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Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston
Wrapped in Rainbows, the first biography of Zora Neale Hurston in more than twenty-five years, illuminates the adventures, complexities, and sorrows of an extraordinary life. Acclaimed journalist Valerie Boyd delves into Hurston's history - her youth in the country's first incorporated all-black town, her friendships with luminaries such as Langston Hughes, her sexuality and short-lived marriages, and her mysterious relationship with voodoo. With the Harlem Renaissance, the Great Depression, and World War II as historical backdrops, Wrapped in Rainbows not only positions Hurston's work in her time but also offers riveting implications for our own.
The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That Would Not Be Broken
On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city's neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce's family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. The hurricane breached many of the city's levees, and the resulting flooding submerged Pontchartrain Park under as much as 20 feet of water. Katrina left New Orleans later that day, but for the next three days the water kept relentlessly gushing into the city, plunging eighty percent of New Orleans under water. Nearly 1,500 people were killed. Half the houses in the city had four feet of water in them - or more. There was no electricity or clean water in the city; looting and the breakdown of civil order soon followed. Tens of thousands of New Orleanians were stranded in the city, with no way out; many more evacuees were displaced, with no way back in. Pierce and his family were some of the lucky ones: They survived and were able to ride out the storm at a relative's house 70 miles away. When they were finally allowed to return, they found their family home in tatters, their neighborhood decimated. Heartbroken but resilient, Pierce vowed to help rebuild, and not just his family's home, but all of Pontchartrain Park. In this powerful and redemptive narrative, Pierce brings together the stories of his family, his city, and his history, why they are all worth saving and the critical importance art played in reuniting and revitalizing this unique American city.
The Wife's Tale: A Personal History
In this indelible memoir that recalls the life of her remarkable ninety-five-year old grandmother, Guardian journalist Aida Edemariam tells the story of modern Ethiopia - a nation that would undergo a tumultuous transformation from feudalism to monarchy to Marxist revolution to democracy, over the course of one century.Born in the northern Ethiopian city of Gondar in about 1916, Yetemegnu was married and had given birth before she turned fifteen. As the daughter of a socially prominent man, she also offered her husband, a poor yet gifted student, the opportunity to become an important religious leader.Over the next decades Yetemegnu would endure extraordinary trials: the death of some of her children; her husband’s imprisonment; and the detention of one of her sons. She witnessed the Fascist invasion of Ethiopia and the subsequent resistance, suffered Allied bombardment and exile from her city; lived through a bloody revolution and the nationalization of her land. She gained audiences with Emperor Haile Selassie I to argue for justice for her husband, for revenge, and for her children’s security, and fought court battles to defend her assets against powerful men. But sustained, in part, by her fierce belief in the Virgin Mary and in Orthodox Christianity, Yetemegnu survived. She even learned to read, in her sixties, and eventually made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.Told in Yetemegnu’s enthralling voice and filled with a vivid cast of characters - emperors and empresses, priests and scholars, monks and nuns, archbishops and slaves, Marxist revolutionaries and wartime double agents - The Wife’s Tale introduces a woman both imperious and vulnerable; a mother, widow, and businesswoman whose deep faith and numerous travails never quashed her love of laughter, mischief and dancing; a fighter whose life was shaped by direct contact with the volatile events that transformed her nation.An intimate memoir that offers a panoramic view of Ethiopia’s recent history, The Wife’s Tale takes us deep into the landscape, rituals, social classes, and culture of this ancient, often mischaracterized, richly complex, and unforgettable land - and into the heart of one indomitable woman.
What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man's Blues
An African-American writer's concise, heartfelt take on the state of his nation, exploring the war between the values he has always held and the reality with which he is confronted in twenty-first-century America.
What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essays
For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in America is enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as "How should I react here, as a professional black person?" and "Will this white person’s potato salad kill me?" are forever relevant.What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young’s efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him.It’s a condition that’s sometimes stretched to absurd limits, provoking the angst that made him question if he was any good at the "being straight" thing, as if his sexual orientation was something he could practice and get better at, like a crossover dribble move or knitting; creating the farce where, as a teen, he wished for a white person to call him a racial slur just so he could fight him and have a great story about it; and generating the surreality of watching gentrification transform his Pittsburgh neighborhood from predominantly Black to "Portlandia . . . but with Pierogies."And, at its most devastating, it provides him reason to believe that his mother would be alive today if she were white.From one of our most respected cultural observers, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker is a hilarious and honest debut that is both a celebration of the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of Blackness and a critique of white supremacy and how we define masculinity.
