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Michigan State University

African American Studies Research Guide: PHD Comprehensive Reading List, 2010-2012


The following compilation is a  list of recommend readings for PhD students by Rita Kiki Edozie, former director of African American and African Studies Department at Michigan State University, last revised May 26, 2011.  MSU Library holding information and annotations have been added whenever available.  If MSU Library records lack an annotation, Amazon and other sources have been mined for missing information. 

If a title is not currently available, it can be requested through MelCat or traditional interlibrary loan.

State of the Discipline

Readings explore Black Studies disciplinary orientation (explore the contested terminology – African American Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, Pan-African Studies, Afro-American Studies, Africology, Black Studies- but agree that discipline is a legitimate, institutionalized and worthwhile inquiry of scholarship and education. Readings also trace the historical development of Black Studies; its history, evolution and debates from the US civil rights era – first black studies programs in 1968 San Francisco State and 1988 PhD at Temple, OR African Studies’ offshoot or separate trajectory (see Dar’ vs Ibadan schools) OR Black Diaspora Studies’ offshoot or separate trajectory (Ruth Hamilton school/Atlanticist school)

Aldridge, Delores P. and Carlene Young. Out of the Revolution: The Development of Africana Studies. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2000.  583pp.  Main Library E184.7 .O88 2000 : This collection of 32 essays is an attempt to gather the work of individuals who have devoted their professional lives to the development of what is referred to here as Africana studies. Contributions are presented in ten parts, with the last being "Prospectus of the Future." Understandably, the editors paint a relatively rosy future for Africana studies; perhaps, considering the difficulty of getting new academic units approved in colleges today, a bit too rosy. Other writers point out that despite what one might expect, historically black colleges and universities, which have too-often followed a Eurocentric curriculum, have not been leaders in establishing most Africana studies programs. It is also informative that the South, with the highest number of black higher-education institutions and greatest population of African Americans, has the smallest number of black studies programs. The late Stanley Crockett Espinoza's essay on Afro-Mexicans, a group ignored by most Mexican scholars and unknown to most North American blacks, is the most original contribution. The several other essays are of varying quality, but all are important reading for anyone interested in black, or Africana, studies.

Alkalimat, Abdul. Introduction to Afro-American Studies: A People’s College Primer.Chicago : Twenty-first Century Books and Publications, 1986.  6th edition, 391pp.  Main Library E184.7 .I57 1986 .

Anderson, Talmadge and James Stewart. Introduction to African American Studies: Transdisciplinary Approaches and Implications. Baltimore: Imprint editions, 2007.  430pp.  Main Library E184.7 .A52 2007 . There is an ongoing debate as to whether African American Studies is a discipline, or multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary field. Some scholars assert that African American Studies use a well-defined common approach in examining history, politics, and the family in the same way as scholars in the disciplines of economics, sociology, and political science. Other scholars consider African American Studies multidisciplinary, a field somewhat comparable to the field of education in which scholars employ a variety of disciplinary lenses-be they anthropological, psychological, historical, etc., --to study the African world experience. In this model the boundaries between traditional disciplines are accepted, and researches in African American Studies simply conduct discipline based an analysis of particular topics. Finally, another group of scholars insists that African American Studies is interdisciplinary, an enterprise that generates distinctive analyses by combining perspectives from different traditional disciplines and synthesizing them into a unique framework of analysis.

Brown, Cecil.  Dude, Where’s My Black Studies Department? : The Disappearance of Black Americans from Our Universities. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2007.  139pp.  139pp. Main Library LC2781 .B76 2007 : Blacks have been vanishing from college campuses in the United States and reappearing in prisons, videos, and movies. Cecil Brown tackles this unwitting "disappearing act" head on, paying special attention to the situation at UC Berkeley and the University of California system generally. Brown contends that educators have ignored the importance of the oral tradition in African American upbringing, an oversight mirrored by the media. When these students take exams, their abilities are not tested. Further, university officials, administrators, professors, and students are ignoring the phenomenon of the disappearing black student – in both their admissions and hiring policies. With black studies departments shifting the focus from African American and black community interests to black immigrant issues, says Brown, the situation is becoming dire. Dude, Where’s My Black Studies Department? offers both a scorching critique and a plan for rethinking and reform of a crucial but largely unacknowledged problem in contemporary society.

Hall, Perry. In the Vineyard: Working in African American Studies. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1999.  247pp.  Main Library E184.7 .H24 1999 : Hall's insightful analysis of the evolution of black studies programs places them in the context of the broader black Civil Rights Movement and the need for new perspectives in college curricula to replace those that had previously marginalized African Americans. He dismisses skeptics who question the legitimacy of black studies, citing the weight of social, political, and cultural experiences of African Americans, as well as the vitality of academic discourse in the field today. The strongest parts of his book are those that trace the struggle among black studies professionals themselves. Hall examines current intellectual models, including the increasingly popular "Afrocentric" approach, which he finds insightful but limited. Hall offers an alternative "transformationist" model that builds on the ideas of double-consciousness or "dynamic duality" in the African American experience, a combination of Afrocentric and Western forces that shape modern black communities. Hall's work is largely biographical, reflecting his personal experience as an African American studies pioneer with more than 30 years of experience.

Harris, Jr., Robert L.; Darlene Clark Hine; and Nellie McKay. Three Essays: Black Studies in the United States. New York: Ford Foundation, 1990.  29pp.  Main Library E184.7 .H29 1990 : Also see Inclusive Scholarship : Developing Black Studies in the United States (pp.85-116) which appears to have an online copy of the report.   

Karenga, Maulana. Introduction to Black Studies. Los Angeles: The University of Sankore Press, 1993. 2nd edition, 531pp.  Main Library E185 .K27 1993  :  Dr. Karenga appears to order the table of contents in the order of the seven basics areas of culture, i.e. Spirituality and Ethics, History, Social organization, Economic organization, Political organization, Creative Production and Ethos. The origin of this cultural structure is developed from the Communitarian African Philosophy, Kawaida, which means, "Tradition and Reason" also created by Dr. Karenga. More on Kawaida Philosophy can be found on page 173 of the I.B.S. The reader of the I.B.S. will also discover that Dr. Karenga uses category's that provides a logic of liberation in suggesting alternatives to the dominant society's views and values, in how they relate to the views and values of African Americans and other Black peoples. After each subject, Dr. Karenga has provided the reader with study questions and an extensive reference list from which further research and study can take place.  1982 edition also available.

Marable, Manning.   “Black Studies and the Racial Mountain”.   Souls,  Vol. 2, no. 3. (Summer 2000), pp.17-36.

Norment, Nathaniel Jr., ed. The African American Studies Reader. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2007.  2nd edition, 896pp.  Main Library  E184.7 .A313 2007 : This book is the most comprehensive anthology in the field. The discipline continues to evolve as to the intellectual, political, and social aspects of African American Studies, and how the discipline will advance knowledge about African Americans for the future. This edition contains new authors, updated introductions to each section and the bibliography, expansion of the glossary of biographies, and review questions and critical analyses for each section. Topics include: The Discipline; African American Women's Studies; Historical Perspectives; Philosophical Perspectives; Theoretical Foundations; Political Perspectives; Critical Issues and Perspectives; and Curriculum Development and Program Models.

Rojas, Fabio. From Black Power to Black Studies: How a Radical Social Movement Became an Academic Discipline. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.  279pp.  Main Library  E184.7 .R65 2007 : The black power movement helped redefine African Americans' identity and establish a new racial consciousness in the 1960s. As an influential political force, this movement in turn spawned the academic discipline known as Black Studies. Today there are more than a hundred Black Studies degree programs in the United States, many of them located in America's elite research institutions. In From Black Power to Black Studies, Fabio Rojas explores how this radical social movement evolved into a recognized academic discipline....Rojas traces the evolution of Black Studies over more than three decades, beginning with its origins in black nationalist politics. His account includes the 1968 Third World Strike at San Francisco State College, the Ford Foundation's attempts to shape the field, and a description of Black Studies programs at various American universities. His statistical analyses of protest data illuminate how violent and nonviolent protests influenced the establishment of Black Studies programs. Integrating personal interviews and newly discovered archival material, Rojas documents how social activism can bring about organizational change....Shedding light on the black power movement, Black Studies programs, and American higher education, this historical analysis reveals how radical politics are assimilated into the university system

Rooks, Noliwe M. White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis in Higher Education. Boston: Beacon Press, 2006.  213pp.  Main Library  E184.7 .R66 2006 : The history of African American Studies is often told as a heroic tale, with compelling images of black power and passionate African American students who refuse to take “no” for an answer. Noliwe M. Rooks argues for the recognition of another story that proves that many of the programs that survived were actually begun due to heavy funding from the Ford Foundation or, put another way, as a result of white philanthropy....Today, many students in African American Studies courses are white, and an increasing number of black students come from Africa or the Caribbean, not the United States. This shift—which makes the survival of the discipline contingent on non–African American students—means that “blackness can mean everything and, at the same time, nothing at all.”...While the Ford Foundation provided much-needed funding, its strategies, aimed at addressing America’s “race problem,” have left African American Studies struggling to define its identity in light of the changes it faces today. With unflinching honesty, Rooks shows that the only way to create a stable future for African American Studies is through confronting its complex past.

African American Readings : Black Studies Ideological Paradigms, Black Subject, Identity and Condition

Readings define/map out Black Studies approaches/ideologies (from Black nationalists, to Afrocentric, African-centered, to radical democratic multicultural and integrationist perspectives). Also highlights specific geographical scope (US African American, African continental pan-Africanism, African Diaspora). Also, readings cover Black Studies’ core conceptual variables that inform a Black Studies disciplinary impetus (Race and Racism, Exclusion, Oppression and Violence, Identity crisis, Hybridity and the Black condition as well as new ‘representation’ themes).

Akbar, Na’im. Breaking The Chains of Psychological Slavery. Tallahassee: Mind Productions and Associates, Inc., 1996 (1999 printing). 79pp. E185.625 .A438 1996. : Are African-Americans still slaves? Why can't Black folks get together? What is the psychological consequence for Blacks and Whites of picturing God as a Caucasian? Learn to break the chains of your mental slavery with this new book by one of the world's outstanding experts on the African-American mind.

Asante, Molefi Kete. Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change. Chicago: African American Images, 2003). 148pp.  Main Library DT15 .A6 2003  : The central topic of this cross-disciplinary work is the theory of “Afrocentricity,” which mandates that Africans be viewed as subjects rather than objects; and looks at how this philosophy, ethos, and world view gives Africans a better understanding of how to interpret issues affecting their communities. History, psychology, sociology, literature, economics, and education are explored, including discussions on Washingtonianism, Garveyism, Du Bois, Malcolm X, race and identity, Marxism, and breakthrough strategies.  1980 and 1988 editions also available.

Collins, Patrica Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge, 2000).  10th edition, 335pp. Main Library HQ1426 .C633 2000 : The author discusses how knowledge can foster African-American women's empowerment. In line with her own deepened understanding of the issues since the first edition, she emphasizes Black feminist thought's purpose in fostering both empowerment and conditions of social justice, provides a more complex analysis of oppression, and places greater stress on the connections between knowledge and power relations. New themes include the nation as a form of oppression, as well as a transnational, global dimension. Topics are organized under the headings of the social construction of Black feminist thought, core themes, and Black feminism, knowledge, and power.  1991 edition also available.

Delgato, Richard and Jean Stefanic. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York University Press 2001). 167pp.  Gast Business Library KF4755 .D454 2001 : For well over a decade, critical race theory-the school of thought that holds that race lies at the very nexus of American life-has roiled the legal academy. In recent years, however, the fundamental principles of the movement have influenced other academic disciplines, from sociology and politics to ethnic studies and history....And yet, while the critical race theory movement has spawned dozens of conferences and numerous books, no concise, accessible volume outlines its basic parameters and tenets. Here, then, from two of the founders of the movement, is the first primer on one of the most influential intellectual movements in American law and politics.

DuBois, W.E.B.; edited with an introduction and notes by Brent Hayes Edwards. Souls of Black Folk. New York : Oxford University Press, 2007.  223pp.  Main Library E185.6 .D797 2007 : Originally published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk is a classic study of race, culture, and education at the turn of the twentieth century. With its singular combination of essays, memoir, and fiction, this book vaulted Du Bois to the forefront of American political commentary and civil rights activism. It is an impassioned, at times searing account of the situation of African Americans in the United States, making a forceful case for the access of African Americans to higher education and extolling the achievements of black culture. Du Bois advances the provocative and influential argument that due to the inequalities and pressures of the "race problem," African American identity is characterized by "double consciousness." This edition includes a valuable appendix of other writings by Du Bois, which sheds light on his motivation and his goals.   1961, 19691989, 1990, 1996, 1997, 2004, and 2005  editions are also available.

Fanon, Frantz ; translated from the French by Richard Philcox.  Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press; [Berkeley, Calif.] : Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2008.  206pp.  Main Library GN645 .F313 2008 : Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon, and Black Skin, White Masks  represents some of his most important work. Fanon’s masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers....A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.  1986 edition available.  1968 edition available in Special Collections.

Goldberg, David Theo. Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1993.  313pp. Main Library HT1521 .G55 1993 : Racist Culture offers an anti-essentialist and non-reductionist account of racialized discourse and racist expression. Goldberg demonstrates that racial thinking is a function of the transforming categories and conceptions of social subjectivity throughout modernity. He shows that rascisms are often not aberrant or irrational but consistent with prevailing social conceptions, particularly of the reasonable and the normal. He shows too how this process is being extended and renewed by categories dominant in present day social sciences: "the West"; "the underclass"; and "the primitive". This normalization of racism reflected in the West mirrors South Africa an its use and conception of space. Goldberg concludes with an extended argument for a pragmatic, antiracist practice.

Hall, Ronald E. Discrimination Among Oppressed Population. Lewiston: The Edwin Mellin Press, 2003.  314pp.  Main Library HN90.S6 H34 2003 : Though the notion of white supremacy that spread throughout the world with European colonization is discredited in modern society, Hall (Michigan State U.) finds that a strict sense of hierarchy by skin color has been internalized by members of the very populations that were oppressed by it for centuries, and argues that it must be ended before social justice can be achieved. He reports on color discrimination among and between African, Asia, Hispanic, and native Americans; feminists; and gays and lesbians. He also explores dark skin and the media, psychological colonization, and racism in the new millennium.

Hartman, Saidiya. Lose Your Mother: A Journey Along the Atlantic Slave Route. New York: Straus and Giroux, 2007.  207pp.  Main Library DT510.2 .H375 2007 : In Lose Your Mother, Saidiya Hartman traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey she took along a slave route in Ghana. Following the trail of captives from the hinterland to the Atlantic coast, Hartman reckons with the blank slate of her own genealogy and vividly dramatizes the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African-American history. The slave, Hartman observes, is a stranger, one torn from family, home, and country. To lose your mother is to be severed from your kin, to forget your past, and to inhabit the world as an outsider, an alien. There are no known survivors of Hartman's lineage, no relatives in Ghana whom she came hoping to find. She is a stranger in search of strangers, and this fact leads her into intimate engagements with the people she encounters along the way and draws her deeper into the heartland of slavery. She passes through the holding cells of military forts and castles, the ruins of towns and villages devastated by the trade, and thefortified settlements built to repel predatory armies and kidnappers. In artful passages of historical portraiture, she shows us an Akan prince who granted the Portuguese permission to build the first permanent trading fort in West Africa, a girl murdered aboard a slave ship, and a community of fugitives seeking a haven from slave raiders. Book jacket.Includes information on abolition, Atlantic slave trade, castles, children, cowrie shells, Isaac Cruikshank, Ottohab Cugoano, death disease, dungeons, Dutch slave trade, Elmina, Elmina Castle, Europe, female slaves, France, genealogy, Ghana, Gold Coast, Great Britain, Martin Luther King, Jr., male slaves, Kwame Nkrumah, Portugese slave trade, race, racism, rape, ruling class, Salaga, slavery, tourism, United States, violence, etc.Traces the history of the Atlantic slave trade by recounting a journey the author took along a slave route in Ghana, vividly dramatizing the effects of slavery on three centuries of African and African-American history.

Hudson-Weems, Clenora. Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves. Troy: Bedford Publishing, 2004.  4th edition, 158pp.  Main Library HQ1190 .H83 2004  : Clenora Hudson-Weems, Ph.D., in her definitive, pioneering book, Africana Womanism: Reclaiming Ourselves, explicates a paradigm for all women of African descent in terms of the relativity of her rich legacy of African womanhood and Black women activism. A family centered construct, rather than the common female centeredness associated with women movements in general, Hudson-Weems in this work articulates the true role of the Africana woman within the constructs of the modern feminist movement. In reclaiming, renaming and redefining Black women and their movement, the author, according to C. Eric Lincoln (Duke U. Professor Emeritus), has established herself "as a careful, independent thinker, unafraid to unsettle settled opinion."

McAdoo, Harriette P, ed. Black Families. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, c2007. 4th edition, 364pp. Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 East) E185.86 .B525 2007  : Following the success of its best-selling predecessors, the Fourth Edition of Harriette Pipes McAdoo's Black Families retains several now classic contributions while including updated versions of earlier chapters and many entirely new chapters. The goal through each revision of this core text has been to compile a book that focuses on positive dimensions of African American families. The book remains the most complete assessment of black families available in both depth and breadth of coverage. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the book boasts contributions from such fields as family studies, anthropology, education, psychology, social work, and public policy.  1981, 1988, and 1997 editions also available.

Marable, Manning, ed. Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000.  333pp.  Main Library E184.7 .D57 2000 : Collected here are numerous voices expressing a wide variety of political, cultural, and historical views, from black conservatives, black separatists, and blacks who advocate radical democratic transformation. Topics range from race and revolution in Cuba, to the crack epidemic in Harlem, to Afro-centrism and its critics. All 22 contributors are engaged in some aspect of the black intellectual tradition: describing the reality of black life and experiences, critiquing racism and stereotypes, or proposing positive steps for the empowerment of black people. Marable (history and political science, Columbia U.) directs the Institute for Research in African-American Studies.

Mills, Charles. From Class to Race: Essays in White Marxism and Black Radicalism. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.  285pp.  Main Library HX73 .M533 2003 : Mills argues for a new critical theory that develops the insights of the black radical political tradition. While challenging conventional interpretations of key Marxist concepts and claims, the author contends that Marxism has been _white_ insofar as it has failed to recognize the centrality of race and white supremacy to the making of the modern world.

Robinson, Cedric. Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.  436pp.  Main Library HX436.5 .R63 2000 : Robinson rejects previous studies of black radicalism on the basis that they are founded on European history, which does not include blacks. Although he does trace European Marxism, for him the path of black resistance lies in other areas.

Robinson, Eugene. Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. New York: Doubleday, 2010.  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.

African American Readings : Race

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. White Supremacy and Racism in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Boulder: L. Rienner Publisher, 2001.  223pp.  Main Library   E184.A1 B598 2001 : Bonilla-Silva is a rising young Texas A&M sociologist who does innovative research on US racial conflict and oppression. In this somewhat disconnected set of essays, he develops original ideas about such important issues as how contemporary racial attitudes are formed, the new color-blind racism spreading across the nation, and the post-Civil Rights Movement structure of the US. Bonilla-Silva is gifted at data analysis and theoretical assessments. "Color-blind racism" is the racial ideology common among white Americans that supports and reproduces continuing racial inequality today. Using a 1998 social survey that he supervised, Bonilla-Silva shows that this color-blind ideology accents abstract liberalism, naturalness of racial differences, and denial of structural racism. White responses to short-answer survey questions on such topics as affirmative action and interracial marriage, which are typically liberal, often differ from the more racist responses given by the same (or similar) respondents to in-depth questions on the same issues.

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism Without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010.  3rd edition, 301pp.  Main Library   E184.A1 B597 2010 : In the third edition of his highly acclaimed book, Bonilla-Silva continues to challenge color-blind thinking. He has now extended this challenge with a new chapter on ObamaOs election addressing the apparent miracle of a black man elected as the 44th President of the nation despite the fact that racial progress has stagnated since the 1980s and, in some areas, even regressed. In contrasts to those who believe the election of President Obama is a watershed moment that signifies the beginning of a post-racial era in America, he suggests this development embodies the racial trends of the last 40 years including two he has addressed in this book: the rise of color-blind racism as the dominant racial ideology and the emergence of an apparently more flexible racial stratification system he characterizes as Latin America-like. Some material from previous editions, including _Answers to Questions from Concerned Readers,_ _What is to Be Done,_ and an Appendix detailing interview questions, is now available on the Rowman & Littlefield website through the Teaching/Learning Resources link2003 and 2006 editions also available.

Cox, Oliver C. Race: A Study in Social Dynamics. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2000.  An abridgement of Caste, class, & race; a study in social dynamics. New York, Modern Reader Paperbacks, [1970]  624pp.  Main Library HT609 .C7 l970 : Original 1948 edition also available.

Mills, Charles. The Racial Contract. Ithaca: Cornell University Press: 1997.  171pp.  Main Library HT1523 .M56 1997 : Underlying Western political theory, a black professor of philosophy detects an implicit contract, agreed upon by Europeans and white Americans over the past five centuries, to exploit, oppress, and exterminate non-whites, including Jews.

Perry, Imani. More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace of and Trancendance of Racial Equality in the United States. New York: New York University Press, 2011.  248pp.  Main Library E184.A1 P42 2010 : For a nation that often optimistically claims to be post-racial, we are still mired in the practices of racial inequality that plays out in law, policy, and in our local communities. One of two explanations is often given for this persistent phenomenon: On the one hand, we might be hypocritical—saying one thing, and doing or believing another; on the other, it might have little to do with us individually but rather be inherent to the structure of American society....More Beautiful and More Terrible compels us to think beyond this insufficient dichotomy in order to see how racial inequality is perpetuated. Imani Perry asserts that the U.S. is in a new and distinct phase of racism that is “post-intentional”: neither based on the intentional discrimination of the past, nor drawing upon biological concepts of race. Drawing upon the insights and tools of critical race theory, social policy, law, sociology and cultural studies, she demonstrates how post-intentional racism works and maintains that it cannot be addressed solely through the kinds of structural solutions of the Left or the values arguments of the Right. Rather, the author identifies a place in the middle—a space of “righteous hope”—and articulates a notion of ethics and human agency that will allow us to expand and amplify that hope....To paraphrase James Baldwin, when talking about race, it is both more terrible than most think, but also more beautiful than most can imagine, with limitless and open-ended possibility. Perry leads readers down the path of imagining the possible and points to the way forward.

Smedly, Audrey. Race in North America: Origin and Evolution of a Worldview. Boulder: Westview Press, 2007. 3rd edition, 386pp.  Main Library GN269 .S63 2007 : In a sweeping work that traces the idea of race for more than three centuries, Audrey Smedley shows that “race” is a cultural invention that began to appear around the turn of the eighteenth century. In its origin, race was not a product of science but a folk ideology reflecting a new form of social stratification and a rationalization for inequality among the peoples of North America. This third edition incorporates recently published new source materials on the history of race ideology. Because “race” now has global manifestations, it also introduces the work of scholars who are examining the spread of race ideology cross-culturally. The new edition of Race in North America also looks more closely at the positions and arguments of contemporary race scientists. Although objective scientists have shown that any two humans are 99.9% alike genetically, race scientists maintain that the remaining difference of one-tenth of one percent is highly significant, accounting for many biological and behavioral differences that they assume to be hereditary. Race scientists contend, for example, that there are race differences in diseases and responses to medications, along with differences in intellect and in talent and ability in such fields as sports. Thus, they claim, race is a valid biological concept. Smedley argues that no amount of research into biological or genetic differences can help us understand the phenomenon of race in American society. Race can only be understood as a component of the sociocultural domain, not the domain of biology.  1993 and 1999 editions also available.

Stanfield, John and Rutledge Dennis, eds. Race and Ethnicity in Research Methods. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1993.  314pp.  Main Library GN496 .R33 1993 : Studying across race and ethnic lines creates many problems for the researcher involving practical, strategic, ethical and epistemological questions alike. The contributors to this volume examine the array of methods used in quantitative, qualitative and comparative//historical research to show how ethnic-sensitive research can be carried out....Among the methodological traditions discussed are survey research, demography, testing and assessment, ethnography, discourse analysis, comparative methods and archival research.

Stokes, Curtis, ed. Race and Human Rights. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2009.  271pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 East) E184.A1 R223 2009 : The terrorist attacks against U.S. targets on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, sparked an intense debate about "human rights." According to contributors to this provocative book, the discussion of human rights to date has been far too narrow. They argue that any conversation about human rights in the United States must include equal rights for all residents....Essays examine the historical and intellectual context for the modern debate about human rights, the racial implications of the war on terrorism, the intersection of racial oppression, and the national security state. Others look at the Pinkerton detective agency as a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the role of Africa in post–World War II American attempts at empire-building, and the role of immigration as a human rights issue.

Wilson, William Julius. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.  254pp.  Main Library HV4045 .W55 1987 : This eminent sociologist has written a complex and provocative analysis of black inner-city poverty. Eschewing both liberal and conservative orthodoxies, Wilson argues that the substantial increase in urban poverty over the past few decades has not been caused by either contemporary racism or an internalized "culture of poverty" value system. Rather it has been the result of major shifts in the economic system, as jobs have left the urban manufacturing sector for a decentralized service sector. Because race-specific policies like affirmative action have tended to benefit the black middle class, only holistic policies available to all Americans who need them can reverse this cycle of poverty. Massive job training programs and more child care would provide a start.

Wilson, William Julius. More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009.  190pp.  Main Library HM821 .W55 2009 : More Than Just Race is a refreshing and controversial contribution to the American discourse about the persistence of racial divisions. We are used to hearing conservatives decry African American culture's failure to promote success in black communities and seeing liberals point to the institutional racism that pervades American political and social structures. Preeminent sociologist William Julius Wilson cuts through the usual arguments to chart a third path....In More Than Just Race, Wilson addresses head-on the three most pressing racially charged problems currently facing America: the persistence of the inner-city ghetto, the plight of low-skilled black males, and the fragmentation of the African American family. Looking carefully at the history and current state of these problems, Wilson reveals the broader social and economic contexts that create and perpetuate them, demonstrating that the same forces of global and national change that have affected all Americans have hit vulnerable inner-city black communities particularly hard. The result is unrectified racial inequality and a polarized and confused national discourse on race....Hewing scrupulously to the evidence and rejecting both conservative and liberal dogma, Wilson analyzes the state of race in America in the insightful and thorough manner that characterizes his long and distinguished career. Neither the structural nor the cultural approach suffices to fully explain the way in which race operates in America; by integrating the two approaches in a creative explanatory framework, Wilson seeks to open the floor to a more frank and honest discussion. More than Just Race is a measured and persuasive case for reframing the way we look at and talk about race.

