Converging Identities is a volume of sixteen essays analyzing the issues of blackness and identity of the African Diaspora in global perspective, but focusing on the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Given the historical factors that prompted Africans to populate different parts of the world, the subject of blackness as a form of identity becomes relevant. In modern times, blackness and identity are popular subject matters in view of the historic election of Barack Obama as the President of the United States of America in 2008. Converging Identities provides a stimulating and enlightening perspective to blackness and identity of the African Diaspora.
Color Struck: Essays of Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective is a compilation of expositions on race and ethnicity, written from multiple disciplinary approaches including history, sociology, women's studies, and anthropology. This book is organized around a topical, chronological framework and is divided into three sections, beginning with the earliest times to the contemporary world. The term 'race' has nearly become synonymous with the word 'ethnicity,' given the most recent findings in the study of human genetics that have led to the mapping of human DNA. Color Struck attempts to answer questions and provide scholarly insight into issues related to race and ethnicity.
s 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.
Anzaldua, a Chicana native of Texas, explores in prose and poetry the murky, precarious existence of those living on the frontier between cultures and languages. Writing in a lyrical mixture of Spanish and English that is her unique heritage, she meditates on the condition of Chicanos in Anglo culture, women in Hispanic culture, and lesbians in the straight world. Her essays and poems range over broad territory, moving from the plight of undocumented migrant workers to memories of her grandmother, from Aztec religion to the agony of writing. Anzaldua is a rebellious and willful talent who recognizes that life on the border, "life in the shadows," is vital territory for both literature and civilization. Venting her anger on all oppressors of people who are culturally or sexually different, the author has produced a powerful document that belongs in all collections with emphasis on Hispanic American or feminist issues.
At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as “sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle…all presented in searing, brilliant prose,” The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.
Originally published in 1955, James Baldwin's first nonfiction book has become a classic. These searing essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and Americans abroad remain as powerful today as when they were written.
"He named for me the things you feel but couldn't utter. . . . Jimmy's essays articulated for the first time to white America what it meant to be American and a black American at the same time." -Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Focusing on the economic foundations of inequality as they have affected Chicanos in the Southwest from the Mexican-American War to the present, Mario Barrera develops his theory as a synthesis of class and colonial analyses
The classic work on American racism and the struggle for racial justiceIn Faces at the Bottom of the Well, civil rights activist and legal scholar Derrick Bell uses allegory and historical example to argue that racism is an integral and permanent part of American society.
This books is a record of Hooks’s desires and visions to make classrooms grounds where freedom can be learned. It suggests a new kind of teaching with a clear goal: To help students transgress the ideas and structures creating boundaries around race and sexual identity. “This is a book to read and reread across a lifetime, whether you are a ‘teacher’ or not, to keep disrupting the learning practices our white supremacist educations instilled,” says Atom Atkinson, director of writing programs at Catapult.
One of our country's premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race.
Killing Rage speaks to this imbalance. These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. They address a spectrum of topics having to do with race and racism in the United States: psychological trauma among African Americans; friendship between black women and white women; anti-Semitism and racism; and internalized racism in movies and the media. And in the title essay, hooks writes about the "killing rage"—the fierce anger of black people stung by repeated instances of everyday racism—finding in that rage a healing source of love and strength and a catalyst for positive change.
A sobering account of a little-known crime against African Americans, and the insidious legacy of racism that reverberates today. From the aftermath of the Civil War through the dawn of World War II, under laws enacted specifically to intimidate blacks, tens of thousands of African Americans were arbitrarily arrested, hit with outrageous fines, and charged for the costs of their own arrests. With no means to pay these "debts," prisoners were sold as forced laborers to coal mines, lumber camps, brickyards, railroads, quarries, and farm plantations. Thousands of other African Americans were simply seized and compelled into years of involuntary servitude. Armies of "free" black men labored without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced through beatings and physical torture to do the bidding of white masters for decades after the official abolition of American slavery.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva’s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how beneath our contemporary conversation about race lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for—and ultimately justify—racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society.
The fourth edition adds a chapter on what Bonilla-Silva calls "the new racism," which provides the essential foundation to explore issues of race and ethnicity in more depth. This edition also updates Bonilla-Silva’s assessment of race in America after President Barack Obama’s re-election. Obama’s presidency, Bonilla-Silva argues, does not represent a sea change in race relations, but rather embodies disturbing racial trends of the past.
In Dark Matters Simone Browne locates the conditions of blackness as a key site through which surveillance is practiced, narrated, and resisted. She shows how contemporary surveillance technologies and practices are informed by the long history of racial formation and by the methods of policing black life under slavery, such as branding, runaway slave notices, and lantern laws. Placing surveillance studies into conversation with the archive of transatlantic slavery and its afterlife, Browne draws from black feminist theory, sociology, and cultural studies to analyze texts as diverse as the methods of surveilling blackness she discusses: from the design of the eighteenth-century slave ship Brooks, Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon, and The Book of Negroes, to contemporary art, literature, biometrics, and post-9/11 airport security practices. Surveillance, Browne asserts, is both a discursive and material practice that reifies boundaries, borders, and bodies around racial lines, so much so that the surveillance of blackness has long been, and continues to be, a social and political norm.
