given him. He made his living however he could, sticking to the open road, playing the blues, and taking odd jobs when money was short. This biography delves into Hopkins’s early years, exploring the myths surrounding his meetings with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Texas Alexander, his time on a chain gang, his relationships with women, and his lifelong appetite for gambling and drinking....Hopkins didn’t begin recording until 1946, when he was dubbed “Lightnin’” during his first session, and he soon joined Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker on the national R & B charts. But by the time he was “rediscovered” by Mack McCormick and Sam Charters in 1959, his popularity had begun to wane. A second career emerged--now Lightnin’ was pitched to white audiences, not black ones, and he became immensely successful, singing about his country roots and injustices that informed the civil rights era with a searing emotive power....More than a decade in the making, this biography is based on scores of interviews with Lightnin’s lover, friends, producers, accompanists, managers, and fans.
Little Rock : Race and Resistance at Central High School / Karen Anderson. Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2010. 330pp. Main Library LC214.23.L56 A53 2010 : The desegregation crisis in Little Rock is a landmark of American history: on September 4, 1957, after the Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in public schools, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called up the National Guard to surround Little Rock Central High School, preventing black students from going in. On September 25, 1957, nine black students, escorted by federal troops, gained entrance. With grace and depth, Little Rock provides fresh perspectives on the individuals, especially the activists and policymakers, involved in these dramatic events. Mining a variety of documents, including newspapers, memoirs, personal papers, and interviews, Karen Anderson examines American racial politics in relation to changes in youth culture, sexuality, gender relations, and economics, and she locates the conflicts of Little Rock within the larger political and historical context.Anderson considers how white groups at the time, including middle class women and the working class, shaped American race and class relations. She documents white women's political mobilizations and, exploring political resentments, sexual fears, and religious affiliations, illuminates the reasons behind segregationists' missteps and blunders. Anderson explains how the business elite in Little Rock retained power in the face of opposition, and identifies the moral failures of business leaders and moderates who sought the appearance of federal compliance rather than actual racial justice, leaving behind a legacy of white flight, poor urban schools, and institutional racism.Probing the conflicts of school desegregation in the mid-century South, Little Rock casts new light on connections between social inequality and the culture wars of modern America.
Living with Jim Crow : African American women and memories of the segregated South / edited by Anne Valk and Leslie Brown. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 209pp. Main Library E185.61 .L597 2010 : This groundbreaking book collects black women’s personal recollections of their public and private lives during the period of legal segregation in the American South. Using first-person narratives, collected through oral history interviews, the book emphasizes women’s role in their families and communities, treating women as important actors in the economic, social, cultural, and political life of the segregated South. By focusing on the commonalities of women’s experiences, as well as the ways that women’s lives differed from the experiences of southern black men, Living with Jim Crow analyzes the interlocking forces of racism and sexism.
Living with lynching : African American lynching plays, performance, and citizenship, 1890-1930 / Koritha Mitchell. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2011. 251pp. Main Library PS338.N4 M455 2011 : Demonstrates that popular lynching plays were mechanisms through which African American communities survived actual and photographic mob violence. Often available in periodicals, lynching plays were read aloud or acted out by black church members, schoolchildren, and families. Koritha Mitchell shows that African Americans performed and read the scripts in community settings to certify to each other that lynch victims were not the isolated brutes that dominant discourses made them out to be. Instead, the play scripts often described victims as honorable heads of household being torn from model domestic units by white violence....In closely analyzing the political and spiritual uses of black theatre during the Progressive Era, Mitchell demonstrates that audiences were shown affective ties in black families, a subject often erased in mainstream images of African Americans. Examining lynching plays as archival texts that embody and reflect broad networks of sociocultural activism and exchange in the lives of black Americans, Mitchell finds that audiences were rehearsing and improvising new ways of enduring in the face of widespread racial terrorism. Images of the black soldier, lawyer, mother, and wife helped readers assure each other that they were upstanding individuals who deserved the right to participate in national culture and politics. These powerful community coping efforts helped African Americans band together and withstand the nation's rejection of them as viable citizens.
Louis Armstrong : The Soundtrack of the American Experience / David Stricklin. Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, 2010. 182pp. Fine Arts, Music Collection ML419.A75 S86 2010 : In addition to being a masterful musician, Armstrong was a memoirist and inveterate writer of letters, which Stricklin relied on for this look at the iconic American jazz musician. Born in New Orleans in 1901, Armstrong grew up in an area known as “the battlefield,” where he and his family earned their living in rough ways—prostitution and gambling among them. Music was his salvation. Armstrong was exposed to “spasm bands” and the evolution of ragtime to the blues to jazz, though his repertoire was considerably wider. Stricklin explores the social and economic forces that helped make jazz popular and Armstrong’s exuberant labor and innovation, which nurtured it. He tracks Armstrong through Prohibition, the Depression, both world wars, and the civil rights movements, as well as his marriages and associations with famed musicians. He recalls Armstrong’s career with bands, records, films, and travel abroad as musician and later goodwill ambassador, until the outrageous resistance to school desegregation angered him. In final chapters, Stricklin analyzes Armstrong’s musical legacy and details his recordings within the broader context of American music.
Love of Freedom : Black Women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England / Catherine Adams and Elizabeth H. Pleck. New York : Oxford University Press, 2010. 265pp. Main Library E443 .A33 2010 : They baked New England's Thanksgiving pies, preached their faith to crowds of worshippers, spied for the patriots during the Revolution, wrote that human bondage was a sin, and demanded reparations for slavery. Black women in colonial and revolutionary New England sought not only legal emancipation from slavery but defined freedom more broadly to include spiritual, familial, and economic dimensions....Hidden behind the banner of achieving freedom was the assumption that freedom meant affirming black manhood The struggle for freedom in New England was different for men than for women. Black men in colonial and revolutionary New England were struggling for freedom from slavery and for the right to patriarchal control of their own families. Women had more complicated desires, seeking protection and support in a male headed household while also wanting personal liberty. Eventually women who were former slaves began to fight for dignity and respect for womanhood and access to schooling for black children.
The Making of African America : The Four Great Migrations / Ira Berlin. New York : Viking, 2010. 304pp. Main Library E185 .B473 2010 : Four great migrations defined the history of black people in America: the violent removal of Africans to the east coast of North America known as the Middle Passage; the relocation of one million slaves to the interior of the antebellum South; the movement of six million blacks to the industrial cities of the north and west a century later; and, since the late 1960s, the arrival of black immigrants from Africa, the Americas, and Europe. These epic migrations have made and remade African American life. This new account evokes both the terrible price and the moving triumphs of a people forcibly and then willingly migrating to America. Historian Ira Berlin finds a dynamic of change in which eras of deep rootedness alternate with eras of massive movement, tradition giving way to innovation. The culture of black America is constantly evolving, affected by (and affecting) places as far away from one another as Biloxi, Chicago, Kingston, and Lagos.
Malcolm X : a life of reinvention / Manning Marable. New York : Viking, 2011. 594pp. Main Library BP223.Z8 L57636 2011 : This biography of Malcolm X draws on new research to trace his life from his troubled youth through his involvement in the Nation of Islam, his activism in the world of Black Nationalism, and his assassination. Years in the making, it is a definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figures in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a criminal, a minister, a leader, and an icon, all before being felled by assassins' bullets at age thirty-nine. Through his tireless work and countless speeches he empowered hundreds of thousands of black Americans to create better lives and stronger communities while establishing the template for the self-actualized, independent African American man. In death he became a broad symbol of both resistance and reconciliation for millions around the world. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography of MalcolmX, this work unfolds a story of race and class in America, from the rise of Marcus Garvey and the Ku Klux Klan to the struggles of the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties. Reaching into Malcolm's troubled youth, it traces a path from his parents' activism through his own engagement with the Nation of Islam, charting his astronomical rise in the world of Black Nationalism and culminating in the never-before-told true story of his assassination. This work captures the story of one of the mostsingular forces for social change, a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.
Men of color to arms! : Black soldiers, Indian wars, and the quest for equality / Elizabeth D. Leonard. New York : W.W. Norton, c2010. 315pp. Main Library E185.63 .L46 2010 : In 1863, Frederick Douglass promised African Americans that serving in the military offered a sure path to full citizenship. More than 180,000 heeded the call to defend the Union against the Confederate rebellion. Later, thousands more enlisted to subdue the Indians and expand and strengthen the national domain. In this sharply drawn history, Elizabeth D. Leonard takes the story of these frequently overlooked American soldiers beyond traditional political and military confines to consider the men's aspirations and achievements as well as their setbacks and disappointments. Framed by Appomattox in 1865 and the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, and packed with individuals' stories, details of battles fought, and descriptions of army life, Leonard's work examines black soldiers' contributions to the nation's post-Civil War expansion and consolidation and sheds important light on the myriad obstacles the “buffalo soldiers” faced in their ongoing struggle for racial equality.
