Black History Month
A black women’s history of the United States
Summary:"A Black Women’s History of the United States is a critical survey of black women’s complicated legacy in America, as it takes into account their exploitation and victimization as well as their undeniable and substantial contributions to the country since its inception."
Black ink : literary legends on the peril, power, and pleasure of reading and writing
Summary:"Spanning 250 years, this carefully-curated collection of 25 essays features the earliest Black authors who wrote as means of resistance in a time when their literacy was illegal and the brilliant writers who have continued their legacy–utilizing the power of the written word to create change, insert a diversity of experience into the "mainstream," and make a profound impact on our communities and the world."
The cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South
Summary:"First Amistad hardcover published 2017","A memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces the paths of the author’s ancestors (black and white) through the crucible of slavery to show its effects on our food today."
Four hundred souls : a community history of African America, 1619-2019
Summary:"A "choral history" of African Americans covering 400 years of history in the voices of 80 writers, edited by the bestselling, National Book Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain. Last year marked the four hundredth anniversary of the first African presence in the Americas–and also launched the Four Hundred Souls project, spearheaded by Ibram X. Kendi, director of the Antiracism Institute of American University, and Keisha Blain, editor of The North Star. They’ve gathered together eighty black writers from all disciplines — historians and artists, journalists and novelists–each of whom has contributed an entry about one five-year period to create a dynamic multivoiced single-volume history of black people in America."
Beyoncé in formation : remixing black feminism
Summary:Making headlines when it was launched in 2015, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s undergraduate course "Beyonce Feminism, Rihanna Womanism" has inspired students from all walks of life. In Beyonce in Formation, Tinsley now takes her rich observations beyond the classroom, using the blockbuster album and video Lemonade as a soundtrack for vital next-millennium narratives.0Woven with candid observations about her life as a feminist scholar of African studies and a cisgender femme married to a trans spouse, Tinsley’s "Femme-onade" mixtape explores myriad facets of black women’s sexuality and gender. Turning to Beyonce’s "Don’t Hurt Yourself," Tinsley assesses black feminist critiques of marriage and then considers the models of motherhood offered in "Daddy Lessons," interspersing these passages with memories from Tinsley’s multiracial family history. Her chapters on nontraditional bonds culminate in a discussion of contemporary LGBT politics through the lens of the internet-breaking video "Formation," underscoring why Beyonce’s black femme-inism isn’t only for ciswomen. From pleasure politics and the struggle for black women’s reproductive justice to the subtext of blues and country music traditions, the landscape in this tour is populated by activists and artists (including Loretta Lynn) and infused with vibrant interpretations of Queen Bey’s provocative, peerless imagery and lyrics.0In the tradition of Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and Jill Lepore’s bestselling cultural histories, Beyonce in Formation is the work of a daring intellectual who is poised to spark a new conversation about freedom and identity in America.
Smoketown : the untold story of the other great Black Renaissance
Summary:Chronicles the African American renaissance in Pittsburgh from the 1920s through the 1950s, assessing how it rivaled Harlem and Chicago as a site of black culture and influence.
Frederick Douglass : prophet of freedom
Summary:"An acclaimed historian’s definitive biography of the most important African-American figure of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass, who was to his century what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the 20th century."
Driving while black : African American travel and the road to civil rights
Summary:"How the automobile fundamentally changed African American life–the true history beyond the Best Picture-winning movie. The ultimate symbol of independence and possibility, the automobile has shaped this country from the moment the first Model T rolled off Henry Ford’s assembly line. Yet cars have always held distinct importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Gretchen Sorin recovers a forgotten history of black motorists, and recounts their creation of a parallel, unseen world of travel guides, black only hotels, and informal communications networks that kept black drivers safe. At the heart of this story is Victor and Alma Green’s famous Green Book, begun in 1936, which made possible that most basic American right, the family vacation, and encouraged a new method of resisting oppression. Enlivened by Sorin’s personal history, Driving While Black opens an entirely new view onto the African American experience, and shows why travel was so central to the Civil Rights movement."
Jane Crow : the life of Pauli Murray
Summary:"Throughout her prodigious life, activist and lawyer Pauli Murray systematically fought against all arbitrary distinctions in society, channeling her outrage at the discrimination she faced to make America a more democratic country. In this definitive biography, Rosalind Rosenberg offers a poignant portrait of a figure who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women’s movements. A mixed-race orphan, Murray grew up in segregated North Carolina before escaping to New York, where she attended Hunter College and became a labor activist in the 1930s. When she applied to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, where her white great-great-grandfather had been a trustee, she was rejected because of her race. She went on to graduate first in her class at Howard Law School, only to be rejected for graduate study again at Harvard University this time on account of her sex. Undaunted, Murray forged a singular career in the law. In the 1950s, her legal scholarship helped Thurgood Marshall challenge segregation head-on in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. When appointed by Eleanor Roosevelt to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women in 1962, she advanced the idea of Jane Crow, arguing that the same reasons used to condemn race discrimination could be used to battle gender discrimination. In 1965, she became the first African American to earn a JSD from Yale Law School and the following year persuaded Betty Friedan to found an NAACP for women, which became NOW. In the early 1970s, Murray provided Ruth Bader Ginsburg with the argument Ginsburg used to persuade the Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution protects not only blacks but also women – and potentially other minority groups – from discrimination. By that time, Murray was a tenured history professor at Brandeis, a position she left to become the first black woman ordained a priest by the Episcopal Church in 1976. Murray accomplished all this while struggling with issues of identity. She believed from childhood she was male and tried unsuccessfully to persuade doctors to give her testosterone. While she would today be identified as transgender, during her lifetime no social movement existed to support this identity. She ultimately used her private feelings of being "in-between" to publicly contend that identities are not fixed, an idea that has powered campaigns for equal rights in the United States for the past half-century."
The color of law : a forgotten history of how our government segregated America.
Summary:Argues that laws and policies created by local, state, and federal government deliberately promoted segregation in metropolitan areas during the twentieth century, creating long-lasting consequences.
The fire this time : a new generation speaks about race
Summary:"National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time. In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon." Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns. The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume. In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about."
Freedom summer : the savage season that made Mississippi burn and made America a democracy
Summary:Using in-depth interviews with participants and residents, Watson brilliantly captures the tottering legacy of Jim Crow in Mississippi, while vividly portraying: the chaos that brought such national figures as Martin Luther King Jr. and Pete Seeger to the state, the courageous black citizens and Northern volunteers who refused to be intimidated in their struggle for justice, and the white Mississippians who would kill to protect a dying way of life.