Wise, Tim. White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son. Brooklyn: Soft Skull Press, 2008.  191pp.  Main Library E185.615 .W565 2008 : Racial privilege shapes the lives of white Americans in every facet of life, from employment and education to housing and criminal justice. Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise shows that racism not only burdens people of color, but also benefits those who are "white like him" — whether or not they’re actively racist. Using stories instead of stale statistics, Wise weaves a compelling narrative that assesses the magnitude of racial privilege and is at once readable and scholarly, analytical yet accessible.

African American Readings : Historical Events and Issues

Readings explore the main issues that define Black people's history and sociocultural relations, including oppression/resistance, discrimination, segregation, inequality, slave trade, segregation, civil rights, colonialism, apartheid, post-colonialism, diaspora migrations and displacement, gender difference/black feminism's.

Branch, Taylor. At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006.  1039pp.  Main Library E185.615 .B67 2006 : At Canaan's Edge concludes America in the King Years, a three-volume history that will endure as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Taylor Branch makes clear in this magisterial account of the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King, Jr., earned a place next to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American history.In At Canaan's Edge, King and his movement stand at the zenith of America's defining story, one decade into an epic struggle for the promises of democracy. Branch opens with the authorities' violent suppression of a voting-rights march in Alabama on March 7, 1965. The quest to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge engages the conscience of the world, strains the civil rights coalition, and embroils King in negotiations with all three branches of the U.S. government. The marches from Selma coincide with the first landing of large U.S. combat units in South Vietnam. The escalation of the war severs the cooperation of King and President Lyndon Johnson after a collaboration that culminated in the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.After Selma, young pilgrims led by Stokely Carmichael take the movement into adjacent Lowndes County, Alabama, where not a single member of the black majority has tried to vote in the twentieth century. Freedom workers are murdered, but sharecroppers learn to read, dare to vote, and build their own political party. Carmichael leaves in frustration to proclaim his famous black power doctrine, taking the local panther ballot symbol to become an icon of armed rebellion.Also after Selma, King takes nonviolence into Northern urban ghettoes. Integrated marches through Chicago expose hatreds and fears no less virulent than the Mississippi Klan's, but King's 1966 settlement with Mayor Richard Daley does not gain the kind of national response that generated victories from Birmingham and Selma. We watch King overrule his advisers to bring all his eloquence into dissent from the Vietnam War. We watch King make an embattled decision to concentrate his next campaign on a positive compact to address poverty. We reach Memphis, the garbage workers' strike, and King's assassination.Parting the Waters provided an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness, beginning with the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and ending with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In Pillar of Fire, theologians and college students braved the dangerous Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 as Malcolm X raised a militant new voice for racial separatism. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation by race and mandated equal opportunity for women. From the pinnacle of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, King willed himself back to "the valley" of jail in his daunting Selma campaign.At Canaan's Edge portrays King at the height of his moral power even as his worldly power is waning. It shows why his fidelity to freedom and nonviolence makes him a defining figure long beyond his brilliant life and violent end.

Cobb, Jelani. The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress. New York: Walker and Company, 2010.  191pp. Main Library E185.86 .C573 2010  : Barack Obama was heralded as the next Lincoln before he was even elected. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize without actually having achieved peace anywhere (even in places such as Afghanistan, where peace would be arguably under his control). Cobb has written a lyrical ode to Obama's symbolism: the first black president; the "hip" biracial outsider; the logical successor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Ironically, the book and the President both lack results. Cobb writes beautifully, but he often gets lost in the Obama myth. He's at his most compelling when he leaves the poetry for the pulpit and lets the professor in him take charge (noting, for instance, Obama's astute political calculations, like cutting ties with Jeremiah Wright). Yet his analysis is anything but erudite; Cobb often references pop culture. "In 2002," he recalls, "reporters asked Denzel Washington what it meant for three African Americans to be in contention for the Academy Award. He replied, 'It means that three African Americans are in contention for the Academy Award.' I am tempted to answer the question about the meaning of the black presidency with the same terms." While more hope than substance, Cobb's book is still an eloquent meditation on the meaning of the Obama presidency, all 18 months of it.

Dagbovie, Pero G. Black History: “Old School” Black Historians and the Hip Hop Generation. Troy: Bedford Publishers, 2006.  264pp.  Main Library  E184.65 .D34 2006 : Black History: "Old School" Black Historian and the Hip Hop Generation fills a void in African American historiagraphy. It provides straightforward entries into a range of important facets of Black history as a philosophy and concept, an academic field of study, a popular cultural symbol, and as an actual and potential vehicle for social change and black self-empowerment and collective liberation. This book is suitable for hip-hop generation historians, undergraduate and graduate university students, as well as anyone interested in Black history, its past, present and future. Dagbovie revisits and reconsiders the concept of Black history, the ideologies and contributions of many "Old School" black historians, and the status of the hip-hop generation.

Dagbovie, Pero G. African American History Reconsidered. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2010.  255pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 East) E184.65 .D34 2010 : Discusses a wide range of issues and themes for understanding and analyzing African American history, the twentieth century black historical enterprise, and the teaching of African American history for the twenty-first century. Additional topics include the hip-hop generation's relationship to and interpretations of African American history; past, present, and future approaches to the subject; and the social construct of knowledge in African American historiography. An exclamation of definitions of black history from W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk and a survey of early black women historians lend further dimension and authenticity to the volume. A bold contribution to the growing fields of African American historiography and the philosophy of black history, African American History Reconsidered offers numerous analytical frameworks for understanding and delving into a variety of dimensions of the African American historical experience.

Drake, St. Clair and Horace R. Cayton. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World , 1970.  2 vols. (814pp.)  F548.9.N3 D7 1970 :  "The facts of urban life presented here are in their starkest form," Richard Wright wrote in the original foreword to this penetrating study of Chicago's South Side, first published in 1945. "To have them presented otherwise would have been to negate the humanity of the American Negro." Nearly 50 years later, sociologist William Julius Wilson wrote that Black Metropolis "allows us to consider the significance of a segregated community heavily populated with working poor adults in contrast with a segregated community largely populated with nonworking adults." Simply put, sociologist St. Clair Drake and researcher Horace Cayton produced one of the most comprehensive studies of an African American urban enclave ever written. As in W.E.B. Du Bois's groundbreaking treatise The Philadelphia Negro, the contradictions and complexities of the Afro-American experience are expertly articulated without Eurocentric bias. Using traditional scientific methods of analysis, Cayton and Drake show the existence of a racial color line that keeps blacks segregated in economics, education, and politics, creating a vital cultural city within a city. More importantly, though, Black Metropolis makes the South Side come to life, with Drake and Cayton's hilarious, idiomatic references to the areas' many social groups--from the clothes-conscious, number-running "Upper Shadies" and the respectable "Race Men" of "Bronzeville" to the hypocritical "jackleg" preachers--and their richly detailed explanations of such phenomena as "passing" and the black Chicago community's interactions with white-led organized crime. 1945 and 1962 editions are also available.

DuBois, W.E.B. Black reconstruction : an essay toward a history of the part which black folk played in the attempt to reconstruct democracy in America, 1860-1880 . New York: Russell & Russell, 1935. 746pp.  Main Library E668 .D83  : 1962, 1963, 1969, and 1975 editions are also available.

Dyson, Michael Eric. Come Hell of High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2006. 258pp.  Main Library F379.N5 D97 2006 :  The first major book to be released about Hurricane Katrina, Dyson's volume not only chronicles what happened when, it also argues that the nation's failure to offer timely aid to Katrina's victims indicates deeper problems in race and class relations. Dyson's time lines will surely be disputed, his indictments of specific New Orleans failures defended or whitewashed. But these points are secondary. More important are the larger questions Dyson  poses, such as "What do politicians sold on the idea of limited governance offer to folk who need, and deserve, the government to come to their aid?" "Does George Bush care about black people?" and "Do well-off black people care about poor black people?" With its abundance of buzz-worthy coinages, like "Aframnesia" and "Afristocracy," Dyson's populist style sometimes gets too cute. But his contention that Katrina exposed a dominant culture pervaded not only by "active malice" toward poor blacks but also by a long history of "passive indifference" to their problems is both powerful and unsettling. Through this history of neglect, Dyson suggests, America has broken its social contract with poor blacks who, since Emancipation, have assumed that government will protect all its citizens. Yet when disaster struck the poor, the cavalry arrived four days late.

Genovese, Eugene D. Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.  823pp.  Main Library E443 .G46 : This weighty book intends to "tell the story of slave life as carefully and accurately as possible." Less given over to theoretical and topical polemic than Genovese's earlier works on Southern slavery, it is by no means a catalogue. It amplifies Genovese's stress on the humanity slaves were able to preserve through de facto accommodations on the part of both slave and master, through the reciprocal play of "elementary human reactions" across class and color lines, and through the slaves' "strong sense of stewardship" for one another. This is a necessary transcendence of many other historians' dehumanizing view of both slaves and slaveholders, and to it Genovese brings his intellectual expansiveness and depth of feeling as he further documents key points featured in The World the Slaveholders Made (1969) and The Red and the Black (1972): the resourcefulness and egalitarianism of many house servants, the protective, responsible character of many black drivers, the prevalence of family stability and the nourishment Christianity afforded against degradation. Some critics will argue persuasively that Genovese has not done justice to southern slavery's deprivation, brutality and murder. As a matter of page-by-page arithmetic, Genovese certainly places more weight on young folks' play by the cabin door than on "evidence of widespread dirt-eating." The question - raised very differently by Fogel and Engerman in Time on the Cross, whose econometric inferences crosshatch Genovese's view - is one of method and concept in shaping the evidence. The subject will be pursued in debates, and anyone concerned with human development should read Genovese's book to knowledgeably participate.

Gordon-Reed, Annette. The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 2008.  798pp.  Browsing Collection (1 East) E332.74 .G67 2008 : In the mid-1700s the English captain of a trading ship that made runs between England and the Virginia colony fathered a child by an enslaved woman living near Williamsburg. The woman, whose name is unknown and who is believed to have been born in Africa, was owned by the Eppeses, a prominent Virginia family. The captain, whose surname was Hemings, and the woman had a daughter. They named her Elizabeth....So begins this epic work--named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times,, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times--Annette Gordon-Reed's “riveting history” of the Hemings family, whose story comes to vivid life in this brilliantly researched and deeply moving work. Gordon-Reed, author of the highly acclaimed historiography Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy, unearths startling new information about the Hemingses, Jefferson, and his white family. Although the book presents the most detailed and richly drawn portrait ever written of Sarah Hemings, better known by her nickname Sally, who bore seven children by Jefferson over the course of their thirty-eight-year liaison, The Hemingses of Monticello tells more than the story of her life with Jefferson and their children. The Hemingses as a whole take their rightful place in the narrative of the family's extraordinary engagement with one of history's most important figures....Not only do we meet Elizabeth Hemings--the family matriarch and mother to twelve children, six by John Wayles, a poor English immigrant who rose to great wealth in the Virginia colony--but we follow the Hemings family as they become the property of Jefferson through his marriage to Martha Wayles. The Hemings-Wayles children, siblings to Martha, played pivotal roles in the life at Jefferson's estate....We follow the Hemingses to Paris, where James Hemings trained as a chef in one of the most prestigious kitchens in France and where Sally arrived as a fourteen-year-old chaperone for Jefferson's daughter Polly; to Philadelphia, where James Hemings acted as the major domo to the newly appointed secretary of state; to Charlottesville, where Mary Hemings lived with her partner, a prosperous white merchant who left her and their children a home and property; to Richmond, where Robert Hemings engineered a plan for his freedom; and finally to Monticello, that iconic home on the mountain, from where most of Jefferson's slaves, many of them Hemings family members, were sold at auction six months after his death in 1826....As The Hemingses of Monticello makes vividly clear, Monticello can no longer be known only as the home of a remarkable American leader, the author of the Declaration of Independence; nor can the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president have been expunged from history until very recently, be left out of the telling of America's story. With its empathetic and insightful consideration of human beings acting in almost unimaginably difficult and complicated family circumstances, The Hemingses of Monticello is history as great literature. It is a remarkable achievement.

Hine, Darlene C., Wilma King and Linda Reed. We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible: A Reader in Black Women’s History. Brooklyn: Carlson Publishing, 1995.  618pp.  Main Library E185.86 .B543 1990 v.17 : In the introduction to this richly textured collection of essays by 30 authors, the editors clearly state their goal: "to reclaim and to create heightened awareness about individuals, contributions, and struggles that have made African-American [women's] survival and progress possible." After three general essays, the material is organized both chronologically and geographically, moving from the colonial era through the 20th century. The experiences considered are those of women from Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. Topics include, among others, African women in the Atlantic slave trade; slave narratives of young women in the 1830s in the West Indies and the U.S.; property owning, free African American women in the South in the 1850s; the role of Mississippi African American women during the Civil War; and the significance of the costumes of 19th-century African American women.

Johnson III, Ollie A. and Karin L. Stanford, eds. Black Political Organizations in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Piscataway: Rutgers University Press, 2002.  264pp.  E185.615 .B5465 2002  Online : For a variety of reasons, contemporary black political organizations have generally been ignored in the scholarly literature on American interest groups. Johnson and Stanford present this collection of 11 papers as a corrective. The contributions are diverse in subject and argument, with examinations of the leadership style of the Nation of Islam, the history and ideology of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the persistence of welfare rights activism, and the political involvement of black churches. Also available in print.

Joseph, Peniel E. Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama.  New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2010.  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.

Locke, Alain, ed.   The New Negro : Voices of the Harlem Renaissance.  New York : Simon and Schuster, 1997.  452pp.  Main Library PS 153 .N5 L63 1997 : An interpretative anthology that acted as a manifesto for the Harlem Renaissance defines the artistic and social goals of the New Negro Movement of the 1920s. 

McGuire, Danielle L. 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.  New York: 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 propriety, her 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.

McLemee, Scott, ed. C.L.R. James on the ‘Negro Question’. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.  154pp.  E185 .J326 1996eb  Online : The first collection of writings on African-American topics by this internationally influential pan-African thinker.   Also available in print.

Noguera, Pedro. The Trouble With Black Boys : And Other Other Reflections on Race, Equity, and the Future of Public Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008.  324pp.  Main Library LC213.2 .N64 2008  : Influenced by culture and aware of the lack of prospects for them, black boys in particular, but minority students of all kinds, make the kinds of poor choices that fulfill the low expectations of their teachers and the broader society. Education professor Noguera examines the cultural, societal—and personal—factors that create the stubborn link between race and poverty. In this compelling series of essays, Noguera cites research and his own personal experience—as a minority, a father, and an educator—to explore the myriad ways that young black and Hispanic males are expected to run afoul of middle-class American norms and often do. He argues that public schools, despite their abysmal record, are the only institutions with the access and resources to turn around troubling social trends. He points to research comparing the disciplinary tactics of public schools and prisons, institutions that have far too much in common with so many male minority students dropping out of schools and landing in prison. A thoughtful look at issues of race and educational equity.

Reverby, Susan. Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and Its Legacy. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2009.  384pp.  Main Library R853.H8 R48 2009 : The forty-year "Tuskegee" Syphilis Study has become the American metaphor for medical racism, government malfeasance, and physician arrogance. The subject of histories, films, rumors, and political slogans, it provoked an official federal apology from President Bill Clinton in a White House ceremony....Susan M. Reverby offers a comprehensive analysis of the notorious study of untreated syphilis, which took place in and around Tuskegee, Alabama, from the 1930s through the 1970s. The study involved hundreds of African American men, most of whom were told by doctors from the U.S. Public Health Service that they were being treated, not just watched, for their late-stage syphilis. Reverby examines the study and its aftermath from multiple perspectives to explain what happened and why the study has such power in our collective memory. She follows the study's repercussions in facts and fictions.

Rickford, John and Russel Rickford. Spoken Soul : The Story of Black English. New York: Wiley & Sons, 2000.  267pp.  PE3102.N42 R54 2000eb  Online : Recounts the history of Black English, describes its influence on American language and society, and discusses the controversies that have arisen over its teaching and use.  Also available in print.

Thompson, Shirley E. Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 2009.  362pp.  Main Library F379.N59 C878 2009 : New Orleans has always captured our imagination as an exotic city in its racial ambiguity and pursuit of les bons temps. Despite its image as a place apart, the city played a key role in nineteenth-century America as a site for immigration and pluralism, the quest for equality, and the centrality of self-making....In both the literary imagination and the law, creoles of color navigated life on a shifting color line. As they passed among various racial categories and through different social spaces, they filtered for a national audience the meaning of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution of 1804, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and de jure segregation....Shirley Thompson offers a moving study of a world defined by racial and cultural double consciousness. In tracing the experiences of creoles of color, she illuminates the role ordinary Americans played in shaping an understanding of identity and belonging.

Vaca, Nicolas C. The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What it Means for America. New York: Rayo, 2004. 238pp.  Main Library E185.615 .V33 2004 :  As Latino and African Americans increasingly live side by side in large urban centers, as well as in suburban clusters, the idealized concept of a "Rainbow Coalition" would suggest that these two disenfranchised groups are natural political allies. Indeed, as the number of Latinos has increased dramatically over the last ten years, competition over power and resources between these two groups has led to surprisingly antagonistic and uncooperative interactions. Many African Americans now view Latinos, because of their growth in numbers, as a threat to their social, economic, and political gains....Vaca debunks the myth of "The Great Union" and offers the hope he believes each community could learn from, in order to achieve a mutually agreed upon agenda. More than simply unveiling the problem, The Presumed Alliance offers optimistic solutions to the future relations between Latino and Black America.

Van Horne, Winston A., ed. “Introduction, Ch. 1, 2 and 3”. Global Convulsions: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism at the End of the Twentieth Century. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997.  364pp.  Main Library HT1521 .G54 1997 : Contains 16 contributions addressing an array of problems and issues, organized into three sections: concepts and images of race, ethnicity, and nationalism; national identity and the struggle for national rights; and nationalism and the crisis of the multiethnic/multinational state. Topics include the Bell Curve; the role of religion in the cultural foundations of ethnonationalism; national identity and rights in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Central Asia; and the issue of ethnonationalism in Yugoslavia, China, the Baltic, Russia, Nigeria, and Canada.

West, Cornel. Race Matters. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.  108pp.  Main Library E185.615 .W43 2001 : First published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, Race Matters has since become an American classic. Beacon Press is proud to present this hardcover edition with a new introduction by Cornel West. The issues that it addresses are as controversial and urgent as before, and West's insights remain fresh, exciting, and timely. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans—one that will help us build a genuine multiracial democracy.  1993 edition available in print and online and on audiocassettes.

Williams, Yohuru. Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights, Black Power and the Black Panthers in New Haven. Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2008. 189pp.  Main Library F104.N69 N49 2008 :  The popular media have portrayed the Black Panthers mainly for the rhetoric of violence some members employed and for the associations between the Panthers and a black militancy drawing on racial hostility to whites in general. Overlooked have been the efforts that branches of the organization undertook for practical economic and social progress within African-American neighborhoods, frequently in alliance with whites. Yohuru Williams' study of black politics in New Haven culminating in the arrival of the Panthers argues that the increasing militancy in the black community there was motivated not by abstractions of black cultural integrity but by the continuing frustrations the leadership suffered in its dealings with the city's white liberal establishment. Black Politics/White Power is an important contribution to a discovery of the complexities of racial politics during the angry late sixties and early seventies.

Woodson, Carter G. The Mis-education of the Negro. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1990 (1998 printing).  215pp.  Main Library E185.82 .W86 1990 : Discusses the impact of slavery on the black psyche, questions what and who African Americans are educated for, and explores the difference between education and training.  1969 edition also available.

African American Readings : Slavery

Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979. 414pp.  Main Library E443 .B55 1979 : Taking into account the major recent studies, this volume presents an updated analysis of the life of the black slave--his African heritage, culture, family, acculturation, behavior, religion, and personality. 1972 edition also available.

Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 9th edition, 710pp.  Main Library E185 .F8266 2011 : The preeminent history of African-Americans, this best-selling text charts the journey of African-Americans from their origins in the civilizations of Africa, through slavery in the Western Hemisphere, their struggle for freedom in the West Indies, Latin America, and the United States, to the election of our first African American president. The ninth edition of this best-selling text has been thoroughly rewritten and reorganized to reflect the most current scholarship on African-American history. Beginning with greater coverage of ancestral Africa, the text contains new material on African American migration, notable African American women, popular culture, and the 2008 election. The text also has a fresh new 4-color design with new charts, maps, photographs, paintings, and illustrations. Written by legendary, award-winning authors, From Slavery to Freedom remains the most revered, respected, honored text on the market........  1994 and 2000 editions also available.

Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy & Society of the Slave South. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 1989. 2nd edition, 335pp.  Main Library E442 .G45 1989 : A stimulating analysis of the society and economy in the slave south.  1965 and 1967 editions also available.

Williams, Eric. Capitalism and Slavery. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1994. 285pp.  Main Library HC254.5 .W5 1994 : Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide....Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams's study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams's groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared. 1944 edition also available.

African American Readings : Culture, Literature and Art

Readings underscore the cultural expression of African descendent peoples (religion, sports, musical arts-from blues, jazz to hip hop, include African soukous, WA highlife, Afro-pop and Latin-African music –rumba, meringue, salsa, film/documentary, African American and African literature, fine art).

Alim, H. Samy and John Baugh, eds. Talkin Black Talk: Language, Education, and Social Change. New York: Teachers College Press, 2007. 189pp.  Main Library PE3102.N42 T35 2007 : This book captures an important moment in the history of language and literacy education and the continuing struggle for equal language rights. Published 50 years after the Brown decision, this volume revisits the difficult and enduring problem of public schools' failure to educate Black children, and revises our approaches to language and literacy learning in today's culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Bringing together some of the leading scholars in the study of Black language, culture, and education, this book presents creative, classroom-based, hands-on pedagogical approaches (from Hip Hop Culture to the art of teaching narrative reading comprehension) within the context of the broader, global concerns that impact schooling (from linguistic emancipation to the case of Mother Tongue Education in South Africa).

Collins, Patrica Hill. Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. New York: Routledge, 2000. 10th ed., 335pp. Main Library HQ1426 .C633 2000 : In spite of the double burden of racial and gender discrimination, African-American women have developed a rich intellectual tradition that is not widely known. In Black Feminist Thought, originally published in 1990, Patricia Hill Collins set out to explore the words and ideas of Black feminist intellectuals and writers, both within the academy and without. Here Collins provides an interpretive framework for the work of such prominent Black feminist thinkers as Angela Davis, bell hooks, Alice Walker, and Audre Lorde. Drawing from fiction, poetry, music and oral history, the result is a superbly crafted and revolutionary book that provided the first synthetic overview of Black feminist thought and its canon. 1991 edition also available.

Hooks, Bell. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge, 1994.  216pp.  Main Library LC196 .H66 1994 :  Cultural theorist Hooks means to challenge preconceptions, and it is a rare reader who will be able to walk away from her without considerable thought. Despite the frequent appearance of the dry word "pedagogy," this collection of essays about teaching is anything but dull or detached. Hooks begins her meditations on class, gender and race in the classroom with the confession that she never wanted to teach. By combining personal narrative, essay, critical theory, dialogue and a fantasy interview with herself (the latter artificial construct being the least successful), Hooks declares that education today is failing students by refusing to acknowledge their particular histories. Criticizing the teaching establishment for employing an over-factualized knowledge to deny and suppress diversity, Hooks accuses colleagues of using "the classroom to enact rituals of control that were about domination and the unjust exercise of power." Far from a castigation of her field, however, Teaching to Transgress is full of hope and excitement for the possibility of education to liberate and include. She is a gentle, though firm, critic, as in the essay "Holding My Sister's Hand," which could well become a classic about the distrust between black and white feminists. While some will find her rejection of certain difficult theory narrow-minded, it is a small flaw in an inspired and thought-provoking collection.

Gates, Henry L. Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.  290pp.  Main Library PS153.N5 G28 1989 : Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s original, groundbreaking study explores the relationship between the African and African-American vernacular traditions and black literature, elaborating a new critical approach located within this tradition that allows the black voice to speak for itself....Examining the ancient poetry and myths found in African, Latin American, and Caribbean culture, and particularly the Yoruba trickster figure of Esu-Elegbara and the Signifying Monkey whose myths help articulate the black tradition's theory of its literature, Gates uncovers a unique system for interpretation and a powerful vernacular tradition that black slaves brought with them to the New World. His critical approach relies heavily on the Signifying Monkey--perhaps the most popular figure in African-American folklore--and signification and Signifyin(g)....Exploring signification in black American life and literature by analyzing the transmission and revision of various signifying figures, Gates provides an extended analysis of what he calls the "Talking Book," a central trope in early slave narratives that virtually defines the tradition of black American letters. Gates uses this critical framework to examine several major works of African-American literature--including Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, and Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo--revealing how these works signify on the black tradition and on each other....The second volume in an enterprising trilogy on African-American literature, The Signifying Monkey--which expands the arguments of Figures in Black--makes an important contribution to literary theory, African-American literature, folklore, and literary history.

Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: HarperCollins, 2000. 231pp.  Main Library PS3515.U789 T5 2000 : Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is a luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern black woman in the 1930s whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to seventy years....This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates, boldly and brilliantly, African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a black woman, who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard....Originally published in 1937, Their Eyes Were Watching God met significant commercial but divided critical acclaim. Somewhat forgotten after her death, Zora Neale Hurston was rediscovered by a number of black authors in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and reintroduced to a greater readership by Alice Walker in her 1972 essay "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," written for Ms. magazine. Long out of print, the book was reissued after a petition was circulated at the Modern Language Association Convention in 1975, and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel of American fiction. 1937, 1990, and  1995 online editions are also available.

Lee, Carol D. Signifying as a Scaffold for Literary Interpretation: The Pedagogical Implications of an African American Discourse Genre. Urbana: National Council of Teachers of English, 1993. ED357371 Online : Finding ways to build on the language abilities students of diverse cultures bring to school, this book recounts an experiment in helping urban African American high school students to interpret literature by drawing on their own rich oral tradition of "signifying." The book defines signifying as a contest in which the most imaginative user of indirection, irony, and insult wins. The book describes a literature unit taught with inquiry and discussion methods under typical urban conditions in two high schools. The book reports that the academically marginal students posted statistically significant gains in using new awareness of metaphoric language to interpret complex relationships in literature. Chapters of the book are: The Problem; Rationale; Signifying in African American Fiction; Prior Research on Culture and Comprehension; Research Design and Implementation; Measurement Instruments; Observations of the Instructional Process; Results; Talk in the Classroom: The Transformation of Signifying; and Implications and Final Thoughts. Technical notes, reading tests, and tests of social and linguistic knowledge are attached.  Also available on microfiche on 3 West in ERIC microfiche collection.