Child of the Fire is the first book-length examination of the career of the nineteenth-century artist Mary Edmonia Lewis, best known for her sculptures inspired by historical and biblical themes. Throughout this richly illustrated study, Kirsten Pai Buick investigates how Lewis and her work were perceived, and their meanings manipulated, by others and the sculptor herself. She argues against the racialist art discourse that has long cast Lewis' sculptures as reflections of her identity as an African American and Native American woman who lived most of her life abroad. Instead, by seeking to reveal Lewis' intentions through analyses of her career and artwork, Buick illuminates Lewis' fraught but active participation in the creation of a distinct 'American' national art, one dominated by themes of indigeneity, sentimentality, gender, and race.
For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he's sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him -- most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? In Tremble for My Country, Coates takes readers along on his journey through America's history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings -- moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago's South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America's 'long war on black people, ' or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police. In his trademark style -- a mix of lyrical personal narrative, reimagined history, essayistic argument, and reportage -- Coates provides readers a thrillingly illuminating new framework for understanding race: its history, our contemporary dilemma, and where we go from here.
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.
Published in 1892, A Voice from the South is the only book published by one of the most prominent African American women scholars and educators of her era. Born a slave, Anna Julia Haywood Cooper would go on to become the fourth African American woman to earn a doctoral degree. Cooper became a prominent member of the black community in Washington, D.C., serving as principal at M Street High School, during which time she wrote A Voice from the South. In it, she engages a variety of issues, including women's rights, racial progress, segregation, and the education of black women. Cooper also discusses a number of authors and their representations of African Americans, including Harriet Beecher Stowe, Albion Tourgee, George Washington Cable, William Dean Howells, and Maurice Thompson.
How does a person get defined as a black, both socially and legally, in the United States? This is the first comprehensive study of the so-called "one-drop rule" that defines as black any person having at least one black ancestor. Who is Black? provides both a history and an analysis of miscegenation in the United States, showing how a black person is defined, how this definition emerged from the slave South to become the nation's definition with the backing of state and federal courts, how the definition works in everyday life, and what the consequences of the definition are.
According to the one-drop rule, anyone with at least one African black ancestor is black, even if the individual appears to be white. The rule originated during the era of slavery in the South and has come to be taken for granted, strongly supported by blacks and whites alike. No other nation defines a black person in this fashion. Davis provides a comparison of the one-drop rule with six other ways of defining the status of racially mixed persons in societies around the world, from Latin America to South Africa. No other racially (biologically) distinctive minority group in the United States is subject to a one-drop rule. The concept of "passing as white," which reflects the one-drop rule, applies only to persons with some African black ancestry. As a consequence, persons with even very small fractions of black ancestry cannot be assimilated in the United States as people with one-fourth or less American Indian or East Asian ancestry can be.
Davis discusses the dilemmas of racial identity experienced by well-known public figures, including Lena Home, Adam Clayton Powell, and Walter White of the NAACP. Conflicts over color in the black community are also discussed, along with such further problems as collective anxieties, the racial identity of transracially adopted children, different modes of adjustment to ambiguities about racial identity, and personal traumas. Finally, the question of potential changes in the one-drop rule is considered in order to demonstrate how entrenched the rule now is in the black community as well as the white, and why.
The status of civil rights in the United States today is as volatile an issue as ever, with many Americans wondering if new laws, implemented after the events of September 11, restrict more people than they protect. How will efforts to eradicate racism, sexism, and xenophobia be affected by the measures our government takes in the name of protecting its citizens?
Richard Delgado, one of the founding figures in the Critical Race Theory movement, addresses these problems with his latest book in the award-winning Rodrigo Chronicles. Employing the narrative device he and other Critical Race theorists made famous, Delgado assembles a cast of characters to discuss such urgent and timely topics as race, terrorism, hate speech, interracial relationships, freedom of speech, and new theories on civil rights stemming from the most recent war.
In the course of this new narrative, Delgado provides analytical breakthroughs, offering new civil rights theories, new approaches to interracial romance and solidarity, and a fresh analysis of how whiteness and white privilege figure into the debate on affirmative action. The characters also discuss the black/white binary paradigm of race and show why it persists even at a time when the country's population is rapidly diversifying.
In Black Folk Then and Now, W. E. B. Du Bois embarks on a mission to correct the omissions, misinterpretations, and deliberate lies he detected in previous depictions of black history. An exemplary revisionist exploration of history and sociology, this essay reflects Du Bois's lifelong mission to bring to light the truths of Black history and expose the African peoples' noble heritage.
W. E. B. Du Bois writes extensively about the color line, which he believed at the time of publication to be the defining problem of the twentieth century. In 1946, following the Holocaust, Du Bois revised his arguments, reshaping them into the narrative we find in The World and Africa. With a series introduction by editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an introduction by Wilson Moses, this edition is essential for anyone interested in African American history.
The Souls of Black Folk is a 1903 work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of sociology and a cornerstone of African-American literature.
The book contains several essays on race, some of which the magazine Atlantic Monthly had previously published. To develop this work, Du Bois drew from his own experiences as an African American in American society. Outside of its notable relevance in African-American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the early works in the field of sociology.