Midnight at the Barrelhouse : the Johnny Otis Story / George Lipsitz. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2010. 325pp. Main Library ML419.O85 L56 2010 : Considered by many to be the godfather of R&B, Johnny Otis—musician, producer, artist, entrepreneur, pastor, disc jockey, writer, and tireless fighter for racial equality—has had a remarkable life by any measure. In this first biography of Otis, George Lipsitz tells the largely unknown story of a towering figure in the history of African American music and culture who was, by his own description, “black by persuasion. ”Born to Greek immigrant parents in Vallejo, California, in 1921, Otis grew up in an integrated neighborhood and identified deeply with black music and culture from an early age. He moved to Los Angeles as a young man and submerged himself in the city’s vibrant African American cultural life, centered on Central Avenue and its thriving music scene. Otis began his six-decade career in music playing drums in territory swing bands in the 1930s. He went on to lead his own band in the 1940s and open the Barrelhouse nightclub in Watts. His R&B band had seventeen Top 40 hits between 1950 and 1969, including “Willie and the Hand Jive.” As a producer and A&R man, Otis discovered such legends as Etta James, Jackie Wilson, and Big Mama Thornton....Otis also wrote a column for the Sentinel, one of L.A.’s leading black newspapers, became pastor of his own interracial church, hosted popular radio and television shows that introduced millions to music by African American artists, and was lauded as businessman of the year in a 1951 cover story in Negro Achievements magazine. Throughout his career Otis’s driving passion has been his fearless and unyielding opposition to racial injustice, whether protesting on the front lines, exposing racism and championing the accomplishments of black Americans, or promoting African American musicians....Midnight at the Barrelhouse is a chronicle of a life rich in both incident and inspiration, as well as an exploration of the complicated nature of race relations in twentieth-century America. Otis’s total commitment to black culture and transcendence of racial boundaries, Lipsitz shows, teach important lessons about identity, race, and power while encapsulating the contradictions of racism in American society.
Monstrous Intimacies : Making Post-Slavery Subjects / Christina Sharpe. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2010. 254pp. Main Library E185.625 .S537 2010 : Arguing that the fundamental, familiar, sexual violence of slavery and racialized subjugation have continued to shape black and white subjectivities into the present, Christina Sharpe interprets African diasporic and Black Atlantic visual and literary texts that address those “monstrous intimacies” and their repetition as constitutive of post-slavery subjectivity. Her illuminating readings juxtapose Frederick Douglass’s narrative of witnessing the brutal beating of his Aunt Hester with Essie Mae Washington-Williams’s declaration of freedom in Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, as well as the “generational genital fantasies” depicted in Gayl Jones’s novel Corregidora with a firsthand account of such “monstrous intimacies” in the journals of an antebellum South Carolina senator, slaveholder, and vocal critic of miscegenation. Sharpe explores the South African–born writer Bessie Head’s novel Maru—about race, power, and liberation in Botswana—in light of the history of the KhoiSan woman Saartje Baartman, who was displayed in Europe as the “Hottentot Venus” in the nineteenth century. Reading Isaac Julien’s film The Attendant, Sharpe takes up issues of representation, slavery, and the sadomasochism of everyday black life. Her powerful meditation on intimacy, subjection, and subjectivity culminates in an analysis of Kara Walker’s black silhouettes, and the critiques leveled against both the silhouettes and the artist.
The Myth of the Missing Black Father / edited by Roberta L. Coles and Charles Green. New York : Columbia University Press, c2010. 365pp. Main Library HQ756 .M98 2010 : Common stereotypes portray black fathers as being largely absent from their families. Yet while black fathers are less likely than white and Hispanic fathers to marry their child's mother, many continue to parent through cohabitation and visitation, providing caretaking, financial, and other in-kind support. This volume captures the meaning and practice of black fatherhood in its many manifestations, exploring two-parent families, cohabitation, single custodial fathering, stepfathering, noncustodial visitation, and parenting by extended family members and friends. Contributors examine ways that black men perceive and decipher their parenting responsibilities, paying careful attention to psychosocial, economic, and political factors that affect the ability to parent. Chapters compare the diversity of African American fatherhood with negative portrayals in politics, academia, and literature and, through qualitative analysis and original profiles, illustrate the struggle and intent of many black fathers to be responsible caregivers. This collection also includes several interviews with daughters of absent fathers and concludes with the effects of certain policy decisions on responsible parenting.
A nation within a nation : organizing African-American communities before the Civil War / John Ernest. Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, Inc., c2011. 214pp. Main Library E185.5 .E76 2011 : John Ernest offers a comprehensive survey of the broad-ranging and influential African American organizations and networks formed in the North in the late eighteenth century through the end of the Civil War. He examines fraternal organizations, churches, conventions, mutual aid benefit and literary societies, educational organizations, newspapers, and magazines. Ernest argues these organizations demonstrate how African Americans self-definition was not solely determined by slavery as they tried to create organizations in the hope of creating a community.
Neighborhood Rebels : Black Power at the Local Level / edited by Peniel E. Joseph. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 255pp. Main Library E185.615 .N36 2010 : This book examines the evolution of Black Power activism at the local level. Comprised of essays that examine Black Power’s impact at the grassroots level in cities in the North, South, Mid-West and West, this anthology expands on the profusion of new scholarship that is taking a second look at Black Power, connecting grassroots activism to national struggles for black self-determination and international African independence movements, and actively rewriting postwar African American history.
The new Black history : revisiting the second Reconstruction / edited by Manning Marable and Elizabeth Kai Hinton. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 326pp. Main Library E185.615 .N37 2011 : The New Black History anthology presents cutting-edge scholarship on key issues that define African American politics, life, and culture, especially during the Civil Rights and Black Power eras. The volume includes articles by both established scholars and a rising generation of young scholars and demonstrates a profound analysis of black American history since 1954. The New Black History fills a gap in existing literature on post-World War II African-American History by providing an in-depth historical narrative that also offers critical interpretation of key issues, persons, and events that have come to define the field in recent years.
The New Jim Crow : Mass Incarceration In The Age of Colorblindness / Michelle Alexander. New York : New Press, c2010. 290pp. Main Library HV9950 .A437 2010 : As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them....In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.
A New Look at Black Families / Charles V. Willie and Richard J. Reddick. Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, c2010. 6th ed., 230pp. Main Library E185.86 .W55 2010 : Charles Willie and Richard Reddick's A New Look at Black Families has introduced thousands of students to the intricacies of the Black family in American society. Using a case study approach, Willie and Reddick show the varieties of the Black family experience and how those experiences vary by socioeconomic status. The sixth edition has been re-organized and updated throughout. The new Part III: Cases Against and for Black Men and Women unites two chapters from previous editions into a cohesive discussion of stereotypes and misunderstandings from both scholars and the mass media. Also, a new chapter on the Obama family offers support for cross-gender and cross-racial mentoring, and it demonstrates the value of extended family relations.
Not in My Neighborhood : How Bigotry Shaped a Great American City / Antero Pietila. Chicago : Ivan R. Dee, c2010. 320pp. Main Library F189.B19 A285 2010 : Pietila arrived in the US in 1964 from his native Finland, and spent most of his 35 years with the Baltimore Sun covering the Maryland city's neighborhoods, politics, and government. He takes Baltimore as a case study to show how real estate discrimination toward African Americans and Jews shaped the cities of the US, from the early suburbanization in the 1880s through the consequences of white flight after World War II to the first decade of the 21st century.
The Obama effect : multidisciplinary renderings of the 2008 campaign / edited by Heather E. Harris, Kimberly R. Moffitt, and Catherine R. Squires. Albany : State University of New York Press, 2011 [c2010] 280pp. Main Library E908.3 .O33 2011 : "Neither biography, hagiography, or demonization, The Obama Effect provides a refreshingly balanced interrogation of many issues the candidacy and presidency of Barack Obama has unearthed in American society, politics, and identity construction. It is an important contribution to a much-needed substantive body of work trapped neither by Obamamania nor Obamaphobia. This is a highly recommended read ranging across disciplines."
On the ground : the Black Panther Party in communities across America / edited by Judson L. Jeffries. Jackson, Miss. : University Press of Mississippi, 2010. 391pp. Main Library E185.615 .O57 2010 : The Black Panther Party suffers from a distorted image largely framed by television and print media, including the Panthers' own newspaper. These sources frequently reduced the entire organization to the Bay Area where the Panthers were founded, emphasizing the Panthers' militant rhetoric and actions rather than their community survival programs. This image, however, does not mesh with reality. The Panthers worked tirelessly at improving the life chances of the downtrodden regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation. In order to chronicle the rich history of the Black Panther Party, this anthology examines local Panther activities throughout the United States---in Seattle, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Detroit, Michigan....This approach features the voices of people who served on the ground---those who kept the offices in order, prepared breakfasts for school children, administered sickle cell anemia tests, set up health clinics, and launched free clothing drives. The essays shed new light on the Black Panther Party, re-evaluating its legacy in American cultural and political history. Just as important, this volume gives voice to those unsung Panthers whose valiant efforts have heretofore gone unnoticed, unheard, or ignored.
Oprah : A Biography / Kitty Kelley. New York : Crown Publishers, c2010. 524pp. Browsing Collection (1 East) PN1992.4.W56 K45 2010 : Based on three years of research and reporting as well as 850 interviews with sources, many of whom have never before spoken for publication, Oprah is the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential, powerful, and admired public figures of our time. Anyone who is a fan of Oprah Winfrey or who has followed her extraordinary life and career will be fascinated and newly informed by the closely observed, detailed, and well-rounded portrait of her provided by Kitty Kelley's exhaustively researched book. Readers will come away with a greater appreciation of who Oprah really is beyond her public persona and a fuller understanding of her important place in American cultural history.