McAdoo, Harriette Pipes, ed. Black Families. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, c2007.  4th edition, 364pp.  Main Library  and Faculty Collection (1 West) E185.86 .B525 2007 :  Following the success of its best-selling predecessors, the Fourth Edition of Harriette Pipes McAdoo's Black Families retains several now classic contributions while including updated versions of earlier chapters and many entirely new chapters. The goal through each revision of this core text has been to compile a book that focuses on positive dimensions of African American families. The book remains the most complete assessment of black families available in both depth and breadth of coverage. Cross-disciplinary in nature, the book boasts contributions from such fields as family studies, anthropology, education, psychology, social work, and public policy.  1981, 1988,  1997 editions also available.

Makoni, Sinfree, Geneva Smitherman, Arnetha F. Ball, and Arthur K. Spears, eds. Black Linguistics: Language, Society, and Politics in African and the Americas. London and New York: Routledge, 2003. 228pp. Main Library  P40.5.B42 B55 2003 : Enslavement, forced migration, war and colonization have led to the global dispersal of Black communities and to the fragmentation of common experiences....The majority of Black language researchers explore the social and linguistic phenomena of individual Black communities, without looking at Black experiences outside a given community. This groundbreaking collection re-orders the elitist and colonial elements of language studies by drawing together the multiple perspectives of Black language researchers. In doing so, the book recognises and formalises the existence of a "Black Linguistic Perspective" highlights the contributions of Black language researchers in the field....Written exclusively by Black scholars on behalf of, and in collaboration with local communities, the book looks at the commonalities and differences among Black speech communities in Africa and the Diaspora. Topics include: (1) the OJ Simpson trial; (2) language issues in Southern Africa and Francophone West Africa; (3) the language of Hip Hop; (4) the language of the Rastafaria in Jamaica.

Mayes, Keith A. Kwanzaa: Black Power and the Making of the African-American Holiday Tradition. New York: Routledge, 2009.  Main Library  GT4403 .M39 2009 : Mayes (history and African American and African studies, U. of Minnesota-Twin Cities) examines the creation of the holiday in 1966 and its subsequent development as a response to racial oppression that manifested in black cultural and holiday invisibility during the 20th century. He explores how Kwanzaa fits into the larger black holiday tradition, bridging older black observances with those that came after its creation. He also describes the appropriation of the holiday by American corporate and cultural institutions during the 1980s and 1990s. After that, he says, it was no longer the sole property of the Black Power community, but was embraced by, and served the interests of, a broader segment of African Americans, corporate and religious bodies, cultural and media institutions, and the federal government.

Mintz, Sidney W. and Richard Price. The Birth of African-American Culture: An Anthropological Perspective. Boston: Beacon Press, 1992.    Available through MelCat.  Library owns original edition without new preface :  An anthropological approach to the Afro-American past : a Caribbean perspective / Sidney W. Mintz, Richard Price. Philadelphia : Institute for the Study of Human Issues, c1976. (ISHI occasional papers in social change ; no. 2). 64pp.  Main Library F2191.B55 M56 : This long essay, written in 1972 by two anthropologists in an attempt to prevent ideology from diverting the course of African American studies, posits that the Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the New World cannot "be said to have shared a culture," having been "drawn from different parts of the . . . continent, from numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, and from different societies in any region." On the contrary, the authors conclude that the roots of African American culture lie in the cooperative efforts of the enslaved to create a new society here. Drawing heavily on examples from the Caribbean experience, Mintz and Price believe that so-called African retentions in the cultural realm must be examined in light of social structures and relationships established in the Americas. They examine, for instance, the development of unilineal vs. aggregate family groups in different contexts and the apparent reversion to African gender roles in the economic autonomy of women in Jamaica. This provocative book is bound, even now, to raise the ire of supporters of narrow Afrocentrism, while the general reader may find its arguments too technical.

Nieto, Sonia. The Light in Their Eyes: Creating Multiracial Learning Communities. New York: Teachers College Press, 2010.  10th anniversary edition, 256pp.  Main Library LC1099.3 .N553 2010 : Nieto, professor emerita at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, applies Paulo Freire's critical pedagogy to multicultural education in this exploration of how the school experience can be improved for marginalized students, bicultural students, and students of color. Each chapter interweaves written responses by the author's education students and student teachers. This 10th anniversary edition contains a new prologue, in which Nieto addresses the current sociopolitical context of society and education, touching on the influence of poverty on learning, and the impact of No Child Left Behind. A new epilogue focuses on the implications addressed in the book for education today, and reviews recent work on culturally responsive pedagogy. The epilogue concludes with an update, in their own words, on the former education students whose journal entries are included in the first edition.  1999 edition also available.

Rose, Tricia. The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk about When We Talk about Hip Hop— and Why It Matters. New York: Basic Civitas Books, 2008. 308pp.  Main Library HN59.2 .R68 2008 : Hip-hop is in crisis. For the past dozen years, the most commercially successful hip-hop has become increasingly saturated with caricatures of black gangstas, thugs, pimps, and ’hos. The controversy surrounding hip-hop is worth attending to and examining with a critical eye because, as scholar and cultural critic Tricia Rose argues, hip-hop has become a primary means by which we talk about race in the United States....In The Hip-Hop Wars, Rose explores the most crucial issues underlying the polarized claims on each side of the debate: Does hip-hop cause violence, or merely reflect a violent ghetto culture? Is hip-hop sexist, or are its detractors simply anti-sex? Does the portrayal of black culture in hip-hop undermine black advancement?...A potent exploration of a divisive and important subject, The Hip-Hop Wars concludes with a call for the regalvanization of the progressive and creative heart of hip-hop. What Rose calls for is not a sanitized vision of the form, but one that more accurately reflects a much richer space of culture, politics, anger, and yes, sex, than the current ubiquitous images in sound and video currently provide.

Smitherman, Geneva. Talkin and Testifyin: The Language of Black America. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986. 285pp.  Main Library PE3102.N42 S5 1986 : In her book, Geneva Smitherman makes a substantial contribution to an understanding of Black English by setting it in the larger context of Black culture and lifestyle. In addition to defining Black English by its distinctive structure and special lexicon, Smitherman argues that the Black dialect is set apart from traditional English by a rhetorical style which reflects its African origins. Smitherman also tackles the issue of Black and White attitudes toward Black English, particularly as they affect educational policy. Documenting her insights with quotes from notable Black historical, literary and popular figures, Smitherman makes clear that Black English is as legitimate a form of speech as British, American, or Australian English.  1977 edition also available.

Smitherman, Geneva. Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000.  Revised edition, 305pp.  Main Library PE3102.N4 S65 2000 : Fully revised and updated -- the ultimate guide to black talk from all segments of the African American community.Do you want to be down with the latest hype terms from the Hip Hop world? Black Talk is the perfect source. "Even if you think you're hip, you'd better look up kitchen, got her nose open, jump salty, and hundreds of other sayings, former or current, that testify to the linguistic originality of Black speakers," said Frederic G. Cassidy, chief editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. This new edition of Black Talk includes more than 300 new words and phrases and, now more than ever, reflects the ever-changing meanings and uses of this vital and rich part of our language. In a style that is always informative and always entertaining, Geneva Smitherman takes this dictionary far beyond a list of words. Black Talk is a cultural map that charts word meanings along the highways and byways of African American life.  1994 edition also available.

Smitherman, Geneva. Word from the Mother: Language and African Americans. London: Routledge, 2006.  172pp.  Main Library PE3102.N42 S58 2006 : Written by the hugely respected linguist, Geneva Smitherman, this book presents a definitive statement on African American English. Enriched by her evocative and inimitable prose style, the study presents an overview of past debates on the speech of African Americans, as well as providing a vision for the future. Featuring cartoons which demonstrate the relationship between language and race, as well as common perceptions of African American Language, she explores its contribution to mainstream American English and includes a summary of expressions as a suggested linguistic core of AAL....As global manifestations of Black Language increase, she argues that, through education, we must broaden our conception of AAL and its speakers, and further examine the implications of gender, age and class on AAL. Perhaps most of all we must appreciate the ‘artistic and linguistic genius’ of AAL, presented in this book through rap and Hip Hop lyrics and the explorations of rhyme and rhetoric in the Black speech community....Word from the Mother is an essential read for students of African American English, language, culture and sociolinguistics, as well as the general reader interested in the worldwide ‘crossover’ of black popular culture.

African American Readings : National and Global Politics

Readings underscore the main issues that constitute Black people's contemporary public policy - affirmative action, discriminatory constitutionalism and political representation, and political participation, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality (domestic and global).

Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2010. 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. Also available in the MSU Schaeffer College of Law Library.

Brophy, Alfred L. Reparations: Pros and Cons. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. 287pp.  Gast Business Library KF4757 .B66 2006 : Today, the debate over reparations--whether African-Americans should be compensated for decades of racial subjugation--stands as the most racially divisive issue in American politics. In this short, definitive work, Alfred L. Brophy, an expert on racial violence, regards the debate over reparations from the 1700s to the present, examining the arguments on both sides of the current debate. Taking us inside litigation and legislatures past and present, examining failed and successful lawsuits, and reparations actions by legislatures, newspapers, schools, and businesses, including apologies and truth commissions, this book offers a valuable historical and legal perspective for reparations advocates and critics alike.

Browne-Marshall, Gloria. Race, Law, and American Society: 1607-Present. New York: Routledge, 2007. 377pp.  Gast Business Library KF4755 .B76 2007 : Traces the history of racial discrimination in American law from colonial times to the present, analyzing the key court cases that established America’s racial system and showing their impact on American society. Throughout, she places advocates for freedom and equality at the center, moving from their struggle for physical freedom in the slavery era to more recent battles for equal rights and economic equality. From the colonial period to the present, this book examines education, property ownership, voting rights, criminal justice, and the military as well as internationalism and civil liberties. Race, Law, and American Society is highly accessible and thorough in its depiction of the role race has played, with the sanction of the U.S. Supreme Court, in shaping virtually every major American social institution.

Browne-Marshall, Gloria. The US Constitution: an African American Context. 2nd ed. New York: The Law and Policy Group Press, 2010. 2nd edition, 62pp.  Business Library KF4528 .U72 2010 : This unique, easily portable version of the U.S. Constitution fits in the palm of your hand. It contains that exact same language provided by the drafters of the original Constitution but highlights those portions of the Constitution that refer specifically to African-Americans and have great importance to people of color. This lamintated book includes The Declaration of Independence. It also includes a chronology of major legal cases and events involving African-Americans and the law. A readable book, with commentary by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law at John Jay College in New York City and author of the acclaimed book "Race, Law, and American Society: 1607 to Present" and "The Constitution: Major Cases and Conflicts." The U.S. Constitution: An African-American Context" is the most empowering little book you may ever buy. It is American history.

Butler, Paul. Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice. New York: New Press, 2009. 214pp.  Gast Business Library  KF9223 .B88 2009 : Drawing on his personal fascinating story as a prosecutor, a defendant, and an observer of the legal process, Paul Butler offers a sharp and engaging critique of our criminal justice system. He argues against discriminatory drug laws and excessive police power and shows how our policy of mass incarceration erodes communities and perpetuates crime. Controversially, he supports jury nullification—or voting “not guilty” out of principle—as a way for everyday people to take a stand against unfair laws, and he joins with the “Stop Snitching” movement, arguing that the reliance on informants leads to shoddy police work and distrust within communities. Butler offers instead a “hip hop theory of justice,” parsing the messages about crime and punishment found in urban music and culture. Butler’s argument is powerful, edgy, and incisive.  Also available in the MSU College of Law Schaeffer Library.

Cruse, Harold.  The Crisis of the Negro IntellectualNew York : Quill, 1984, c1967.  594pp.  Main Library E185.6 .C96 1984 : Examines the dilemma of the Black intellectual who through his creative efforts and social prominence must perform as a spokesman for the Black masses.  1967 and 1968 editions also available.

Cruse, Harold. The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual : A Historical Analysis of the Failure of Black Leadership. New York: New York Review of Books, 2005.  594pp.  Main Library E185.6 .C96 2005 :  First published in 1967, as the early triumphs of the Civil Rights movement yielded to increasing frustration and violence, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual electrified a generation of activists and intellectuals. The product of a lifetime of struggle and reflection, Cruse's book is a singular amalgam of cultural history, passionate disputation, and deeply considered analysis of the relationship between American blacks and American society. Reviewing black intellectual life from the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960s, Cruse discusses the legacy (and offers memorably acid-edged portraits) of figures such as Paul Robeson, Lorraine Hansberry, and James Baldwin, arguing that their work was marked by a failure to understand the specifically American character of racism in the United States. This supplies the background to Cruse's controversial critique of both integrationism and black nationalism and to his claim that black Americans will only assume a just place within American life when they develop their own distinctive centers of cultural and economic influence. For Cruse's most important accomplishment may well be his rejection of the clich?s of the melting pot in favor of a vision of Americanness as an arena of necessary and vital contention, an open and ongoing struggle.

Frazier, E. Franklin. Black Bourgeoisie: The Book that Brought the Shock of Self- Revelation to Middle-Class Blacks in America. Glencoe, Ill. : Free Press Paperbacks, 1957. 264pp.  Main Library E185.61 .F833 : A classic analysis of the Black middle class studies its origin and development, accentuating its behavior, attitudes, and values during the 1940s and 1950s 1965 and 1997 editions available.

Guinier, Lani. Tyranny of the Majority: Fundamental Fariness in Representative Democracy. New York: Free Press, 1994. 324pp.  Main Library JF1075.U6 G85 1994 : Like most Americans, President Clinton hadn't read Guinier's controversial academic writings when he nominated her to the position of assistant attorney general for civil rights. Now, with the publication of this collection of essays, a larger reading audience will have an opportunity to learn more about her views on voting rights. Guinier discusses the dilemma facing a democracy when a minority's own interests are consistently blocked by an electoral majority. While espousing a notion that is as simple as Robert Fulghum's admonition that we take turns, she also proposes complex remedial alternatives ranging from interest-based electoral districts to cumulative voting. As with many collections of previously published writings, the individual chapters don't all fit together. This is a difficult and controversial book, full of murky ideas and writing, but it should be as widely read as possible because the success of our democracy requires the discussion of ideas.  Also availalble in the MSU College of Law Schaeffer Library.

Johnson, Sterling. Black Globalism: The International Politics of a Non-State Nation. Brookfield: Ashgate, 1998. 262pp.  Main Library E185.61 .J7 1998 : For over 400 years Africans in the United States have fought to realize the principles embedded in the Declaration of Independence and framed the in the US constitution. This book considers the position of African-Americans within American society as a whole, within the context of black non-state-nation status, and in connection to foreign policy relating to other black nations. The book looks at cases such as Italy's invasion of Ethiopia, the use of the African-American community's political power to influence foreign policy regarding South Africa, and the practice of turning back Haitian refugees. The spiritual roots of Pan-Africanism are examined, and the role of the oral tradition, Ethiopian christianity and African culture in the early slave revolts are focused on. Also examined are the emigration debate, nationalism and Pan-Africanism strategies of Martin Delaney, repatriation efforts, the back-to-Africa movement, the impact of Malcolm X, the activities of various African-American organizations, and the role and influence of black legislators on US foreign policy.

Marable, Manning. How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society. Cambridge: South End Press, 2000. 353pp.  Main Library E185.8 .M2 2000 : Sets the standard of achievement for the current generation of Afro-American scholar-activists.

Marable, Manning and Kristin Clarke, eds. Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 269pp.  Main Library E185.615 .B2855 2009 : Barack Obama and the African-American Empowerment examines the evolution of black leadership and politics since the Civil Rights Movement. It looks at the phenomenon of Barack Obama, from his striking emergence as a successful candidate for the Illinois State Senate to President of the United States, as part of the continuum of African American political leaders. The reader also examines the evolving ideals about the roles of government and the economy in addressing the historic disadvantages experienced by many African Americans. Here, some of the nation's most influential intellectuals bring together original scholarship to look at the future of national politics and American race relations.

Muhammad, Khalil G. The Condemnation of Blackness : Race,Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010. 380pp.  Main Library HV6197.U5 M85 2010 : Lynch mobs, chain gangs, and popular views of black southern criminals that defined the Jim Crow South are well known. We know less about the role of the urban North in shaping views of race and crime in American society....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 of opportunity 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. In the heyday of “separate but equal,” what else but pathology could explain black failure in the “land of opportunity”?...The idea of black criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America, as were African Americans’ own ideas about race and crime. Chronicling the emergence of deeply embedded notions of black people as a dangerous race of criminals by explicit contrast to working-class whites and European immigrants, this fascinating book reveals the influence such ideas have had on urban development and social policies.

Radford-Hill, Sheila. Further to Fly: Black Women and the Politics of Empowerment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000. 120pp.  Main Library E185.86 .R26 2000 : How feminism has failed African American women and why they must fight back....Amid the longest-running economic boom in American history and despite the emergence of a significant black middle class, the lot of low-income black people in general-and black women in particular-seems more troubling than ever. Their plight, Sheila Radford-Hill argues in this book, is directly related to the diminution of black women's traditional power as culture bearers and community builders. A cogent critique of feminist theory and practice, Further to Fly identifies the failure of feminism to connect with the social realities it should seek to explain, in particular the decline of black women's empowerment....Further to Fly searches out the causes and effects of this decline, describing the ways in which, since the 1960s, black women have been stripped of their traditional status as agents of change in the community-and how, as a result, the black community has faltered. Radford-Hill explores the shortcomings of second-wave black and white feminism, revealing how their theoretical underpinnings have had unintended (and often unacknowledged) negative consequences for black women's lives and their communities....While acknowledging that African American women have made significant contributions to the black struggle for justice in America, Radford-Hill argues that more needs to be done. She combines social criticism and critical analysis to argue that black women must revive their legacy of activism and reclaim the tradition of nurturing in the black community, proposing specific tactics that can be used to revive the support networks that help determine the obligations of community members and guide how people interact on an everyday level....As a deft account of genesis and effects of black women's diminishing power, and as a sobering analysis of the devastating blunders of feminist theory and practice, this work makes a compelling argument for an "authentic feminism," one that aggressively connects the realities of women's experiences, needs, aspirations, and responsibilities.

Robinson, Eugene. Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. New York: Doubleday, 2010. 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.

Stokes, Curtis, and Theresa Meléndez, eds. Racial Liberalism and the Politics of Urban America. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2003. 353pp.  Main Library E184.A1 R323 2003 : Sixteen contributions from academics look at the intersection of race and public policy in American cities. A sampling of topics includes electoral politics, residential segregation, disparities in access to health care, and environmental racism. The papers were originally presented at a conference held in April 2001 at Michigan State University.  Also available in Faculty Collection (1 West)

Stokes, Curtis, ed. Race and Human Rights. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2009. 271pp.  Main Library E184.A1 R223 2009 : : The terrorist attacks against U.S. targets on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, sparked an intense debate about "human rights." According to contributors to this provocative book, the discussion of human rights to date has been far too narrow. They argue that any conversation about human rights in the United States must include equal rights for all residents....Essays examine the historical and intellectual context for the modern debate about human rights, the racial implications of the war on terrorism, the intersection of racial oppression, and the national security state. Others look at the Pinkerton detective agency as a forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the role of Africa in post–World War II American attempts at empire-building, and the role of immigration as a human rights issue. Also available in Faculty Collection (1 West)

Tate, Gayle. Unknown Tongues: Black Women’s Political Activism in the Antebellum Era, 1820-1860. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2003. 290pp.  Main Library E185.9 .T38 2003  : Unknown Tongues examines the social and economic factors of northern industrialization, social reform, and black nationalism, all of which undergirded black women’s political consciousness during the decades before the American Civil War. The linkages between black women’s roles in the "culture of resistance" in slave communities and their transformations in the urban market economy fueled the development of black women’s political consciousness. As community activists and then as abolitionists, black urban women organized and protested against slavery, racism, sexism, and its attendant ills. Driven by market forces of nascent capitalism, black women created broad- based protest responses to the white power structure. Unknown Tongues explores the material realities that underpinned black women’s political development as well as the transformative stages of their political consciousness and activity.

Taylor. Carl S. Dangerous Society. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1990. 149pp.  Main Library HV6439.U7 D67 1990 :  Although many books/videos are out there about gangs in general, I doubt that there exists any other such book giving details about 1970s and 1980s "Detroit" gangs, including inteviews.

Taylor, Carl S. Girls, Gangs, Women and Drugs. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1993. 217pp.  Main Library HV6439.U7 D68 1993 : This important new work by critically the acclaimed sociologist and author of Dangerous Society makes it clear that girls and young women have become a real force in the drug culture and in 1990s urban gang life. Girls, Gangs, Women and Drugs is based on a decade of field work undertaken in the city of Detroit by one of America's foremost gang experts and his team of researchers. In the course of this investigation, Taylor and his staff interviewed hundreds of girls and young women. Based on what they learned, Dr. Taylor has prepared this spell-binding account of drugs, money, sex, and violence. He commands the reader's attention as complex webs of female gang life and drug culture are unraveled. Girls, Gangs, Women, and Drugs is a book about women, young and old; it is about gangs; it is a book about their survival in a society that has abandoned them; it is a book about women in the criminal justice system; it is about judges, attorneys, administrators of the court, and correctional officers; it is about the women who serve on the police force. It focuses on a large segment of Detroit's female population and how these women see what they are doing as committing acts of self-empowerment - the personal pursuit of their own version of the American Dream. Girls, Gangs, Women, and Drugs takes a close look at the hard economic realities of life on the street and the women who must encounter them every day. Its message is clear: female involvement with drugs and gangs is yet another facet of America's decaying urban culture, one that commands our immediate attention.  Also available online to MSU community.

Van Horne, Winston A., ed. “Introduction, Ch.1, 2 and 3”. Global Convulsions: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism at the End of the Twentieth Century. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1997. 364pp.  Main Library HT1521 .G54 1997 : Contains 16 contributions addressing an array of problems and issues, organized into three sections: concepts and images of race, ethnicity, and nationalism; national identity and the struggle for national rights; and nationalism and the crisis of the multiethnic/multinational state. Topics include the Bell Curve; the role of religion in the cultural foundations of ethnonationalism; national identity and rights in Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and Central Asia; and the issue of ethnonationalism in Yugoslavia, China, the Baltic, Russia, Nigeria, and Canada.

West, Cornel. Race Matters. Boston: Beacon Press, 2001.  108pp.  Main Library E185.615 .W43 2001 : First published in 1993 on the one-year anniversary of the L.A. riots, Race Matters was a national best-seller, and it has since become a groundbreaking classic on race in America. Race Matters contains West's most powerful essays on the issues relevant to black Americans today: despair, black conservatism, black-Jewish relations, myths about black sexuality, the crisis in leadership in the black community, and the legacy of Malcolm X. And the insights that he brings to these complicated problems remain fresh, exciting, creative, and compassionate. Now more than ever, Race Matters is a book for all Americans, as it helps us to build a genuine multiracial democracy in the new millennium.  The 1993 edition also available in print, online, and as a sound recording.

Wilson, William Julius. The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. 254pp. Main Library  HV4045 .W55 1987 : This eminent sociologist has written a complex and provocative analysis of black inner-city poverty. Eschewing both liberal and conservative orthodoxies, Wilson argues that the substantial increase in urban poverty over the past few decades has not been caused by either contemporary racism or an internalized "culture of poverty" value system. Rather it has been the result of major shifts in the economic system, as jobs have left the urban manufacturing sector for a decentralized service sector. Because race-specific policies like affirmative action have tended to benefit the black middle class, only holistic policies available to all Americans who need them can reverse this cycle of poverty. Massive job training programs and more child care would provide a start. Also available in the MSU College of Law Schaeffer Library.

Von Eschen, Penny Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937- 1957. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 1997. 259pp.  Main Library E185.615 .V66 1997 :  During World War II, African American activists, journalists, and intellectuals argued that independence movements in Africa and Asia were inextricably linked to political, economic, and civil rights struggles in the United States. Marshaling evidence from a wide array of international sources, including government documents and the black press of the time, Penny M. Von Eschen vividly portrays the African diaspora in its international heyday, from the 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress to early cooperation with the United Nations. By exploring the relationship between transformations in anticolonial politics and the history of the United States during its emergence as the dominant global power, Von Eschen challenges bipolar Cold War paradigms. She argues that the collision of anticolonialism with Cold War liberalism illuminates conflicts central to the reshaping of America.

African American Readings : Biographies

Readings profile African heritage people's main agents and actors who have shaped the discipline and its subject histories up to the present.

Branch, Taylor. At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-68. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006. 1039pp. Main Library E185.615 .B67 2006 : At Canaan's Edge concludes America in the King Years, a three-volume history that will endure as a masterpiece of storytelling on American race, violence, and democracy. Pulitzer Prize-winner and bestselling author Taylor Branch makes clear in this magisterial account of the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King, Jr., earned a place next to James Madison and Abraham Lincoln in the pantheon of American history.In At Canaan's Edge, King and his movement stand at the zenith of America's defining story, one decade into an epic struggle for the promises of democracy. Branch opens with the authorities' violent suppression of a voting-rights march in Alabama on March 7, 1965. The quest to cross Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge engages the conscience of the world, strains the civil rights coalition, and embroils King in negotiations with all three branches of the U.S. government. The marches from Selma coincide with the first landing of large U.S. combat units in South Vietnam. The escalation of the war severs the cooperation of King and President Lyndon Johnson after a collaboration that culminated in the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act.After Selma, young pilgrims led by Stokely Carmichael take the movement into adjacent Lowndes County, Alabama, where not a single member of the black majority has tried to vote in the twentieth century. Freedom workers are murdered, but sharecroppers learn to read, dare to vote, and build their own political party. Carmichael leaves in frustration to proclaim his famous black power doctrine, taking the local panther ballot symbol to become an icon of armed rebellion.Also after Selma, King takes nonviolence into Northern urban ghettoes. Integrated marches through Chicago expose hatreds and fears no less virulent than the Mississippi Klan's, but King's 1966 settlement with Mayor Richard Daley does not gain the kind of national response that generated victories from Birmingham and Selma. We watch King overrule his advisers to bring all his eloquence into dissent from the Vietnam War. We watch King make an embattled decision to concentrate his next campaign on a positive compact to address poverty. We reach Memphis, the garbage workers' strike, and King's assassination.Parting the Waters provided an unsurpassed portrait of King's rise to greatness, beginning with the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and ending with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. In Pillar of Fire, theologians and college students braved the dangerous Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964 as Malcolm X raised a militant new voice for racial separatism. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed segregation by race and mandated equal opportunity for women. From the pinnacle of winning the Nobel Peace Prize, King willed himself back to "the valley" of jail in his daunting Selma campaign.At Canaan's Edge portrays King at the height of his moral power even as his worldly power is waning. It shows why his fidelity to freedom and nonviolence makes him a defining figure long beyond his brilliant life and violent end.