In the course of his wanderings from a Southern Negro college to New York's Harlem, an American black man becomes involved in a series of adventures. Introduction explains circumstances under which the book was written. Ellison won the National Book Award for this searing record of a black man's journey through contemporary America. Unquestionably, Ellison's book is a work of extraordinary intensity--powerfully imagined and written with a savage, wryly humorous gusto.
An original and consequential argument about race, crime, and the law today, Americans are debating our criminal justice system with new urgency. Mass incarceration and aggressive police tactics--and their impact on people of color--are feeding outrage and a consensus that something must be done. But what if we only know half the story? In Locking Up Our Own, the Yale legal scholar and former public defender James Forman Jr. weighs the tragic role that some African Americans themselves played in escalating the war on crime. As Forman shows, the first substantial cohort of black mayors, judges, and police chiefs took office around the country amid a surge in crime. Many came to believe that tough measures--such as stringent drug and gun laws and "pretext traffic stops" in poor African American neighborhoods--were needed to secure a stable future for black communities. Some politicians and activists saw criminals as a "cancer" that had to be cut away from the rest of black America. Others supported harsh measures more reluctantly, believing they had no other choice in the face of a public safety emergency. Drawing on his experience as a public defender and focusing on Washington, D.C., Forman writes with compassion for individuals trapped in terrible dilemmas--from the young men and women he defended to officials struggling to cope with an impossible situation. The result is an original view of our justice system as well as a moving portrait of the human beings caught in its coils.
Born into slavery, T. Thomas Fortune was known as the dean of African American journalism by the time of his death in the early twentieth century. The editorship of three prominent black newspapers--the New York Globe, New York Freeman, and New York Age--provided Fortune with a platform to speak against racism and injustice. For nearly five decades his was one of the most powerful voices in the press. Contemporaries such as Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington considered him an equal, if not a superior, in social and political thought. Today's histories often pass over his writings, in part because they are so voluminous and have rarely been reprinted. Shawn Leigh Alexander's anthology will go a long way toward rectifying that situation, demonstrating the breadth of Fortune's contribution to black political thought at a key period in American history.
Traditional debates concerning racially hierarchical societies have tended to focus on the experience of being black. White Women, Race Matters breaks with this tradition by focusing on the particular experiences of white women in a racially hierarchical society. By considering the ways in which their experience not only contributes to but challenges the reproduction of racism, the work offers a rigorous examination of existing methodologies, practices and assumptions concerning racism and gender relations. Supported by extracts from in-depth life history interviews, White Women, Race Matters provides valuable course material.
The first full-scale sociological survey of the assimilation of minorities in America, this classic work presents significant conclusions about the problems of prejudice and discrimination in America and offers positive suggestions for the achievement of a healthy balance among societal, subgroup, and individual needs.
Racism in America has been the subject of serious scholarship for decades. At Harvard University Press, we’ve had the honor of publishing some of the most influential books on the subject. The excerpts in this volume—culled from works of history, law, sociology, medicine, economics, critical theory, philosophy, art, and literature—are an invitation to understand anti-Black racism through the eyes of our most incisive commentators.
Readers will find such classic selections as Toni Morrison’s description of the Africanist presence in the White American literary imagination, Walter Johnson’s depiction of the nation’s largest slave market, and Stuart Hall’s theorization of the relationship between race and nationhood. More recent voices include Khalil Gibran Muhammad on the pernicious myth of Black criminality, Elizabeth Hinton on the link between mass incarceration and 1960s social welfare programs, Anthony Abraham Jack on how elite institutions continue to fail first-generation college students, Mehrsa Baradaran on the racial wealth gap, Nicole Fleetwood on carceral art, and Joshua Bennett on the anti-Black bias implicit in how we talk about animals and the environment.
With a foreword by Tim Wise, Raising White Kids is for families, churches, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. For white people who are committed to equity and justice, living in a nation that remains racially unjust and deeply segregated creates unique conundrums. These conundrums begin early in life and impact the racial development of white children in powerful ways. What can we do within our homes, communities and schools? Should we teach our children to be "colorblind"? Or, should we teach them to notice race? What roles do we want to equip them to play in addressing racism when they encounter it? What strategies will help our children learn to function well in a diverse nation? Talking about race means naming the reality of white privilege and hierarchy. How do we talk about race honestly, then, without making our children feel bad about being white? Most importantly, how do we do any of this in age-appropriate ways? While a great deal of public discussion exists in regard to the impact of race and racism on children of color, meaningful dialogue about and resources for understanding the impact of race on white children are woefully absent. Raising White Kids steps into that void.
"If reconciliation is the takeaway point for the civil rights story we usually tell, then the takeaway point for the more complex, more truthful civil rights story contained in Dear White Christians is reparations." -- from the preface to the second edition With the troubling and painful events of the last several years--from the killing of numerous unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police to the rallying of white supremacists in Charlottesville--it is clearer than ever that the reconciliation paradigm, long favored by white Christians, has failed to heal the deep racial wounds in the church and American society. In this provocative book, originally published in 2014, Jennifer Harvey argues for a radical shift away from the well-meaning but feeble longing for reconciliation toward a robustly biblical call for reparations. Now in its second edition--with a new preface addressing the explosive changes in American culture and politics since 2014, as well as an appendix that explores what a reparations paradigm can actually look like--Dear White Christians calls justice-committed Christians to do the gospel-inspired work of opposing racist social structures around them. Harvey's message is historically and scripturally rooted, making it ideal for facilitating the difficult but important discussions about race that are so desperately needed in churches and faith-centered classrooms across the country.