Origins of the African American jeremiad : the rhetorical strategies of social protest and activism, 1760-1861 / Willie J. Harrell, Jr. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2011. 231pp. Main Library E185.18 .H37 2011 : "In the moralistic texts of jeremiadic discourse, authors lament the condition of society, utilizing prophecy as a means of predicting its demise. This study delves beneath the socio-religious and cultural exterior of the American jeremiadic tradition tounveil the complexities of African American jeremiadic rhetoric in antebellum America"
The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates / Wes Moore. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2010. Main Library F189.B153 M66 2010 : Traces the parallel lives of two youths with the same name in the same community, describing how the author grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar and promising business leader while his counterpart suffered a life of violence and imprisonment.
Post Black : How A New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity / Ytasha L. Womack ; foreword by Derek T. Dingle. Chicago, Ill. : Lawrence Hill Books, c2010. 206pp. Main Library E185.625 .W595 2010 : As a young journalist covering black life at large, author Ytasha L. Womack found herself straddling her culture's rarely acknowledged generation gaps and cultural divides. Traditional images show blacks unified culturally, politically, and socially, united by race at venues such as churches and community meetings. But in the "post black" era, individuals do not necessarily define themselves by tradition as much as by personal interests, points of view, and lifestyle. Although grateful to generations that have paved the way, many cannot relate to the rhetoric of pundits who speak as ambassadors of black life any more than they see themselves in exaggerated hip-hop images." "In Post Black: How a New Generation Is Redefining African American Identity, Womack takes a fresh look at the dynamics shaping the lives of contemporary African Americans. Combining interviews, opinions of experts, and extensive research, Post Black will open the eyes of some, validate the lives of others, and provide a realistic picture of the expanding community."
The Power of One : How You Can Help or Harm African American Students / Gail L. Thompson. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Corwin Press, c2010. 188pp. Main Library LC2717 .T49 2010 : Thompson's thought-provoking text/workbook invites readers to explore ways that educators can do a better job of teaching African American children. The text combines stories from teachers, parents, former students, and other individuals about their experiences; actual classroom scenarios; exercises to help readers examine their own beliefs about important issues and become a better educator in the process; feedback from 600-plus educators from three distinctly different states--California, Texas, Minnesota--enabling readers to compare their views and experiences with the respondents; and advice from teachers about how educators can prepare students for standardized tests. For K-12 teachers, counselors, principals, vice principals, teacher educators, education consultants, mentor-teachers, and district-level administrators.
The presumption of guilt : the arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and race, class, and crime in America / Charles J. Ogletree, Jr. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 256pp. Main Library E185.615 .O35 2010 : Shortly after noon on Tuesday, July 16, 2009, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., MacArthur Fellow and Harvard professor, was mistakenly arrested by Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley for attempting to break into his own home. The ensuing media firestorm ignited debate across the country. The Crowley-Gates incident was a clash of absolutes, underscoring the tension between black and white, police and civilians, and the privileged and less privileged in modern America. Charles Ogletree, one of the country’s foremost experts on civil rights, uses this incident as a lens through which to explore issues of race, class, and crime, with the goal of creating a more just legal system for all....Working from years of research and based on his own classes and experiences with law enforcement, the author illuminates the steps needed to embark on the long journey toward racial and legal equality for all Americans.
Princess Noire : the Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone / Nadine Cohodas. New York : Pantheon Books, c2010. 449pp. Fine Arts Music Collection ML420.S5635 C65 2010 : From the author of the acclaimed Dinah Washington biography Queen comes this complete account of the triumphs and difficulties of the brilliant and high-tempered Nina Simone. Her distinctive voice and music occupy a singular place in the canon of American song....Tapping into newly unearthed material—including stories of family and career—Nadine Cohodas gives us a luminous portrait of the singer who was born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933, one of eight children in a proud black family. We see her as a prodigiously talented child who is trained in classical piano through the charitable auspices of a local white woman. We witness her devastating disappointment when she is rejected by the Curtis Institute of Music—a dream deferred that would forever shape her self-image as well as her music. Yet by 1959—now calling herself Nina Simone—she had sung New York City’s venerable Town Hall and was on her way....As we watch Simone’s exciting rise to stardom, Cohodas expertly weaves in the central factors of her life and career: her unique and provocative relationship with her audiences (she would “shush” them angrily; as a classically trained musician, she didn’t believe in cabaret chat); her involvement in and contributions to the civil rights movement; her two marriages, including one of brief family contentment with police detective Andy Stroud, with whom she had her daughter, Lisa; the alienation from the United States that drove her to live abroad. Alongside these threads runs a darker one: Nina’s increasing and sometimes baffling outbursts of rage and pain and her lifelong struggle to overcome a deep sense of personal injustice, which persisted even as she won international renown....Princess Noire is a fascinating story, well told and thoroughly documented with intimate photos—a treatment that captures the passions of Nina’s life.
Radicalism at the crossroads : African American women activists in the Cold War / Dayo F. Gore. New York : New York University Press, c2010. Main Library E185.615 .G668 2010 : With the exception of a few iconic moments such as Rosa Parks's 1955 refusal to move to the back of a Montgomery bus, we hear little about what black women activists did prior to 1960. Perhaps this gap is due to the severe repression that radicals of any color in America faced as early as the 1930s, and into the Red Scare of the 1950s. To be radical, and black, and a woman was to be forced to the margins and consequently, these women's stories have been deeply buried and all but forgotten by the general public and historians alike....In this exciting work of historical recovery, Dayo F. Gore unearths and examines a dynamic, extended community of black radical women during the early Cold War, including established Communist Party activists such as Claudia Jones, artists and writers such as Beulah Richardson, and lesser-known organizers such as Vicki Garvin and Thelma Dale. These women were part of a black left that laid much of the groundwork for both the social movements of 1960s and later strains of black radicalism....Radicalism at the Crossroads offers a sustained and in-depth analysis of the political thought and activism of black women radicals during the Cold War period and adds a new dimension to our understanding of this tumultuous and violent time in United States history.
Ralph Ellison in progress : from Invisible man to Three days before the shooting-- / Adam Bradley. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2010. 244pp. Main Library PS3555.L625 Z57 2010 : Ralph Ellison may be the preeminent African-American author of the twentieth century, though he published only one novel, 1952’s Invisible Man. He enjoyed a highly successful career in American letters, publishing two collections of essays, teaching at several colleges and universities, and writing dozens of pieces for newspapers and magazines, yet Ellison never published the second novel he had been composing for more than forty years. A 1967 fire that destroyed some of his work accounts for only a small part of the novel’s fate; the rest is revealed in the thousands of pages he left behind after his death in 1994, many of them collected for the first time in the recently published Three Days Before the Shooting . . . .Ralph Ellison in Progress is the first book to survey the expansive geography of Ellison’s unfinished novel while re-imaging the more familiar, but often misunderstood, territory of Invisible Man. It works from the premise that understanding Ellison’s process of composition imparts important truths not only about the author himself but about race, writing, and American identity. Drawing on thousands of pages of Ellison’s journals, typescripts, computer drafts, and handwritten notes, many never before studied, Adam Bradley argues for a shift in scholarly emphasis that moves a greater share of the weight of Ellison’s literary legacy to the last forty years of his life and to the novel he left forever in progress.
Real Role Models : Successful African Americans Beyond Pop Culture / Joah Spearman and Louis Harrison, Jr. Austin : University of Texas Press, 2010. 158pp. Main Library E185.96 .S684 2010 : All young people need good role models, and black youth especially need positive and real examples beyond the famous and wealthy people they see on SportsCenter highlights and MTV Cribs. While success as a celebrity athlete or entertainer may seem like an achievable dream, the reality is that young African Americans have a much greater chance of succeeding in the professions through education and hard work--and a mentor to show them the path. Real Role Models introduces high school and college-age African Americans to twenty-three black professionals who have achieved a high level of success in their chosen fields and who tell their stories to inspire young people to pursue a professional career and do the work necessary to achieve their dreams....Some of the individuals profiled by Joah Spearman and Louis Harrison, Jr., include Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Miami Herald; Melody Barnes, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council; Danyel Smith, editor-in-chief of Vibe; and Dr. Tim George, Chief of Pediatric Neuroscience at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. They and other interviewees describe their backgrounds, career paths, and desire to give back by helping others reach their goals. Representing a wide range of occupations, these real role models prove to African American youths that a whole world of successful, rewarding careers awaits them.
Red, white, black, and blue : black anger, white ignorance, and racism in Obama's America / A. Christian van Gorder and Lewis T. Tait, Jr. Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, 2012,  293pp. Main Library E185.615 .V35 2011 : Examines contemporary expressions of subtle racism and looks at how our present political climate affects issues of lingering racist inequality. Drs. van Gorder and Tait provide a historical and theoretical context for their analysis of America's present intercultural tensions and offers concrete steps forward in addressing our seemingly entrenched polarities: Black Anger and White ignorance. This book is up-to-date and prescient in addressing modern issues of systemic racism with clarity and resolve. Even tough issues such as reparations and the relation between economic injustices with de facto segregation in America are discussed without resorting to the false comfort of idealistic or wishful solutions. This book will teach you with step-by-step clarity while also challenging you to work within your own communities to advance Martin Luther King, Jr.'s new American dream of intercultural mutuality. This incisive book challenges every American to come to terms with the urgent need of treating racial injuries in order to build a healthier society. It is a captivating and informative labor of love. Dr. Lawrence O. Ettu, Professor, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Remember me : slave life in coastal Georgia / Charles Joyner. Athens : University of Georgia Press, 2011. 69pp. Main Library E445.G3 J69 2011 : Remember Me is a short primer on the coast of Georgia and its unique African cultural heritage. Charles Joyner offers a rich picture of that culture’s stories, songs, and traditions, as well as the nineteenth-century plantation life in which it endured.