Clinton, Catherine. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom. New York: Little, Brown, c2004. 272pp.  Main Library E444.T82 C57 2004 :  A definitive full-scale biography of the legendary fugitive slave turned "conductor" on the Underground Railroad describes Tubman's youth in the antebellum South, her escape to Philadelphia, her successful efforts to liberate slaves, and her work as a scout, spy, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Dagbovie, Pero G. The Early Black History Movement, Carter G. Woodson, and Lorenzo Johnston Greene. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2007.  258pp.  Main Library E185.97.W65 D34 2007 : This book examines the lives, work, and contributions of two of the most important figures of the early black history movement, Carter G. Woodson and Lorenzo Johnston Greene. Drawing on the two men's personal papers as well as the materials of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), Pero Gaglo Dagbovie probes the struggles, sacrifices, and achievements of these black history pioneers. The book offers the first major examination of Greene's life. Equally important, it also addresses a variety of issues pertaining to Woodson that other scholars have either overlooked or ignored, including his image in popular and scholarly writings and memory, the democratic approach of the ASNLH, and the pivotal role of women in the association.  Also available in the Faculty Book Collection (1 West)

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written By Himself. San Francisco, CA : City Lights Books, c2010, [2009]  254pp.  Main Library E449 .D749 2009b :  A masterpiece of African American literature, Frederick Douglass's Narrative is the powerful story of an enslaved youth coming into social and moral consciousness by disobeying his white slavemasters and secretly teaching himself to read. Achieving literacy emboldens Douglass to resist, escape, and ultimately achieve his freedom. After escaping slavery, Douglass became a leader in the anti-slavery and women's rights movements, a bestselling author, and U.S. diplomat....In this new critical edition, legendary activist and feminist scholar Angela Davis sheds new light on the legacy of Frederick Douglass. In two philosophical lectures originally delivered at UCLA in autumn 1969, Davis focuses on Douglass's intellectual and spiritual awakening, and the importance of self-knowledge in achieving freedom from all forms of oppression. With detailed attention to Douglass's text, she interrogates the legacy of slavery and shares timeless lessons about oppression, resistance, and freedom. And in an extended introductory essay written for this edition, Davis comments on previous editions of the Narrative and re-examines Douglass through a contemporary feminist perspective. An important new edition of an American classic.

Andrews, William L and William S. McFeely.  Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave, written by himself : authoritative text, contexts, criticismNew York : W.W. Norton & Co., c1997.  188pp.  Main Library E449.D75 D68 1997 : Upon its publication in 1845, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave...became an immediate best-seller.  In addition to its far-reaching impact on the antislavery movement in the United States and abroad, Douglass's fugitive slave narrative won recognition for its literary excellence, which has since earned it a place among the classics of nineteenth-century American autobiography.  This Norton Critical Edition reprints the 1845 first edition of Douglass's compelling work.  Explanatory annotations accompany the text....A rich selection of "Contexts" provides the reader with contemporary perspectives.  Included are the little-known preface that Douglass wrotein 1846 for the second Irish edition; a public exchange of letters between A. C. C. Thompson, a former slaveholder, and Douglass; three autobiographical portraits of Douglass's parents; Douglass's account of his escape from slavery, which he chose not to include in the 1845 Narrative; samples of Douglass's use of his slave experience in two of his most influential antislavery speeches; and reminiscences by James Monroe Gregory and Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Douglass as both oratora nd friend...."Criticism" collects six essential assessments of the Narrative's historical and literary aspects, by William S. McFeely, Peter Ripley, Robert B. Stepto, William L. Andrews, Houston A. Baker, Jr., and Deborah E. McDowell. A Chronology and a Selected Bibliography are included.

Marable, Manning. Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Viking, 2011. 594pp.  Main Library BP223.Z8 L57636 2011 : Of the great figure 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....Manning Marable's new biography of Malcolm is a stunning achievement. Filled with new information and shocking revelations that go beyond the Autobiography, Malcolm X unfolds a sweeping 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. Malcolm X will stand as the definitive work on one of the most singular forces for social change, capturing with revelatory clarity a man who constantly strove, in the great American tradition, to remake himself anew.

Moore, Wes. The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2010.  233pp.  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.

Washington, Booker T. Up From Slavery. New York: Modern Library, 1999. 220pp.  Main Library E185.97 .W3 1999 : For half a century from its publication in 1902 Up from Slavery was the best-known book written by an African American. The life of ex-slave Booker T. Washington embodied the legendary rise of the American self-made man, and his autobiography gave prominence for the first time to the voice of a group which had to pull itself up from extreme adversity.  Many other editions are available : 1951, 1963,  1965, 1970, 1998.  A 1901 online edition is also avaiable.

William, Thomas C. Losing My Cool: How a Father’s Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip- Hop Culture. New York: Penguin Press, 2010.  225pp. Main Library E185.615 .W497 2010 : A pitch-perfect account of how hip-hop culture drew in the author and how his father drew him out again-with love, perseverance, and fifteen thousand books....Into Williams's childhood home-a one-story ranch house-his father crammed more books than the local library could hold. "Pappy" used some of these volumes to run an academic prep service; the rest he used in his unending pursuit of wisdom. His son's pursuits were quite different-"money, hoes, and clothes." The teenage Williams wore Medusa-faced Versace sunglasses and a hefty gold medallion, dumbed down and thugged up his speech, and did whatever else he could to fit into the intoxicating hip-hop culture that surrounded him. Like all his friends, he knew exactly where he was the day Biggie Smalls died, he could recite the lyrics to any Nas or Tupac song, and he kept his woman in line, with force if necessary....But Pappy, who grew up in the segregated South and hid in closets so he could read Aesop and Plato, had a different destiny in mind for his son. For years, Williams managed to juggle two disparate lifestyles- "keeping it real" in his friends' eyes and studying for the SATs under his father's strict tutelage. As college approached and the stakes of the thug lifestyle escalated, the revolving door between Williams's street life and home life threatened to spin out of control. Ultimately, Williams would have to decide between hip-hop and his future. Would he choose "street dreams" or a radically different dream - the one Martin Luther King spoke of or the one Pappy held out to him now?...Williams is the first of his generation to measure the seductive power of hip-hop against its restrictive worldview, which ultimately leaves those who live it powerless. Losing My Cool portrays the allure and the danger of hip-hop culture like no book has before. Even more remarkably, Williams evokes the subtle salvation that literature offers and recounts with breathtaking clarity a burgeoning bond between father and son.

X, Malcolm. Autobiography of Malcolm X: with the assistance of Alex Haley ; introduction by M.S. Handler ; epilogue by Alex Haley. New York: Ballantine Books, 1992, 1965. 527pp.  E185.97.L5 A3 1992 : If there was any one man who articulated the anger, the struggle, and the beliefs of African Americans in the 1960s, that man was Malcolm X. His Autobiography is the result of a unique collaboration between Alex Haley and Malcolm X, whose voice and philosophy resonate from every page, just as his experience and his intelligence continue to speak to millions.  1996 edition available in print and online.

African Studies : The State of the Discipline

Readings explore African Studies disciplinary orientation in relation to Black Studies programs (explore the contested terminology – African American Studies, African Studies, Pan-African Studies, Afro-American Studies, Africology, Black Studies -- but agree that discipline is a legitimate, institutionalized and worthwhile inquiry of scholarship and education). Readings also trace the historical development of African Studies' both integral and sometimes separate and distinct offshoot or trajectory from Black Studies (see the African-centered Paradigm, see continental-based Dar' vs Ibadan schools of African History)

African Studies Association. “History of the African Studies Association”. African Studies Bulletin 4.2 (1961): 32-33.

Aubrey, L. A. “African Americans in the United States and African Studies”. African Issues 30.2 (2002): 19-23.

Bates, R. H., V. Y. Mudimbe , and J. O’Barr, eds. Africa and the Disciplines : The Contributions of Research in Africa to the Social Sciences and Humanities. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1993. 245pp.  Main Library DT19 .A3 1993 : African Studies, contrary to some accounts, is not a separate continent in the world of American higher education. Its intellectual borders touch those of economics, literature, history, philosophy, and art; its history is the story of the world, both ancient and modern. This is the clear conclusion of Africa and the Disciplines, a book that addresses
the question: Why should Africa be studied in the American university? ... This question was put to distinguished scholars in the social sciences and humanities, prominent Africanists who are also leaders in their various disciplines. Their responses make a strong and enlightening case for the importance of research on Africa to the academy....Paul Collier's essay, for example, shows how studies of African economies have clarified our understanding of the small open economies, and contributed to the theory of repressed inflation and to a number of areas in microeconomics as well. Art historian Suzanne Blier uses the terms and concepts that her discipline has applied to Africa to analyze the habits of mind and social practice of her own field. Christopher L. Miller describes the confounding and enriching impact of Africa on European and American literary theory. pluralism, and rational choice. These essays, together with others from scholars in history, anthropology, philosophy, and comparative literature, attest to the influence of African research throughout the curriculum....For many, knowledge from Africa seems distant and exotic. These powerful essays suggest the contrary: that such knowledge has shaped the way in which scholars in various disciplines understand their worlds. Eloquent testimony to Africa's necessary place in the mainstream of American education, this book should alter the academy's understanding of the significance of African research, its definition of core and periphery in human knowledge.

Black Caucus Statements. “The Crisis in African Studies”. Africa Today 16.5-6 (1969): 18-19.

Bowman, L. W. and D. T. Cohen. “Identifying New Directions for African Studies : The National Survey of African Studies Faculty”. African Issues 30.2 (2002): 2-10.

Challenor, H. S. “No Longer at Ease : Confrontation at the 12th Annual African Studies Association Meeting at Montreal”. Africa Today 16.5-6 (1969): 4-7.

Cowan, L. G . “Ten Years of African Studies”. African Studies Bulletin 12.1 (1969): 1-7.

Davis, R. H. “For African Studies, Race Still Matters”. Africa Today 44.2 (1997): 143-148.

Dressel, C .A. “The Development of African Studies in the United States”. African Studies Bulletin 9.3 (1966): 66-73.

Falola, T. and C. Jennings, eds. Africanizing Knowledge : African Studies Across the Disciplines. New Brunswick : Transaction Publishers, 2002. 447pp.  Main Library DT19 .A346 2002 : Nearly four decades ago, Terence Ranger questioned to what extent African history was actually African, and whether methods and concerns derived from Western historiography were really sufficient tools for researching and narrating African history. Despite a blossoming and branching out of Africanist scholarship in the last twenty years, that question is still haunting. The most prestigious locations for production of African studies are outside Africa itself, and scholars still seek a solution to this paradox. They agree that the ideal solution would be a flowering of institutions of higher learning within Africa which would draw not only Africanist scholars, but also financial resources to the continent.While the focus of this volume is on historical knowledge, the effort to make African scholarship "more African" is fundamentally interdisciplinary. The essays in this volume employ several innovative methods in an effort to study Africa on its own terms. The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, "Africanizing African History, " offers several diverse methods for bringing distinctly African modes of historical discourse to the foreground in academic historical research. Part 2, "African Creative Expression in Context, " presents case studies of African art, literature, music, and poetry. It attempts to strip away the exotic or primitivist aura such topics often accumulate when presented in a foreign setting in order to illuminate the social, historical, and aesthetic contexts in which these works of art were originally produced. Part 3, "Writing about Colonialism, " demonstrates that the study of imperialism in Africa remains a springboard for innovative work, which takes familiarideas about Africa and considers them within new contexts. Part 4, "Scholars and Their Work, " critically examines the process of African studies itself, including the roles of scholars in the production of knowledge about...

Morgenthau, R. S. “Separating the Spies from the Scholars”. Africa Today 12.1 (1967): 22-24.

Njisane, M. “The African Studies Association : Priority Issues”. A Journal of Opinion 1 (1971): 2-5.

Obichere, B. I. “The Contributions of African Scholars and Teachers to African Studies, 1955-1975”. A Journal of Opinion 6.2-3 (1976): 27-32.

Okafor, Victor. Towards an Understanding of Africology. 3rd ed. Dubuque : Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2009.  3rd edition, 283pp.  Main Library E184.7 .O39 2010 : click on title and book cover for table of contents.

Philipson, R. “The Making and Unmaking of a White Africanist”  Research in African Literatures 25.1 (1994): 93-99.

Resnick, I. N. “Crisis in African Studies”. Africa Today 16.5-6 (1969): 14-15.

Wallerstein, I. “The Evolving Role of the African Scholar in African Studies”. Canadian Journal of African Studies 17.1 (1983): 9-16.

Zeleza, Paul. Manufacturing African Studies and Crises. Dakar, Sengal : Codesria , 1997.  617pp.  Main Library DT19.8 .Z44 1997 : Awarded 'Special Commendation' in the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa 1998. The intellectual liberation of the study of Africa is the battle cry of this forceful book. The author is one of Africa's younger scholars, in the forefront of research and thinking about the role of African scholars, and the ownership and state of African Studies; and winner of The Noma Award for Publishing in Africa 1994. He describes this book as an interrogation of African Studies, its formulations and fetishes, theories and trends, possibilities and pitfalls. He argues that, as a discursiveformation, African Studies is immersed in the contexts and configurations of the western epistemological order; and the crisis in African Studies in North America and Britain reflects changing cultural policies as a result of the shifting ethnic and gender composition o fclassrooms, tansformations in the global positions of these countries, and the crisis of liberal values. The study has been highly recommended by such distinguished African scholars as Professors Mahmood Mamdani, Ali Mazrui, V.Y. Mudimbeand Adebayo Olikosh.

African Studies : Ideology and Representation

Readings define / map out approaches / ideologies for understanding Africans.

Keto, C . Tsehloane. An Introduction to The Africa Centered Perspective of History. Chicago : Research Associates School Times Publication, 1999.  2nd edition, 155pp.  Main Library DT19 .K48 1994 :

King, Richard.  African Origin of Biological Psychiatry. Germantown, TN : Seymour-Smith, 1990.  160pp.  Main Library RC343 .K54 1990  : Black Dot is an ancient symbol for blackness, it is the black seed of all humanity, the hidden doorway to the collective unconsciousness-darkness, the shadow, primeval ocean, chaos, the womb, doorway of life.

Ntarangwi, M., D. Mills, and M. Babiker, eds. African Anthropologies : History, Critique and Practice. London ; New York : Zed Books in association with CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal ; New York : Distributed exclusively in the U.S. by Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.  274pp.  Main Library GN46.A357 A47 2006  : This overview of the history, application and teaching of anthropology in post-colonial Africa shows how the continent's anthropologists are redefining the historical legacy of European and American disciplinary hegemony, and developing distinctively African contributions to anthropological theory and practice. The contributors illustrate the diverse national traditions of anthropological practice that have developed in sub-Saharan Africa since decolonization and exemplify the diversity of professional work carried out by the discipline's practitioners. Their commitment to a common disciplinary identity demonstrates the place that exists for a critical anthropology that is reflective about both its potentials and limitations.

Nyerere, Julius. Ujamaa . Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press, 1968. 186pp. Main Library HX439 .N9 1968  Also available in Swahili.

African Studies : The African Subject, Identity, and Condition

Readings cover African Studies' core conceptual variables that inform a disciplinary impetus (The Euro-Africa Encounter, Race and Racism, Exclusion, Oppression and Violence, Identity crisis, Hybridity and the African condition, philosophy as well as new 'representation' themes).

Amadiume, Ifi   Male Daughters, Female Husbands : Gender and Sex in an African Society. London : Zed Books, 1987. 223pp.  Main Library HQ1815.5 .A5 1987  Also available online. : Challenging the received orthodoxies of social anthropology, Ifi Amadiume argues that in precolonial society, sex and gender did not necessarily coincide. Examining the structures that enabled women to achieve power, she shows that roles were neither rigidly masculinized nor feminized....Economic changes in colonial times undermined women’s status and reduced their political role and Dr Amadiume maintains, patriarchal tendencies introduced by colonialism persist today, to the detriment of women....
Critical of the chauvinist stereotypes established by colonial anthropology, the author stresses the importance of recognizing women’s economic activities as as essential basis of their power. She is also critical of those western feminists who, when relating to African women, tend to accept the same outmoded projections.

Appiah, Anthony. In My Father’s House : Africa in the Philosophy of Culture. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993. 225pp.  Main Library DT352.4 .A66 1993 " The beating of Rodney King and the resulting riots in South Central Los Angeles. The violent clash between Hasidim and African-Americans in Crown Heights. The boats of Haitian refugees being turned away from the Land of Opportunity. These are among the many racially-charged images that have burst across our television screens in the last year alone, images that show that for all our complacent beliefs in a melting-pot society, race is as much of a problem as ever in America....In this vastly important, widely-acclaimed volume, Kwame Anthony Appiah, a Ghanaian philosopher who now teaches at Harvard, explores, in his words, "the possibilities and pitfalls of an African identity in the late twentieth century." In the process he sheds new light on what it means to be an African-American, on the many preconceptions that have muddled discussions of race, Africa, and Afrocentrism since the end of the nineteenth century, and, in the end, to move beyond the idea of race....In My Father's House is especially wide-ranging, covering everything from Pan Africanism, to the works of early African-American intellectuals such as Alexander Crummell and W.E.B. Du Bois, to the ways in which African identity influences African literature. In his discussion of the latter subject, Appiah demonstrates how attempts to construct a uniquely African literature have ignored not only the inescapable influences that centuries of contact with the West have imposed, but also the multicultural nature of Africa itself. Emphasizing this last point is Appiah's eloquent title essay which offers a fitting finale to the volume. In a moving first-person account of his father's death and funeral in Ghana, Appiah offers a brilliant metaphor for the tension between Africa's aspirations to modernity and its desire to draw on its ancient cultural roots.  1992 edition also available from Methuen.

Diop, Chiek A. The African Origin of Civilization : Myth or Reality. New York, L. Hill [1974]   316pp.  Main Library DT61 .D5613 : Translation of sections of Antériorité des civilisations négres and Nations nègres et culture. : This classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.

DuBois, W. E. B. The World and Africa. Millwood: Kraus-Thomson Organization, 1976. 352pp.  Main Library DT21 .D8 1976 : Reprint of 1965 International Publishers edition.  1947 Viking Press edition available in print and online. : DuBois gives the reader an intricate and thoroughgoing glimpse at how Afrika and all of her resources - mineral, human, land - have shaped the destiny and laid the foundation for the modern world. A must read for the novice or specialist in Afrikan history and geopolitics. Further, the author shows how European economies have been bolstered at the expense of Afrikan people. In one chapter, "The Rape of Africa," the reader is given a chance to see how the colonial powers partitioned the continent to satisfy their own hegemonic and dastardly needs.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1966.  255pp.  Main Library DT33 .F313 1966 : 1963 MacGibbon and Kee and  1967 Penguin editions also available. : Frantz Fanon (1925-61) was a Martinique-born black psychiatrist and anticolonialist intellectual; The Wretched of the Earth is considered by many to be one of the canonical books on the worldwide black liberation struggles of the 1960s. Within a Marxist framework, using a cutting and nonsentimental writing style, Fanon draws upon his horrific experiences working in Algeria during its war of independence against France. He addresses the role of violence in decolonization and the challenges of political organization and the class collisions and questions of cultural hegemony in the creation and maintenance of a new country's national consciousness. As Fanon eloquently writes, "[T]he unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps."...Although socialism has seemingly collapsed in the years since Fanon's work was first published, there is much in his look into the political, racial, and social psyche of the ever-emerging Third World that still rings true at the cusp of a new century.

Houtondji, Paulin. African Philosophy: Myth and Reality. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996. 2nd edition, 221pp.  B5305 .H6813 1996eb  Online  : 1983 Indiana Press and 1983 Hutchinson editions also available in print. : In this incisive, original exploration of the nature and future of African philosophy, Paulin J. Hountondji attacks a myth popularized by ethnophilosophers such as Placide Tempels and Alexis Kagame that there is an indigenous, collective African philosophy separate and distinct from the Western philosophical tradition. Hountondji contends that ideological manifestations of this view that stress the uniqueness of the African experience are protonationalist reactions against colonialism conducted, paradoxically, in the terms of colonialist discourse. Hountondji argues that a genuine African philosophy must assimilate and transcend the theoretical heritage of Western philosophy and must reflect a rigorous process of independent scientific inquiry. This edition is updated with a new preface in which Hountondji responds to his critics and clarifies misunderstandings about the book's conceptual framework.

James, George . Stolen Legacy: The Egyptian Origins of Western Philosophy. Feather Trail Press, 2010.  Note:  Main Library has Stolen legacy : the Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy, but the people of North Africa, commonly called the Egyptians / by George G. M. James ; introduction to 1976 reprint by Asa G. Hilliard.  San Francisco : Julian Richardson Associates, 1976.  190pp.  Main Library B171 .J3 1976, which is also a reprint of 1954 ed. published by Philosophical Library, New York. : A controversial work first published in 1954. To the consternation of some, James dared to assert that the Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy, and that so-called Greek philosophy was in fact based upon the primary ideas and concepts borrowed-without acknowledgement-from the ancient Egyptians. Written during Dr. James tenure at the University of Arkansas, "Stolen Legacy: The Egyptian Origins of Western Philosophy" raises more thought-provoking questions and uncomfortable questions than it answers. Though many may disagree with James' findings, his book confirms the words of Solomon, "there is nothing new under the sun." Truth and wisdom has been in existence since time began. Greek culture learned much from the Egyptians. Alexander the Great and the Ptolemy dynasty were Greek, but they did not disturb the religion or the customs of the Egyptians, and indeed built magnificent new temples for the Egyptian gods. Ptolemy I, perhaps with advice from Demetrius of Phalerum, founded the Museum and Library of Alexandria, a key academic, literary, and scientific center which drew the top Greek scholars. In "Stolen Legacy: The Egyptian Origins of Western Philosophy," James shows how famous Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were heavily influenced by Egyptian culture, and how many of their teachings were what they had learned from the Egyptians.

Mama , Amina . Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity. New York : Rutledge, 1995. 203pp.  GN645 .M32 1995 : Psychology has had a number of things to say about black and coloured people, none of them favourable, and most of which have reinforced stereotyped and derogatory images. Beyond the Masks is a readable account of black psychology, exploring key theoretical issues in race and gender. In it, Amina Mama examines the history of racist psychology, and of the implicit racism throughout the discipline. Beyond the Masks also offers an important theoretical perspective, and will appeal to all those involved with ethnic minorities, gender politics and questions of identity.

Magubane, Bernard Makhosezwe. The Ties That Bind: African-American Consciousness of Africa. Trenton, N.J. : Africa World Press, 1987. 251pp. Main Library E185.615 .M348 1987 : This book presents an interpretation and analysis of the phenomenon of ambivalence so persistent in the Afro-American consciousness of Africa. Today a wide range of black opinion has accepted Pan-Africanism and Africa and many are consciously making an effective attempt to create more links with Africa. The right of blacks to be culturally independent is now accepted, at least verbally, without question. But this was not always the case. The present study is offered as an exploration in the field of social identity as it affects people in diaspora. The identity of every people is shaped in their environment, it is a legacy of historical forces.

Mbembé , Achille . On the Postcolony. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001. 274pp.  Main Library HN780.Z9 P66413 2001 : Achille Mbembe is one of the most brilliant theorists of postcolonial studies writing today. In On the Postcolony he profoundly renews our understanding of power and subjectivity in Africa. In a series of provocative essays, Mbembe contests diehard Africanist and nativist perspectives as well as some of the key assumptions of postcolonial theory....This thought-provoking and groundbreaking collection of essays--his first book to be published in English--develops and extends debates first ignited by his well-known 1992 article "Provisional Notes on the Postcolony," in which he developed his notion of the "banality of power" in contemporary Africa. Mbembe reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia, and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power. He works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity -- violence, wonder, and laughter -- to profoundly contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century.

Mudimbe , V. Y. The Invention of Africa : Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (African Systems of Thought). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988. 241pp.  Main Library B5310 .M84 1988   Also available online : In this unique and provocative book, Zairean philosopher and writer V. Y. Mudimbe addresses the multiple scholarly discourses that exist -- African and non-African -- concerning the meaning of Africa and being African.

Mwakikagile, Godfrey. Relations Between Africans, African Americans and Afro-Caribbean’s: Tensions, Indifference and Harmony. Dar es Salam: New Africa Press, 2007.  145pp.  Main Library E185.625 .M92 2007 : Africans, African Americans and Afro-Caribbeans also known as West Indians, and how they relate to each other are the focus of this study. Tensions which exist between a significant number of Africans and Afro-Caribbeans in Britain - between Jamaicans and Nigerians and others - is one of the subjects addressed in the book. The author also looks at how members of these groups cooperate in a number of areas but concedes that even in the absence of overt - or covert - hostility between them there is indifference towards each other in many cases. There are many other subjects covered in the book about these communities including the impact of African independence on the civil rights movement in the United States. The author has focused on Britain and the United States. Both countries have large numbers of African and Afro-Caribbean (West Indian) immigrants.

Oyewumi, Oyeronke. Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997. 229pp.  Main Library DT515.45.Y67 O94 1997 : The author traces the misapplication of Western, body-oriented concepts of gender through the history of gender discourses in Yoruba studies. The Invention of Women demonstrates that biology as a rationale for organizing the social world is a Western construction not applicable in Yoruban culture where social organization was determined by relative age

Wa Thiong’o, N. Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Portsmouth: Heinemann Press, 1986. 114pp.  PL8010 .N48 1986 : Ngugi describes this book as "a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in the teaching of literature....In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Europe stole art treasures from Africa to decorate their houses and museums; in the twentieth century Europe is stealing the treasures of the mind to enrich their languages and cultures...."

African Studies : Historical Events and Issues

Oppression /Resistance, Discrimination, Segregation, Inequality. Readings explore the main issues that define African peoples' history and socio cultural relations (slave trade, segregation, human rights, colonialism, imperialism, apartheid, post-colonialism, Diaspora migrations and displacement, gender difference / African feminisms)

Amin, Samir. Accumulation on a World Scale : a critique of the theory of underdevelopment. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974. 2 vols. (666pp.) Main Library HG3881 .A5613

Asadi, Muhammed A. Global Apartheid and the World Economic Order: Racism, the West and the Third World. Lincoln: Writer’s Club Press, 2003. 122pp.  HF1359 .A72 2003 : In the late Middle Ages, different regions of the world were almost equally developed. Then, in the course of a few hundred years, Western economic and political domination in the world led to pockets of development and underdevelopment, wealth and poverty, coexisting in close proximity to each other. A clear pattern emerged on a global and local scale. The emerging dominant philosophy was Capitalism, the driving force behind which was competition, based on ideas similar to Social Darwinism. As a result, an ideology of superiority emerged within the ruling elite, an idea that led to the patterned underdevelopment of certain groups of people on a local and global scale within the interconnected World System.Using sound economic and sociological analysis, this book unravels the global apartheid system and the channels through which it operates to bring misery upon the vast majority of humankind.