Disrupting the racist and sexist biases in conversations on reconciliation Chanequa Walker-Barnes offers a compelling argument that the Christian racial reconciliation movement is incapable of responding to modern-day racism. She demonstrates how reconciliation's roots in the evangelical, male-centered Promise Keepers' movement has resulted in a patriarchal and largely symbolic effort, focused upon improving relationships between men from various racial-ethnic groups. Walker-Barnes argues that highlighting the voices of women of color is critical to developing any genuine efforts toward reconciliation. Drawing upon intersectionality theory and critical race studies, she demonstrates how living at the intersection of racism and sexism exposes women of color to unique experiences of gendered racism that are not about relationships, but rather are about systems of power and inequity. Refuting the idea that race and racism are "one-size-fits-all," I Bring the Voices of My People highlights the particular work that White Americans must do to repent of racism and to work toward racial justice and offers a constructive view of reconciliation that prioritizes eliminating racial injustice and healing the damage that it has done to African Americans and other people of color.
Coinciding with the extraordinary expansion of Britain's overseas empire under Queen Victoria, the invention of photography allowed millions to see what they thought were realistic and unbiased pictures of distant peoples and places. This supposed accuracy also helped to legitimate Victorian geography's illuminations of the "darkest" recesses of the globe with the "light" of scientific mapping techniques.
The histories of Cuba and the United States are tightly intertwined and have been for at least two centuries. In Race to Revolution, historian Gerald Horne examines a critical relationship between the two countries by tracing out the typically overlooked interconnections among slavery, Jim Crow, and revolution. Slavery was central to the economic and political trajectories of Cuba and the United States, both in terms of each nation's internal political and economic development and in the interactions between the small Caribbean island and the Colossus of the North. Horne draws a direct link between the Black experiences in two very different countries and follows that connection through changing periods of resistance and revolutionary upheaval. Black Cubans were crucial to Cuba's initial independence, and the relative freedom they achieved helped bring down Jim Crow in the United States, reinforcing radical politics within the Black communities of both nations. This in turn helped to create the conditions that gave rise to the Cuban Revolution which, on New Years' Day in 1959, shook the United States to its core. Based on extensive research in Havana, Madrid, London, and throughout the U.S., Race to Revolution delves deep into the historical record, bringing to life the experiences of slaves and slave traders, abolitionists and sailors, politicians and poor farmers. It illuminates the complex web of interaction and influence that shaped the lives of many generations as they struggled over questions of race, property, and political power in both Cuba and the United States.
In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society."
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.
The deliberate devaluation of Blacks and their communities has had very real, far-reaching, and negative economic and social effects. An enduring white supremacist myth claims brutal conditions in Black communities are mainly the result of Black people's collective choices and moral failings. "That's just how they are" or "there's really no excuse": we've all heard those not so subtle digs. But there is nothing wrong with Black people that ending racism can't solve. We haven't known how much the country will gain by properly valuing homes and businesses, family structures, voters, and school districts in Black neighborhoods. And we need to know. Noted educator, journalist, and scholar Andre Perry takes readers on a tour of six Black-majority cities whose assets and strengths are undervalued. Perry begins in his hometown of Wilkinsburg, a small city east of Pittsburgh that, unlike its much larger neighbor, is struggling and failing to attract new jobs and industry. Bringing his own personal story of growing up in Black-majority Wilkinsburg, Perry also spotlights five others where he has deep connections: Detroit, Birmingham, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. He provides an intimate look at the assets that should be of greater value to residents--and that can be if they demand it. Perry provides a new means of determining the value of Black communities. Rejecting policies shaped by flawed perspectives of the past and present, it gives fresh insights on the historical effects of racism and provides a new value paradigm to limit them in the future. Know Your Price demonstrates the worth of Black people's intrinsic personal strengths, real property, and traditional institutions. These assets are a means of empowerment and, as Perry argues in this provocative and very personal book, are what we need to know and understand to build Black prosperity.
INDUSTRIAL SEGREGATION responds to a multitude of questions by applying intersectional analyses to understand race in the twentieth century as specific form of ideological technology. To wit, race in the last century differed from the same idea in the nineteenth century or the eighteenth century. Focusing on the events and voices between Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movement, David Goldberg and Walter Greason show readers the economic, political, social, and cultural foundations of white supremacy as products of an emerging industrial order. From the regimentation of the plantation in the early nineteenth century through the rigidity of commodity and financial markets at the start of the Cold War, INDUSTRIAL SEGREGATION shows multiple ways that orthodoxies of racial judgement and free market economics continuously intersected fueling networks of entrenched inequality for a century.
In this "penetrating new analysis" (New York Times Book Review) Ira Katznelson fundamentally recasts our understanding of twentieth-century American history and demonstrates that all the key programs passed during the New Deal and Fair Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s were created in a deeply discriminatory manner. Through mechanisms designed by Southern Democrats that specifically excluded maids and farm workers, the gap between blacks and whites actually widened despite postwar prosperity. In the words of noted historian Eric Foner, "Katznelson's incisive book should change the terms of debate about affirmative action, and about the last seventy years of American history."