Us Against the World: Our Secrets to Love, Marriage, and Family
David and Tamela Mann have been married for 30 years, but the singers, actors, and entrepreneurs are just as, if not more than, happily in love as they were in the early days of their relationship. In their new book, the couple will relate the story of their first encounters as teenagers, the importance of communication, and how they’ve been able to keep that spark burning through all these years. The Mann's have delighted and inspired audiences through music, a string of plays and movies, as well as several television series—Meet the Browns, The Mann's, and Mann & Wife. They’ll share about their often hilarious and sometimes controversial interactions with each other, their blended family of five grown children and eight grandchildren, and how these relationships enrich their lives. Given their recording careers, touring, filming, and managing an outrageous family, The Mann's will share with readers the day-to-day challenges, successes, and joys that happen behind the scenes.
Unafraid of the Dark: A Memoir
Bray, Rosemary L.
An inspiring memoir by a former editor of the New York Times Book Review, describes growing up poor in Chicago in the 1960s and becoming one of the first black women at Yale. Bray explains why changes in the Welfare system make it virtually impossible for young people to experience success.
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America
From one of the fiercest critics writing today, a compelling and revelatory collection of linked essays that interweaves personal experience with incisive commentary on pop culture, feminism, black history, misogyny, and racism.
Ford, Clyde W.
In this thought-provoking and heartbreaking memoir, an award-winning writer tells the story of his father, John Stanley Ford, the first black software engineer at IBM, revealing how racism insidiously affected his father’s view of himself and their relationship.In 1947, Thomas J. Watson set out to find the best and brightest minds for IBM. At City College he met young accounting student John Stanley Ford and hired him to become IBM’s first black software engineer. But many of the company’s white employees refused to accept a black colleague and did everything in their power to humiliate, subvert, and undermine Ford.Yet Ford would not quit. Viewing the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, he comported himself with dignity and professionalism, and relied on his community and his "street smarts" to succeed. He did not know that his hiring was meant to distract from IBM’s dubious business practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.While Ford remained at IBM, it came at great emotional cost to himself and his family, especially his son Clyde. Overlooked for promotions he deserved, the embittered Ford began blaming his fate on his skin color and the notion that darker-skinned people like him were less intelligent and less capable - beliefs that painfully divided him and Clyde, who followed him to IBM two decades later.From his first day of work - with his wide-lapelled suit, bright red turtleneck, and huge afro - Clyde made clear he was different. Only IBM hadn’t changed. As he, too, experienced the same institutional racism, Clyde began to better understand the subtle yet daring ways his father had fought back.
The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row
Hinton, Anthony Ray
A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit.In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty–nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence - full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty–seven years he was a beacon - transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty–four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty–year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
The Sun Does Shine
Hinton, Anthony Ray
In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence - full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon - transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.
A Stone of Hope
St. Germain, Jim
Born into abject poverty in Haiti, young Jim St. Germain moved to Brooklyn’s Crown Heights, into an overcrowded apartment with his family. He quickly adapted to street life and began stealing, dealing drugs, and growing increasingly indifferent to despair and violence. By the time he was arrested for dealing crack cocaine, he had been handcuffed more than a dozen times. At the age of fifteen the walls of the system were closing around him.But instead of prison, St. Germain was placed in "Boys Town," a nonsecure detention facility designed for rehabilitation. Surrounded by mentors and positive male authority who enforced a system based on structure and privileges rather than intimidation and punishment, St. Germain slowly found his way, eventually getting his GED and graduating from college. Then he made the bravest decision of his life: to live, as an adult, in the projects where he had lost himself, and to work to reform the way the criminal justice system treats at-risk youth.A Stone of Hope is more than an incredible coming-of-age story; told with a degree of candor that requires the deepest courage, it is also a rallying cry. No one is who they are going to be—or capable of being—at sixteen. St. Germain is living proof of this. He contends that we must work to build a world in which we do not give up on a swath of the next generation.Passionate, eloquent, and timely, illustrated with photographs throughout, A Stone of Hope is an inspiring challenge for every American, and is certain to spark debate nationwide.
Stand by Your Truth: And Then Run for Your Life!