Representing Segregation : Toward an Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow, and Other Forms of Racial Division / edited by Brian Norman and Piper Kendrix Williams. Albany : State University of New York Press, 2010. 280pp. Main Library PS153.N5 R47 2010 : As a touchstone issue in American history, segregation has had an immeasurable impact on the lives of most ethnic groups in the United States. Primarily associated with the Jim Crow South and the court cases Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) and Brown v. Board of Education (1954), segregation comprises a diverse set of cultural practices, ethnic experiences, historical conditions, political ideologies, municipal planning schemes, and de facto social systems. Representing Segregation traces the effects of these practices on the literary imagination and proposes a distinct literary tradition of representing segregation. Contributors engage a cross section of writers, literary movements, segregation practices, and related experiences of racial division in order to demonstrate the richness and scope of responses to segregation in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By taking up the cultural expression of the Jim Crow period and its legacies, this collection reorients literary analysis of an important body of African American literature in productive new directions.
Representing the race : a new political history of African American literature / Gene Andrew Jarrett. New York : New York University Press, c2011. 263pp. Main Library PS153.N5 J398 2011 : The political value of African American literature has long been a topic of great debate among American writers, both black and white, from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama. In his compelling new book, Representing the Race, Gene Andrew Jarrett traces the genealogy of this topic in order to develop an innovative political history of African American literature. Jarrett examines texts of every sort--pamphlets, autobiographies, cultural criticism, poems, short stories, and novels--to parse the myths of authenticity, popular culture, nationalism, and militancy that have come to define African American political activism in recent decades. He argues that unless we show the diverse and complex ways that African American literature has transformed society, political myths will continue to limit our understanding of this intellectual tradition.
The rhythm boys of Omaha Central : high school basketball at the '68 racial divide / Steve Marantz ; with a foreword by Susie Buffett. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2011. 247pp. Main Library GV885.73.O63 M37 2011 : In the spring of 1968, the Omaha Central High School basketball team made history with its first all-black starting lineup. Their nickname, the Rhythm Boys, captured who they were and what they did on the court. Led by star center Dwaine Dillard, the Rhythm Boys were a shoo-in to win the state championship. But something happened on their way to glory....In early March, segregationist George Wallace, in a third-party presidential bid, made a campaign stop in Omaha. By the time he left town, Dillard was in jail, his coach was caught between angry political factions, and the city teetered on the edge of racial violence. So began the Nebraska state high school basketball tournament the next day, caught in the vise of history. The Rhythm Boys of Omaha Central tells a true story about high school basketball, black awakening and rebellion, and innocence lost in a watershed year. The drama of civil rights in 1968 plays out in this riveting social history of sports, politics, race, and popular culture in the American heartland.
Right To Ride : Streetcar Boycotts and African American Citizenship in the Era of Plessy v. Ferguson / Blair L. M. Kelley. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2010. 256pp. Main Library E185.61 .K355 2010 : Through a reexamination of the earliest struggles against Jim Crow, Blair Kelley exposes the fullness of African American efforts to resist the passage of segregation laws dividing trains and streetcars by race in the early Jim Crow era. Right to Ride chronicles the litigation and local organizing against segregated rails that led to the Plessy v. Ferguson decision in 1896 and the streetcar boycott movement waged in twenty-five southern cities from 1900 to 1907. Kelley tells the stories of the brave but little-known men and women who faced down the violence of lynching and urban race riots to contest segregation....Focusing on three key cities--New Orleans, Richmond, and Savannah--Kelley explores the community organizations that bound protestors together and the divisions of class, gender, and ambition that sometimes drove them apart. The book forces a reassessment of the timelines of the black freedom struggle, revealing that a period once dismissed as the age of accommodation should in fact be characterized as part of a history of protest and resistance.
Rooming in the master's house : power and privilege in the rise of Black conservatism / Molefi K. Asante, Ronald E. Hall. Boulder, Colo. : Paradigm Publishers, c2011 167pp. Main Library E185 .A82 2011 (Also available in Faculty Collection) : Rooming in the Master's House is an analytical narrative of the origins, evolution, and development of a political and cultural sector of the African American community that abandoned the idea of collective liberation for the idea of individual salvation. It is a penetrating examination of the psychological and social disorders of self-negation, self-hatred, and group disdain that have affected the most extreme elements of the black community, especially as seen in those who share identification with the oppressing class more than with the oppressed. Discovering the seeds of this attitude and accompanying behavior in the antebellum period the authors, Asante and Hall, demonstrate that the legacy continues today in the modern day black conservatives who espouse versions of the arguments offered by house Negroes during the enslavement. Using Malcolm X's notion of a dichotomy between the house Negroes and the field Negroes the authors show how the current black conservative movement is organically linked to this social division.
Rooted in the earth : reclaiming the African American environmental heritage / Dianne D. Glave. Chicago, Ill. : Lawrence Hill Books, c2010. 178pp. Main Library E185 .G54 2010 : As thousands of African-Americans in the Gulf deal with the effects of the oil disaster, Glave documents the bond with nature that has long been part of the black experience. Drawing on Africa and African art, literature, history, and theology, Glave adds texture to her story. Chapters begins with fictional vignettes reflecting the author's own journey through her material, a "quilt work designed from this detective's loving labor to reveal the thoughts of farmers, artists and novelists dotted throughout the South." Passages from Zora Neale Hurston, Frederick Douglass and others gives voice to the community; for Douglass, the ocean signified freedom, despite the many Africans who crossed these waters in conditions unfit for animals. And Anna Comstock, an instructor at Cornell, opened a Nature Study School in 1897 and published her Handbook of Nature Study in 1911, which inspired teachers in the field. Today, Glave points out that First Lady Michelle Obama cultivates a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House, bringing the stewardship full circle.
Sacred steel : inside an African American steel guitar tradition / Robert L. Stone. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2010. 280pp. Fine Arts Library (Music Book Collection) ML3556 .S876 2010 : In this book, Robert L. Stone follows the sound of steel guitar into the music-driven Pentecostal worship of two related churches: the House of God and the Church of the Living God. A rare outsider who has gained the trust of members and musicians inside the church, Stone uses nearly two decades of research, interviews, and fieldwork to tell the story of a vibrant musical tradition that straddles sacred and secular contexts....Most often identified with country and western bands, steel guitar is almost unheard of in African American churches--except for the House of God and the Church of the Living God, where it has been part of worship since the 1930s. Sacred Steel traces the tradition through four generations of musicians and in some two hundred churches extending across the country from Florida to California, Michigan to Alabama. Presenting detailed portraits of musical pioneers such as brothers Troman and Willie Eason and contemporary masters such as Chuck Campbell, Glenn Lee, and Robert Randolph, Stone expertly outlines the fundamental tensions between sacred steel musicians and church hierarchy....In this thorough analysis of the tradition, Stone explores the function of the music in church meetings and its effect on the congregations. He also examines recent developments such as the growing number of female performers, the commercial appeal of the music, and younger musicians' controversial move of the music from the church to secular contexts.
Schooling the freed people : teaching, learning, and the struggle for black freedom, 1861-1876 / Ronald E. Butchart. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina, c2010. 314pp. Main Library LC2802.S9 B874 2010 (Also available online) : Conventional Wisdom Holds that freedmen's education was largely the work of privileged, single white northern women motivated by evangelical beliefs and abolitionism. Schooling the Freed People shatters this notion entirely....For the most comprehensive study of the origins of black education in freedom ever undertaken, Ronald Butchart combed the archives of all of the freedmen's aid organizations as well as the archives of every southern state to compile a vast database of over 11,600 individuals who taught in southern black schools between 1861 and 1876. Based on this pathbreaking research, he reaches some surprising conclusions: one-third of the teachers were African Americans; black teachers taught longer than white teachers; half of the teachers were southerners; and even the northern teachers were more diverse than previously imagined. His evidence demonstrates that evangelicalism contributed much less than previously belived to white teachers' commitment to black students, that abolitionism was a relatively small factor in motivating the teachers, and that, on the whole, the teachers' ideas and aspirations about their work often ran counter to the aspirations of the freed people for Schooling....The crowning achievement of a veteran scholar, this is the definitive book on freedmen's teachers in the South as well as an outstanding contribution to social history and our understanding of African American education.