Boubacar Barry. Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998. 358pp.  Main Library DT532.25 .B37 1998 Also available online : This authoritative study of 400 years of Senegambian history is unrivaled in its detailed grasp of published and unpublished materials. Taking as his subject the vast area covering the Senegal and Gambia river basins, Boubacar Barry explores the changing dynamics of regional trade, clashes between African and Muslim authorities, the colonial system and the slave trade. This newly-translated book is a vital tool in our understanding of West African history.

Clarke, John Henrik.   African People in World History. Baltimore : Black Classic Press, 1993. 92pp.  Main Library DT25 .C58 1993 : Dr. John Henrik Clarke's African People in World History inaugurates the Black Classic Press Contemporary Lecture Series. This series is devoted to the publication of views expressed by leading contemporary thinkers and essayists. Dr. Clarke qualifies as both. He is Professor Emeritus of African World History at Hunter College. As a historian, educator, and author, he has dedicated his life to uncovering the identity and place of African people in world history.

Curtin, Philip D. The Atlantic Slave Trade : A Census. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969. 338pp. Main Library HT975 .C8  Also available online : Curtin combines modern research and statistical methods with his broad knowledge of the field to present the first book-length quantitative analysis of the Atlantic slave trade.  Its basic evidence suggests revision of currently held opinions concerning the place of the slave trade in the economies of the Old World nations and their American colonies.

Dunn, Kevin. Imagining the Congo : the international relations of identity.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan: 2003. 221pp.  Main Library DT653.3 .D86 2003 : Understanding the current civil war in Congo requires an examination of how the Congo's identity has been imagined over time. Imagining the Congo historicizes and contextualizes the constructions of the Congo's identity during four historical periods. Kevin Dunn explores "imaginings" of the Congo that have allowed the current state of affairs there to develop, and the broader conceptual question of how identity has become important in recent IR scholarship.

Gomez, Michael. Exchanging Our Country Marks: The Transformation of African Identities in the Colonial and Antebellum South. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1998. 370pp.  Main Library E185.18 .G18 1998 Also available online  : Gomez's work is a well-researched, carefully delineated study of Africans who, although tempest-tossed during the infamous middle passage, crossed the Atlantic in naked bondage and created a series of ethnic societies in the Colonial South as far west as Louisiana. The author discriminates between African ethnic groups who came during the Colonial period and those who arrived during the antebellum period. Louisiana received Gold Coast, Senegambian, and Bambara people; these were joined by other West Africans, who eventually were dominated by Congolese-Angolans. Among these peoples were significant numbers of Muslims, who later spread over the South. The Chesapeake area early received Igbo and Akan peoples, who were largely rural and noted for their high suicide rates. In South Carolina and Georgia, Senegambians and Sierra Leonians were in demand for their agricultural skills in rice and indigo. African religions, cultures, languages, foods, gender attitudes, and secret societies created a diversity of life styles. However, African ethnicities were compressed over a period of 250 years in the US and produced an Africanized version of English, a common desire to escape servitude, the acceptance of an Africanized version of Christianity, an expanding African American population, and the realization by the principals that their one common feature in the American environment was color. Thus, states Gomez, race became the great barrier to assimilation.

Gomez. Michael. Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora. Cambridge : Cambridge University, 2005. 236pp.  Main Library DT16.5 .G66 2005 : The experiences of Africans in the Old World--the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, is followed by their movement into the New, where their plight in lands claimed by Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English colonial powers is analyzed from enslavement through the Cold War. Particular attention is paid to the everyday lives of the working classes and their cultural development. Their exploits, challenges, and struggles are covered over a broad time frame that links as well as differentiates past and present circumstances.

Hansberry, William Leo.  Africa and Africans as Seen by Classical Writers. Edited by Joseph Harris. Washington, D. C .: Howard University Press, 1977. 162pp.  DT21 .H28 : In this groundbreaking study, the father of African Studies, William Leo Hansberry, examines classical references to the African continent and its people. The writings of Homer, Pliny, Ovid, Virgil, Herodotus and others are discussed and analyzed in a lively and highly readable manner.

Harris, Joseph, ed. Pillars in Ethiopian History, Vol I : William Leo Hansberry African History Notebook, Washington D. C .: Howard University Press, 1981. 154pp.  Main Library DT381 .H35 1981 : Taken from William Leo Hansberry's private papers the four essays in Volume I, better described as narrative histories, decipher and remove from the entanglement of myth, legend and spurious historical documentation the pillars of Ethiopia's unity.

Hayford, J. E. Casely. Ethiopia Unbound: Studies in Race Emancipation. London: Cass, 1969. 2nd edition, 215pp.  Main Library PR6015.A83 E8 1969  1911 edition available online : Written in 1911 by an African nationalist, this book expresses his views on colonialism as an educated African who goes to London and then returns to his native land with fresh eyes to the exploitation of his people and possible solutions. While it is a fictional novel, it's long on political speeches, and is said to have influenced Marcus Garvey.

Inikori, Joseph. The Atlantic Slave Trade : Effects on Economies, Societies and Peoples in Africa, the Americas, and Europe. Durham: Duke University Press Books, 1992. 412pp.  Main Library HT855 .A85 1992 : Debates over the economic, social, and political meaning of slavery and the slave trade have persisted for over two hundred years. The Atlantic Slave Trade brings clarity and critical insight to the subject. In fourteen essays, leading scholars consider the nature and impact of the transatlantic slave trade and assess its meaning for the people transported and for those who owned them....Among the questions these essays address are: the social cost to Africa of this forced migration; the role of slavery in the economic development of Europe and the United States; the short-term and long-term effects of the slave trade on black mortality, health, and life in the New World; and the racial and cultural consequences of the abolition of slavery. Some of these essays originally appeared in recent issues of Social Science History; the editors have added new material, along with an introduction placing each essay in the context of current debates....Based on extensive archival research and detailed historical examination, this collection constitutes an important contribution to the study of an issue of enduring significance. It is sure to become a standard reference on the Atlantic slave trade for years to come.

Inikori, Joseph. Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A Study in International Trade and Economic Development. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2002.  576pp.  Main Library HF1379 .I535 2002 Also available online : Drawing on classical development theory and recent theoretical advances on the connection between expanding markets and technological developments, this book reveals the critical role of the expansion of Atlantic commerce in the successful completion of England's industrialization from 1650-1850. The volume is the first detailed study of the role of overseas trade in the Industrial Revolution. It revises other explanations that have recently dominated the field and shifts the assessment of African contribution away from the debate on profits.

Mazrui, Ali A., and Michael Tidy. Nationalism and New States in Africa from about 1935 to the Present. Nairobi: Heinemann, 1984. 402pp.  Main Library DT31 .M377

Minter, William. Apartheid's Contras : An Inquiry into the Roots of War in Angola and Mozambique. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1994.  308pp.  Main Library DT1436 .M56 1994 : Apartheid’s Contras provides a nuanced analysis of the complex causes of the wars in Angola and Mozambique between independence from Portugal in 1975 and the fall of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. It examines the roles of internal divisions, South Africa’s regional assault on its neighbors, and of the Cold War. Based on extensive secondary research as well as on on-the-ground interviews, it has won praise for being “remarkably lucid, dispassionate yet committed".

Obenga, Theophile . African Philosophy: The Pharaonic Period: 2780-330 B.C. Dakar: Per Ankh, 2004. 671pp.  Main Library B141 .O3413 2004 : Providing evidence of the accomplishment and superiority of ancient Egyptian philosophy, this examination of African and comparative philosophy covers science, medicine, textile chemistry, astronomy, geology, zoology, and mathematics. African philosophical systems are traced to a common origin, and groups such as the Dogon of Mali, the Vai of Sierra Leone, and the Yoruba of Nigeria are shown to share modern philosophical and scientific systems with those of ancient Egypt. This substantial offering to the development of the history of Egyptology explores connections between ancient Egypt and modern Africa and provides translations of numerous languages including ancient Egyptian and Semitic.

Ramphele, Mamphela. Laying Ghosts to Rest : Dilemmas of the Transformation in South Africa. Cape Town: Tafelberg, 2008. 341pp.  Main Library HN801.A8 R36 2008 : As a founding member of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa with Steve Biko, Ramphele (medical doctor/social anthropologist/business leader) makes an important contribution to the dialog on neo-racism, sexism, authoritarianism, and HIV/AIDS in a country still haunted by the legacy of apartheid. She argues that, in addition to addressing past inequities by empowering blacks (despite the mixed results of some economic policies), the country needs 'transformative leadership' to ensure greater opportunities for all citizens.

Vera, Yvonne.  Nehanda.  Harare : Baobab Books, 1993.  118pp. Main Library PR9390.9.V47 N4 1993 : Set in Yvonne Vera's native country of Zimbabwe, Nehanda tells the story of a late nineteenth century village where a young woman has been given a divine calling: the gift to inspire a war. Told in beautifully lucid and evocative prose, this is the portrait of resistance and struggle, a tale of a people's first meeting with colonialism. A stunning, beautiful and poetic novel.

Williams, Chancellor. Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C . to 2000 A.D. Chicago: Third World Press, 1987 (1995 printing). 3rd edition, 384pp.  Main Library DT14 .W53 1987   1974 edition also available : A widely read classic exposition of the history of Africans on the continent—and the people of African descent in the United States and in the diaspora—this well researched analysis details the development of civilization in Africa.

African Studies : Colonialism

Achebe, Nwando. Farmers, Traders, Warriors, and Kings : Female Power and Authority in Northern Igboland, 1900-1960. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2005. 274pp. Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West)  DT515.45.I33 A33 2005 : There is an adage that the Igbo of Nigeria have no kings. This book focuses on an area in Igboland where, contrary to this popular belief, Igbos not only have kings, but female kings. It is an area where women served as warriors and even married many wives. Because women in Nsukka Division served as prominent actors in a complex set of interactions, relationships, and manifestations unmatched elsewhere in Igboland, researchers cannot adequately analyze the landscape of Nsukka Division (or any other African society, for that matter) without investigating the central place of women and the female principle in the spiritual world of the society. The author examines the political, economic, and religious structures that allowed women and the female principle to achieve measures of power and determines some of the ways they reacted and adjusted to the challenges of European rule.

Mamdani, Mahmood. Citizen and Subject : Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.  353pp.  Main Library JV246 .M35 1996 : In analyzing the obstacles to democratization in post- independence Africa, Mahmood Mamdani offers a bold, insightful account of colonialism's legacy--a bifurcated power that mediated racial domination through tribally organized local authorities, reproducing racial identity in citizens and ethnic identity in subjects. Many writers have understood colonial rule as either "direct" (French) or "indirect" (British), with a third variant--apartheid--as exceptional. This benign terminology, Mamdani shows, masks the fact that these were actually variants of a despotism. While direct rule denied rights to subjects on racial grounds, indirect rule incorporated them into a "customary" mode of rule, with state-appointed Native Authorities defining custom. By tapping authoritarian possibilities in culture, and by giving culture an authoritarian bent, indirect rule (decentralized despotism) set the pace for Africa; the French followed suit by changing from direct to indirect administration, while apartheid emerged relatively later. Apartheid, Mamdani shows, was actually the generic form of the colonial state in Africa....Through case studies of rural (Uganda) and urban (South Africa) resistance movements, we learn how these institutional features fragment resistance and how states tend to play off reform in one sector against repression in the other. Reforming a power that institutionally enforces tension between town and country, and between ethnicities, is the key challenge for anyone interested in democratic reform in Africa.

Mamdani, Mahmood. When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002. 364pp.  Main Library DT450.435 .M35 2001 : "When we captured Kigali, we thought we would face criminals in the state; instead, we faced a criminal population." So a political commissar in the Rwanda Patriotic Front reflected after the 1994 massacre of as many as one million Tutsis in Rwanda. Underlying his statement is the realization that, though ordered by a minority of state functionaries, the slaughter was performed by hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens, including even judges, human rights activists, and doctors, nurses, priests, friends, and spouses of the victims. Indeed, it is its very popularity that makes the Rwandan genocide so unthinkable. This book makes it thinkable.Rejecting easy explanations of the genocide as a mysterious evil force that was bizarrely unleashed, one of Africa's best-known intellectuals situates the tragedy in its proper context. He coaxes to the surface the historical, geographical, and political forces that made it possible for so many Hutu to turn so brutally on their neighbors. He finds answers in the nature of political identities generated during colonialism, in the failures of the nationalist revolution to transcend these identities, and in regional demographic and political currents that reach well beyond Rwanda. In so doing, Mahmood Mamdani usefully broadens understandings of citizenship and political identity in postcolonial Africa.There have been few attempts to explain the Rwandan horror, and none has succeeded so well as this one. Mamdani's analysis provides a solid foundation for future studies of the massacre. Even more important, his answers point a way out of crisis: a direction for reforming political identity in central Africa and preventing future tragedies.

Memmi, Albert. The Colonizer and the Colonized. Boston: Beacon Press, 1991.  169pp.  Main Library JV51 .M413 1991  1965,  1967 and 1990 editions also available : First published in English in 1965, this timeless classic explores the psychological effects of colonialism on colonized and colonizers alike

Taiwo, Olufemi. How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009. 352pp.  Main Library DT14 .T35 2009 : Why hasn't Africa been able to respond to the challenges of modernity and globalization? Going against the conventional wisdom that colonialism brought modernity to Africa, Olufemi claims that Africa was already becoming modern and that colonialism was an unfinished project. Africans aspired to liberal democracy and the rule of law, but colonial officials aborted those efforts when they established indirect rule in the service of the European powers. Taiwo looks closely at modern institutions, such as church missionary societies, to recognize African agency and the impulse toward progress. He insists that Africa can get back on track and advocates a renewed engagement with modernity. Immigration, capitalism, democracy, and globalization, if done right this time, can be tools that shape a positive future for Africa.

African Studies : Culture, Literature, and Art

Readings underscore the cultural expression of African peoples (religion, sports, musical arts-from blues, jazz to hip hop, include African soukous, WA highlife, Afro-pop and, African literature and literary works, and, fine art).

Abani, Chris. GraceLand. New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004.  321pp.  Main Library PR9387.9.A23 G73 2004 : In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to make his way out of the ghetto. Broke, beset by floods, and beatings by his alcoholic father, and with no job opportunities in sight, Elvis is tempted by a life of crime. Thus begins his odyssey into the dangerous underworld of Lagos, guided by his friend Redemption and accompanied by a restless hybrid of voices including The King of Beggars, Sunday, Innocent and Comfort. Ultimately, young Elvis, drenched in reggae and jazz, and besotted with American film heroes and images, must find his way to a GraceLand of his own. Nuanced, lyrical, and pitch perfect, Abani has created a remarkable story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. Garden City, New York : Anchor Books, 1969. 266pp. Main Library PR9387.9.A3 A8 1969  Additional 1964, 1969, and 2010 print editions.  2nd revised online edition (2006) : Set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, one of Africa's best-known writers describes the conflict between old and new in its most poignant aspect: the personal struggle between father and son.

Adichi, Chimamanda. Half of a Yellow Sun. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. 435pp.  Main Library PR9387.9.A34354 H35 2006 : When the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria seceded in 1967 to form the independent nation of Biafra, a bloody, crippling three-year civil war followed. That period in African history is captured with haunting intimacy in this artful page-turner from Nigerian novelist Adichie (Purple Hibiscus). Adichie tells her profoundly gripping story primarily through the eyes and lives of Ugwu, a 13-year-old peasant houseboy who survives conscription into the raggedy Biafran army, and twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, who are from a wealthy and well-connected family. Tumultuous politics power the plot, and several sections are harrowing, particularly passages depicting the savage butchering of Olanna and Kainene's relatives. But this dramatic, intelligent epic has its lush and sultry side as well: rebellious Olanna is the mistress of Odenigbo, a university professor brimming with anticolonial zeal; business-minded Kainene takes as her lover fair-haired, blue-eyed Richard, a British expatriate come to Nigeria to write a book about Igbo-Ukwu art—and whose relationship with Kainene nearly ruptures when he spends one drunken night with Olanna. This is a transcendent novel of many descriptive triumphs, most notably its depiction of the impact of war's brutalities on peasants and intellectuals alike. It's a searing history lesson in fictional form, intensely evocative and immensely absorbing.

Aidoo, Ama Ata. No Sweetness Here and Other Stories. New York : The Feminist Press at CUNY, 1995. 160pp.  Main Library PR9379.9.A35 N6 1995 : Eleven stories explore life in Ghana and the clashes between traditional culture and modern changes.

Dangarembaga, Tsitsi. Nervous Conditions. Banbury : Ayebia Clarke, 2004.   211pp.  Main Library PR9390.9.D3 N4 2004  1988 edition and 2001 edition also available : Tambu, an adolescent living in colonial Rhodesia of the '60s, seizes the opportunity to leave her rural community to study at the missionary school run by her wealthy, British-educated uncle. With an uncanny and often critical self-awareness, Tambu narrates this skillful first novel by a Zimbabwe native. Like many heroes of the bildungsroman, Tambu, in addition to excelling at her curriculum, slowly reaches some painful conclusions--about her family, her proscribed role as a woman, and the inherent evils of colonization. Tambu often thinks of her mother, "who suffered from being female and poor and uneducated and black so stoically." Yet, she and her cousin, Nyasha, move increasingly farther away from their cultural heritage. At a funeral in her native village, Tambu admires the mourning of the women, "shrill, sharp, shiny, needles of sound piercing cleanly and deeply to let the anguish in, not out." In many ways, this novel becomes Tambu's keening--a resonant, eloquent tribute to the women in her life, and to their losses.

Harrow, Kenneth W., ed. Faces of Islam in African Literature. Portsmouth : Heinemann, 1991.  332pp.  Main Library PL8010 .F3 1991 : Islam has shaped the culture of more than one-third of the continent and provides a critical component in the works of many prominent African writers.

Harrow, Kenneth W. Thresholds of Change in African Literature : The Emergence of a Tradition. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 1994. 384pp.  Main Library PQ3980 .T47 1994 : African literature in the twentieth century has grown from the early poetry of Negritude to recent novels of magical realism. As novelists, poets, and playwrights testified to the unique qualities of their lives and societies, a new tradition began to emerge. Novels of testimony, novels of revolt, novels of struggle, followed by post-colonial writings, filled with complexities and ambiguities, have created a literary tradition expressive of the African spirit-a tradition influenced by earlier African oral literature, by European writings, by changing social conditions, and increasingly by African writings themselves. Thresholds of Change in African Literature explores the emergence of this tradition, and particularly the ways in which the emergent literature changed at each critical stage.

Harrow, Kenneth W. Less Than One and Double : A Feminist Reading of African Women’s Writing. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2002. 350pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 East) PL8010 .H37 2002 : Scorning those who feel obliged to apologize for applying western feminism to African literature on the basis that it perpetuates cultural imperialism, Harrow (English, Michigan State U.) uses a branch of thought that is associated with French feminists and is situated within the sphere of psychoanalytical criticism to lend insight into works of the first wave of African feminist writers such as Ama Ata Aidoo and Safi Faye, and the second wave represented by Tsitsi Dangarembga, Calixthe Beyala, VTronique Tadjo, Tanella Boni, and others

Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya : The Traditional Life of the Gikuyu. Nairobi : Heinemann Educational Books, 1978.  338pp.  Main Library DT434.E2 K45 1979 : Jomo Kenyatta provides a detailed insider description of the Gikuyu peoples of Kenya. THe book takes a structural functionalist approach to anthropology, providing a very detailed description covering virtually all aspects of tribal life. A native Gikuyu, son of a medicine man, Kenyatta reveals his wonderful anthropological ability in a storybook fashion.

Krog, Antjie. Country of My Skull : guilt, sorrow, and the limits of forgiveness in the new South Africa. New York : Times Books, c1999.  403pp.  Main Library DT1757 .K757 1999   1998 edition also available :  An award-winning South African reporter presents an intensely personal look at the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a committee set up to expose the tragedies and travesties of the apartheid system.

Nganang, Patrice . Dog Days: An Animal Chronicle. Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2006. 232pp.  Main Library PQ3989.2.N4623 T4613 2006 : "I am a dog," the narrator of Patrice Nganang's novel plainly informs us. As such, he has learned not to expect too much from life. He can, however, observe the life around him -- in his case the impoverished but dynamic Cameroon of the early 1990s, a time known as les années de braise (the smoldering years). When he isn't limited by the length of his master's leash, the perceptive, even ironic, Mboudjak wanders the streets of Yaounde, a capital city caught in the throes of social and political change. Only partly understanding the words spoken around him (the other dogs are as unreliable as the humans), Mboudjak relates an experience that not only evokes the wildly diverse language of the streets -- a heady brew of French, Pidgin English, the indigenous Medumba, and the urban slang Camfranglais -- but also reflects the elusiveness of meaning in politically uncertain times. Mboudjak is not alone in his confusion or in his hardship. The blows he receives from humans and the mocking laughter of other dogs are indicative of a larger pattern of abuse that indicts the ruling regime....Despite its unflinching depiction of a seething, turbulent society, Dog Days is not a somber story; it is propelled by the humor that is Mboudjak's greatest survival tool, and even by a certain optimism. In the vibrantly chaotic marketplaces, in the bustling energy of Massa Yo's bar, and in the escalating political demonstrations, a brighter future for Cameroon can be glimpsed. This story told by a canine everyman offers something for any reader interested in freedom withheld and the early stirrings that will someday win it back.

Pritchett, James A. The Lunda - Ndembu : Style, Change , and Social Transformation in South Central Africa. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2001. 377pp. Main Library DT3058.N44 P75 2001 : Pritchett (anthropology, African studies, Boston U.) presents an account of the Lunda- Ndembu people of northwestern Zambia. The text is based upon archaeological data, travel accounts, colonial field reports, and the scholarly studies of others, as well as his own field research conducted intermittently over the course of 14 years. He contends that despite much cultural borrowing in recent decades, the Lunda people have an image of themselves that is essentially unchanged. He also reflects on continuity and change in Africa.

Pritchett, James A.  Friends for Life, Friends for Death : Cohorts and Consciousness among the Lunda - Ndemu.  Charlottesville : University of Virginia Press, 2007. 266pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) DT3058.N44 P74 2007 : Pritchett (anthropology, Boston U.) goes beyond the confines of traditional ethnography to look at this complex system of friendship in which participants receive and interpret information, some of it from elders but much of it gained through personal experience in new situations and contexts. He finds these groups also develop strategies for coping, surviving and thriving in an atmosphere of constant change. He explains how information was once distributed through kinship, then examines the short- and long-term operation of groups based not on kinship but on character and usefulness of expertise. The result is a 20-year study of the informal networks once considered peripheral in ethnography but is here shown to be essential.

Soyinka, Wole. Death and the King’s Horseman : authoritative text : backgrounds and contexts, criticism. New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2003.  228pp.  Main Library PR9387.9.S6 D4 2003 1989 edition also available and a 1994 Yoruba edition :  This Norton Critical Edition of Death and the King's Horseman is the only student edition available in the United States. Based on events that took place in 1946 in the ancient Yoruban city of Oyo, Soyinka's acclaimed and powerful play addresses classic issues of cultural conflict, tragic decision-making, and the psychological mindsets of individuals and groups. The text of the play is accompanied by an introduction and explanatory annotations for the many allusions to traditional Nigerian myth and culture.

African Studies : National and Global Politics

Readings underscore the main issues that constitute Africans’contemporary public policy - affirmative action (South Africa), discriminatory constitutionalism and political representation, and political participation, human rights, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality (domestic and global).

Adebajo, Adekeye. The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War.   London : Hurst, 2010. 414pp.  Main Library DT30.5 .A334 2010 : At the 1884-1885 Conference of Berlin, a collection of states, mostly European, established the rules for the partition of Africa. The consequences of their decision had immense historical and structural implications apparent in the domestic and international behavior of the continent today. The "Curse," as the conference came to be called, is the grounding theme of Adekeye Adebajo's trenchant study, though his guiding focus is the development of Africa after the Cold War....Adebajo opens with Africa's quest for security, featuring essays on the continent's political institutions, such as the African Union and subregional bodies. He follows with chapters on the United Nations and its operations in Africa, particularly its political, peacekeeping, and socioeconomic missions. Adebajo includes two rare profiles of the secretary generals who worked with the UN from 1992 to 2006: Egypt's Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ghana's Kofi Annan. Africa's pursuit of representative leadership informs the next section, with essays examining the hegemonic influence of South Africa, Nigeria, China, France, and the United States. Concluding chapters discuss Africa's search for unity, exploring the direct and indirect impact of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kwame Nkrumah, Cecil Rhodes, Barack Obama, and Mahatma Gandhi. Adebajo also conducts a comparative assessment of the African and European Unions.

Bond, Patrick.  Against Global Apartheid: South Africa Meets the World Bank, IMF and International Finance.  London: Zed Books, 2003.  2nd edition, 326pp.  Main Library HF1613.4 .B66 2003  / 2002 edition (DT1757 .B66 2001) also available : South Africans hold positions of great influence in the world of international finance: President Thabo Mbeki is the leader of the Non-Aligned Movement and Commonwealth; Finance Minister Trevor Manuel recently chaired the World Bank and IMF Board of Governors; Mamphela Ramphele is a Managing Director of the World Bank, responsible for social development. Patrick Bond wonders about the impact these leaders will have in the new century. Are these leaders going to "break" the chains of global apartheid? What actions are grassroots acitivists taking around the world? Should key institutions like the World Bank and WTO be eliminated? These are among the questions he asks in this revealing investigation.

Edozie, Rita Kiki.  People Power and Democracy: The Popular Movement Against Military Despotism in Nigeria (1989-1999).  Trenton: Africa World Press, 2001.  480pp.  Main Library DT515.842 .E36 2002 : This book was spurred by the annulment of the 1993 presidential election in Nigeria, an arbitrary action of the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida. The exercise which had been widely acknowledged as the freest and fairest election ever held in the country, had produced, for the first time in the checkered history of the West African nation, a southerner, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, as the nation’s [third] democratically-elected president....Capturing the essence of this unique historical event in Nigeria, this book highlights the consequential growth and development of a formidable resistance movement against arbitrary military rule in the country, manifested in the emergence of various national pro-democracy and human rights activist groups. Among these were the Campaign for Democracy (CD), the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), and the United Democratic Front of Nigeria (UDFN). The intense political activities and unyielding agitation of these populist groups in the 1990’s ultimately led to the downfall of the Babangida regime in 1993 and eventually paved the way for the return to democratic governance in the country and the establishment of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in 1999....In this landmark publication, Rita Kiki Edozie provides in-depth scholarly analyses of the activities of the various groups within the Nigerian pro-democracy movement from 1989 to 1999, with a view to facilitating a general understanding of the political dynamic in Nigeria during the turbulent ten-year period. She examines the groups’ various efforts at social mobilization of Nigeria’s civil society in the process of collective action against corrupt and arbitrary military rule. She puts to careful scrutiny the strategies, behavior patterns and actions of the individual groups and their combined efforts to facilitate a popular-based democratic transition for Africa’s most populous nation....This is a serious and highly critical, but well-balanced study on Nigeria’s turbulent national politics during the last decade of the twentieth century. It culminates with an optimistic prognosis that anticipates the country’s political recovery and the sustenance of popular democracy in the advent of a new century and millenium.