Stand-up comic. Single dad. Radio personality. TV star. Prankster. Producer. Community activist. Man of faith.Visit a church, comedy club, college campus, or barber shop, and you’ll find few people who aren’t familiar with, or fans of, Rickey Smiley. At least four million listeners in over eighty markets tune in every weekday morning to hear him banter with his radio show crew, hilariously prank call an unsuspecting listener, and perform skits etched by his one-man cast of characters including “Lil’ Darryl,” “Beauford,” and “Joe Willie.”But in between the rapid-fire jokes, hip-hop beats, and celebrity dish are flashes of how Rickey views the world, from the challenges of raising children, to the importance of education, to the need to always stand in your own truth. After more than two decades in the spotlight, Rickey is finally ready to delve more deeply into the opinions he voices ever-so-briefly on the air, riffing on those issues that his listeners, viewers, and fans find most important. Stand by Your Truth is part memoir, part testimonial, and part life guide, mixing Rickey’s down-home humor with the values he learned from being raised by three generations of elders, steeped in the Baptist church, and mentored by some of the most celebrated comics in the entertainment industry today.
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O'Neil's America
When legendary Negro League player Buck O'Neil asked Joe Posnanski how he fell in love with baseball, the renowned sports columnist was inspired by the question. He decided to spend the 2005 baseball season touring the country with the ninety-four-year-old O'Neil in hopes of rediscovering the love that first drew them to the game. The Soul of Baseball is as much the story of Buck O'Neil as it is the story of baseball. Driven by a relentless optimism and his two great passions b- for America's pastime and for jazz, America's music - O'Neil played solely for love. In an era when greedy, steroid-enhanced athletes have come to characterize professional ball, Posnanski offers a salve for the damaged spirit: the uplifting life lessons of a truly extraordinary man who never missed an opportunity to enjoy and love life.
The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father
Yang, Kao Kalia
In the Hmong tradition, the song poet recounts the story of his people, their history and tragedies, joys and losses. He keeps the past alive, invokes the spirits and the homeland, and records courtships, births, weddings, and wishes.Following her award-winning memoir The Latehomecomer, Kao Kalia Yang now retells the life of her father, Bee Yang, the song poet - a Hmong refugee in Minnesota, driven from the mountains of Laos by America’s Secret War. Bee sings the life of his people through the war-torn jungle and a Thai refugee camp. The songs fall away in the cold, bitter world of a St. Paul housing project and on the factory floor, until, with the death of Bee’s mother, they leave him for good. But before they do, Bee, with his poetry, has burnished a life of poverty for his children, polishing their grim reality so that they might shine.
Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging
Interrogating our ideas of race through the lens of her own multi-racial identity, critically acclaimed novelist Tessa McWatt turns her eye on herself, her body and this world in a powerful new work of non-fiction.Tessa McWatt has been called Susie Wong, Pocahontas and "black bitch," and has been judged not black enough by people who assume she straightens her hair. Now, through a close examination of her own body--nose, lips, hair, skin, eyes, ass, bones and blood--which holds up a mirror to the way culture reads all bodies, she asks why we persist in thinking in terms of race today when racism is killing us.Her grandmother's family fled southern China for British Guiana after her great uncle was shot in his own dentist's chair during the First Sino-Japanese War. McWatt is made of this woman and more: those who arrived in British Guiana from India as indentured labour and those who were brought from Africa as cargo to work on the sugar plantations; colonists and those whom colonialism displaced. How do you tick a box on a census form or job application when your ancestry is Scottish, English, French, Portuguese, Indian, Amerindian, African and Chinese? How do you finally answer a question first posed to you in grade school: "What are you?" And where do you find a sense of belonging in a supposedly "post-racial" world where shadism, fear of blackness, identity politics and call-out culture vie with each other noisily, relentlessly and still lethally?Shame on Me is a personal and powerful exploration of history and identity, colour and desire from a writer who, having been plagued with confusion about her race all her life, has at last found kinship and solidarity in story.
Self-Portrait in Black and White: Family, Fatherhood, and Rethinking Race
Williams, Thomas Chatterton
The son of a "black" father and a "white" mother, Thomas Chatterton Williams found himself questioning long-held convictions about race upon the birth of his blond-haired, blue-eyed daughter - and came to realize that these categories cannot adequately capture either of them, or anyone else. In telling the story of his family's multigenerational transformation from what is called black to what is assumed to be white, he reckons with the way we choose to see and define ourselves. Self-Portrait in Black and White is a beautifully written, urgent work for our time.
Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and the Mother Who Gave Her Away
June Cross was born in 1954 to Norma Booth, a glamorous, aspiring white actress, and James "Stump" Cross, a well-known black comedian. Sent by her mother to be raised by black friends when she was four years old and could no longer pass as white, June was plunged into the pain and confusion of a family divided by race. Secret Daughter tells her story of survival. It traces June's astonishing discoveries about her mother and about her own fierce determination to thrive. This is an inspiring testimony to the endurance of love between mother and daughter, a child and her adoptive parents, and the power of community.
Savage Feast: Three Generations, Two Continents, and a Dinner Table
The acclaimed author of "A Replacement Life" shifts between heartbreak and humor in this gorgeously told, recipe-filled memoir. A family story, an immigrant story, a love story, and an epic meal, Savage Feast explores the challenges of navigating two cultures from an unusual angle.A revealing personal story and family memoir told through meals and recipes, Savage Feast begins with Boris’s childhood in Soviet Belarus, where good food was often worth more than money. He describes the unlikely dish that brought his parents together and how years of Holocaust hunger left his grandmother so obsessed with bread that she always kept five loaves on hand. She was the stove magician and Boris’ grandfather the master black marketer who supplied her, evading at least one firing squad on the way. These spoils kept Boris’ family - Jews who lived under threat of discrimination and violence - provided-for and protected.Despite its abundance, food becomes even more important in America, which Boris’ family reaches after an emigration through Vienna and Rome filled with marvel, despair, and bratwurst. How to remain connected to one’s roots while shedding their trauma? The ambrosial cooking of Oksana, Boris’s grandfather’s Ukrainian home aide, begins to show him the way. His quest takes him to a farm in the Hudson River Valley, the kitchen of a Russian restaurant on the Lower East Side, a Native American reservation in South Dakota, and back to Oksana’s kitchen in Brooklyn. His relationships with women - troubled, he realizes, for reasons that go back many generations - unfold concurrently, finally bringing him, after many misadventures, to an American soulmate.Savage Feast is Boris’ tribute to food, that secret passage to an intimate conversation about identity, belonging, family, displacement, and love.
The Revolt of the Cockroach People
Acosta, Oscar Zeta
Before his mysterious disappearance and probable death in 1971, Oscar Zeta Acosta was famous as a Robin Hood Chicano lawyer and notorious as the real-life model for Hunter S. Thompson's "Dr. Gonzo" a fat, pugnacious attorney with a gargantuan appetite for food, drugs, and life on the edge. In this exhilarating sequel to The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo, Acosta takes us behind the front lines of the militant Chicano movement of the late sixties and early seventies, a movement he served both in the courtroom and on the barricades. Here are the brazen games of "chicken" Acosta played against the Anglo legal establishment; battles fought with bombs as well as writs; and a reluctant hero who faces danger not only from the police but from the vatos locos he champions. What emerges is at once an important political document of a genuine popular uprising and a revealing, hilarious, and moving personal saga.
Redemption: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Last 31 Hours
At 10:33 a.m. on April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., landed in Memphis on a flight from Atlanta. A march that he had led in Memphis six days earlier to support striking garbage workers had turned into a riot, and King was returning to prove that he could lead a violence-free protest.King’s reputation as a credible, non-violent leader of the civil rights movement was in jeopardy just as he was launching the Poor Peoples Campaign. He was calling for massive civil disobedience in the nation’s capital to pressure lawmakers to enact sweeping anti-poverty legislation. But King didn’t live long enough to lead the protest. He was fatally shot at 6:01 p.m. on April 4 in Memphis.Redemption is an intimate look at the last thirty-one hours and twenty-eight minutes of King’s life. King was exhausted from a brutal speaking schedule. He was being denounced in the press and by political leaders as an agent of violence. He was facing dissent even within the civil rights movement and among his own staff at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In Memphis, a federal court injunction was barring him from marching. As threats against King mounted, he feared an imminent, violent death. The risks were enormous, the pressure intense.On the stormy night of April 3, King gathered the strength to speak at a rally on behalf of sanitation workers. The “Mountaintop Speech,” an eloquent and passionate appeal for workers’ rights and economic justice, exhibited his oratorical mastery at its finest.Redemption draws on dozens of interviews by the author with people who were immersed in the Memphis events, features recently released documents from Atlanta archives, and includes compelling photos. The fresh material reveals untold facets of the story including a never-before-reported lapse by the Memphis Police Department to provide security for King. It unveils financial and logistical dilemmas, and recounts the emotional and marital pressures that were bedeviling King. Also revealed is what his assassin, James Earl Ray, was doing in Memphis during the same time and how a series of extraordinary breaks enabled Ray to construct a sniper’s nest and shoot King.Original and riveting, Redemption relives the drama of King’s final hours.