Setting Down the Sacred Past : African-American Race Histories / Laurie F. Maffly-Kipp. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010. 341pp. Main Library E185.625 .M314 2010 : As early as the 1780s, African Americans told stories that enabled them to survive and even thrive in the midst of unspeakable assault. Tracing previously unexplored narratives from the late eighteenth century to the 1920s, Laurie Maffly-Kipp brings to light an extraordinary trove of sweeping race histories that African Americans wove together out of racial and religious concerns....Asserting a role in God's plan, black Protestants sought to root their people in both sacred and secular time. A remarkable array of chroniclers--men and women, clergy, journalists, shoemakers, teachers, southerners and northerners--shared a belief that narrating a usable past offered hope, pride, and the promise of a better future. Combining Christian faith, American patriotism, and racial lineage to create a coherent sense of community, they linked past to present, Africa to America, and the Bible to classical literature. From collected shards of memory and emerging intellectual tools, African Americans fashioned stories that helped to restore meaning and purpose to their lives in the face of relentless oppression....In a pioneering work of research and discovery, Maffly-Kipp shows how blacks overcame the accusation that they had no history worth remembering. African American communal histories imagined a rich collective past in order to establish the claim to a rightful and respected place in the American present. Through the transformative power of storytelling, these men and women led their people--and indeed, all Americans--into a more profound understanding of their interconnectedness and their prospects for a common future.
Signs of the Times : the Visual Politics of Jim Crow / Elizabeth Abel. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2010. 391pp. Main Library E185.61 .A164 2010 : Signs of the Times traces the career of Jim Crow signs-simplified in cultural memory to the "colored/white" labels that demarcated the public spaces of the American South-from their intellectual and political origins in the second half of the nineteenth century through their dismantling by civil rights activists in the 1960s and '70s. In this beautifully written, meticulously researched book, Elizabeth Abel assembles a variegated archive of segregation signs and photographs that translated a set of regional practices into a national conversation about race. Abel also brilliantly investigates the semiotic system through which segregation worked to reveal how the signs functioned in particular spaces and contexts that shifted the grounds of race from the somatic to the social sphere. Drawing from Marxist geography, visual culture theory, and critical race studies, the book maps the twists and turns of segregation signs as they traveled through social spaces and representational forms. It demonstrates how, paradoxically, a ruthless system of social control rearticulated race as a situational, mediated, and therefore malleable formation rather than an immutable essence or divine law.
Sister citizen : shame, stereotypes, and Black women in America / Melissa V. Harris-Perry. New Haven : Yale University Press, c2011. 378pp. Main Library E185.86 .H375 2011 : Jezebel's sexual lasciviousness, Mammy's devotion, and Sapphire's outspoken anger -- these are among the most persistent stereotypes that black women encounter in contemporary American life. Hurtful and dishonest, such representations force African American women to navigate a virtual crooked room that shames them and shapes their experiences as citizens. Many respond by assuming a mantle of strength that may convince others, and even themselves, that they do not need help. But as a result, the unique political issues of black women are often ignored and marginalized. In this groundbreaking book, Melissa V. Harris-Perry uses multiple methods of inquiry, including literary analysis, political theory, focus groups, surveys, and experimental research, to understand more deeply black women's political and emotional responses to pervasive negative race and gender images. Not a traditional political science work concerned with office-seeking, voting, or ideology, Sister Citizen instead explores how African American women understand themselves as citizens and what they expect from political organizing. Harris-Perry shows that the shared struggle to preserve an authentic self and secure recognition as a citizen links together black women in America, from the anonymous survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the current First Lady of the United States.
A Slave in the White House : Paul Jennings and the Madisons / Elizabeth Dowling Taylor. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, . 304pp. Main Library E444.J46 T39 2011 : Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, later becoming part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Once finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster later in life, he would give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, write the first White House memoir, and see his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War. He died a free man in northwest Washington at 75. Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait of the times reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery of the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, who believed the white and black populations could not coexist as equals; French General Lafayette who was appalled by this idea; Dolley Madison, who ruthlessly sold Paul after her husband's death; and many other since forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil right activists.
Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky : A Narrative by Francis Fedric, Escaped Slave / edited, with an introduction and notes, by C.L. Innes. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010. 124pp. Main Library E444.F85 A3 2010 : In 1854, faced with the threat of yet another brutal beating, a fifty-year-old slave in Mason County, Kentucky, decided to try again to escape. His first attempt had ended in his near starvation as he hid for nine weeks in a swamp, before hunger compelled him to return to his master. This time the slave sought the help of a neighbor with abolitionist sympathies, and he joined the hundreds of other fugitive slaves fleeing across the Ohio River and north to Canada on the Underground Railroad. After his arrival in Toronto he discarded his master's surname (Parker), renamed himself Francis Fedric, and married an Englishwoman. In 1857, he traveled with his wife to Great Britain, where he lectured on behalf of the antislavery cause and published two versions of his life story....Born in Virginia circa 1805, Francis Fedric was not unlike thousands of other African Americans who escaped slavery in the southern states and sought refuge in Britain. Many of his fellow ex-slaves also joined the abolitionist lecture circuit and published memoirs to support both the cause and themselves. Addressed to a British audience, these memoirs constitute a distinctive subgenre of the slave narrative, and an essential continuation of the narrative tradition established in England by Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano, and Mary Prince....The first of Fedric's two memoirs, Life and Sufferings of Francis Fedric, While in Slavery: An Escaped Slave after 51 Years in Bondage (1859), offers a brief but vivid and dramatic twelve-page description of his escape. Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky; or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America (1863) provides a much more detailed account of life as a slave and of plantation culture in the southern states. Together the two works present a mesmerizing and distinct perspective on slavery in the South. Amazingly, these narratives, among the most interesting of the genre, remained out of print for nearly a hundred and fifty years. Collected here for the first time and meticulously edited by C. L. Innes, Slave Life in Virginia and Kentucky: A Narrative by Francis Fedric, Escaped Slave includes a contextual introduction, substantial biographical information on Fedric, and extensive annotations that situate and illuminate his work. Long forgotten and never before published in the United States, Fedric's narratives are certain to take their rightful place alongside the most recognizable accounts in the canon of slave memoirs.
Slave Narratives After Slavery / edited by William L. Andrews. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, c2011. 416pp. Main Library E444 .S567 2011 : The pre-Civil War autobiographies of famous fugitives such as Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, and Harriet Jacobs form the bedrock of the African American narrative tradition. After emancipation arrived in 1865, former slaves continued to write about their experience of enslavement and their upward struggle to realize the promise of freedom and citizenship. Slave Narratives After Slavery reprints five of the most important and revealing first-person narratives of slavery and freedom published after 1865. Elizabeth Keckley's controversial Behind the Scenes (1868) introduced white America to the industry and progressive outlook of an emerging black middle class. The little-known Narrative of the life of John Quincy Adams, When in Slavery, and Now as a Freeman (1872) gave eloquent voice to the African American working class as it migrated from the South to the North in search of opportunity. William Wells Brown's My Southern Home (1880) retooled the image of slavery delineated in his widely-read antebellum Narrative and offered his reader a first-hand assessment of the South at the close of Reconstruction. Lucy Ann Delaney used From the Darkness Cometh the Light (1891) to pay tribute to her enslaved mother and to exemplify the qualities of mind and spirit that had ensured her own fulfillment in freedom. Louis Hughes's Thirty Years a Slave (1897) spoke for a generation of black Americans who, perceiving the spread of segregation across the South, sought to remind the nation of the horrors of its racial history and of the continued dedication of the once enslaved to dignity, opportunity, and independence.
Slavery, Civil War, and salvation : African American slaves and Christianity, 1830-1870 / Daniel L. Fountain. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2010. 159pp. Main Library E443 .F68 2010 : During the Civil War, traditional history tells us, Afro-Christianity proved a strong force for slaves' perseverance and hope of deliverance. In Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation, however, Daniel Fountain raises the possibility that Afro-Christianity played a less significant role within the antebellum slave community than most scholars currently assert. Bolstering his argument with a quantitative survey of religious behavior and WPA slave narratives, Fountain presents a new timeline for the African American conversion experience....Both the survey and the narratives reveal that fewer than 40 percent of individuals who gave a datable conversion experience had become Christians prior to acquiring freedom. Fountain pairs the survey results with an in-depth examination of the obstacles within the slaves' religious landscape that made conversion more difficult if not altogether unlikely, including infrequent access to religious instruction, the inconsistent Christian message offered to slaves, and the slaves' evolving religious identity. Furthermore, he provides other possible explanations for beliefs that on the surface resembled Christianity but in fact adhered to traditional African religions....Fountain maintains that only after emancipation and the fulfillment of the predicted Christian deliverance did African Americans more consistently turn to Christianity. Freedom, Fountain contends, brought most former slaves into the Christian faith. Provocative and enlightening, Slavery, Civil War, and Salvation redefines the role of Christianity within the slave community.
Sojourning for freedom : black women, American communism, and the making of black left feminism / Erik S. McDuffie. Durham [NC] : Duke University Press, 2011. 311pp. Main Library E185.86 .M3125 2011 : Sojourning for Freedom portrays pioneering black women activists from the early twentieth century through the 1970s, focusing on their participation in the U.S. Communist Party (CPUSA) between 1919 and 1956. Erik S. McDuffie considers how women from diverse locales and backgrounds became radicalized, joined the CPUSA, and advocated a pathbreaking politics committed to black liberation, women’s rights, decolonization, economic justice, peace, and international solidarity. McDuffie explores the lives of black left feminists, including the bohemian world traveler Louise Thompson Patterson, who wrote about the “triple exploitation” of race, gender, and class; Esther Cooper Jackson, an Alabama-based civil rights activist who chronicled the experiences of black female domestic workers; and Claudia Jones, the Trinidad-born activist who emerged as one of the Communist Party’s leading theorists of black women’s exploitation. Drawing on more than forty oral histories collected from veteran black women radicals and their family members, McDuffie examines how these women negotiated race, gender, class, sexuality, and politics within the CPUSA. In Sojourning for Freedom, he depicts a community of radical black women activist intellectuals who helped to lay the foundation for a transnational modern black feminism.