Edozie, Rita. Reconstructing the Third Wave : comparative african democratic politics. Lanham: University Press of America, 2009.  204pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West)  JQ1879.A15 E36 2009 : Since the 1990s, trends in African politics require the realization that the public policy practice and the theoretical analysis of 'democracy and democratization' are becoming increasingly important tenets for understanding the contemporary political science of the region. Reconstructing the Third Wave of Democracy explains these new political processes and ideas.

Edozie, Rita Kiki and Peyi Soyinka, eds. Reframing Contemporary Africa : Politics, Economics, and Culture in the Global Era. Washington, D.C. : C Q Press, 2010. Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) JQ1875 .R428 2010 : Soyinka-Airewele (African and international politics, Ithaca College) and Edozie (international relations, Michigan State U.) provide a textbook of 22 essays that reframe discourses on African politics, histories, contemporary struggles, and accomplishments. African, New Zealand, European, and North American scholars of African literature, international relations and law, government, economics, politics, and women's and black studies, as well as authors and historians, cover such topics as identity, gender, slavery, the diaspora, colonialism, HIV, oil, human rights, history, politics, economics, security, society, literature, film, and health from diverse points of view and analytical perspectives, meant to provoke debate and challenge the Western framing, as well as present Africa as a comprehensive regional entity rather than dividing the continent between sub-Saharan and North Africa.

Gaines, Kevin K.  American Africans in Ghana : Black Expatriates and the Civil Rights Era.   Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.  342pp.  Main Library DT510.43.A37 G35 2006 : In 1957 Ghana became one of the first sub-Saharan African nations to gain independence from colonial rule. Over the next decade, hundreds of African Americans--including Martin Luther King Jr., George Padmore, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Pauli Murray, and Muhammed Ali--visited or settled in Ghana. Kevin K. Gaines explains what attracted these expatriates to Ghana and how their new community was shaped by the convergence of the Cold War, the rise of the U.S. civil rights movement, and the decolonization of Africa. Posing a direct challenge to U.S. hegemony, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana's president, promoted a vision of African liberation, continental unity, and West Indian federation. Although the number of African American expatriates in Ghana was small, in espousing a transnational American citizenship defined by solidarities with African peoples, these activists waged along with their allies in the United States a fundamental, if largely forgotten, struggle over the meaning and content of the formal American citizenship conferred on African Americans by civil rights reform legislation.

Grovogui, Siba N’Zatioula. Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans : Race and Self-Determination in International Law. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996. 282pp.  Main Library JX4054 .G77 1996 : n this trenchant critique, Siba N'Zatioula Grovogui demonstrates the failure of international law to address adequately the issues surrounding African self-determination during decolonization. Challenging the view that the only requirement for decolonization is the elimination of the legal instruments that provided for direct foreign rule, Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans probes the universal claims of international law....Grovogui begins by documenting the creation of the "image of Africa" in European popular culture, examining its construction by conquerors and explorers, scientists and social scientists, and the Catholic Church. Using the case of Namibia to illuminate the general context of Africa, he demonstrates that the principles and rules recognized in international law today are not universal, but instead reflect relations of power and the historical dominance of specific European states....Grovogui argues that two important factors have undermined the universal applicability of international law: its dependence on Western culture and the way that international law has been structured to preserve Western hegemony in the international order. This dependence on Europeandominated models and legal apparatus has resulted in the paradox that only rights sanctioned by the former colonial powers have been accorded to the colonized, regardless of the latter's needs. In the case of Namibia, Grovogui focuses on the discursive strategies used by the West and their southern African allies to control the legal debate, as well as the tactics used by the colonized to recast the terms of the discussion....Grovogui blends critical legal theory, historical research, political economy, and cultural studies with profound knowledge of contemporary Africa in general and Namibia in particular. Sovereigns, Quasi Sovereigns, and Africans represents the very best of the new scholarship, moving beyond narrow disciplinary boundaries to illuminate issues of decolonization in Africa.

Grovogui, Siba N’Zatioula. Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Order and Institutions. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 283pp.  Main Library JZ1251 .G76 2006 : This book reevaluates "international knowledge" in light of recent scholarship in the fields of hermeneutics, ethnography, and historiography regarding the non-West, the past, and the present of international society. Counteingr the disciplinary skepticism about political possibilities outside of the strictures of modern Western forms, it proposes formulations of power, interest, ethics, and subjectivity by a group of African intellectuals as plausible alternatives to official French and American postwar proposals for world order.

Keller, Edmond J. and Donald Rothchild, eds. Afro-Marxist Regimes : Ideology and Public Policy. Boulder: Rienner Publishers, 1987.  335pp.  Main Library JQ3752 .A38 1987 :  Despite the obvious problems with generalizing about either "Marxism" or "public policy" in states riven by insurgency, this collection of essays conveys a good deal of valuable information about the four chief socialist states in Africa: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola and Zimbabwe. Certain interesting patterns emerge. As the editors point out, for all except the least orthodox (Zimbabwe), Marxism has facilitated the authority or consolidation of the regime, but not, in the same way, of the state; on the contrary, Marxist ideology has exacerbated certain problems with state-building for each-particularly in strengthening regime inflexibility regarding ethnic interests and in aggravating major failures in the economic sphere, stemming from top-down control and disregard for the agricultural economy.

Mkandawire, P. Thandika  and Charles Chukwuma Soludo.   Our Continent Our Future : African Perspectives on Structural Adjustment.  Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, c1999.  176pp.  Main Library HC800 .M57 1999 :  For decades now, many African countries have implemented the structural adjustment programs of the Bretton Woods Institutions. The results, however, have been less than sterling. Extreme poverty and underdevelopment continue to plague what is becoming the world's "forgotten continent," and it is now generally agreed that a new approach is urgently required....Our Continent, Our Future presents the emerging African perspective on this complex issue. The authors use as background their own extensive experience and a collection of 30 individual studies, 25 of which were from African economists, to summarize this African perspective and articulate a path for the future. They underscore the need to be sensitive to each country's unique history and current condition. They argue for a broader policy agenda and for a much more active role for the state within what is largely a market economy.

Moyo, Dambisa.  Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa.  New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009. 188pp.  Main Library and Law Library (2nd floor) HC800 .M69 2009 : In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse....In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer. Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which overreliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the “need” for more aid. Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world’s poorest countries that guarantees economic growth and a significant decline in poverty—without reliance on foreign aid or aid-related assistance....Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.

Mutua, Makau. Human Rights : A Political and Cultural Critique. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002. 252pp.  Main Library JC571 .M95 2002 : In 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and with it a profusion of norms, processes, and institutions to define, promote, and protect human rights. Today virtually every cause seeks to cloak itself in the righteous language of rights. But even so, this universal reliance on the rights idiom has not succeeded in creating common ground and deep agreement as to the scope, content, and philosophical bases for human rights....Makau Mutua argues that the human rights enterprise inappropriately presents itself as a guarantor of eternal truths without which human civilization is impossible. Mutua contends that in fact the human rights corpus, though well meaning, is a Eurocentric construct for the reconstitution of non-Western societies and peoples with a set of culturally biased norms and practices....Mutua maintains that if the human rights movement is to succeed, it must move away from Eurocentrism as a civilizing crusade and attack on non-European peoples. Only a genuine multicultural approach to human rights can make it truly universal. Indigenous, non-European traditions of Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and the Americas must be deployed to deconstruct—and to reconstruct—a universal bundle of rights that all human societies can claim as theirs.

Nyerere, Julius. Ujamaa : Essays on socialism. Dar es Salaam: Oxford University Press, 1968.  188pp.  Main Library HX439 .N919 : Speeches and writings by President Nyerere - explain Ujamaa or familyhood

Rodney, Water.  How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.   Nairobi : East African Educational Pub., 1989 (1994 printing).  316pp.  Main Library HC502 .R633 1989   1982 edition also available   1983 reprint available online :  Portrays the view that Africa was deliberately exploited and underdeveloped by European colonial regimes.  Rodney argues that a combination of power politics and economic exploitation of Africa by Europeans led to the poor state of African political and economic development evident in the late 20th Century. In the book's preface, Rodney praises the state of Tanzania, which had pursued the sort of Marxist political ideology that Rodney advocated.  Written in 1972, the book was enormously influential in the study of African history. In the late 1990s many academics became more sharply critical of the book's central thesis and argued that the book oversimplifies the complex historical forces surrounding the colonial era. (Wikipedia)

Shivji, Issa G.   The Concept of Human Rights in Africa.   London : Codesria , 1989.  126pp.  Main Library JC599.A36 S551 1989 : Hitherto the human rights debate in Africa has concentrated on the legal and philosophical. The author, Professor of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam, here moves the debate to the social and political planes. He attempts to reconceptualise human rights ideology from the standpoint of the working people in Africa. He defines the approach as avoiding the pitfalls of the liberal perspective as being absolutist in viewing human rights as a central question and the rights struggle as the backbone of democratic struggles. The author maintains that such a study cannot be politically neutral or intellectually uncommitted. Both the critique of dominant discourse and the reconceptualisation are located within the current social science and jurisprudential debates.

Sissako, Abderrahmane, Aïssa Maïga, Tiécoura Traoré, Hélène Diarra, Danny Glover, and Roland Rappaport.   Bamako  / a New Yorker Films release ; Archipel 33, Chinguitty Films, Mali Images présentent une coproduction ARTE France en association avec Louverture Films.   S.l: S.N., 2006. 1 DVD videodisc (ca. 118 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  Digital and Multimedia Center (4 West) PN1995.9.T75 B35 2006 VideoDVD :  Set against the backdrop of overwhelming economic strife, a couple fights to save their relationship. While they are struggling to keep the peace in their marriage, their neighbors are holding a mock trial in the town courtyard to hold the IMF and the World Bank accountable for creating such hardship in Africa.

Toure, Ahmed Sekou.  Africa on the Move.    London: Panaf Books, 1979.  607pp.  Main Library DT543.8 .T723 : In this book, Ahmed Sekou Toure expresses the ideology of the Guinea Revolution. Beginning with an historical analysis of the condictions in pre-Independence Guinea, he goes on to examine the " groundwork of the revolution" and to define the principles, orientation and methods of the Democratic Party of Guinea (PDG). Among the subjects covered are socialist economic planning, education, the position of women, justice, pan-African and foreign policies, political and administrative structures, and revolutionary culture. The Guinea experience is of great relevance to all peoples engaged with replacing the structure of exploitation with those of socialism, and, in this Panaf edition of Sekou Toure's important work, the author provides a valuable account of the philosophy and progress of the Guinea Revolution in the Pan-African context.

Walters, Ron.  Pan-Africanism in the African Diaspora : An Analysis of Modern Afrocentric Political Movements.  Detroit : Wayne State University Press, 1993.  450pp.  Main Library DT16.5 .W35 1993 : This groundbreaking volume analyzes important case studies of Black political movements since the 1960s and the impact of the movements on the African-American community. Previous studies on this subject have been largely historical in nature, focusing on the thought of nineteenth-century Pan Africanist or early twentieth-century formal Pan African movements, such as those led by W. E. B. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey. In this book, Walters analyzes heretofore largely unaddressed cases in which African-American societies forged connections with others in the Diaspora within the framework of significant political movements. He applies social science theory to the analysis of the cases, based on the proposition that Pan African studies - a subject within the broad field of Africana Studies - is itself very diverse and lends itself to analysis by an unlimited number of modern disciplinary approaches and perspectives. Walters uses the tools of comparative politics for examining similar Black and white social institutions and organizations in the United States and other countries and for creating a "tailored" Pan African perspective as a criteria with which to describe the interactive relationships between the American Black community and Blacks in Britain, South Africa, Brazil, and the Caribbean. He fashions a unique and radically new perspective and model for addressing the age-old question of the African continuum by advancing the notion that Pan Africanism can be about the struggle for community - a struggle not incompatible with efforts to change the State.

Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe.  A Modern Economic History of Africa. Dakar : Codesria , 1993. Main Library HC800 .Z45 1993  v.1 : Winner of the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa 1994. The jury cited the book as "an ambitious, skilfully written, and exhaustively researched synthesis of African economic history in the 19th century."

Zeleza , Paul Tiyambe.  The Study of Africa.   v. 1. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary encounters -- v. 2. Global and transnational engagements.  Dakar: Codesria, 2006-2007.  Main Library HN773.5 .S78 2006 : This is the second of a two-volume work taking stock of the study of Africa in the twenty-first century: its status, research agenda and approaches, and place. It is divided into two parts, the first entitled Globalisation Studies and African Studies, and the second, African Studies in Regional Contexts. Topics addressed in part one include: trans-boundary formations and the study of Africa; global economic liberalisation and development in Africa; African diasporas, academics and the struggle for a global epistemic presence; and the problem of translation in African studies. Part two considers: African and area studies in France, the US, the UK, Australia, Germany and Sweden; anti-colonialism and Russian/soviet African studies; African studies in the Caribbean in historical perspective; the teaching of African history and the history of Africa in Brazil; African studies in India; African studies and historiography in China in the twenty-first century; and African studies and contemporary scholarship in Japan.

African Studies : Biographies

Readings profile Africans’ main agents and actors who have shaped the discipline and its subject histories up to the present

Achebe, Nwando. The Female King of Colonial Nigeria : Ahebi Ugbabe. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 2011.  305pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) DT515.77.U43 A65 2011 : Nwando Achebe presents the fascinating history of an Igbo woman, Ahebi Ugbabe, who became king in colonial Nigeria. Ugbabe was exiled from Igboland, became a prostitute, traveled widely, and learned to speak many languages. She became a close companion of Nigerian Igala kings and the British officers who supported her claim to the office of headman, warrant chief, and later, king. In this unique biography, Achebe traces the roots of Ugbabe's rise to fame and fortune. While providing critical perspectives on women, gender, sex and sexuality, and the colonial encounter, she also considers how it was possible for this woman to take on the office and responsibilities of a traditionally male role.

Cabral, Amilcar.  Unity and Struggle : Speeches and Writings.  New York : Monthly Review Press, 1979.  298pp.  Main Library DT613.75 .C335 : Details the thoughts of Amilcar Cabral a central leader of the revolution in Guinea-Bissau.

Equiano, Olaudah, and Vincent Carretta.  The Interesting Narrative and Other Writings.  New York : Penguin Books, 1995.  355pp.  Main Library HT869.E6 A3 1995b : An exciting and often terrifying adventure story, as well as an important precursor to such famous nineteenth-century slave narratives as Frederick Douglass's autobiographies, Olaudah Equiano's Narrative recounts his kidnapping in Africa at the age of ten, his service as the slave of an officer in the British Navy, his ten years of labor on slave ships until he was able to purchase his freedom in 1766, and his life afterward as a leading and respected figure in the antislavery movement in England. A spirited autobiography, a tale of spiritual quest and fulfillment, and a sophisticated treatise on religion, politics, and economics, The Interesting Narrative is a work of enduring literary and historical value.

Mandela, Nelson.  Long Walk to Freedom : The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela.  London : Little, Brown and Co. ; Braamfontein Nolwazi, 1999.  151pp.  DT1949.M35 A3 1999 (abridged version)  1994 unabridged, 1995, and 1996 editions also available : Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world. As president of the African National Congress and head of South Africa's anti-apartheid movement, he was instrumental in moving the nation toward multiracial government and majority rule. He is revered everywhere as a vital force in the fight for human rights and racial equality. The foster son of a Thembu chief, Mandela was raised in the traditional, tribal culture of his ancestors, but at an early age learned the modern, inescapable reality of what came to be called apartheid, one of the most powerful and effective systems of oppression ever conceived. In classically elegant and engrossing prose, he tells of his early years as an impoverished student and law clerk in Johannesburg, of his slow political awakening, and of his pivotal role in the rebirth of a stagnant ANC and the formation of its Youth League in the 1950s. He describes the struggle to reconcile his political activity with his devotion to his family, the anguished breakup of his first marriage, and the painful separations from his children. He brings vividly to life the escalating political warfare in the fifties between the ANC and the government, culminating in his dramatic escapades as an underground leader and the notorious Rivonia Trial of 1964, at which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Herecounts the surprisingly eventful twenty-seven years in prison and the complex, delicate negotiations that led both to his freedom and to the beginning of the end of apartheid. Finally he provides the ultimate inside account of the unforgettable events since his release that produced at last a free, multiracial democracy in South Africa. To millions of people around the world, Nelson Mandela stands, as no other living figure does, for the triumph of dignity and hope over despair and hatred, of self-discipline and love over persecution and evil.

Nkrumah, Kwame.  Ghana : The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah.  New York: Nelson, 1957.  302pp.  Main Library DT511.N53 A3 : A personal account of the African liberation struggle, this book was first published on March 6, 1957, to mark the day of Ghana's independence, a day which signalled the launching of the wider Pan-African struggle for the liberation of the entire African continent. As the leader of the movement for independence, Nkrumah provides an illuminating discussion of the problems and conflicts along the way to political freedom, and the new prospects beyond. This book is essential for understanding the genesis of the African Revolution and the maturing of one of its outstanding leaders.

Peck, Raoul, Jacques Bidou, Eriq Ebouaney, and Alex Desca.  Lumumba / JBA Production ... [et al.]  New York, N.Y. : Zeitgeist Films, 2001. 1 VHS videocassette (115 min.) : col. ; 1/2 in. Digital and Multimedia Center (4 West)  PN1997 .L848 2001 Videocassette : Dramatizes the life of Congolese revolutionary, Patrice Lumumba, who lead his country to independence from Belgium in 1960. He served, for less than a year, as the first elected prime minister until he was brutally assassinated. 

African Diaspora : The State of the Discipline

Readings explore African Diaspora Studies in relation to th e Black Studies disciplinary orientation (explore the contested terminology – African American Studies, African Studies, Africana Studies, an-African Studies, Afro-American Studies, Africology, Black Studies - but agee that discipline is a legitimate, institutionalized and worthwhile inquiry of scholarship and education. Readings also trace the historical development of Black Diaspora Studies’ offshoot or separate trajectory (e. g. Ruth Hamilton school / Gilroy Atlanticist school)

Fierce, Milfred. “Two Academic Programs in the African Diaspora : Afro-Brazilian Studies and U.S. Africana Studies”.  Routes of Passage Rethinking the African Diaspora.  Ruth Simms Hamilton, ed..   East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, 2006.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) DT16.5 .R68 2007 : Routes of Passage provides a conceptual, substantive, and empirical orientation to the study of African people worldwide. The book addresses issues of geographical mobility and geosocial displacement; changing culture, political, and economic relationships between Africa and its diaspora; interdiaspora relations; political and economic agency and social mobilization, including cultural production and psychocultural transformation; existence in hostile and oppressive political and territorial space; and confronting interconnected relations of social inequality, especially class, gender, nationality, and race.

Foner, Nancy. “What’s New about Transnationalism? : New York’s Immigrants Today and at the Turn of the Century.”   Diaspora 6.3 (1997): 355-375.

Hamilton, Ruth S. “Toward a Paradigm for African Diaspora Studies” in  Monograph no. 1, African Diaspora Research Project, Michigan State University. 1988.  ==> See next entry.

Hamilton, Ruth S., ed.  Creating A Paradigm And Research Agenda For Comparative Studies Of The Worldwide Dispersion of African Peoples.  East Lansing : Michigan State University. 1990.  125pp.  Main Library GN645 .C7 1990

Hamilton, Ruth S., ed.  Routes of Passage Rethinking the African Diaspora. . East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2006.  Main Library DT16.5 .R68 2007 pt. 1 and pt. 2 : Routes of Passage provides a conceptual, substantive, and empirical orientation to the study of African people worldwide. The book addresses issues of geographical mobility and geosocial displacement; changing culture, political, and economic relationships between Africa and its diaspora; interdiaspora relations; political and economic agency and social mobilization, including cultural production and psychocultural transformation; existence in hostile and oppressive political and territorial space; and confronting interconnected relations of social inequality, especially class, gender, nationality, and race.

Saho, Ajaya Kumarand Brij Maharaj., eds. Sociology of Diaspora : A Reader. Vol. 1. Jaipur, India : Rawat Publications, 2007.  2 vols.  Main Library JV6225 .S63 2007 : Four part reader, excellent selection of scholarly essays, cover theory, innumerable case studies. 45 seminal chapters. Indians, South Asians, Sikhs, Hindus, Gujaratis, Bangladeshis, many regions. also large section on experience of non-South Asia diaspora. Will be a standard work in the field for years to come

Shepperson, George. “African Diaspora : Concept and Context” in  Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora. Joseph E. Harris, ed. Washington, D.C. : Howard University Press, 1993.  2nd ed., 532pp.  Main Library DT14 .G56 1993 : Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora collects selected essays from the First and Second African Diaspora Institutes and other essays. This revised second edition, with broader geographical scope than the first edition, places greater emphasis on historical and sociopolitical analysis. New essays that examine the African experience and slavery in the Mediterranean, the black experience in Brazil, African religious retentions in Latin American countries, and essays by women that focus on the experience and contributions of African women of the diaspora address significant areas omitted in the first volume.

Stanford University.  Africa South of the Sahara.  African Diaspora. African Diaspora Studies.  (Link : )

Wilson, Carlton. “Conceptualizing the African Diaspora”. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 17.2. (1997): 118-122.  Note: the MSU Library only has this volume in print.

African Diaspora : Subject, Identity, and Condition

Readings define / map out African Diaspora Studies approaches / ideologies.

Berlin, Ira. “From Creole to African: Atlantic Creoles and the Origins of African-American Society in Mainland North America.” William and Mary Quarterly, 3rd series, 53:2 (1996): 251-288.

Brathwaite, Kamau. The Development of Creole Society in Jamaica, 1770-1820. Kingston ; Miami : Ian Randle, 2005.  373pp.  Main Library F1884 .B7 2005 :  This book is a study in depth of a colonial ‘plantation’ during fifty critical years of slavery in the Caribbean. As the title suggests however, it is not concerned with slavery exclusively, but with a social entity of which slavery was a significant part. Brathwaite argues that the people — from Britain and West Africa, mainly — who settled, lived and worked in Jamaica, contributed to the formation of a society which developed its own distinctive character — Creole society. This society developed institutions, customs and attitudes which were basically the result of the interaction between its two main elements, the African and European. But this Creole society was also part of a wider American or New World culture complex, and as such, it was also shaped by the pressures upon it of British and European mercantilism, and the American, French, and Humanitarian Revolutions.

Fanon, Frantz.  Black Skin, White Masks.  New York : Grove Press, 2008.  206pp.  Main Library GN645 .F313 2008   Another 2008 edition by Pluto Press is also available Earlier editions include 1986, a 1968 edition in Special Collections, and the 1952 edition entitled Peau noire, masques blancs in French. : Few modern voices have had as profound an impact on the black identity and critical race theory as Frantz Fanon, and Black Skin, White Masks represents some of his most important work. Fanon’s masterwork is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers....A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world,Black Skin, White Masksis the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.

Clifford, James. “Diasporas”, Cultural Anthropology 9.3 (1994): 302-328.

Cohen, Robin. Global Diasporas: An Introduction. London : Routledge, 2008.  2nd edition, 219pp.  Main Library JV6021 .C64 2008 1997 edition also available  :  In a perceptive and arresting analysis, Robin Cohen introduces his distinctive approach to the study of the world’s diasporas. This book investigates the changing meanings of the concept and the contemporary diasporic condition, including case studies of Jewish, Armenian, African, Chinese, British, Indian, Lebanese and Caribbean people....The first edition of this book had a major impact on diaspora studies and was the foundational text in an emerging research and teaching field. This second edition extends and clarifies Robin Cohen’s argument, addresses some critiques and outlines new perspectives for the study of diasporas. It has also been made more student-friendly with illustrations, guided readings and suggested essay questions.

Cohen, David W. and Jack P. Greene , eds.  Neither Slave nor Free : The Freedman of African Descent in the Slave Societies of the New World. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1972. 344pp.  Main Library HT1048 .N43 : An important collection of 10 essays on the almost totally neglected subject of the freedman in North and South American slave societies that developed out of a symposium held at Johns Hopkins University in 1970... All of these essays furnish important insights into our understanding of racism and slave societies in the Americas. Much significance is attached to the ratios of freedmen to slaves; the statistical information alone is invaluable.

Dodson, Jualynne E.  Engendering Church: Women, Power, and the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield, c2002.  147pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) BX8443 .D63 2002 :  Women must write, speak, sing and do everything whereby those of our race may receive inspiration," wrote Sara Hatcher Duncan, the heroine and moral exemplar of this excellent study of women and the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Using historical sources from the 19th and early 20th centuries, Dodson (Univ. of Colorado, Boulder) shows how AME women organized to gain power and leverage in the hierarchical, patriarchal system of the first black denomination. She provides congregational data showing that, from their origins, most early AME churches had women as majority members. Women also formed their own organizations--such as the Daughters of Conference in 1816, the Women's Parent Mite Missionary Society in 1874, and a second Missionary Society in 1896--to provide countervailing power against masculine domination. From the beginning, women challenged their exclusion from official roles such as class leader, steward, and preacher. Dodson effectively shows how AME women used their numerical majority and control of financial resources to outmaneuver the church hierarchy. This book is highly recommended for advanced undergraduate courses in religion and women's studies and for graduate students and specialists.

Ellison, Ralph. Shadow and Act.  New York : Quality Paperback Book Club, 1994. 317pp.  Main Library PS153.N5 E4 1994 (reprint)   1964 edition also available in Main Library and Special Collections :  Ralph Ellison examines his antecedents and in so doing illuminates the literature, music, and culture of both black and white America.

Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic : Modernity and Double-Consciousness.  Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1993.  261pp.  Main Library CB235 .G55 1993 : This book's many virtues of style combine with elegant local readings of Douglass, Wright, Du Bois, Morrison; of Adorno and Baumann; and a whole range of popular culture from jazz to Hip Hop...It is a mark of the ambition and the achievement of this book that so many readers will find it rewarding.

