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I am not your Negro by Raoul Peck, featuring James BaldwinAn Oscar-nominated documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO explores the continued peril America faces from institutionalized racism. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends--Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin's death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin's original words and flood of rich archival material. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
Publication Date: 2017
American Experience - Freedom Riders by Stanley NelsonFREEDOM RIDERS is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their livesâ€”and many endured savage beatings and imprisonmentâ€”for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.. From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) FREEDOM RIDERS features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.
Publication Date: 2010
White WashWhite Wash is a documentary film exploring the complexity of race in America through the struggle and triumph of black surfers. The story is narrated by Grammy Award winner Ben Harper with Tariq "Blackthought" Trotter of the Roots and told through the eyes of black surfers from Hawaii, Jamaica, Florida, and California. This controversial and probing film looks deep into America's painful and pervasive legacy of slavery and exclusion. From surfing's "discovery" by Captain James Cook in Hawaii in 1778 through the explosion of surf culture during the days of segregated Jim Crow America in1960's, this film explores the myths that black surfers have overcome in their search for waves. White Wash is a story of transcendence in the face of aggression and a glimpse into the American psyche. From the shores of California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Puerto Rico to the basketball courts of New York City, through the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta up to the ivory towers of Texas and back into the swimming pools of Florida, White Wash is a historical exploration of race, identity, and the myths we live by and that ultimately unite us all.
Pioneers of African American Cinema by various filmmakersAmong the most fascinating chapters of film history is that of the so-called "race films" that flourished in the 1920s - '40s. Unlike the "black cast" films produced within the Hollywood studio (such as Stormy Weather or Green Pastures), these films not only starred African Americans but were funded, written, produced, directed, distributed, and often exhibited by people of color. Entrepreneurial filmmakers not only built an industry apart from the Hollywood establishment, they cultivated visual and narrative styles that were uniquely their own. Defying convention and operating outside the studio system, these filmmakers were the forefathers (and -mothers) of the French New Wave, the L.A. Rebellion, and the entirety of American indie cinema. Previously circulated in poor-quality 16mm prints, these newly restored versions allow us to witness the legacies of Oscar Micheaux, Spencer Williams, and James and Eloyce Gist with fresh eyes - proving that, anything but imitative, these Pioneers of African-American Cinema were purely innovative.
Publication Date: 1946
Unforgivable blackness: the rise and fall of Jack Johnson by Ken BurnsThe in-depth and intimate story of one of the most important African Americans to live in the first half of the 20th century. Tells the story of Jack Johnson, who was the first African American boxer to win the most coveted title in all of sports--Heavyweight Champion of the World. Includes his struggles in and out of the ring and his desire to live his life as a free man in race-obsessed America.
Publication Date: 2005
Black Panther and San Francisco State: on strikeBlack Panther: Interviews with founding members, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and Bobby Seale, and documentary footage of the organization's meetings and marches reveal a pragmatic and still relevant outline for African American communities' self-determination and development. San Francisco State: on strike: Recounts how students of color led a six month long strike in the fall of 1968 at San Francisco State to make their university's curriculum and admission policies more relevant and succeeded in creating the establishment of the first Ethnic Studies department in America.
Publication Date: 1998
This guide highlights some of the many Library resources on many different topics in Black history. We encourage you to explore this page as we celebrate Black History Month this February.
Online Library Resources
Ain't I a Beauty Queen? by Maxine Leeds Craig"Black is Beautiful!" The words were the exuberant rallying cry of a generation of black women who threw away their straightening combs and adopted a proud new style they called the Afro. The Afro, as worn most famously by Angela Davis, became a veritable icon of the Sixties.Although the new beauty standards seemed to arise overnight, they actually had deep roots within black communities. Tracing her story to 1891, when a black newspaper launched a contest to find the most beautiful woman of the race, Maxine Leeds Craig documents how black women have negotiated theintersection of race, class, politics, and personal appearance in their lives. Craig takes the reader from beauty parlors in the 1940s to late night political meetings in the 1960s to demonstrate the powerful influence of social movements on the experience of daily life. With sources ranging fromoral histories of Civil Rights and Black Power Movement activists and men and women who stood on the sidelines to black popular magazines and the black movement press, Ain't I a Beauty Queen? will fascinate those interested in beauty culture, gender, class, and the dynamics of race and socialmovements.