Something Akin to Freedom : the Choice of Bondage in Narratives by African American Women / Stephanie Li. Albany : State University of New York Press, 2010. 162pp. Main Library PS153.N5 L475 2010 : Why would someone choose bondage over individual freedom? What type of freedom can be found in choosing conditions of enslavement? In Something Akin to Freedom, winner of the 2008 SUNY Press Dissertation/First Book Prize in African American Studies, Stephanie Li explores literary texts where African American women decide to remain in or enter into conditions of bondage, sacrificing individual autonomy to achieve other goals. In fresh readings of stories by Harriet Jacobs, Hannah Crafts, Gayl Jones, Louisa Picquet, and Toni Morrison, Li argues that amid shifting positions of power and through acts of creative agency, the women in these narratives make seemingly anti-intuitive choices that are simultaneously limiting and liberating. She explores how the appeal of the freedom of the North is constrained by the potential for isolation and destabilization for women rooted in strong social networks in the South. By introducing reproduction, mother-child relationships, and community into discourses concerning resistance, Li expands our understanding of individual liberation to include the courage to express personal desire and the freedom to love.
Soul music : tracking the spiritual roots of pop from Plato to Motown / by Joel Rudinow. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2010. 250pp. Fine Arts Library (Music Book Collection) ML3479 .R84 2010 : The idea is as strange as it is commonplace---that the "soul" in soul music is more than just a name, that somehow the music truly taps into something essential rooted in the spiritual notion of the soul itself. Or is it strange? From the civil rights movement and beyond, soul music has played a key, indisputable role in moments of national healing. Of course, American popular music has long been embroiled in controversies over its spiritual purity (or lack thereof). But why? However easy it might seem to dismiss these ideas and debates as quaint and merely symbolic, they persist....In Soul Music: The Spiritual Roots of Pop from Plato to Motown, Joel Rudinow, a philosopher of music, takes these peculiar notions and exposes them to serious scrutiny. How, Rudinow asks, does music truly work upon the soul, individually and collectively? And what does it mean to say that music can be spiritually therapeutic or toxic? This illuminating, meditative exploration leads from the metaphysical idea of the soul to the legend of Robert Johnson to the philosophies of Plato and Leo Strauss to the history of race and racism in American popular culture to current clinical practices of music therapy.
Soul searching : Black-themed cinema from the March on Washington to the Rise of Blaxploitation / Christopher Sieving. Middletown, Conn. : Wesleyan University Press, 2011. 265pp. Main Library PN1995.9.N4 S54 2011 : The sixties were a tremendously important time of transition for both civil rights activism and the U.S. film industry. Soul Searching examines a subject that, despite its significance to African American film history, has gone largely unexplored until now. By revisiting films produced between the march on Washington in 1963 and the dawn of the "blaxploitation" movie cycle in 1970, Christopher Sieving reveals how race relations influenced black-themed cinema before it was recognized as commercially viable by the major studios. The films that are central to this book--Gone Are the Days (1963), The Cool World (1964), The Confessions of Nat Turner (never produced), Uptight (1968), and The Landlord (1970)--are all ripe for reevaluation and newfound appreciation. Soul Searching is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics and cultural movements of the 1960s, cinematic trends like blaxploitation and the American "indie film" explosion, or black experience and its many facets
Speaking Lives, Authoring Text : Three African American Women's Oral Slave Narratives / edited by DoVeanna S. Fulton Minor and Reginald H. Pitts. Albany : State University of New York Press, c2010. 124pp. Main Library E444 .S73 2010 : Speaking Lives, Authoring Texts is a critical collection of three women’s oral slave narratives, Louisa Picquet, the Octoroon: A Tale of Southern Slave Life (1861), The Story of Mattie J. Jackson (1866), and Sylvia Dubois, A Biography of The Slave Who Whipped Her Mistress and Gained Her Freedom (1883), that have received little scholarly attention owing both to the oral nature of the texts and the circumstances of their publication and republication. Taken together, these narratives display African American women’s discursive practices that subvert oppression, assert agency, and create representations of the past that counter dominant narratives of both slavery and American culture. This volume ensures that twenty-first-century readers “hear” these voices to not only gain historical knowledge, but also to understand the dynamics of literacy and self-representation, and to locate oral narratives in the spectrum and tradition of African American literary production.
Spectacular Blackness : The Cultural Politics of the Black Power Movement and the Search For a Black Aesthetic / Amy Abugo Ongiri. Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2010. 223pp. Main Library E185.615 .O63 2010 : Exploring the interface between the cultural politics of the Black Power and the Black Arts movements and the production of postwar African American popular culture, Amy Ongiri shows how the reliance of Black politics on an oppositional image of African Americans was the formative moment in the construction of "authentic blackness" as a cultural identity. While other books have adopted either a literary approach to the language, poetry, and arts of these movements or a historical analysis of them, Ongiri's captures the cultural and political interconnections of the postwar period by using an interdisciplinary methodology drawn from cinema studies and music theory. She traces the emergence of this Black aesthetic from its origin in the Black Power movement's emphasis on the creation of visual icons and the Black Arts movement's celebration of urban vernacular culture.
Specters of democracy : blackness and the aesthetics of politics in the antebellum U.S. / Ivy Wilson. New York : Oxford University Press, 2011. 237pp. Main Library PS153.N5 W565 2011 : Specters of Democracy examines how figurations of blackness were used to illuminate the fraught relationship between citizenship, equality, and democracy in the antebellum U.S. Through close readings of Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and Walt Whitman (on aurality), and Herman Melville, William J. Wilson, and a host of genre painters (on visuality), the book reveals how the difficult tasks of representing African Americans-both enslaved and free-in imaginative expression was part of a larger dilemma concerning representative democracy itself.
The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer : To Tell It Like It Is / edited by Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck. Jackson, Miss. : University Press of Mississippi, c2011. 221pp. Main Library E185.97.H35 A5 2011 : Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) is well known for impassioned testimony that this Mississippi sharecropper-turned-civil rights activist delivered at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Far fewer people are familiar with the speeches Hamer delivered at the 1968 and 1972 conventions, to say nothing of addresses she gave closer to home, or with Malcolm X in Harlem, or even at the founding of the National Women's Political Caucus. Until now, dozens of Hamer's speeches have been buried in archival collections and in the basements of movement veterans. After years of combing library archives, government documents, and private collections across the country, Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck have selected twenty-one of Hamer's most important speeches and testimonies....As the first volume to showcase exclusively Hamer's talents as an orator, this book includes speeches from the better part of her fifteen-year activist career delivered in response to occasions as distinct as a Vietnam War Moratorium Rally in Berkeley, California, and a summons to testify in a Mississippi courtroom....Brooks and Houck have coupled these heretofore unpublished speeches and testimonies with brief critical descriptions that place Hamer's words in context. The editors also include the last full-length oral history interview Hamer granted, a recent oral history interview Brooks conducted with Hamer's daughter, as well as a bibliography of additional primary and secondary sources. The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer demonstrates that there is still much to learn about and from this valiant black freedom movement activist.
Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-Hop and Black Politics / Lester K. Spence. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c2011. 245pp. Main Library E185.86 .S687 2011 : Rap’s critique of police brutality in the 1980s. The Hip Hop Political Convention. The rise (and fall) of Kwame Kilpatrick, the “hip-hop mayor” of Detroit. Barack Obama echoing the body language of Jay-Z on the campaign trail....A growing number of black activists and artists claim that rap and hip-hop are the basis of an influential new urban social movement. Simultaneously, black citizens evince concern with the effect that rap and hip-hop culture exerts on African American communities. According to a recent Pew survey conducted on the opinions of Black Americans, 71 percent of blacks think that rap is a bad influence. To what extent are African American hopes and fears about hip-hop’s potential political power justified? In Stare in the Darkness, Lester K. Spence answers this question using a blend of neoliberal analysis, survey data, experiments, and case studies....Spence finds that rap does in fact influence black political attitudes. However, rap also reproduces rather than critiques neoliberal ideology. Furthermore, black activists seeking to create an innovative model of hip-hop politics are hamstrung by their reliance on outmoded forms of organizing. By considering the possibilities inherent in the most prolific and prominent activities of hip-hop politics, Stare in the Darkness reveals, in a clear and practical manner, the political consequences of rap culture for black publics.
Stolen Childhood : Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America / Wilma King. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c2011. 2nd edition, 512pp. Main Library E441 .K59 2011 : One of the most important books published on slave society, Stolen Childhood focuses on the millions of children and youth enslaved in 19th-century America. This enlarged and revised edition reflects the abundance of new scholarship on slavery that has emerged in the 15 years since the first edition. While the structure of the book remains the same, Wilma King has expanded its scope to include the international dimension with a new chapter on the transatlantic trade in African children, and the book's geographic boundaries now embrace slave-born children in the North. She includes data about children owned by Native Americans and African Americans, and presents new information about children's knowledge of and participation in the abolitionist movement and the interactions between enslaved and free children.