Rainbow in the Cloud: The Wisdom and Spirit of Maya Angelou
"Words mean more than what is set down on paper," Maya Angelou wrote in her groundbreaking memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Indeed, Angelou's words have traveled the world and transformed lives--inspiring, strengthening, healing. Through a long and prolific career in letters, she became one of the most celebrated voices of our time. Now, in this collection of sage advice, humorous quips, and pointed observations culled from the author's great works, including The Heart of a Woman, On the Pulse of Morning, Gather Together in My Name, and Letter to My Daughter, Maya Angelou's spirit endures. Rainbow in the Cloud offers resonant and rewarding quotes on such topics as creativity and culture, family and community, equality and race, values and spirituality, parenting and relationships. Perhaps most special, Maya Angelou's only son, Guy Johnson, has contributed some of his mother's most powerful sayings, shared directly with him and the members of their family. A treasured keepsake as well as a beautiful tribute to a woman who touched so many, Rainbow in the Cloud reminds us that "If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within."
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat
They called her Rabbit.Patricia Williams (aka Ms. Pat) was born and raised in Atlanta at the height of the crack epidemic. One of five children, Pat watched as her mother struggled to get by on charity, cons, and petty crimes. At age seven, Pat was taught to roll drunks for money. At twelve, she was targeted for sex by a man eight years her senior. By thirteen, she was pregnant. By fifteen, Pat was a mother of two.Alone at sixteen, Pat was determined to make a better life for her children. But with no job skills and an eighth-grade education, her options were limited. She learned quickly that hustling and humor were the only tools she had to survive. Rabbit is an unflinching memoir of cinematic scope and unexpected humor. With wisdom and humor, Pat gives us a rare glimpse of what it’s really like to be a black mom in America.
Postcards from Cookie: A Memoir of Motherhood, Miracles, and a Whole Lot of Mail
Award-winning journalist and host of Black "Enterprise" Business Report Caroline Clarke's moving memoir of her surprise discovery of her birthmother - Cookie Cole, the daughter of Nat King Cole - and the relationship that blossomed between them through the heartfelt messages they exchanged on hundreds of postcards.
Parallel Time: Growing Up in Black and White
"Poignant...rewarding...vividly realized...A writer of edifying elegance....Staples reveals a resolutely distinct voice as he negotiates the treacherous shoals of racial identity in American culture." --The New York Times. SC, 274 pages.
In the 1960s he exhorted students at Columbia University to burn their college to the ground. Today he's chair of their School of the Arts film division. Joseph's personal odyssey--from the streets of Harlem to Riker's Island and Leavenworth to the halls of Columbia--is as gripping as it is inspiring.
Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People
As seen on CBS This Morning, award-winning attorney Ben Crump exposes a heinous truth in Open Season: Whether with a bullet or a lengthy prison sentence, America is killing black people and justifying it legally. While some deaths make headlines, most are personal tragedies suffered within families and communities. Worse, these killings are done one person at a time, so as not to raise alarm. While it is much more difficult to justify killing many people at once, in dramatic fashion, the result is the same - genocide.Taking on such high-profile cases as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and a host of others, Crump witnessed the disparities within the American legal system firsthand and learned it is dangerous to be a black man in America - and that the justice system indeed only protects wealthy white men.In this enlightening and enthralling work, he shows that there is a persistent, prevailing, and destructive mindset regarding colored people that is rooted in our history as a slaveowning nation. This biased attitude has given rise to mass incarceration, voter disenfranchisement, unequal educational opportunities, disparate health care practices, job and housing discrimination, police brutality, and an unequal justice system. And all mask the silent and ongoing systematic killing of people of color.Open Season is more than Crump’s incredible mission to preserve justice, it is a call to action for Americans to begin living up to the promise to protect the rights of its citizens equally and without question.