Americans like to insist that we are living in a postracial, color-blind society. In fact, racist thought is alive and well; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious. And as historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. Stamped from the Beginning uses the lives of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and antiracists. From Puritan minister Cotton Mather to Thomas Jefferson, from fiery abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to brilliant scholar W.E.B. Du Bois to legendary anti-prison activist Angela Davis, Kendi shows how and why some of our leading proslavery and pro-civil rights thinkers have challenged or helped cement racist ideas in America. As Kendi provocatively illustrates, racist thinking did not arise from ignorance or hatred. Racist ideas were created and popularized in an effort to defend deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and to rationalize the nation's racial inequities in everything from wealth to health. While racist ideas are easily produced and easily consumed, they can also be discredited--From publisher's website.
Richard Rothstein explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes it clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.
We Shall Overcome to We Shall Overrun uses the metaphor of a nervous breakdown to critique the collapse of the American Civil Rights Movement from a historical perspective. Focusing on the years 1962 to 1968, using a topical chronological approach, this work seeks to discuss the major organizations and personalities central to the African American freedom struggle in the 1960s with an emphasis on the debate over the meaning, the means, and the attainment of 'black power.' The five major national groups that made up the civil rights coalition ultimately divided and "broke-down" as concerns of strategy and methodology were compounded by questions of black identity. A nuanced interpretive psycho-intellectual history such as this seeks to redefine our understanding of the American Civil Rights Movement altogether.
Activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.
"This book rejects the notion that black women were at the margin of American intellectual life. Black women as preachers, abolitionists, creative writers, and civil rights activists are examined here to illustrate the fundamental position that black women intellectuals occupied in modern U.S. history, while at the same time demonstrating how these women used the public sphere and writing as an attempt at self-articulation. For these women, writing and speaking served simultaneously as acts of self-articulation and as calls to action. The art of testimony and confession was utilized by black women in their campaigns of social reform and beyond. Michel Foucault argues that "power is exercised from innumerable points, in the interplay of non-egalitarian and mobile relations." African American women despite living in an unequal society operationalized their voices in the quest for universal human rights throughout U.S. history as traditional, public, and organic intellectuals. This volume is divided into five major sections to illustrate this history."
For generations, historians believed that the study of the African-American experience centered on the questions about the processes and consequences of enslavement. Even after this phase passed, the modern Civil Rights Movement took center stage and filled hundreds of pages, creating a new framework for understanding both the history of the United States and of the world. Suburban Erasure by Walter David Greason contributes to the most recent developments in historical writing by recovering dozens of previously undiscovered works about the African-American experience in New Jersey. More importantly, his interpretation of these documents complicates the traditional understandings about the Great Migration, civil rights activism, and the transformation of the United States as a global, economic superpower. Greason details the voices of black men and women whose vision and sacrifices made the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. possible. Then, in the second half of this study, the limitations of this dream of integration become clear as New Jersey—a state that took the lead in showing American how to overcome the racism of the past—fell victim to a recurring pattern of colorblindness that entrenched the legacy of racial inequality in the consumer economy of the late twentieth century. Suburbanization simultaneously erased the physical architecture of rural segregation in New Jersey and ideologically obscured the deepening, persistent injustices that became the War on Drugs and the prison-industrial complex. His solution for the twenty-first century involves the most fundamental effort to racially integrate state and local government conceived since the Reconstruction Era. Suburban Erasure is a must read for people concerned with democracy, human rights, and the future of civil society.
"Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about the physical manifestations of violence, grief, trauma, and abuse on his own body. He writes of his own eating disorder and gambling addiction as well as similar issues that run throughout his family. Through self-exploration, storytelling, and honest conversation with family and friends, Heavy seeks to bring what has been hidden into the light and to reckon with all of its myriad sources, from the most intimate--a mother-child relationship--to the most universal--a society that has undervalued and abused black bodies for centuries"-- Provided by publisher.
"In this powerful and provocative memoir, Kiese Laymon fearlessly explores what the weight of a lifetime of secrets, lies, and deception does to a black body, a black family, and a nation teetering on the brink of moral collapse. Laymon invites us to consider the consequences of living in a country wholly obsessed with progress yet wholly disinterested in the messy work of reckoning with where we've been. In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his family, weight, sex, gambling, and writing. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few of us know how to responsibly love"
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * REESE'S BOOK CLUB X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK * From a leading voice on racial justice, an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female that exposes how white America's love affair with "diversity" so often falls short of its ideals. "Austin Channing Brown introduces herself as a master memoirist. This book will break open hearts and minds."--Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed Austin Channing Brown's first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, "I had to learn what it means to love blackness," a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America's racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion. In a time when nearly every institution (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations. For readers who have engaged with America's legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I'm Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God's ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness--if we let it--can save us all.