Stormy Weather : Middle-Class African American Marriages Between the Two World Wars / Anastasia C. Curwood. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2010. 196pp. Main Library E185.86 .C987 2010 : The so-called New Negroes of the period between World Wars I and II embodied a new sense of racial pride and upward mobility for the race. Many of them thought that relationships between spouses could be a crucial factor in realizing this dream. But there was little agreement about how spousal relationships should actually function in an ideal New Negro marriage. Shedding light on an often-overlooked aspect of African American social history, Anastasia Curwood explores the public and private negotiations over gender relationships inside marriage that consumed upwardly mobile black Americans between 1918 and 1942....Curwood uses private correspondence between spouses, including her own grandparents, and public writings from leading figures of the era to investigate African Americans' deepest hopes within their private lives. She follows changes and conflicts in African American marital ideals --- and demonstrates how those ideals sometimes clashed with reality. In the process, Curwood shows how New Negro marriages are an especially rich site for assessing the interactions of racial, class, and gender identities.
Tap-dancing America : a cultural history / Constance Valis Hil. New York : Oxford University Press, 2010. 441pp. Main Library GV1794 .H485 2010 : Here is the vibrant, colorful, high-stepping story of tap--the first comprehensive, fully documented history of a uniquely American art form, exploring all aspects of the intricate musical and social exchange that evolved from Afro-Irish percussive step dances like the jig, gioube, buck-and-wing, and juba to the work of such contemporary tap luminaries as Gregory Hines, Brenda Bufalino, Dianne Walker, and Savion Glover....In Tap Dancing America, Constance Valis Hill, herself an accomplished jazz tap dancer, choreographer, and performance scholar, begins with a dramatic account of a buck dance challenge between Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Harry Swinton at Brooklyn's Bijou Theatre, on March 30, 1900, and proceeds decade by decade through the 20th century to the present day. She vividly describes tap's musical styles and steps--from buck-and-wing and ragtime stepping at the turn of the century; jazz tapping to the rhythms of hot jazz, swing, and bebop in the '20s, '30s and '40s; to hip-hop-inflected hitting and hoofing in heels (high and low) from the 1990s right up to today. Tap was long considered "a man's game," and Hill's is the first history to highlight such outstanding female dancers as Ada Overton Walker, Kitty O'Neill, and Alice Whitman, at the turn of the 20th century, as well as the pioneering women composers of the tap renaissance, in the 70s and 80s, and the hard-hitting rhythm-tapping women of the millennium such as Chloe Arnold, Ayodele Casel, Michelle Dorrance, and Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards....Written with all the verve and grace of tap itself, drawing on eye-witness accounts of early performances as well as interviews with today's greatest tappers, and richly illustrated with over ninety images, Tap Dancing America fills a major gap in American dance history and places tap firmly center stage.
"Tell them we are singing for Jesus" : the original Fisk Jubilee Singers and Christian reconstruction, 1871-1878 / Toni P. Anderson. Macon, Ga. : Mercer University Press, c2010. 299pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML421.J77 A65 2010 : Dr. Anderson provides a wonderful story told not only sequentially but also addresses the vertical issues faced and overcome by the Jubilee Singers. They were conceived out of financial need but were birthed by the prayer of George Leonard White, the treasurer at Fisk University. White formed and led the singers although he himself was not a musician. He did expect and receive the highest level of quality with it enduring regardless of personnel change within his term....
The author also provides excellent expository insight into the hurdles faced by the group, including financial duress and the expected domestic racism. However the Jubilee Singers also encountered the issues of success such as loss of personal privacy and the occasional inflated ego. This is a story worth telling, one in an era so close after the end of slavery in which a group of African-Americans gained worldwide acclaim. What a miracle to be born into slavery then some years later to interact with such notables of the era as Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Queen Victoria, and DL Moody.
Ten Hills Farm : The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North / C.S. Manegold. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c2010. 317pp. Main Library E445.M4 M36 2010 : Ten Hills Farm tells the powerful saga of five generations of slave owners in colonial New England. Settled in 1630 by John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Ten Hills Farm, a six-hundred-acre estate just north of Boston, passed from the Winthrops to the Ushers, to the Royalls--all prominent dynasties tied to the Native American and Atlantic slave trades. In this mesmerizing narrative, C. S. Manegold exposes how the fortunes of these families--and the fate of Ten Hills Farm--were bound to America's most tragic and tainted legacy. Manegold follows the compelling tale from the early seventeenth to the early twenty-first century, from New England, through the South, to the sprawling slave plantations of the Caribbean. John Winthrop, famous for envisioning his "city on the hill" and lauded as a paragon of justice, owned slaves on that ground and passed the first law in North America condoning slavery. Each successive owner of Ten Hills Farm--from John Usher, who was born into money, to Isaac Royall, who began as a humble carpenter's son and made his fortune in Antigua--would depend upon slavery's profits until the 1780s, when Massachusetts abolished the practice. In time, the land became a city, its questionable past discreetly buried, until now. Challenging received ideas about America and the Atlantic world, Ten Hills Farm digs deep to bring the story of slavery in the North full circle--from concealment to recovery.
Through Our Eyes : African American Men's Experiences of Race, Gender, and Violence / Gail Garfield. New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, c2010. 250pp. Main Library E185.86 .G36 2010 : Through Our Eyes provides a view of black men's experiences that challenges scholars, policy makers, practitioners, advocates, and students to grapple with the reality of race, gender, and violence in America. This multi-level analysis explores the chronological life histories of eight black men from the aftermath of World War II through the Cold War and into today. By appreciating the significance of how African American men live through what it means to be black and male in America, this book envisions the complicated dynamics that devalue their lives, those of their family, and society.
Torchbearers of democracy : African American soldiers and the era of the First World War / Chad L. Williams. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2010. 326pp. Main Library D639.N4 W497 2010 : Woodrow Wilson thrust the United States into World War I by declaring, "The world must be made safe for democracy." For the 380,000 African American soldiers who fought and labored in the global conflict, these words carried life-or-death meaning. Relating stories bridging the war and postwar years, spanning the streets of Chicago and the streets of Harlem, from the battlefields of the American South to the battlefields of the Western Front, Chad Williams reveals the central role of African American soldiers in World War I and how they, along with race activists and ordinary citizens alike, committed to fighting for democracy at home and beyond....Using a diverse range of sources, Williams connects the history of African American soldiers and veterans to issues such as the obligations of citizenship, combat and labor, diaspora and interna- tionalism, homecoming and racial violence, "New Negro" militancy, and African American historical memories of the war. Democracy may have been distant from the everyday lives of African Americans at the dawn of the war, but it nevertheless remained a powerful ideal that sparked the hopes of black people throughout the country for societal change. Torchbearers of Democracy reclaims the legacy of black soldiers and establishes the World War I era as a defining moment in the history of African Americans and peoples of African descent more broadly.
Trust in Black America : race, discrimination, and politics / Shayla C. Nunnally. New York : New York University Press, c2011. 286pp. Main Library E185.615 .N86 2011 : The more citizens trust their government, the better democracy functions. However, African Americans have long suffered from the lack of protection by their government, and the racial discrimination they have faced breaks down their trust in democracy. Rather than promoting democracy, the United States government has, from its inception, racially discriminated against African American citizens and other racial groups, denying them equal access to citizenship and to protection of the law. Civil rights violations by ordinary citizens have also tainted social relationships between racial groupsosocial relationships that should be meaningful for enhancing relations between citizens and the government at large. Thus, trust and democracy do not function in American politics in the way that they should, in large part because trust is not colour blind. Based on the premise that racial discrimination breaks down trust in a democracy, Trust in Black America examines the effect of race on African Americans' lives. Shayla Nunnally analyzes public opinion data from two national surveys to provide an updated and contemporary analysis of African Americans' political socialization, and to explore how African Americans learn about race. She argues that the uncertainty, risk, and unfairness of institutionalized racial discrimination has led African Americans to have a fundamentally different understanding of American race relations, so much so that distrust has been the basis for which race relations have been understood by African Americans. Nunnally empirically demonstrates that race and racial discrimination have broken down trust in American democracy.
Tupac Shakur : the Life and Times of an American Icon / Tayannah Lee McQuillar & Fred Johnson. Cambridge, MA : Da Capo Press, 2010. 276pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection ML420.S529 M37 2010 : In September 1996, musician and actor Tupac Shakur was gunned down on a Las Vegas street. His murder has never been solved. Although he released his first album only in 1991, by the time of his death Shakur was at the top of his field, a smash-hit recording artist who had also received acclaim for acting in such movies as Juice and Poetic Justice. He had also seen his share of controversy: an armed robbery in which he was shot several times; the murder of a former friend (in which some observers tried to implicate Shakur); a conviction and prison sentence for sexual assault. The authors acknowledge Shakur’s deeply troubled childhood—his mother, a former Black Panther, was tried (and acquitted) for conspiracy to commit murder; his stepfather was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list—but they also celebrate the rapper’s intelligence and his gifts as an artist who wrote about love and respect, not hate and violence. The Shakur who emerges here is no illiterate gangster-turned-gangsta but, rather, a bright, artistic, driven man whose life and career continue to inspire many people.