On a Positive Note
Eight-time Grammy Award-winner CeCe Winans has broken new ground as a superstar of gospel. Now CeCe Winans recalls a life full of blessings in this warm and intimate memoir.
Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America
At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race - on INS forms, at the doctor's office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new "not quite" designation - not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian -- and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. But after her teen years trying to assimilate--watching shows like General Hospital and The Jeffersons, dancing to Duran Duran and Prince, and perfecting the art of Jell-O no-bake desserts--she is forced to reckon with the hard questions: What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness?Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation --a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.
Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge
Dunbar, Erica Armstrong
When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. As the President grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t abide: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire.Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom. So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property."A crisp and compulsively readable feat of research and storytelling" (USA TODAY), historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on how one young woman risked everything to gain freedom from the famous founding father.
Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. In these pages, Jefferson takes us into this insular and discerning society: "I call it Negroland," she writes, "because I still find 'Negro' a word of wonders, glorious and terrible." Negroland's pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. It evolved into a world of exclusive sororities, fraternities, networks, and clubs--a world in which skin color and hair texture were relentlessly evaluated alongside scholarly and professional achievements, where the Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and "the masses of Negros," and where the motto was "Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment." At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, Negroland is a landmark work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.
My Life with Earth, Wind & Fire (Large Print)
The late Grammy-winning founder of the legendary pop/R&B/soul/funk/disco group tells his story and charts the rise of his legendary band in this sincere memoir that captures the heart and soul of an artist whose groundbreaking sound continues to influence music today. With an introduction by Steve Harvey and a foreword by David Foster.
My Father Left Me Ireland: An American Son's Search For Home
Dougherty, Michael Brendan
The child of an Irish man and an Irish-American woman who split up before he was born, Michael Brendan Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence. He was raised in New Jersey by his hard-working single mother, who gave him a passion for Ireland, the land of her roots and the home of Michael's father. She put him to bed using little phrases in the Irish language, sang traditional songs, and filled their home with a romantic vision of a homeland over the horizon.Every few years, his father returned from Dublin for a visit, but those encounters were never long enough. Devastated by his father's departures, Michael eventually consoled himself by believing that fatherhood was best understood as a check in the mail. Wearied by the Irish kitsch of the 1990s, he began to reject his mother's Irish nationalism as a romantic myth.Years later, when Michael found out that he would soon be a father himself, he could no longer afford to be jaded; he would need to tell his daughter who she is and where she comes from. He immediately re-immersed himself in the biographies of firebrands like Patrick Pearse and studied the Irish language. And he decided to reconnect with the man who had left him behind, and the nation just over the horizon. He began writing letters to his father about what he remembered, missed, and longed for. Those letters would become this book.Along the way, Michael realized that his longings were shared by many Americans of every ethnicity and background. So many of us these days lack a clear sense of our cultural origins or even a vocabulary for expressing this lack--so we avoid talking about our roots altogether. As a result, the traditional sense of pride has started to feel foreign and dangerous; we've become great consumers of cultural kitsch, but useless conservators of our true history.In these deeply felt and fascinating letters, Dougherty goes beyond his family's story to share a fascinating meditation on the meaning of identity in America.
Mr. and Mrs. Prince: How an Extraordinary Eighteenth-Century Family Moved Out of Slavery and into Legend
Gerzina, Gretchen Holbrook
Merging comprehensive research and grand storytelling, Mr. and Mrs. Prince reveals the true story of a remarkable pre-Civil War African-American family, as well as the challenges that faced African-Americans who lived in the North versus the slaves who lived in the South. Lucy Terry, a devoted wife and mother, was the first known African-American poet and Abijah Prince, her husband, was a veteran of the French and Indian wars and an entrepreneur. Together they pursued what would become the cornerstone of the American dream - having a family and owning property where they could live, grow, and prosper. Owning land in both Vermont and Massachusetts, they were well on their way to settling in when bigoted neighbors tried to run them off. Rather than fleeing, they asserted their rights, as they would do many times, in court. Here is a story that not only demonstrates the contours of slavery in New England but also unravels the most complete history of a pre-Civil War black family known to exist. Illuminating and inspiring, Mr. and Mrs. Prince uncovers the lives of those who could have been forgotten and brings to light a history that has intrigued but eluded many until now.
Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights
Roundtree, Dovey Johnson
In Mighty Justice, trailblazing African American civil rights attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree recounts her inspiring life story that speaks movingly and urgently to our racially troubled times. From the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina, to the segregated courtrooms of the nation’s capital; from the male stronghold of the army where she broke gender and color barriers to the pulpits of churches where women had waited for years for the right to minister - in all these places, Roundtree sought justice. At a time when African American attorneys had to leave the courthouses to use the bathroom, Roundtree took on Washington’s white legal establishment and prevailed, winning a 1955 landmark bus desegregation case that would help to dismantle the practice of "separate but equal" and shatter Jim Crow laws. Later, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the AME Church in 1961, merging her law practice with her ministry to fight for families and children being destroyed by urban violence.Dovey Roundtree passed away in 2018 at the age of 104. Though her achievements were significant and influential, she remains largely unknown to the American public. Mighty Justice corrects the historical record.
Melville in Love: The Secret Life of Herman Melville and the Muse of Moby-Dick
In Melville in Love, Pulitzer Prize finalist Michael Shelden tells the story of Melville's passionate, obsessive, and clandestine affair with a married woman named Sarah Morewood, whose libertine impulses encouraged and sustained his own. Filled with the rich detail and immense drama of Melville's secret life, Melville in Love shows us, for the first time, how one of our greatest novelists found his muse and restores Sarah Morewood to her rightful place in the story of Moby-Dick's creation.
Martin Luther King, Jr. on Leadership: Inspiration and Wisdom for Challenging Times
Phillips, Donald T
Donald T. Phillips has created a detailed and absorbing chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership during the most tumultuous period in America's recent past. Under King's guidance, the unfathomable goal of abolishing federal and state-sanctioned segregation and discrimination was accomplished in only a few short years. From public speaking to peaceful persuasion, from imaginative solutions in changing times to the power of hope, optimism, nonviolence, and the need for a great dream, this valuable study is a comprehensive tool for taking courageous action under even the most difficult of circumstances.
Making Rent in Bed-Stuy: A Memoir of Trying to Make It in New York City
A young African American millennial filmmaker’s funny, sometimes painful, true-life coming-of-age story of trying to make it in New York City - a chronicle of poverty and wealth, creativity and commerce, struggle and insecurity, and the economic and cultural forces intertwined with "the serious, life-threatening process" of gentrification.Making Rent in Bed-Stuy explores the history and sociocultural importance of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn’s largest historically black community, through the lens of a coming-of-age young American negro artist living at the dawn of an era in which urban class warfare is politely referred to as gentrification. Bookended by accounts of two different breakups, from a roommate and a lover, both who come from the white American elite, the book oscillates between chapters of urban bildungsroman and a historical examination of some of Bed-Stuy’s most salient aesthetic and political legacies.Filled with personal stories and a vibrant cast of iconoclastic characters— friends and acquaintances such as Spike Lee; Lena Dunham; and Paul MacCleod, who made a living charging $5 for a tour of his extensive Elvis collection—Making Rent in Bed-Stuy poignantly captures what happens when youthful idealism clashes head-on with adult reality.Melding in-depth reportage and personal narrative that investigates the disappointments and ironies of the Obama era, the book describes Brandon Harris’s radicalization, and the things he lost, and gained, along the way.
Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
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. This memoir traces Mandela's historic life from his traditional tribal childhood to his triumphant rise to power.
The Light of the World
In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband. Channeling her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid price, Alexander tells a love story that is, itself, a story of loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the trauma resulting from her husband's death, and the solace found in caring for her two teenage sons, Alexander universalizes a very personal quest for meaning and acceptance in the wake of loss. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is at once an endlessly compelling memoir and a deeply felt meditation on the blessings of love, family, art, and community. It is also a lyrical celebration of a life well-lived and a paean to the priceless gift of human companionship. For those who have loved and lost, or for anyone who cares what matters most, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is required reading.
Life on the Color Line
Williams, Gregory Howard
As a child in 1950s segregated Virginia, Gregory Howard Williams grew up believing he was white. But when his parents' marriage fell apart, Williams discovered that his dark-skinned father, who had been passing as Italian-American, was half black. The family split up, and Greg, his younger brother, and their father moved to Muncie, Indiana, where the young boys learned the truth about their heritage. Overnight, Greg Williams became black. In this extraordinary and powerful memoir, Williams recounts his remarkable journey along the color line and illuminates the contrasts between the black and white worlds. He tells of the hostility and prejudice he encountered all too often, from both blacks and whites, and the surprising moments of encouragement and acceptance he found from each.