Publication Date: 2002-06-20
Bayard Rustin by Jerald E. PodairBayard Rustin was a unique twentieth-century American radical voice. A homosexual, World War II draft resister, and ex-communist, he made enormous contributions to the civil rights, socialist, labor, peace, and gay rights movements in the United States, despite being viewed as an "outsider" even by fellow activists. Rustin was a humanist who championed the disadvantaged and oppressed, regardless of identity. In Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer, Jerald Podair examines the life and career of a man who shaped virtually every aspect of the modern civil rights movement as a theorist, strategist, and spokesman. Podair begins by covering the period from Rustin's 1912 birth in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to his 1946 release from federal prison, where he served over two years for draft evasion. After his release, Rustin threw himself into work on behalf of pacifism and racial integration, two goals that, at this stage of his career, fit together almost seamlessly. Podair goes on to examine Rustin's role as the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, the most important civil rights demonstration in American history. He was a major influence on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s philosophy of nonviolent direct action, which led to the strategy that changed the course of American race relations. During the last years of his life, Rustin continued to champion the causes of socialism, coalition politics, and racial integration, as he also sought to aid oppressed people and foster democratic institutions worldwide.
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
Wednesdays in Mississippi by Debbie Z. HarwellAs tensions mounted before Freedom Summer, one organization tackled the divide by opening lines of communication at the request of local women: Wednesdays in Mississippi (WIMS). Employing an unusual and deliberately feminine approach, WIMS brought interracial, interfaith teams of northern middle-aged, middle- and upper-class women to Mississippi to meet with their southern counterparts. Sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), WIMS operated on the belief that the northern participants' gender, age, and class would serve as an entrée to southerners who had dismissed other civil rights activists as radicals. The WIMS teams' respectable appearance and quiet approach enabled them to build understanding across race, region, and religion where other overtures had failed. The only civil rights program created for women by women as part of a national organization, WIMS offers a new paradigm through which to study civil rights activism, challenging the stereotype of Freedom Summer activists as young student radicals and demonstrating the effectiveness of the subtle approach taken by "proper ladies." The book delves into the motivations for women's civil rights activism and the role religion played in influencing supporters and opponents of the civil rights movement. Lastly, it confirms that the NCNW actively worked for integration and black voting rights while also addressing education, poverty, hunger, housing, and employment as civil rights issues. After successful efforts in 1964 and 1965, WIMS became Workshops in Mississippi, which strived to alleviate the specific needs of poor women. Projects that grew from these efforts still operate today.
Publication Date: 2014-08-05
Jane Crow by Rosalind RosenbergThroughout 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 apoignant 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 atrustee, 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 legalscholarship 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 toearn 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 Constitutionprotects 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 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 thisidentity. 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.
Publication Date: 2017-05-01
A Forgotten Sisterhood by Audrey Thomas McCluskeyEmerging from the darkness of the slave era and Reconstruction, black activist women Lucy Craft Laney, Mary McLeod Bethune, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Nannie Helen Burroughs founded schools aimed at liberating African-American youth from disadvantaged futures in the segregated and decidedly unequal South. From the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries, these individuals fought discrimination as members of a larger movement of black women who uplifted future generations through a focus on education, social service, and cultural transformation. Born free, but with the shadow of the slave past still implanted in their consciousness, Laney, Bethune, Brown, and Burroughs built off each other's successes and learned from each other's struggles as administrators, lecturers, and suffragists. Drawing from the women's own letters and writings about educational methods and from remembrances of surviving students, Audrey Thomas McCluskey reveals the pivotal significance of this sisterhood's legacy for later generations and for the institution of education itself.