Unburdened by conscience : a black people's collective account of America's ante-bellum South and the aftermath / Anthony W. Neal. Lanham, Md. : University Press of America, c2010. Revised edition, 153pp. Main Library E449 .N43 2010 : Influential historians have been unable to offer a complete account of ante-bellum-era American slavery because of their preoccupation with humanizing the slaveholders. He charges them with concealing the full horrors of slavery in order to present the slaveholders in a more positive light. By skillfully weaving together candid first-hand accounts of courageous ex-slaves, Neal then permits readers to see slavery in the United States from their point of view. Former slaves talk openly about the break-up of their marital unions and families and about matters rarely examined in most American slavery history books. Those issues include the slaveholders' legally-sanctioned acts of violence, their practice of slave-breeding, and their rape of black women. Through this work, Neal gives a voice to black people who endured American slavery, and presents a sobering record not found in most books on the topic.
The Underground Railroad in Michigan / Carol E. Mull. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, c2010. 215pp. Main Library E450 .M85 2010 : Though living far north of the Mason-Dixon line, many mid-nineteenth-century citizens of Michigan rose up to protest the moral offense of slavery; they published an abolitionist newspaper and founded an anti-slavery society, as well as a campaign for emancipation. By the 1840s, a prominent abolitionist from Illinois had crossed the state line to Michigan, establishing new stations on the Underground Railroad. This book is the first comprehensive exploration of abolitionism and the network of escape from slavery in the state. First-person accounts are interwoven with an expansive historical overview of national events to offer a fresh examination of Michigan's critical role in the movement to end American slavery.
The undiscovered Paul Robeson : quest for freedom, 1939-1976 / Paul Robeson. Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2010. 413pp. Main Library E185.97.R63 R583 2010 : The eagerly awaited second volume of Paul Robeson, Jr.'s acclaimed biography of his father, the legendary singer, actor, and social activist....The greatest scholar-athlete-performing artist in U.S. history, Paul Robeson was one of the most compelling figures of the twentieth century. In this final volume of his groundbreaking biography, Paul Robeson, Jr. tells the untold, inside story of his father's life from World War II until his death, including his fight against racism and injustice and his courageous defiance of persecution by government agencies.
Venture Smith and the business of slavery and freedom / edited by James Brewer Stewart ; foreword by James O. Horton. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, c2010. 279pp. Main Library E444.S625 V46 2010 : Stewart takes a fascinating multi-disciplinary approach toward unlocking the details of the life of Venture Smith. Smith, a native African taken as a slave to New England during the early 18th century, bought freedom for himself and his family, among others, and died in 1805, a successful entrepreneur and respectable Connecticut citizen. The essays in this volume represent a collaboration of experts, including Smith's descendants, forensic scientists, literary analysts, genomic biologists, and even a poet, looking at every aspect of data available on Smith's life, from his 30-page autobiography to the exhumed remains of his wife and Smith, himself, to paint an exhaustively detailed portrait of Smith, his extraordinary life, and the troubled times surrounding Smith's, and America's, march toward freedom. This highly readable book is perfect for anyone studying American history, slavery and emancipation, and of course, Venture Smith.
Walk in My Shoes : Conversations Between a Civil Rights Legend and His Godson on the Journey Ahead / Andrew Young and Kabir Sehgal. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. 246pp. Main Library E840.8.Y64 A3 2010 : A top aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. and one of history’s most important civil rights leaders, Andrew Young has witnessed history and made his own. For years, he has been mentoring his godson, Kabir Sehgal, in correspondence and conversation. This book encapsulates that mentoring, and presents Young’s thoughts and meditations on such important topics as race, civil rights, and the American Dream. It’s a living Tuesdays with Morrie, an inspirational and inter-generational discourse that addresses issues of race, justice and leadership. "This book is my attempt to humbly pass along a few anecdotes, life lessons, and insights to prepare you for the long journey ahead," Young says.
The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America's great migration / Isabel Wilkerson. New York : Random House, 2010. 622pp. Main Library E185.6 .W685 2010 : Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.
We Ain't What We Ought To Be : the Black Freedom Struggle From Emancipation to Obama / Stephen Tuck. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2010. 494pp. Main Library E185 .T797 2010 : In this exciting revisionist history, Stephen Tuck traces the black freedom struggle in all its diversity, from the first years of freedom during the Civil War to President Obama’s inauguration. As it moves from popular culture to high politics, from the Deep South to New England, the West Coast, and abroad, Tuck weaves gripping stories of ordinary black people-as well as celebrated figures-into the sweep of racial protest and social change. The drama unfolds from an armed march of longshoremen in post Civil War Baltimore to Booker T. Washington’s founding of Tuskegee Institute; from the race riots following Jack Johnson’s; fight of the century to Rosa Parks refusal to move to the back of a Montgomery bus; and from the rise of hip hop to the journey of a black Louisiana grandmother to plead with the Tokyo directors of a multinational company to stop the dumping of toxic waste near her home. We Ain’t What We Ought To Be rejects the traditional narrative that identifies the Southern non-violent civil rights movement as the focal point of the black freedom struggle. Instead, it explores the dynamic relationships between those seeking new freedoms and those looking to preserve racial hierarchies, and between grassroots activists and national leaders. As Tuck shows, strategies were ultimately contingent on the power of activists to protest amidst shifting economic and political circumstances in the U.S. and abroad. This book captures an extraordinary journey that speaks to all Americans-both past and future.
We Must Be Up and Doing : A Reader in Early African American Feminisms / edited by Teresa C. Zackodnik. Peterborough, Ont. : Broadview Press, c2010. 380pp. Main Library HQ1419 .W4 2010 : The readings in this unique anthology give readers a sense of early black feminism across regions, movements and organizations. African American women have been 'up and doing' for their communities for as long as they have been in the United States, and their ability to resist the institution of slavery was central to the survival of African Americans. This anthology gives readers access to African American feminist thought in its foundational period by drawing together key documents from the late 1820s through the 1920s. Going beyond a focus on the 'greats' of black feminism to include lesser known figures, "We Must Be Up and Doing" offers a broad and contextualized look at the critical mass early black feminism achieved by including a variety of genres, such as the spiritual autobiography, the platform speech, periodical articles, pamphlets, fiction, and excerpts from convention and conference proceedings.
What Was African American Literature? / Kenneth W. Warren. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011, . 180pp. Main Library PS153.N5 W348 2010 : African American literature is over. With this provocative claim Kenneth Warren sets out to identify a distinctly African American literature—and to change the terms with which we discuss it....Rather than contest other definitions, Warren makes a clear and compelling case for understanding African American literature as creative and critical work written by black Americans within and against the strictures of Jim Crow America. Within these parameters, his book outlines protocols of reading that best make sense of the literary works produced by African American writers and critics over the first two-thirds of the twentieth century....In Warren’s view, African American literature begged the question: what would happen to this literature if and when Jim Crow was finally overthrown? Thus, imagining a world without African American literature was essential to that literature. In support of this point, Warren focuses on three moments in the history of Phylon, an important journal of African American culture. In the dialogues Phylon documents, the question of whether race would disappear as an organizing literary category emerges as shared ground for critical and literary practice. Warren also points out that while scholarship by black Americans has always been the province of a petit bourgeois elite, the strictures of Jim Crow enlisted these writers in a politics that served the race as a whole....Finally, Warren’s work sheds light on the current moment in which advocates of African American solidarity insist on a past that is more productively put behind us.
When March Went Mad : The Game That Transformed Basketball / Seth Davis. New York : Henry Holt, 2010. 323pp. Main Library GV885.49.N37 D38 2010 : On March 26, 1979, basketball as we know it was born. The NCAA championship game played that day launched an epic rivalry between two exceptional players: Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird. Though they played each other only once as college athletes, that game transformed the NCAA tournament into a multibillion-dollar enterprise and laid the foundation for the resurgence of the NBA. To this day it remains the highest-rated basketball game, college or pro, in the history of television....In the national bestseller When March Went Mad, Seth Davis recounts the dramatic story of the season leading up to that game, as Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans and Bird’s Indiana State Sycamores overcame long odds and great doubts to reach the game’s grandest stage. Davis also tells the stories of their remarkable coaches, Jud Heathcote and Bill Hodges, and he shows how tensions over race and class heightened the drama of the competition....Davis combed through several years’ worth of newspaper and magazine coverage, interviewed nearly one hundred people, and watched dozens of games to reconstruct the colorful, historic, and improbable narrative of how Larry Bird and Magic Johnson burst on the scene—a coming-of-age story that continues to resonate. The Final Four, the NBA, and the game of basketball have never been the same.
Where the dark and the light folks meet : race and the mythology, politics, and business of jazz / Randall Sandke. Lanham : Scarecrow Press, 2010. 277pp. Fine Arts Library, Music Collection (4 West) ML3508 .S27 2010 : The literature on jazz music has been generally shaped by a racially exclusionary theme that may have been laudatory in terms of the goal of advancing the social position of African Americans in a racist society, but has done a disservice both to a complete understanding of the history of jazz and to the music itself, according to Sandke (a professional jazz musician). While certainly not denying the due respect that should be accorded to African-American jazz musicians, who have generally been the greatest exponents of the art form, he aims to correct the record concerning the interracial aspects of the music and to assess the impact of the exclusionary narrative on perceptions of the music and on business practices associated with jazz.
Willie Mays : the life, the legend / James S. Hirsch ; authorized by Willie Mays. New York : Scribner, c2010. 628pp. Browsing Collection (1 East) GV865.M38 H57 2010 : In a biography authorized by the baseball great himself, the best-selling author of Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin.
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