Last Man Standing: The Tragedy and Triumph of Geronimo Pratt
With the epic scope of A Civil Action, "Last Man Standing" is an unforgettable chronicle of the twenty-seven-year struggle to break a conspiratorial abuse of power and free one of America's most famous political prisoners.
La Caza Del Zorro: Las Memorias De Un Refugiado Acerca De Su Llegada A America
Al Samawi, Mohammed
La historia conmovedora de un joven y su escape angustiante de una cruenta guerra civil en Yemen gracias a un plan urdido en las redes sociales por un pequeño grupo interconfesional de activistas del Oeste.
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero
There were mythic sports figures before him - Jack Johnson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Joe DiMaggio - but when Cassius Clay burst onto the sports scene from his native Louisville in the 1950s, he broke the mold. He changed the world of sports and went on to change the world itself. As Muhammad All, his would become the most recognized face on the planet. All was a transcendent athlete and entertainer, a heavyweight Fred Astaire, a rapper before rap was born. He was a mirror of his era, a dynamic figure in the racial and cultural battles of his time. This unforgettable story of his rise and self-creation, told by a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, places Ali in a heritage of great American originals.
Carter, Stephen L.
The bestselling author delves into his past and discovers the inspiring story of his grandmother’s extraordinary lifeShe was black and a woman and a prosecutor, a graduate of Smith College and the granddaughter of slaves, as dazzlingly unlikely a combination as one could imagine in New York of the 1930s - and without the strategy she devised, Lucky Luciano, the most powerful Mafia boss in history, would never have been convicted. When special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey selected twenty lawyers to help him clean up the city’s underworld, she was the only member of his team who was not a white male.Eunice Hunton Carter, Stephen Carter’s grandmother, was raised in a world of stultifying expectations about race and gender, yet by the 1940s, her professional and political successes had made her one of the most famous black women in America. But her triumphs were shadowed by prejudice and tragedy. Greatly complicating her rise was her difficult relationship with her younger brother, Alphaeus, an avowed Communist who—together with his friend Dashiell Hammett - would go to prison during the McCarthy era. Yet she remained unbowed.Moving, haunting, and as fast-paced as a novel, Invisible tells the true story of a woman who often found her path blocked by the social and political expectations of her time. But Eunice Carter never accepted defeat, and thanks to her grandson’s remarkable book, her long forgotten story is once again visible.
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl : The Givens Collection
Harriet Jacobs's Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl is one of the most compelling accounts of slavery and one of the most unique of the one hundred or so slave narratives -- mostly written by men -- published before the Civil War. The child and grandchild of slaves -- and therefore forbidden by law to read and write -- Harriet Jacobs was defiant in her efforts to gain freedom and to document her experience in bondage. She suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her master at the age of eleven. In 1842, she fled North and joined a circle of abolitionists that worked for Frederick Douglass's newspaper. In 1863, she and her daughter moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where they organized medical care for Civil War victims and established the Jacobs Free School.
I've Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter
When a moment of quietly ignored bigotry prompted his three-year-old daughter to ask "what happened?" David Chariandy began wondering how to discuss with his children the politics of race. A decade later, in a newly heated era of both struggle and divisions, he writes a letter to his now thirteen-year-old daughter. David is the son of Black and South Asian migrants from Trinidad, and he draws upon his personal and ancestral past, including the legacies of slavery, indenture, and immigration, as well as the experiences of growing up a visible minority within the land of one's birth. In sharing with his daughter his own story, he hopes to help cultivate within her a sense of identity and responsibility that balances the painful truths of the past and present with hopeful possibilities for the future.
Grime Kids: The Inside Story of the Global Grime Takeover
A group of kids in the 90s had a dream to make their voice heard - and this book documents their seminal impact on today's pop culture.DJ Target grew up in Bow under the shadow of Canary Wharf, with money looming close on the skyline. The 'Godfather of Grime' Wiley and Dizzee Rascal first met each other in his bedroom. They were all just grime kids on the block back then, and didn't realise they were to become pioneers of an international music revolution. A movement that permeates deep into British culture and beyond. Household names were borne out of those housing estates, and the music industry now jumps to the beat of their gritty reality rather than the tune of glossy aspiration. Grime has shaken the world and Target is revealing its explosive and expansive journey in full, using his own unique insight and drawing on the input of grime's greatest names.
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