NOW ANEW YORK TIMES, PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY, INDIEBOUND, LOS ANGELES TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, CHRONICLE HERALD, SALISBURY POST, GUELPH MERCURY TRIBUNE, ANDBOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER | NAMED A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2017 BY:The Washington Post *Bustle *Men's Journal *The Chicago Reader *StarTribune*Blavity* The Guardian* NBC New York'sBill's Books* Kirkus* Essence "One of the most frank and searing discussions on race ... a deeply serious, urgent book, which should take its place in the tradition of Baldwin'sThe Fire Next Time and King'sWhy We Can't Wait." --The New York Times Book Review Toni Morrison hailsTears We Cannot Stop as "Elegantly written and powerful in several areas: moving personal recollections; profound cultural analysis; and guidance for moral redemption. A work to relish." Stephen King says: "Here's a sermon that's as fierce as it is lucid...If you're black, you'll feel a spark of recognition in every paragraph. If you're white, Dyson tells you what you need to know--what this white man needed to know, at least. This is a major achievement. I read it and said amen." Short, emotional, literary, powerful--Tears We Cannot Stop is the book that all Americans who care about the current and long-burning crisis in race relations will want to read. As the country grapples with racist division at a level not seen since the 1960s, one man's voice soars above the rest with conviction and compassion. In his 2016New York Times op-ed piece "Death in Black and White," Michael Eric Dyson moved a nation. Now he continues to speak out inTears We Cannot Stop--a provocative and deeply personal call for change. Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. "The time is at hand for reckoning with the past, recognizing the truth of the present, and moving together to redeem the nation for our future. If we don't act now, if you don't address race immediately, there very well may be no future."
With a discussion guide and a new Epilogue by the author, this is the fifth anniversary edition of the bestselling work on the development of racial identity. Shares real-life examples and current research that support the author's recommendations for "straight talk" about racial identity, identifying practices that contribute to self-segregation in childhood groups.
The concept of a more perfect union remains a constant theme in the political rhetoric of Barack Obama. From his now historic race speech to his second victory speech delivered on November 7, 2012, that striving is evident. "Tonight, more than two hundred years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward," stated the fortyfourth president of the United States upon securing a second term in office after a hard fought political contest. Obama borrows this rhetoric from the founding documents of the United States set forth in the U.S. Constitution and in Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address."
How naive or realistic is Obama's vision of a more perfect American union that brings together people across racial, class, and political lines? How can this vision of a more inclusive America be realized in a society that remains racist at its core? These essays seek answers to these complicated questions by examining the 2008 and 2012 elections as well as the events of President Obama's first term. Written by preeminent race scholars from multiple disciplines, the volume brings together competing perspectives on race, gender, and the historic significance of Obama's election and reelection. The president heralded in his November, 2012, acceptance speech, "The idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like . . . . whether you're black or white, Hispanic or Asian or Native American." These essayists argue the truth of that statement and assess whether America has made any progress toward that vision.
In a rapidly changing New York, two forces battled for the city's soul: the pro-slavery New Yorkers who kept the illegal slave trade alive and well, and the abolitionists fighting for freedom. We often think of slavery as a southern phenomenon, far removed from the booming cities of the North. But even though slavery had been outlawed in Gotham by the 1830s, Black New Yorkers were not safe. Not only was the city built on the backs of slaves; it was essential in keeping slavery and the slave trade alive. In The Kidnapping Club, historian Jonathan Daniel Wells tells the story of the powerful network of judges, lawyers, and police officers who circumvented anti-slavery laws by sanctioning the kidnapping of free and fugitive African Americans. Nicknamed "The New York Kidnapping Club," the group had the tacit support of institutions from Wall Street to Tammany Hall whose wealth depended on the Southern slave and cotton trade. But a small cohort of abolitionists, including Black journalist David Ruggles, organized tirelessly for the rights of Black New Yorkers, often risking their lives in the process. Taking readers into the bustling streets and ports of America's great Northern metropolis, The Kidnapping Club is a dramatic account of the ties between slavery and capitalism, the deeply corrupt roots of policing, and the strength of Black activism.
By 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina, was a shining example of a mixed-race community-a bustling port city with a thriving African American middle class and a government made up of Republicans and Populists, including black alderman, police officers, and magistrates. But across the state-and the South-white supremacist Democrats were working to reverse the advances made by former slaves and their progeny. They were plotting to take back the state legislature in the November 8th election and then use a controversial editorial published by black newspaper editor Alexander Manly to trigger a "race riot" to overthrow the elected government in Wilmington. With a coordinated campaign of intimidation and violence, the Democrats sharply curtailed the black vote and stuffed ballot boxes to steal the 1898 mid-term election. Two days later, more than 2,000 heavily armed white nightriders known as Red Shirts swarmed through Wilmington, terrorizing women and children and shooting at least sixty black men dead in the streets. The rebels forced city officials and leading black citizens to flee at gun point while hundreds of local African Americans took refuge in nearby swamps and forests. This brutal insurrection is the only violent overthrow of an elected government in U.S. history. It halted gains made by blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another seventy years. It was not a "race riot" as the events of November 1898 came to be known, but rather a racially-motivated rebellion launched by white supremacists. In Wilmington's Lie, David Zucchino uses contemporary newspaper reports, diaries, letters, and official communications to create a gripping narrative that weaves together individual stories of hate, fear, and brutality. This is a dramatic and definitive account of a remarkable but forgotten chapter of American history.
The term “community organizer” was deployed repeatedly against Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign as a way to paint him as an inexperienced politician unfit for the presidency. The implication was that the job of a community organizer wasn’t a serious one, and that it certainly wasn’t on the list of credentials needed for a presidential résumé. In reality, community organizers have played key roles in the political lives of American cities for decades, perhaps never more so than during the 1970s in Chicago, where African Americans laid the groundwork for further empowerment as they organized against segregation, discrimination, and lack of equal access to schools, housing, and jobs.