Gomez, Michael A. Diasporic Africa : A Reader. New York: NYU Press, 2006. 317pp.  Main Library DT16.5 .D54 2006 : These 13 well-written scholarly essays are an eclectic compilation covering disparate topics, places, and time periods relating to the African diaspora. They were originally papers presented at the first conference of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora in 2000. Editor Gomez (New York Univ.) has already published a general history of the African diaspora, Reversing Sail, and several other books focusing on the diaspora in the Americas have come out in the last decade. They include Isidore Okpewho's The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities and Joseph E. Harris's The African Diaspora (1996). However, this collection strays from a chronological history restricted to a specific time or place. Rather, it introduces readers to very discrete as well as overlooked topics in the African diaspora, from drumming in 19th-century Brazil to modern Rastafarian architecture in Jamaica. Overall, the randomness of topics covered is refreshing, but it could be unnerving to readers without the requisite historical knowledge of the African diaspora.

Guridy, Frank A. Forging Diaspora : Afro-cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010.  270pp.  Main Library E184.C97 G875 2010 : Cuba's geographic proximity to the United States and its centrality to U.S. imperial designs following the War of 1898 led to the creation of a unique relationship between Afro-descended populations in the two countries. In Forging Diaspora, Frank Andre Guridy shows that the cross-national relationships nurtured by Afro-Cubans and black Americans helped to shape the political strategies of both groups as they attempted to overcome a shared history of oppression and enslavement....Drawing on archival sources in both countries, Guridy traces four encounters between Afro-Cubans and African Americans. These hidden histories of cultural interaction--of Cuban students attending Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute, the rise of Garveyism, the Havana-Harlem cultural connection during the Harlem Renaissance and Afro-Cubanism movement, and the creation of black travel networks during the Good Neighbor and early Cold War eras--illustrate the significance of cross-national linkages to the ways both Afro-descended populations negotiated the entangled processes of U.S. imperialism and racial discrimination. As a result of these relationships, argues Guridy, Afro-descended peoples in Cuba and the United States came to identify themselves as part of a transcultural African diaspora.

Hannaford, Ivan.  Race : The History of an Idea in the West.  Washington, D.C .: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1996.  448pp.  Main Library HT1507 .H36 1996 : Ivan Hannaford's book is a tour de force of intellectual history. It is simultaneously a detective story, tracking down the provenance of a powerful idea, a work of meticulous textual exegesis with a decidedly breathtaking sweep, a subtle exercise in political theory, and a study in the epistemology of social science. Hannford shows how modern notions have been projected backward onto the quite different conceptions of earlier ages. He is able to pick up the first threads of racial thinking and follow them to the present. A major work of scholarship, this book is careful, bold, and wise.

Northrup, David.   “Becoming African: Identity Formation among Liberated Slaves in Nineteenth-Century Sierra Leone .”   Slavery & Abolition 27.1 (2006): 1-21.

Okpewho, Isidore, Carole Boyce Davies, Ali A. Mazuri., eds.  African Diaspora : African Origins and New World Identities.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999.  566pp.  Main Library E29.N3 A49 1999 : The editorial goal of this collection, gathered from papers of a 1996 conference, is to deepen understanding of how transplanted African populations (and their descendants) interacted with the physical, cultural, and intellectual environment of the New World. This goal mandates an assessment of the survival of African origins--an ongoing debate between the "Essentialist" school (a strong and continuous African presence) and those advocating a more syncretic viewpoint (an African presence more mutable and interactive with the new environment). The papers present both views and draw their evidence from a variety of disciplines: art, music, literature, linguistics, history, and sociology. The thematic grouping of the papers (e.g., "Race, Gender, and Image"), coupled with an introduction that succeeds in the difficult task of connecting most of the presentations, makes intelligible the variety of approaches and views. Undergraduate instructors in African American history and sociology can assign selected papers to illustrate methodology and stimulate discussion. History students, for example, will profit from Joseph E. Inikori's comments on the dangers inherent in applying the word slavery to the subject peoples of Africa.

Segal, Ronald.   The Black Diaspora.  New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1995.  477pp.  Main Library E29.N3 S44 1995 : The Black Diaspora tells the enthralling story of African-descended people outside Africa, spanning more than five centuries and a dozen countries of settlement, from Britain, Canada, and the United States to Haiti, Guyana, and Brazil. Ronald Segal's account begins in Africa itself, with the cultures and societies flourishing there before the arrival of the Atlantic slave trade, which transported over ten million people to the Americas, after killing at least as many in their procurement and passage. He examines the extent of the profits made through the trade by merchants, manufacturers, investors, and planters, along with the racist ideology that developed as whites strove to rationalize an enormous economic dependence....Segal describes the various ways in which the system of slavery developed and provides the most comprehensive account to date of the resistance by the slaves themselves, from escape and arson to guerrilla warfare and revolution. When emancipation finally came, the former slaves were left in the fetters of poverty and discrimination. Segal details the course of the struggle against colonial rule and the racial oppressions of self-styled democracies. In recounting his own travels through the Diaspora, he shows the continuing plight of peoples confined by the consequences of the past and the prejudices of the present: racked by violence, as in Jamaica and the ghettos of America; denied the right to assert their sense of identity, as in Cuba; acknowledged only to be repudiated, as in Brazil....Yet this is also, Segal reveals, a Diaspora of wondrous achievement. It has immeasurably enriched world culture in music, language and literature, painting, sculpture and architecture; has done much to make sports a form of art; and has invested Western culture with the ecological reverence derived from its African source. Segal argues that the black Diaspora has a unique destiny, infused by the love of freedom that is its creative impulse.

Simmons, Kimberly Elson.  Reconstructing Racial Identity and the African Past in the Dominican Republic.  Gainesville : University Press of Florida, 2009.  148pp.  Main Library F1941.B55 S56 2009 : Simmons explores the burying, if not outright denial, of African heritage along with the Native American and Spanish in the Caribbean culture. Between accounts of burying and unburying the African past, she discusses race and mixture in historical context, a question of Indio color, blackening and whitening and mixture among the Dominican diaspora, and Africanidad and Afro-Dominican within the network of African diaspora. Contemporary and historical photographs help tell the story.

Spear, Jennifer M.  Race, Sex, and Social Order in Early New Orleans.  Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.  335pp.  Main Library HN80.N45 S64 2009 : A microcosm of exaggerated societal extremes -- poverty and wealth, vice and virtue, elitism and equality -- New Orleans is a tangled web of race, cultural mores, and sexual identities. Jennifer Spear's examination of the dialectical relationship between politics and social practice unravels the city's construction of race during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries....Spear brings together archival evidence from three different languages and the most recent and respected scholarship on racial formation and interracial sex to explain why free people of color became a significant population in the early days of New Orleans and to show how authorities attempted to use concepts of race and social hierarchy to impose order on a decidedly disorderly society. She recounts and analyzes the major conflicts that influenced New Orleanian culture: legal attempts to impose racial barriers and social order, political battles over propriety and freedom, and cultural clashes over place and progress. At each turn, Spear's narrative challenges the prevailing academic assumptions and supports her efforts to move exploration of racial formation away from cultural and political discourses and toward social histories....Strikingly argued, richly researched, and methodologically sound, this wide-ranging look at how choices about sex triumphed over established class systems and artificial racial boundaries supplies a refreshing contribution to the history of early Louisiana.

Weaver, Karol K.  Medical Revolutionaries: The Enslaved Healers of Eighteenth-Century Saint Domingue.  Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 2006.  163pp.  Main Library R475.H2 W43 2006 : Herbalists, diviners, nurses, midwives, and veterinary practitioners flourished in the medical world of eighteenth-century Saint Domingue. Using Western, African, and Caribbean remedies, they treated the maladies of slaves, white residents, and animals. While these enslaved medical practitioners were an important part of the plantation economy and colonial prosperity, they ultimately roused their fellow slaves to rebel against and overthrow French rule.

African Diaspora : Historical Events and Issues

Historical Events and Issues : Oppression/Resistance, Discrimination, Segregation and Inequality

Readings explore the main issues that define African Diaspora peoples’ history and socio-cultural relations (slave trade and slavery, segregation, colonialism, post-colonialism, Diaspora migrations and displaceme nt,gender difference / black feminism's).

Adderley, Rosanne Marion.   New Negroes from Africa : Slave Trade Abolition and Free African Settlement the Nineteenth-Century Caribbean. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006.  337pp.  Main Library F1660.B55 A63 2006 Also available online : In 1807 the British government outlawed the slave trade, and began to interdict slave ships en route to the Americas. Through decades of treaties with other slave trading nations and various British schemes for the use of non-slave labor, tens of thousands of Africans rescued from illegally operating slave ships were taken to British Caribbean colonies as free settlers. Some became paid laborers, others indentured servants. The encounter between English-speaking colonists and the new African immigrants are the focus of this study of the Bahamas and Trinidad -- colonies which together received fifteen thousand of these "liberated Africans" taken from captured slave ships. Adderley describes the formation of new African immigrant communities in territories which had long depended on enslaved African labor. Working from diverse records, she tries to tease out information about the families of liberated Africans, the labor they performed, their religions, and the culture they brought with them. She addresses issues of gender, ethnicity, and identity, and concludes with a discussion of repatriation.

Asiegbu, Johnson U. J.  Slavery & the Politics of Liberation, 1787-1861: A Study of Liberated African Emigration and British Anti-Slavery Policy. Harlow, Longmans, 1969.   231pp.  Main Library HT1165 .A83 :

Bergad, Laird W.   The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States.  Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007.  314pp. Main Library HT1126 .B47 2007 : This book is an introductory history of racial slavery in the Americas. Brazil and Cuba were among the first colonial societies to establish slavery in the early sixteenth century. Approximately a century later British colonial Virginia was founded, and slavery became an integral part of local culture and society. In all three nations, slavery spread to nearly every region, and in many areas it was the principal labor system utilized by rural and urban elites. This is the first work that systemically surveys slavery in the three nations from comparative perspectives. Chapters focus on slave narratives, demography, economy, culture, resistance and rebellions, and the causes of abolition.

Blumenthal, Debra.   Enemies and Familiars: Slavery and Mastery in Fifteenth-Century Valencia.  Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2009. 306pp.  Main Library HT1219.V3 B58 2009 : meticulously researched account, originally produced as a doctoral dissertation at the University of Toronto, documents the impact on Valencia on Mediterranean slave traffic that brought Tartars, Circassians, and Russians, as well as Moros from Africa and the Canary islands, to this port city in the late-15th century. Charles Verlinden's classic L'esclavage dans l'Europe medieval (2 vols., 1955-1977) established the persistence of the Mediterranean slave trade into the 1500s, while later works such as those by Vicenta Cortes Alonso (La esclavitud en Valencia durante el reinado de los Reyes Catolicos, 1964) and Vicente Graullera Sanz (La esclavitud en Valencia en los siglos XVI y XVII, 1978) explored various facets of the trade. Drawing on notarial registers, civil and criminal court cases, and crown records documenting the movement of captives in and out of the port, Blumenthal (Univ. of California, Santa Barbara) is the first to explore the human and social dimensions of slavery in the religiously and ethnically diverse, pluralistic society of this city of 40,000, some 6,000 of whom were slaves during this period.

Brown, Vincent. The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery.  Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 2008. 340pp. Main Library HQ1073.5.J26 B76 2008 : What did people make of death in the world of Atlantic slavery? In The Reaper's Garden, Vincent Brown asks this question about Jamaica, the staggeringly profitable hub of the British Empire in America--and a human catastrophe. Popularly known as the grave of the Europeans, it was just as deadly for Africans and their descendants. Yet among the survivors, the dead remained both a vital presence and a social force....In this compelling and evocative story of a world in flux, Brown shows that death was as generative as it was destructive. From the eighteenth-century zenith of British colonial slavery to its demise in the 1830s, the Grim Reaper cultivated essential aspects of social life in Jamaica--belonging and status, dreams for the future, and commemorations of the past. Surveying a haunted landscape, Brown unfolds the letters of anxious colonists; listens in on wakes, eulogies, and solemn incantations; peers into crypts and coffins, and finds the very spirit of human struggle in slavery. Masters and enslaved, fortune seekers and spiritual healers, rebels and rulers, all summoned the dead to further their desires and ambitions. In this turbulent transatlantic world, Brown argues, "mortuary politics" played a consequential role in determining the course of history....Insightful and powerfully affecting, The Reaper's Garden promises to enrich our understanding of the ways that death shaped political life in the world of Atlantic slavery and beyond.

Cambell, Gwyn. Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia. Portland: Frank Cass, 2004. 206pp.  Main Library HT1430 .S67 2004 : The first of two volumes of recent specialist studies of slavery and abolition across the Indian Ocean World (IOW), this text explores the meaning of slavery in the IOW up to the period of European economic and political predominance in the 19th century; the second volume will focus on the origin, impact, and abolitionist impulses in the context of the rise of the international economy and European colonialism. Thirteen chapters written by 13 international scholars demonstrate that the essential features of the slave-trade and the complex and shifting forms of slavery in the IOW contrast sharply with those of the transatlantic slave-trade and plantation slavery in the Americas

Childs, Matt D.   The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery.   Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.  300pp.  Main Library HT1076 .C55 2006 : In 1812 a series of revolts known collectively as the Aponte Rebellion erupted across the island of Cuba, comprising one of the largest and most important slave insurrections in Caribbean history. Matt Childs provides the first in-depth analysis of the rebellion, situating it in local, colonial, imperial, and Atlantic World contexts....Childs explains how slaves and free people of color responded to the nineteenth-century "sugar boom" in the Spanish colony by planning a rebellion against racial slavery and plantation agriculture. Striking alliances among free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations, rebels were prompted to act by a widespread belief in rumors promising that emancipation was near. Taking further inspiration from the 1791 Haitian Revolution, rebels sought to destroy slavery in Cuba and perhaps even end Spanish rule. By comparing his findings to studies of slave insurrections in Brazil, Haiti, the British Caribbean, and the United States, Childs places the rebellion within the wider story of Atlantic World revolution and political change. The book also features a biographical table, constructed by Childs, of the more than 350 people investigated for their involvement in the rebellion, 34 of whom were executed. In 1812 a series of revolts known collectively as the Aponte Rebellion erupted across the island of Cuba, comprising one of the largest and most important slave insurrections in Caribbean history. Matt Childs provides the first in-depth analysis of the rebellion, situating it in local, colonial, imperial, and Atlantic World contexts....Childs explains how slaves and free people of color responded to the nineteenth-century "sugar boom" in the Spanish colony by planning a rebellion against racial slavery and plantation agriculture. Striking alliances among free people of color and slaves, blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles, and rural and urban populations, rebels were prompted to act by a widespread belief in rumors promising that emancipation was near. Taking further inspiration from the 1791 Haitian Revolution, rebels sought to destroy slavery in Cuba and perhaps even end Spanish rule. By comparing his findings to studies of slave insurrections in Brazil, Haiti, the British Caribbean, and the United States, Childs places the rebellion within the wider story of Atlantic World revolution and political change. The book also features a biographical table, constructed by Childs, of the more than 350 people investigated for their involvement in the rebellion, 34 of whom were executed.

Earle, T. F. and K. J. P. Lowe, eds.  Black Africans in Renaissance Europe.   Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2005.  417pp.  Main Library D233.2.B44 E26 2005 : Leading experts from the disciplines of history, literature, art history and anthropology examine black African experiences and representations from slavery to black musicians and dancers, from real and symbolic Africans at court to the views of the Catholic Church, and from writers of African descent to Black African criminality. Their findings demonstrate the variety and complexity of black African life in fifteenth and sixteenth-century Europe, and how it was affected by Renaissance ideas and conditions.

Eltis, David.  The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2000.  353pp.  Main Library HT1048 .E47 2000 Also available online : Exploring the paradox of the concurrent development of slavery and freedom in the European domains, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas provides a fresh interpretation of the development of the English Atlantic slave system. The book outlines a major African role in the evolution of the Atlantic societies before the nineteenth century and argues that the transatlantic slave trade was a result of African strength rather than African weakness. It also addresses changing patterns of group identity to account for the racial basis of slavery in the early modern Atlantic World.

Eltis, David, and David Richardson, eds. Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. 377pp.  Main Library HT1321 .E98 2008 : Since 1999, intensive research efforts have vastly increased what is known about the history of coerced migration of transatlantic slaves. A huge database of slave trade voyages from Columbus’s era to the mid-nineteenth century is now available on an open-access Web site, incorporating newly discovered information from archives around the Atlantic world. The groundbreaking essays in this book draw on these new data to explore fundamental questions about the trade in African slaves. The research findings—that the size of the slave trade was 14 percent greater than had been estimated, that trade above and below the equator was largely separate, that ports sending out the most slave voyages were not in Europe but in Brazil, and more—challenge accepted understandings of transatlantic slavery and suggest a variety of new directions for important further research....For the most complete database on slave trade voyages ever compiled, visit

Falola, Toyin, and Matt D. Childs, eds.  The Yoruba Diaspora in the Atlantic World.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. 455pp.  Main Library E29.Y67 Y67 2004 : This innovative anthology focuses on the enslavement, middle passage, American experience, and return to Africa of a single cultural group, the Yoruba. Moving beyond descriptions of generic African experiences, this anthology will allow students to trace the experiences of one cultural group throughout the cycle of the slave experience in the Americas. The 19 essays, employing a variety of disciplinary perspectives, provide a detailed study of how the Yoruba were integrated into the Atlantic world through the slave trade and slavery, the transformations of Yoruba identities and culture, and the strategies for resistance employed by the Yoruba in the New World.

Hall, Gwendolyn Midlo.  Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. 225pp.  Main Library E29.N3 H35 2005 : Utilizing a particularistic body of research previously used in her Africans in Colonial Louisiana (CH, Jan'93, 30-2884), this scholar of Afro-Latin American history seeks to "restore the links of Africans in the Americas with Africans in Africa." Because French colonial authorities were very conscious of ethnicity, their records include data unlike any others on slave origins. This data can be used to make New World slaves more visible as people. After initially analyzing the failures of previous scholarship concerning African survivals in slavery, Hall (emer., Rutgers Univ.) devotes four of seven chapters and more than half of the short text to specific African communities and their transference to specific trans-Atlantic locations. This technical, narrowly argued thesis, supported by 37 figures, maps, and tables, could stimulate important future research. The book is a reminder that scholarship may depend more on the sources used than on the "truth" or the "facts."

Hanger, Kimberly S.  Bounded Lives, Bounded Places: Free Black Society in Colonial New Orleans, 1769-1803. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.  248pp.  Main Library F379.N59 N44 1997 :  During Louisiana’s Spanish colonial period, economic, political, and military conditions combined with local cultural and legal traditions to favor the growth and development of a substantial group of free blacks. In Bounded Lives, Bounded Places, Kimberly S. Hanger explores the origin of antebellum New Orleans’ large, influential, and propertied free black—or libre—population, one that was unique in the South. Hanger examines the issues libres confronted as they individually and collectively contested their ambiguous status in a complexly stratified society....Drawing on rare archives in Louisiana and Spain, Hanger reconstructs the world of late-eighteenth-century New Orleans from the perspective of its free black residents, and documents the common experiences and enterprises that helped solidify libres’ sense of group identity. Over the course of three and a half decades of Spanish rule, free people of African descent in New Orleans made their greatest advances in terms of legal rights and privileges, demographic expansion, vocational responsibilities, and social standing. Although not all blacks in Spanish New Orleans yearned for expanded opportunity, Hanger shows that those who did were more likely to succeed under Spain’s dominion than under the governance of France, Great Britain, or the United States....The advent of U.S. rule brought restrictions to both manumission and free black activities in New Orleans. Nonetheless, the colonial libre population became the foundation for the city’s prosperous and much acclaimed Creoles of Color during the antebellum era.

Harms, Robert. The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade.  New York: Basic Books, 2002. 466pp.  Main Library HT1177 .H37 2002 : The slave trade is one of the best known yet least understood processes in our history. The popular image of traders in slave ships going to Africa and rounding up slaves as if they were cattle is not only historically inaccurate, it also disguises the fact that the slave trade was a highly organized Atlantic-wide system that required close collaboration at the highest levels of government in Europe, Africa, and the New World. Using the private journal of First Lieutenant Robert Durand, and supplementing it with a wealth of archival research, Yale historian Robert Harms re-creates in astonishing detail the voyage of the French slave ship The Diligent.We have histories of the slave trade, most recently Hugh Thomas's massive and authoritative The Slave Trade, but The Diligent is something entirely different: a deep bore into the economic, political, and moral worldviews of the participants on all sides of the trade, complete with a vivid dramatis personae. Nobody who reads this book will ever look at the slave trade in the same way again.

Harris, Joseph., ed.  Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora.  Washington, D. C .: Howard University Press, 1993.  2nd ed.  532pp.  Main Library DT14 .G56 1993  The first edition, 1982,  is also available : Global Dimensions of the African Diaspora collects selected essays from the First and Second African Diaspora Institutes and other essays. This revised second edition, with broader geographical scope than the first edition, places greater emphasis on historical and sociopolitical analysis. New essays that examine the African experience and slavery in the Mediterranean, the black experience in Brazil, African religious retentions in Latin American countries, and essays by women that focus on the experience and contributions of African women of the diaspora address significant areas omitted in the first volume.

Heywood, Linda M. and John K. Thornton.   Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles, and the Foundation of the Americas, 1585-1660. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2007.  370pp.  Main Library E29.N3 H49 2007 : This book shows that the first generation of Africans taken to English and Dutch colonies before 1660 were captured by pirates from these countries from slave ships coming from Kongo and Angola. This region had embraced Christianity and elements of Western culture, such as names and some material culture, the result of a long period of diplomatic, political, and military interaction with the Portuguese. This background gave them an important role in shaping the way slavery, racism, and African-American culture would develop in English and Dutch colonies throughout the Western Hemisphere 

Hunwick, John, and Eve Troutt Powell.  The African Diaspora in the Mediterranean Lands of Islam. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2002. 246pp.  Main Library HT1317 .A37 2002 : There is a rich documentary trail to follow on the topic of African slavery in the Islam of the Mediterranean, but relatively little historical work has been done on the subject. Hunwick (Northwestern U.) and Powell (U. of Georgia) seek to begin to correct the dearth of research by presenting a collection of primary materials related to the Islamic enslavement of the peoples of Central Africa. Documents are organized under the headings: basic texts on slavery, Muslim views on slavery, perceptions of Africans in Arabic and Turkish writings, slave capture, the Middle Passage, slave markets, eunuchs and concubines, domestic service, agricultural labor, military service, religion and community, freedom and post-slavery, abolition of slavery, and a slave narrative.

James, C. L. R.  The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’ Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution.  London: Penguin, 2001.  363pp.  Main Library F1923 .T85 2001  Also have the 1963 Vintage Books edition : In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the most profitable real estate in the world. These profits came at a price: while its sugar plantations supplied two-thirds of France's overseas trade, they also stimulated the greatest individual market for the slave trade. The slaves were brutally treated and died in great numbers, prompting a never-ending influx of new slaves....The French Revolution sent waves all the way across the Atlantic, dividing the colony's white population in 1791. The elites remained royalist, while the bourgeoisie embraced the revolutionary ideals. The slaves seized the moment and in the confusion rebelled en masse against their owners. The Haitian Slave Revolt had begun. When it ended in 1803, Saint Domingue had become Haiti, the first independent nation in the Caribbean....C.L.R. James tells the story of the revolt and the events leading up to it in his masterpiece, The Black Jacobins. James's personal beliefs infuse his narrative: in his preface to a 1962 edition of the book, he asserts that , when written in 1938, it was "intended to stimulate the coming emancipation of Africa." James writes passionately about the horrific lives of the slaves and of the man who rose up and led them--a semiliterate slave named François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture. As James notes, however, "Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint." ...With its appendix, "From Toussaint L'Ouverture to Fidel Castro," The Black Jacobins provides an excellent window into the Haitian Revolution and the worldwide repercussions it caused.

Landers, Jane.  Black Society in Spanish Florida. Urbana : University of Illinois Press, 1999. 390pp.  Main Library F320.N4 L36 1999 : 'The first extensive study of the African American community under colonial Spanish rule, "Black Society in Spanish Florida" provides a vital counterweight to the better-known dynamics of the Anglo slave South. Jane Landers draws on a wealth of untapped primary sources, opening a new vista on the black experience in America and enriching our understanding of the powerful links between race relations and cultural custom. Blacks under Spanish rule in Florida lived not in cotton rows or tobacco patches but in a more complex and international world that linked the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, and a powerful and diverse Indian hinterland. Here the Spanish Crown afforded sanctuary to runaway slaves, making the territory a prime destination for blacks fleeing Anglo plantations, while Castilian law (grounded in Roman law) provided many avenues out of slavery, which it deemed an unnatural condition.European-African unions were common and accepted in Florida, with families of African descent developing important community connections through marriage, concubinage, and godparent choices. Assisted by the corporate nature of Spanish society, Spain's medieval tradition of integration and assimilation, and the almost constant threat to Spanish sovereignty in Florida, multiple generations of Africans leveraged linguistic, military, diplomatic, and artisanal skills into citizenship and property rights. In this remote Spanish outpost, where they could become homesteaders, property owners, and entrepreneurs, blacks enjoyed more legal and social protection than they would again until almost two hundred years of Anglo history had passed'.

Landers, Jane.  Atlantic Creoles in the Age of Revolutions. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2010.  340pp.  Main Library F2191.B55 L36 2010 : Sailing the tide of a tumultuous era of Atlantic revolutions, a remarkable group of African-born and African-descended individuals transformed themselves from slaves into active agents of their lives and times. Big Prince Whitten, the black Seminole Abraham, and General Georges Biassou were “Atlantic creoles,” Africans who found their way to freedom by actively engaging in the most important political events of their day. These men and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds, who were fluent in multiple languages and familiar with African, American, and European cultures, migrated across the new world’s imperial boundaries in search of freedom and a safe haven. Yet, until now, their extraordinary lives and exploits have been hidden from posterity....Through prodigious archival research, Jane Landers radically alters our vision of the breadth and extent of the Age of Revolution, and our understanding of its actors. Whereas Africans in the Atlantic world are traditionally seen as destined for the slave market and plantation labor, Landers reconstructs the lives of unique individuals who managed to move purposefully through French, Spanish, and English colonies, and through Indian territory, in the unstable century between 1750 and 1850. Mobile and adaptive, they shifted allegiances and identities depending on which political leader or program offered the greatest possibility for freedom. Whether fighting for the King of Kongo, England, France, or Spain, or for the Muskogee and Seminole chiefs, their thirst for freedom helped to shape the course of the Atlantic revolutions and to enrich the history of revolutionary lives in all times.