Publication Date: 2017-11-16
The Politics of Black Empowerment by James JenningsIn analyzing Black politics since the late 1960s, James Jennings focuses on both the behavioral aspects, such as individual and group characteristics of voting and nonvoting and elections, as well a more fundamental philosophical and cultural questions regarding Black politics. This study examines how the "traditional" face of Black politics and electoral activism interacts with a growing "progressive" face of Black politics. While traditional Black political activists seek access or political incorporation, another group aims for power sharing. The traditional approach is sometimes satisfied with merely replacing white politicians with Blacks, but the progressive constituency focuses on fundamentally changing the whole economic and political pie. Activist desirous of Black empowerment are pursuing a political and economic orientation that goes beyond programs based on access to American institutional arrangements and attempting to change or alter given political arrangements and social relations between Blacks and whites on the basis of changing the social structure and the distribution of wealth and power. Based on interviews with Black and Latino activist in several big cities as well as review of the literature and the Black newspapers around the country, The Politics of Black Empowerment describes the characteristics of Black empowerment activism in America.
Publication Date: 1992-04-01
A Voice That Could Stir an Army by Maegan Parker BrooksA sharecropper, a warrior, and a truth-telling prophet, Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977) stands as a powerful symbol not only of the 1960s black freedom movement, but also of the enduring human struggle against oppression. A Voice That Could Stir an Army is a rhetorical biography that tells the story of Hamer's life by focusing on how she employed symbols-- images, words, and even material objects such as the ballot, food, and clothing--to construct persuasive public personae, to influence audiences, and to effect social change. Drawing upon dozens of newly recovered Hamer texts and recent interviews with Hamer's friends, family, and fellow activists, Maegan Parker Brooks moves chronologically through Hamer's life. Brooks recounts Hamer's early influences, her intersection with the black freedom movement, and her rise to prominence at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Brooks also considers Hamer's lesser-known contributions to the fight against poverty and to feminist politics before analyzing how Hamer is remembered posthumously. The book concludes by emphasizing what remains rhetorical about Hamer's biography, using the 2012 statue and museum dedication in Hamer's hometown of Ruleville, Mississippi, to examine the larger social, political, and historiographical implications of her legacy. The sustained consideration of Hamer's wide-ranging use of symbols and the reconstruction of her legacy provided within the pages of A Voice That Could Stir an Army enrich understanding of this key historical figure. This book also demonstrates how rhetorical analysis complements historical reconstruction to explain the dynamics of how social movements actually operate.
Publication Date: 2014-04-30
Voices of Civil Rights Lawyers by Kent Spriggs (Editor)Choice Outstanding Academic Title While bus boycotts, sit-ins, and other acts of civil disobedience were the engine of the civil rights movement, the law provided context for these events. Lawyers played a key role amid profound political and social upheavals, vindicating clients and together challenging white supremacy. Here, in their own voices, twenty-six lawyers reveal the abuses they endured and the barriers they broke as they fought for civil rights. These eyewitness accounts provide unique windows into some of the most dramatic moments in civil rights history--the 1965 Selma March, the first civil judgment against the Ku Klux Klan, the creation of ballot access for African Americans in Alabama, and the 1968 Democratic Convention. The narratives depict attorney-client relationships extraordinary in their mutual trust and commitment to risk-taking. White and black, male and female, northern- and southern-born, these recruits in the battle for freedom helped shape a critical chapter of American history. Contributors: Henry M. Aronson | Larry Aschenbrenner | Fred Banks | Reber Boult | John C. Brittain | Armand Derfner | Jack Drake | Malcolm (?Mac?) Farmer | William Ferguson | Fred D. Gray | Jim Lewis | Elliott Lichtman | Barbara Schechter Lipman | David Lipman | Don H. Marmaduke | John L. Maxey | Laughlin McDonald | Larry Menefee | Dennis Roberts | Solomon Seay | Norman Siegel | Constance "Connie" Slaughter-Harvey | Richard Sobol, Sebastopol | Richard H. Tuttle
Publication Date: 2017-06-06
Pulse of the People by Lakeyta M. BonnetteHip-Hop music encompasses an extraordinarily diverse range of approaches to politics. Some rap and Hip-Hop artists engage directly with elections and social justice organizations; others may use their platform to call out discrimination, poverty, sexism, racism, police brutality, and other social ills. In Pulse of the People, Lakeyta M. Bonnette illustrates the ways rap music serves as a vehicle for the expression and advancement of the political thoughts of the urban Black community, a population frequently marginalized within American society and alienated from electoral politics. Pulse of the People lays a foundation for the study of political rap music and public opinion research and demonstrates ways in which political attitudes asserted in the music have been transformed into direct action and behavior of constituents. Bonnette examines the history of rap music and its relationship to and extension from other cultural and political vehicles within Black America, presenting criteria for identifying the specific subgenre of music that is political rap. She complements the statistics of rap music exposure with lyrical analysis of rap songs that espouse Black Nationalist and Black Feminist attitudes. Touching on a number of critical moments in American racial politics--including the 2008 and 2012 elections and the cases of the Jena 6, Troy Davis, and Trayvon Martin--Pulse of the People makes a compelling case for the influence of rap music in the political arena and greatly expands our understanding of the ways political ideologies and public opinion are formed.