In Crucibles of Black Empowerment, Jeffrey Helgeson recounts the rise of African American political power and activism from the 1930s onward, revealing how it was achieved through community building. His book tells stories of the housewives who organized their neighbors, building tradesmen who used connections with federal officials to create opportunities in a deeply discriminatory employment sector, and the social workers, personnel managers, and journalists who carved out positions in the white-collar workforce. Looking closely at black liberal politics at the neighborhood level in Chicago, Helgeson explains how black Chicagoans built the networks that eventually would overthrow the city’s seemingly invincible political machine.
"Learn to talk about race openly, honestly, and productively. Most people avoid discussion of race-related topics because of the strong emotions and feelings of discomfort that inevitably accompany such conversations. Rather than endure the conflict of racial realities, many people choose instead to avoid the topic altogether, or remain silent when it is raised. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race puts an end to that dynamic by sharing strategies for smoothing conversations about race in a productive manner. A guide for facilitating and participating in difficult dialogues about race, author Derald Wing Sue - an internationally recognized expert on multiculturalism, diversity, and microaggressions - explores the characteristics, dynamics, and meaning behind discussions about race as well as the hidden "ground rules" that inhibit honest and productive dialogue. Through emotional and visceral examples, this book explains why conversations revolving around racial issues are so difficult, and provides guidelines, techniques, and advice for navigating and leading honest and forthright discussions. Readers will develop a stronger ability to build rapport with people unlike themselves, and discover how not talking about race impacts society as a whole. Overcome and make visible the fears associated with race talk Learn practical ideas for talking openly about race Facilitate and navigate discussion with expert strategy Examine the hidden rules that govern race talk Understand the benefits of successful conversations Discussions about race do not have to result in disastrous consequences, and can in fact be highly beneficial to all parties involved. It's important that people have the ability to converse openly and honestly with their students, colleagues, children, and neighbors, and Race Talk provides the path for achieving this goal"
"In Whistling Vivaldi, renowned social psychologist Claude M. Steele addresses one of the most perplexing social issues of our time: the trend of minority underperformance in higher education. With strong evidence showing that the problem involves more than weaker skills, Steele explores other explanations. Here he presents an insider's look at his research and details his groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity, findings that will deeply alter the way we think about ourselves, our abilities, and our relationships with each other." "Through dramatic personal stories, Steele shares the researcher's experience of peering beneath the surface of our ordinary social lives to reveal what it's like to be stereotyped based on our gender, age, race, class, or any of the ways by which we culturally classify one another. What he discovers is that this experience of "stereotype threat" can profoundly affect our functioning: undermining our performance, causing emotional and physiological reactions, and affecting our career and relationship choices. But because these threats, though little recognized, are near-daily and life-shaping for all of us, the shared experience of them can help bring Americans closer together.
In Fugitive Thought, Michael Hames-Garca argues that writings by prisoners are instances of practical social theory that seek to transform the world. Unlike other authors who have studied prisons or legal theory, Hames-Garca views prisoners as political and social thinkers whose ideas are as important as those of lawyers and philosophers.As key moral terms like "justice," "solidarity," and "freedom" have come under suspicion in the post-Civil Rights era, political discussions on the Left have reached an impasse. Fugitive Thought reexamines and reinvigorates these concepts through a fresh approach to philosophies of justice and freedom, combining the study of legal theory and of prison literature to show how the critiques and moral visions of dissidents and participants in prison movements can contribute to the shaping and realization of workable ethical conceptions. Fugitive Thought focuses on writings by black and Latina/o lawyers and prisoners to flesh out the philosophical underpinnings of ethical claims within legal theory and prison activism.Michael Hames-Garca is assistant professor of English and of philosophy, interpretation, and culture at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK * LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD * "An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far."--Dwight Garner, The New York Times The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions. NAMED THE #1 NONFICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME MAGAZINE AND ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY People * The Washington Post * Publishers Weekly AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * O: The Oprah Magazine * NPR * Bloomberg * Christian Science Monitor * New York Post * The New York Public Library * Fortune * Smithsonian Magazine * Marie Claire * Town & Country * Slate * Library Journal * Kirkus Reviews * LibraryReads * PopMatters FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION AND LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD "As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power--which groups have it and which do not." In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Beautifully written, original, and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.
White supremacy is a violent system of oppression that harms Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. And if you are a person who holds white privilege, then you are complicit in upholding that harm, whether you realise it or not. This is not my opinion. This is fact. And if you are person who holds white privilege, the question you should be asking isn't whether or not this is true, but rather, what are you going to do about it?' Between June and July 2018, Layla Saad ran a 28-day Instagram challenge under the hashtag #MeAndWhiteSupremacy, for people with white privilege to unflinchingly examine the ways that they are complicit in upholding the oppressive system of white supremacy.