Larson, Pier M.  Ocean of Letters: Language and Creolization in an Indian Ocean Diaspora. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2009. 378pp.  Main Library PL5371 .L37 2009 : Ocean of Letters is a remarkable history of imperialism, language, and creolization in the largest African diaspora of the Indian Ocean in the early modern period. Ranging from Madagascar to the Mascarenes, the Comores, and South Africa, Pier M. Larson sheds new light on the roles of slavery, emancipation, oceanic travel, Christian missions, and colonial linguistics in the making of Malagasy-language literacy in the islands of the western Indian Ocean. He shows how enslaved and free Malagasy together with certain European colonists and missionaries promoted the Malagasy language, literacy projects and letter writing in the multilingual colonial societies of the region between the seventeenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Addressing current debates in the history of Africa and the African diaspora, slavery, abolition, creolization and the making of modern African literatures, the book crosses thematic as well as geo-imperial boundaries and brings fresh perspectives to Indian Ocean history.

Mann, Kristin, and Edna G. Bay.   Rethinking the African Diaspora : The Making of a Black Atlantic World in the Bight of Benin and Brazil. London and Portland: Frank Cass, 2001. 154pp.  Main Library HT851 .S58 v.22 no. 1  v.22 2001 : As a result of new research, we can now paint a more complex picture of peoples and cultures in the south Atlantic, from the earliest period of the slave trade up to the present. The nine papers in this volume indicate that a dynamic and continuous movement of peoples east as well as west across the Atlantic forged diverse and vibrant re-inventions and re-interpretations of the rich mix of cultures represented by Africans and peoples of African descent on both continents.

Mirzai, Behnaz A., Ismael Musah Montana, and Paul E. Lovejoy, eds. Slavery, Islam, and Diaspora. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2009.  318pp.  Main Library HT919 .S56 2009 : Contains papers originally presented at the conference on Slavery, Islam and Diaspora, sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora, York University, Ontario, 24-26 Oct. 2003.

Moitt, Bernard.  Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635-1848. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.  217pp.  Main Library HT1079 .W48 M65 2001 : In Women and Slavery in the French Antilles, 1635--1848, Bernard Moitt argues that gender had a profound effect on the slave plantation system in the French Antilles. He details and analyzes the social condition of enslaved black women in the plantation societies of Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), and French Guiana from 1635 to the abolition of slavery in the French colonial empire in 1848. Moitt examines the lives of black women in bondage, evaluates the impact that the slave experience had on them, and assesses the ways in which women reacted to and coped with slavery in the French Caribbean for over two centuries....As males outnumbered females for most of the slavery period and monopolized virtually all of the specialized tasks, the disregard for gender in task allocation meant that females did proportionately more hard labor than did males. In addition to hard work in the fields, women were engaged in gender-specific labor and performed a host of other tasks....Women resisted slavery in the same ways that men did, as well as in ways that gender and allocation of tasks made possible. Moitt casts slave women in dynamic roles previously ignored by historians, thus bringing them out of the shadows of the plantation world into full view, where they belong.

Moore, Carlos, Tanya R. Sanders, and Shawna Moore, eds.   African Presence in the Americas.  Trenton: Africa World Press, 1995.  502pp.  Main Library E29.N3 A5447 1995 :  Contents - Negritude, or the essence of black awareness -- Racism in the Americas: case studies -- African women in the Americas and the process of change -- The African world and the challenge of the 21st century.  A publication of the African Heritage Foundation.

Palmer, Colin.  “The African Diaspora”    John Hope Franklin From Slavery to Freedom Symposium. Duke University. Durham, North Carolina. 1997.

Palmer, Colin A.   Eric Williams & the Making of the Modern Caribbean.  Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006.  354pp.  Main Library F2122.W5 P35 2006 :  Born in Trinidad, Eric Williams (1911-81) founded the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago's first modern political party in 1956, led the country to independence from the British culminating in 1962, and became the nation's first prime minister. Before entering politics, he was a professor at Howard University and wrote several books, including the classic Capitalism and Slavery. In the first scholarly biography of Williams, Colin Palmer provides insights into Williams's personality that illuminate his life as a scholar and politician and his tremendous influence on the historiography and politics of the Caribbean. Palmer focuses primarily on the fourteen-year period of struggles for independence in the Anglophone Caribbean. From 1956, when Williams became the chief minister of Trinidad and Tobago, to 1970, when the Black Power-inspired February Revolution brought his administration face to face with a younger generation intellectually indebted to his revolutionary thought, Williams was at the center of most of the conflicts and challenges that defined the region. He was most aggressive in advocating the creation of a West Indies federation to help the region assert itself in international political and economic arenas. Looking at the ideas of Williams as well as those of his Caribbean and African peers, Palmer demonstrates how the development of the modern Caribbean was inextricably intertwined with the evolution of a regional anticolonial consciousness.

Patterson, Tiffany Ruby, and Robin D.G . Kelley.  "Unfinished Migrations: Reflections on the African Diaspora and the Making of the Modern World." African Studies Review 43. 1 (2000): 11-45. : This article engages the very definition/meaning of diaspora as a concept at a moment when scholars are rushing to embrace the field of diaspora studies. Much of the current discussion continues to suggest that diaspora is merely a logical manifestation of dispersion, no matter how the diaspora was created or how long it had been in existence. This essay argues that linkages that tie the diaspora together must be articulated and are not inevitable, and that the diaspora is both process and condition. As a process it is always in the making, and as condition it is situated within global race and gender hierarchies. However, just as the diaspora is made, it can be unmade, and thus scholars must explore the moments of its unmaking. Indeed, the efforts to unravel the constituent elements of the diaspora(s) raise significant questions concerning how Africa is conceptualized in relation to its diaspora. These efforts also underscore the need to examine overlapping diasporas from many historical locations. Note: The entire issues is a Special Issue on the Diaspora. 

Postma, Johannes Menne.   The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600- 1815. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1990.  428pp.  Main Library HT1203 .P67 1990 : Presenting a thorough analysis of the Dutch participation in the transatlantic slave trade, this book is based upon extensive research in Dutch archives. The book examines the whole range of Dutch involvement in the Atlantic slave trade from the beginning of the 1600s to the nineteenth century.

Reis, João José;  trans. Arthur Brakel.   Slave Rebellion in Brazil : The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia.   Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993.  281pp.  Main Library HT1129.S24 R4513 1993 (Lost try ILL) : In the course of explaining the causes and context of the uprising, Reis provides a fascinating social history of urban life and the African community in a city that was (and is) one of the most important centers of African culture in the Americas.

Safran, William.  “Diasporas in Modern Societies: Myths of Homeland and Return”.   Diaspora 1.1 (1991): 83-99.

Saunders, A. C. de C.M.    A Social History of Black Slaves and Freedmen in Portugal, 1441-1555. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1982.  283pp.  Main Library HT1221 .S28 : This book, originally published in 1982, was the first detailed study of black slavery in Portugal during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when the Portuguese brought Europe into contact with black Africa and originated the Atlantic slave-trade. Portugal was the first European society to have a considerable black population, and the relations established between the white and black populations set a pattern that had effects throughout the Atlantic world. Through extensive analysis, this book sheds light on Portuguese slave laws, geographical distribution and the occupations of slaves with Portugal, the importance of slaves in urban and domestic workforce, and Portuguese racial prejudice, and places the racial relations within the wider contexts of slavery and race relations in the Mediterranean and the Americas. Students interested in slavery and race relations as well to students of European, Latin American and African history will find this useful.

Schuler, Monica. “Alas, Alas, Kongo” : A Social History of Indentured African Immigration into Jamaica , 1841-1865. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980. 186pp.  Main Library HD4875.J25 S38

Scott, Rebecca J.   Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba After Slavery. Cambridge : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.  365pp.  Main Library E185.93.L6 S29 2005 (Also available online): As Louisiana and Cuba emerged from slavery in the late nineteenth century, each faced the question of what rights former slaves could claim. Degrees of Freedom compares and contrasts these two societies in which slavery was destroyed by war, and citizenship was redefined through social and political upheaval. Both Louisiana and Cuba were rich in sugar plantations that depended on an enslaved labor force. After abolition, on both sides of the Gulf of Mexico, ordinary people—cane cutters and cigar workers, laundresses and labor organizers—forged alliances to protect and expand the freedoms they had won. But by the beginning of the twentieth century, Louisiana and Cuba diverged sharply in the meanings attributed to race and color in public life, and in the boundaries placed on citizenship....Louisiana had taken the path of disenfranchisement and state-mandated racial segregation; Cuba had enacted universal manhood suffrage and had seen the emergence of a transracial conception of the nation. What might explain these differences?...Moving through the cane fields, small farms, and cities of Louisiana and Cuba, Rebecca Scott skillfully observes the people, places, legislation, and leadership that shaped how these societies adjusted to the abolition of slavery. The two distinctive worlds also come together, as Cuban exiles take refuge in New Orleans in the 1880s, and black soldiers from Louisiana garrison small towns in eastern Cuba during the 1899 U.S. military occupation....Crafting her narrative from the words and deeds of the actors themselves, Scott brings to life the historical drama of race and citizenship in postemancipation societies

Spaks, Randy J.   The Two Princes of Calabar: An Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2004.  189pp.  Main Library DA125.N4 S66 2004 : In 1767, two "princes" of a ruling family in the port of Old Calabar, on the slave coast of Africa, were ambushed and captured by English slavers. The princes, Little Ephraim Robin John and Ancona Robin Robin John, were themselves slave traders who were betrayed by African competitors--and so began their own extraordinary odyssey of enslavement. Their story, written in their own hand, survives as a rare firsthand account of the Atlantic slave experience....Randy Sparks made the remarkable discovery of the princes' correspondence and has managed to reconstruct their adventures from it. They were transported from the coast of Africa to Dominica, where they were sold to a French physician. By employing their considerable language and interpersonal skills, they cleverly negotiated several escapes that took them from the Caribbean to Virginia, and to England, but always ended in their being enslaved again. Finally, in England, they sued for, and remarkably won, their freedom. Eventually, they found their way back to Old Calabar and, evidence suggests, resumed their business of slave trading....The Two Princes of Calabar offers a rare glimpse into the eighteenth-century Atlantic World and slave trade from an African perspective. It brings us into the trading communities along the coast of Africa and follows the regular movement of goods, people, and ideas across and around the Atlantic. It is an extraordinary tale of slaves' relentless quest for freedom and their important role in the creation of the modern Atlantic World.

Strickrodt, Silke.    “ ‘Afro-Brazilians’ of the Western Slave Coast in the Nineteenth Century.”    Enslaving Connections: Changing Cultures of Africa and Brazil during the Era of Slavery.   Eds. José Curto and Paul Lovejoy.   Amherst: Humanity Books, 2004.  323pp.  Main Library HT1126 .E57 2004 : Historians from North and South America, Europe, and Africa explore how the cultures of Africans changed both in western Africa and in Brazil from about 1600 to 1850. They look at the Portuguese slave trade, fluidity and evolution of identities among slaves, and the impact of Brazil and Brazilian slaves on western Africa. Most of the 12 essays were presented as papers at an October 2000 conference in Toronto.

Thompson, Vincent Bakpetu. The Making of the African Diaspora in the Americas 1441-1900. New York: Longman Inc , 1987. 465pp.  Main Library HT1048 .T48 1987 : This work examines the core period of the African diaspora in the Americas. The author confronts myths surrounding the ethos of this diaspora which were induced by the mercantilist preoccupations of Western Europe. The entire period is portrayed as a battle between two conflicting and opposite strategies - that of the slavocracy and that of the enslaved Africans - culminating in the conversion of the French colony of St Domingue into the revolutionary state of Haiti. The author suggests that Haiti, because of its positionin the midst of hostile slave societies, provided inspiration for the antislavery crusade in both its particularistic and its international aspects. The epilogue provides a glimpse into the author's second book on the divergent perceptions in the early evolution of leadership in the African dispora in the Americas.

Thornton, John.  Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1998.  2nd edition, 340pp.  Main Library DT31 .T516 1998 : This book explores Africa's involvement in the Atlantic world from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. It focuses especially on the causes and consequences of the slave trade, in Africa, in Europe, and in the New World. Prior to 1680, Africa's economic and military strength enabled African elites to determine how trade with Europe developed. Thornton examines the dynamics that made slaves so necessary to European colonizers. He explains why African slaves were placed in significant roles. Estate structure and demography affected the capacity of slaves to form a self-sustaining society and behave as cultural actors. This second edition contains a new chapter on eighteenth century developments.

Zeleza, Paul T.   “African Diasporas: Toward a Global History”.  African Studies Review 1.53. (2010).  pp. 1-19

African Diaspora : Culture, Literature, and Art

Readings underscore the cultural expression of African Diaspora peoples (religion, sports, musical arts - from including Latin-African music – rumba, meringue, salsa, film/documentary, literature, fine art).

Hawthorne, Walter. From Africa to Brazil: Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade , 1600-1830. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.  295pp.  Main Library and Faculty Collection (1 West) HT1129.A426 H39 2010 : From Africa to Brazil traces the flows of enslaved Africans from identifiable points in the broad region of Africa called Upper Guinea to Amazonia, Brazil. These two regions, though separated by an ocean, were made one by a slave route. Walter Hawthorne considers why planters in Amazonia wanted African slaves, why and how those sent to Amazonia were enslaved, and what their Middle Passage experience was like. The book is also concerned with how Africans in diaspora shaped labor regimes, determined the nature of their family lives, and crafted religious beliefs that were similar to those they had known before enslavement. This study makes several broad contributions. It presents the only book-length examination of African slavery in Amazonia and identifies with precision the locations in Africa from where members of a large diaspora in the Americas hailed. From Africa to Brazil also proposes new directions for scholarship focused on how immigrant groups created new or recreated old cultures.

Long, Charles H.   Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion.  Philadelphia : Fortress Press, c1986.  207pp.  Main Library and Schaeffer Law School Library (2nd floor) BL48 .L58 1986 :  Significations is a criticism of several major approaches (phenomenological, historical, theological) to the study of religion in the United States, in which the author attempts (1) a reevaluation of some of the basic issues forming the study of religion in America, (2) an outline of a hermeneutics of conquest and colonialism generated during the formation of the social and symbolic order called the "New World," and (3) a critique of the categories of civil religion, innocence, and theology from the perspective of the black experience and the experience of colonized peoples.

Scotta, Carole, Caroline Benjo, Abderrahmane Sissako, Mohamed Sissako, Mahamadou Drame, and Salif Keïta.    Life on Earth /  [Winstar presents an Arte and Haut & Court presentation of an Abderramane Sissako film].     [New York, N.Y. : Winstar TV & Video, c2000]  1 DVD videodisc (61 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.  Main Library Digital and Multimedia Center (4 West) PN1995.9.F67 L544 2000 VideoDVD : On the eve of the year 2000, Abderrahmane Sissako, a Mauritanian filmmaker living in France, goes home to visit his father in Sokolo, a small village in Mali. At the post office, he encounters a young woman. A relationships develops, while on the streets of the village, daily life goes on peacefully and unchanged as a new millennium arrives. Leisurely paced, vignettes of people's lives are interwoven with readings from the poet Aimé Césaire and songs by Malian tenor Salif Keita. Sokolo, still struggling with 20th century technology and still living in traditional patterns, will enter the 21st century with its own desires and needs.

Thompson, Robert Farris.   Flash of the Spirit : African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy.   New York : Random House, 1983.   317pp.  Fine Arts Library, Art Collection (4 West) E29.N3 T48 1983 : This book reveals how five distinct African civilizations have shaped the specific cultures of their New World descendants.

Vega, Marta M.   When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El barrio. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2004.  273pp.  Main Library Chavez Collection (1 West) F128.9.P85 V438 2004 : In this vivid work, which shares its title with a 2002 documentary Vega produced, two tales flawlessly merge: one recalls an Afro–Puerto Rican girl's upbringing in 1950s Spanish Harlem; the other explains the background for the author's eventual status as a priestess of the Santeria/Lucumi religion. What could have been a familiar coming-of-age story is made fresh with Vega's painterly detail and use of background music (Celia Cruz, Machito and Tito Puente's sounds are present throughout). The sorrows of early school ("the classroom was a joyless cell") give way to double-dutch jumping, puberty, Vega's first crush and her emerging interest in preserving her family's traditions. "Music," her grandmother Abuela, an espiritista (a sort of spiritual psychic), tells her, "is the food of the soul, and the right music calls the spirits." At Abuela's apartment, Vega learns of the orishas (gods and goddesses) and observes Abuela's bóveda (altar); together, they visit the botánica for healing oils. Lovelorn at 14, Vega confides in Abuela, who summons a spirit named Juango to command her body. "Trying to understand Juango was difficult enough, but talking about sex with a spirit possessing my grandmother's body was startling." And thus the author's future path begins. The spiritual and musical journey Vega takes readers on is informative and inspiring, even for the uninitiated.

African Diaspora : National and Global Politics

Readings underscore the main issues that constitute African Diaspora peoples contemporary public policy - affirmative action, discriminatory constitutionalism and political representation, and political participation, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality (domestic and global).

Butler, Kim. "Multilayered Politics in the African Diaspora : The Metadiaspora Concept and Minidiaspora Realities."  Opportunity Structures in Diaspora Relations : Comparisons in Contemporary Multilevel Politics of Diaspora  and Transnational Identity. Ed. Gloria Totoricaguena. Reno: Center for Basque Studies, 2007.  285pp.  Main Library JV6011 .O77 2007 : The 2006 International Symposium on Diaspora Politics, sponsored by the Center for Basque Studies, brought together several world renowned experts in diaspora studies. Here they present their research on the main characteristics of contemporary ethno-national diasporas, and how their relationships with their homeland and host-society governments develop; communal strategies and tactics used by diasporas, and how effective they are in influencing the foreign policy of central governments; and ways ethnic identity maintenance influences social and political security issues both domestically and in foreign policy.

Carrington, Ben.  Race, Sport and Politics: The Sporting Black Diaspora.  Thousand Oaks : Sage Publications, 2010. 201pp.  Main Library GV706.32 .C377 2010 : This is the first book-length study to address sport's role in 'the making of race', the place of sport within black diasporic struggles for freedom and equality, and the contested location of sport in relation to the politics of recognition within contemporary western multicultural societies. Race, Sport and Politics shows that over the past century sport has occupied a dominant position within Western culture in producing ideas of racial difference and alterity while providing a powerful and public modality for forms of black cultural resistance....Written by one of the leading international authorities on the sociology of race and sport, it is the first book that centrally locates sport within the cultural politics of the black diaspora and will be of relevance to students and scholars in fields such as the sociology of culture and sport, the sociology of race and diaspora studies, postcolonial theory, cultural theory and cultural studies.

D’ Alisera, Jo Ann.  An Imagined Geography: Sierra Leonean Muslims in America.  Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.  181pp.  Main Library F205.S54 D35 2004 : For more than a decade a vicious civil war has torn the fabric of society in the West African country of Sierra Leone, forcing thousands to flee their homes for refugee camps and others to seek peace and asylum abroad. Sierra Leoneans have established new communities around the world, in London, Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Yet despite the great geographic range of this diaspora and the diverse ethnic backgrounds among Sierra Leoneans settled in the same communities abroad, these Africans have come to understand and express their shared identity through religious rituals, social engagements, and material culture....In An Imagined Geography, anthropologist JoAnn D'Alisera demonstrates persuasively that the long-held anthropological paradigms of separate, bounded, and unique communities, geographically located and neatly localized, must be reconsidered. Studying Sierra Leonean Muslims living in greater Washington, D.C., she shows how these immigrants maintain intense and genuine community ties through weddings, rituals, and travel, across both vast urban spaces and national boundaries. D'Alisera examines two primary issues: Sierra Leoneans' engagement with their homeland, to which they frequently traveled and often sent their children for upbringing until the outbreak of the civil war; and the Sierra Leonean interaction with a diverse, multicultural, increasingly global Muslim community that is undergoing its own search for identity....Sierra Leoneans in America, D'Alisera observes, express a longing for home and the pain of disconnection in powerful narratives about their country and about their own displacement. At the same time, however, self and communal identity are shaped by a pressing need to affiliate in their adopted country with Sierra Leoneans of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and with fellow Muslims from other parts of the world, a process that is played out against the complex social field of the American urban landscape.

Edozie, Rita Kiki. "Cooperating Against Small State Marginalization : A Post colonial Perspective on UNSC Resolution 1529 in Haiti". DuBois Review 5.1 (2008): 95-114. : Employing postcolonial critical international relations theory as its theoretical bedrock, this article uses the U.N.-U.S.-French-led humanitarian intervention in Haiti in 2004 to examine top-tier states' claims to universal human rights and bottom-tier states' claims to sovereign national democratic rights. This article critically interrogates both the theoretical and policy assumptions of an emergent interventionism by the North into the South, and examines Haitian social forces and their pan-African allies (CARICOM, the AU, and CBC), who are opposed to the universalist appropriation and imposition of a rights domain that curtails freedom in the international arena.

Frank, Zephyr L.   Dutra’s World: Wealth and Family in Nineteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro.   Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2004. 230pp.  Main Library HC189.R4 F72 2004 : This study of "wealthholders" in Rio de Janeiro in the first half of the 19th century concentrates on the middle group, the 60 percent between the poorest and richest of these. Frank (history, Stanford Univ.) focuses his study on the life of Antonio Jose Dutra, a more or less typical member of this group: one-time slave, born in Africa, who gained his freedom and became a barber-surgeon and leader of a barber orchestra. His major source of income came from the work of his more than dozen slaves in his barbershop and orchestra, and from renting out these slaves. The author's principal source of information is wills and other records filed with authorities on the death of the people involved. Frank's principal discoveries are the number of urban slaveholding entrepreneurs such as Dutra in the second quarter of the century, and the importance of their slaves in providing both income and property for them. This is an interesting and valuable study of a more or less unexplored aspect of the economic, as well as social, history of Brazil in the 19th century. One has to admire the amount of work involved in locating and studying thousands of documents involved.

Stoller, Paul.   Money Has No Smell: The Africanization of New York City.   Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. 222pp.  Main Library F128.9.A24 S76 2002 : In February 1999 the tragic New York City police shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed street vendor from Guinea, brought into focus the existence of West African merchants in urban America. In Money Has No Smell, Paul Stoller offers us a more complete portrait of the complex lives of West African immigrants like Diallo, a portrait based on years of research Stoller conducted on the streets of New York City during the 1990s....Blending fascinating ethnographic description with incisive social analysis, Stoller shows how these savvy West African entrepreneurs have built cohesive and effective multinational trading networks, in part through selling a simulated Africa to African Americans. These and other networks set up by the traders, along with their faith as devout Muslims, help them cope with the formidable state regulations and personal challenges they face in America. As Stoller demonstrates, the stories of these West African traders illustrate and illuminate ongoing debates about globalization, the informal economy, and the changing nature of American communities.

African Diaspora : Biographies

Readings profile African Diaspora peoples’ main agents and actors who have shaped the discipline and its subject histories up to the present.

Campbell, Horace.    Bob Marley Lives: Rasta, Reggae, and Resistance.  21pp.  Dar es Salaam, Tanzania : Tackey BCI, 1981.   Available through Interlibrary Loan.

Sweet, James H. Domingos Álvares: African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World.   Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011.  300pp.  Main Library HT869.A58 S84 2011 : Between 1730 and 1750, Domingos Alvares traversed the colonial Atlantic world like few Africans of his time--from Africa to South America to Europe. By tracing the steps of this powerful African healer and vodun priest, James Sweet finds dramatic means for unfolding a history of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world in which healing, religion, kinship, and political subversion were intimately connected....Alvares treated many people across the Atlantic, yet healing was rarely a simple matter of remedying illness and disease. Through the language of health and healing, Alvares also addressed the profound alienation of warfare, capitalism, and the African slave trade. As a result, he and other African healers frequently ran afoul of imperial power brokers. Nevertheless, even the powerful suffered isolation in the Atlantic world and often turned to African healers for answers. In this way, healers simultaneously became fierce critics of Atlantic imperialism and expert translators of it, adapting their therapeutic strategies in order to secure social relevance and even power. By tracing Alvares' frequent uprooting and border crossing, Sweet illuminates how African healing practices evolved in the diaspora, contesting the social and political hierarchies of imperialism while also making profound impacts on the intellectual discourse of the "modern" Atlantic world.

James, CLR.    The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution.    London : Penguin, 2001.  363pp.  Main Library F1923 .T85 2001    New York, Vintage Books [1963] edition also available : In 1789 the French colony of Saint Domingue was the most profitable real estate in the world. These profits came at a price: while its sugar plantations supplied two-thirds of France's overseas trade, they also stimulated the greatest individual market for the slave trade. The slaves were brutally treated and died in great numbers, prompting a never-ending influx of new slaves....The French Revolution sent waves all the way across the Atlantic, dividing the colony's white population in 1791. The elites remained royalist, while the bourgeoisie embraced the revolutionary ideals. The slaves seized the moment and in the confusion rebelled en masse against their owners. The Haitian Slave Revolt had begun. When it ended in 1803, Saint Domingue had become Haiti, the first independent nation in the Caribbean....C.L.R. James tells the story of the revolt and the events leading up to it in his masterpiece, The Black Jacobins. James's personal beliefs infuse his narrative: in his preface to a 1962 edition of the book, he asserts that, when written in 1938, it was "intended to stimulate the coming emancipation of Africa." James writes passionately about the horrific lives of the slaves and of the man who rose up and led them--a semiliterate slave named François-Dominique Toussaint L'Ouverture. As James notes, however, "Toussaint did not make the revolution. It was the revolution that made Toussaint."

Panton, David.    Jamaica's Michael Manley: The Great Transformation (1972-92) .   Kingston, Jamaica : Kingston Publishers Limited, 1993.  225pp.  Main Library F1887 .P36 1993 : In 1980 Michael Manley lost the General Election after administering a Government that had taken Jamaica on a statist socialist course while seeking to develop a strong ideological base....Following his departure from Government he moderated his radical socialist image and completed a massive ideological shift to the right. No one, including Manley himself, however, had predicted that the switch he underwent in his three-year tenure, prior to retiring, would have been so drastic and indeed dramatic....In the book the author examines this shift against the background of similar radical changes that have occurred globally in the past decade....This book, when seen through the analytical eye of a young and so to speak uninvolved person, provides us with a most important literary work.

Pele.   Pele : The Autobiography.    Simon & Schuster UK (May 8, 2007)   368pp.   Main Library GV942.7.P42 A3 2007 : From the poverty-stricken streets of São Paulo to the top of the soccer world, Pelé’s life story is as extraordinary as it is enrapturing. With his trademark wit and deference, the legend presents the fantastic events of his life with insight and humor in this tell-all autobiography. He discusses his meteoric rise to become one of the greatest soccer players of all time, including his three World Cup championships and numerous league victories. On top of his athletic achievements, Pelé also discusses his role as a staunch campaigner for human rights and the plight of street children in his home country, as well as his recent role as a UN Ambassador. By turns addictive, moving, and enlightening, this is the ultimate story of the ultimate sports star.   Note: other books about Pele are available in the MSU Library stacks.

Subject Guide

Erik Ponder's picture
Erik Ponder
African Studies Librarian
MSU Libraries
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