Publication Date: 2015-03-31
Cinema Civil Rights by Ellen C. ScottFrom Al Jolson in blackface to Song of the South, there is a long history of racism in Hollywood film. Yet as early as the 1930s, movie studios carefully vetted their releases, removing racially offensive language like the "N-word." This censorship did not stem from purely humanitarian concerns, but rather from worries about boycotts from civil rights groups and loss of revenue from African American filmgoers. Cinema Civil Rightsnbsp;presents the untold history of how Black audiences, activists, and lobbyists influenced the representation of race in Hollywood in the decades before the 1960s civil rights era. Employing a nuanced analysis of power, Ellen C. Scott reveals how these representations were shaped by a complex set of negotiations between various individuals and organizations. Rather than simply recounting the perspective of film studios, she calls our attention to a variety of other influential institutions, from protest groups to state censorship boards. Scott demonstrates not only how civil rights debates helped shaped the movies, but also how the movies themselves provided a vital public forum for addressing taboo subjects like interracial sexuality, segregation, and lynching. Emotionally gripping, theoretically sophisticated, and meticulously researched,nbsp;Cinema Civil Rightsnbsp;presents us with an in-depth look at the film industry's role in both articulating and censoring the national conversation on race.
Publication Date: 2015-01-14
Workers on Arrival by Joe William Trotter"An eloquent and essential correction to contemporary discussions of the American working class."--The Nation From the ongoing issues of poverty, health, housing and employment to the recent upsurge of lethal police-community relations, the black working class stands at the center of perceptions of social and racial conflict today. Journalists and public policy analysts often discuss the black poor as "consumers" rather than "producers," as "takers" rather than "givers," and as "liabilities" instead of "assets." In his engrossing new history, Workers on Arrival, Joe William Trotter, Jr. refutes these perceptions by charting the black working class's vast contributions to the making of America. Covering the last four hundred years since Africans were first brought to Virginia in 1619, Trotter traces black workers' complicated journey from the transatlantic slave trade through the American Century to the demise of the industrial order in the 21st century. At the center of this compelling, fast-paced narrative are the actual experiences of these African American men and women. A dynamic and vital history of remarkable contributions despite repeated setbacks, Workers on Arrival expands our understanding of America's economic and industrial growth, its cities, ideas, and institutions, and the real challenges confronting black urban communities today.
Publication Date: 2019-01-08
The Black Revolution on Campus by Martha BiondiThe Black Revolution on Campus is the definitive account of an extraordinary but forgotten chapter of the black freedom struggle. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Black students organized hundreds of protests that sparked a period of crackdown, negotiation, and reform that profoundly transformed college life. At stake was the very mission of higher education. Black students demanded that public universities serve their communities; that private universities rethink the mission of elite education; and that black colleges embrace self-determination and resist the threat of integration. Most crucially, black students demanded a role in the definition of scholarly knowledge. Martha Biondi masterfully combines impressive research with a wealth of interviews from participants to tell the story of how students turned the slogan ?black power? into a social movement. Vividly demonstrating the critical linkage between the student movement and changes in university culture, Biondi illustrates how victories in establishing Black Studies ultimately produced important intellectual innovations that have had a lasting impact on academic research and university curricula over the past 40 years. This book makes a major contribution to the current debate on Ethnic Studies, access to higher education, and opportunity for all.