"When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would become a cultural movement. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it... Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 80,000 people downloaded the supporting work Me and White Supremacy. Updated and expanded from the original edition, Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too"
The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged. Well known are the lynch mobs and racist criminal justice practices in the South that stoked white fears of black crime and shaped the contours of the New South. In this illuminating book, Muhammad shifts our attention to the urban North as a crucial but overlooked site for the production and dissemination of those ideas and practices. Following the 1890 census - the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery - crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites - liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners - as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. What else but pathology could explain black failure in the land of opportunity? Social scientists and reformers used crime statistics to mask and excuse anti-black racism, violence, and discrimination across the nation, especially in the urban North. The Condemnation of Blackness is the most thorough historical account of the enduring link between blackness and criminality in the making of modern urban America. It is a startling examination of why the echoes of America's Jim Crow past continue to resonate in 'color-blind' crime rhetoric today.
Part detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson's The Blood of Emmett Till revises the history of the Till case, not only changing the specifics that we thought we knew, but showing how the murder ignited the modern civil rights movement. Tyson uses a wide range of new sources, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant; the transcript of the murder trial, missing since 1955 and only recovered in 2005; and a recent FBI report on the case.
On September 9, 1971, nearly 1,300 prisoners took over the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York to protest years of mistreatment. Holding guards and civilian employees hostage, the prisoners negotiated with officials for improved conditions during the four long days and nights that followed. On September 13, the state abruptly sent hundreds of heavily armed troopers and correction officers to retake the prison by force. Their gunfire killed thirty-nine men--hostages as well as prisoners--and severely wounded more than one hundred others. In the ensuing hours, weeks, and months, troopers and officers brutally retaliated against the prisoners. Ultimately, New York State authorities prosecuted only the prisoners, never once bringing charges against the officials involved in the retaking and its aftermath and neglecting to provide support to the survivors and the families of the men who had been killed. Drawing from more than a decade of extensive research, historian Heather Ann Thompson sheds new light on every aspect of the uprising and its legacy, giving voice to all those who took part in this 45-year fight for justice: prisoners, former hostages, families of the victims, lawyers and judges, and state officials and members of law enforcement. This book is the first full account of one of the most important civil rights stories of the last century.
Draws on years of research, activism, and legal advocacy to present an examination of the gay experience, illustrating the continuing punishment of gay expression in the United States and illuminating strategies for change.
This collection of essays generates important enquiries into the teaching and practice of anti-racism education, by way of working through conversations, contestations, and emotions as presented by a diverse group of strong women committed to social justice work in their own right. Throughout the collection, contemporary educational issues are situated within personal-political, historical and philosophical conversations, which work to broach the challenges and possibilities for students, educators, staff, administrators, policy makers, and community members who engage in critical anti-racism education. This work diverges from the existing scholarship by way of bringing new insights to the theoretical possibilities of resistance and futurity as voiced through pedagogues, practitioners and scholars in anti-racism. In this book the authors speak to the importance of anti-racism discursivity in a time when even those who desire to engage this framework struggle to be heard; in a time when there are anti-racism policies in institutions, yet to speak anti-racism philosophy remains dangerous; and in a time when, to speak race and anti-racism, is considered to be stirring up trouble in the face of post-racial discourses.
Studying racism is challenging. Most people avoid publicly expressing racialized comments in fear of being labeled racist. Much public talk is sugar coated and coded to distance the speaker from the racist message. This study captures behind the scenes commentary-racetalk-that degrades people due to race and ethnicity. Despite racial inroads made over the past several decades, the racetalk in this study evinces old fashioned racist ideas persisting in modern imaginations. These scripts say that African Americans are dangerous. Whites are superior. Latinos are dirty and disposable. Indians are sinister. Slavery is a trivial-if not nostalgic and amusing-historical anomaly that is better forgotten. Private racetalk keeps these old scripts hidden yet alive.
Author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and other vivid portrayals of black American experience, Morrison ponders the effect that living in a historically racialized society has had on American writing in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She argues that race has become a metaphor, a way of referring to forces, events, and forms of social decay, economic division, and human panic. Her compelling point is that the central characteristics of American literature individualism, masculinity, the insistence upon innocence coupled to an obsession with figurations of death and hell—are responses to a dark and abiding Africanist presence.
Through her investigation of black characters, narrative strategies, and idiom in the fiction of white American writers, Morrison provides a daring perspective that is sure to alter conventional notions about American literature. She considers Willa Cather and the impact of race on concept and plot; turns to Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville to examine the black force that figures so significantly in the literature of early America; and discusses the implications of the Africanist presence at the heart of Huckleberry Finn. A final chapter on Ernest Hemingway is a brilliant exposition of the racial subtext that glimmers beneath the surface plots of his fiction.
This collection of essays, written between 1976 and 1984, is “for anyone who is at a loss for words or is afraid of their own voice and of speaking up…about anything,” says Bassist. Within the book Lorde explores her own intellectual development and emerging self—in regard to race, class, gender, and sexual orientation—highlighting the ways in which systems of oppression are intertwined. “Lorde has taught me a lot that I should never have to ask,” Bassist says. “So now my every reaction comes with a secondary rereaction of practiced ‘awareness.’”
Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.
The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.
Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women in the Southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000–2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. In 2003 the book was listed on the BBC's The Big Read poll of the UK's "best-loved novels."
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood--where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned--Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor--engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver's Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey--hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem. Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, especially women of color. Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance--operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond--understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices are of utmost importance.