Publication Date: 2014-03-21
Library Books in Print
I Am a Man! by Steve EstesThe civil rights movement was first and foremost a struggle for racial equality, but questions of gender lay deeply embedded within this struggle. Steve Estes explores key groups, leaders, and events in the movement to understand how activists used race and manhood to articulate their visions of what American society should be. Estes demonstrates that, at crucial turning points in the movement, both segregationists and civil rights activists harnessed masculinist rhetoric, tapping into implicit assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality. Estes begins with an analysis of the role of black men in World War II and then examines the segregationists, who demonized black male sexuality and galvanized white men behind the ideal of southern honor. He then explores the militant new models of manhood espoused by civil rights activists such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and groups such as the Nation of Islam, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Black Panther Party. Reliance on masculinist organizing strategies had both positive and negative consequences, Estes concludes. Tracing these strategies from the integration of the U.S. military in the 1940s through the Million Man March in the 1990s, he shows that masculinism rallied men to action but left unchallenged many of the patriarchal assumptions that underlay American society.
Publication Date: 2005-03-14
Ella Baker by Joanne GrantCelebrates the life of the civil rights worker who helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Praise for ELLA BAKER: "Splendid biography...a valuable contribution to the growing body of literature on the critical roles of women in civil rights."--Joyce A. Ladner, The Washington Post Book World "The definitive biography of Ella Baker, a force behind the civil rights movement and almost every social justice movement of this century."--Gloria Steinem "This book will be received with plaudits for its empathy, insightfulness, and gendered narration of an astonishingly neglected life that was pivotal in the pursuit of American justice and humanity."--David Levering Lewis Pulitzer Prize-winning author of W. E. B. Du Bois "Pathbreaking. By illuminating the little-known story of how profoundly Ella Baker influenced the most radical activists of the era, Grant's graceful portrayal reveals Miss Baker's transformative impact on recent history."--Kathleen Cleaver
Autobiography As Activism by Margo V. PerkinsAngela Davis, Assata Shakur (a.k.a. JoAnne Chesimard), and Elaine Brown are the only women activists of the Black Power movement who have published book-length autobiographies. In bearing witness to that era, these militant newsmakers wrote in part to educate and to mobilize their anticipated readers. In this way, Davis's Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974), Shakur's Assata (1987), and Brown's A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story (1992) can all be read as extensions of the writers' political activism during the 1960s. Margo V. Perkins's critical analysis of their books is less a history of the movement (or of women's involvement in it) than an exploration of the politics of storytelling for activists who choose to write their lives. Perkins examines how activists use autobiography to connect their lives to those of other activists across historical periods, to emphasize the link between the personal and the political, and to construct an alternative history that challenges dominant or conventional ways of knowing. The histories constructed by these three women call attention to the experiences of women in revolutionary struggle, particularly to the ways their experiences have differed from men's. The women's stories are told from different perspectives and provide different insights into a movement that has been much studied from the masculine perspective. At times they fill in, complement, challenge, or converse with the stories told by their male counterparts, and in doing so, hint at how the present and future can be made less catastrophic because of women's involvement. The multiple complexities of the Black Power movement become evident in reading these women's narratives against each other as well as against the sometimes strikingly different accounts of their male counterparts. As Davis, Shakur, and Brown recount events in their lives, they dispute mainstream assumptions about race, class, and gender and reveal how the Black Power struggle profoundly shaped their respective identities.
Publication Date: 2000-04-10
The Young Paul Robeson by Lloyd L. BrownFamous as a football star and prizewinning student, then acclaimed as a world-class concert singer and record-breaking actor on stage and screen, Paul Robeson became one of America’s most controversial figures during the Cold War. Hailed by many as a forerunner of the civil rights movement, he was denounced by others and seen by the U.S. government as a threat to the nation’s security at home and abroad.Now for the first time there is an illuminating, firsthand view of this remarkable African American by a writer who is uniquely qualified to tell the story. A close friend and coworker of Robeson’s for twenty-five years, Lloyd L. Brown assisted in the writing of Robeson’s book Here I Stand. Now he has combined painstaking research with personal observation in his own book, The Young Paul Robeson. He brings to the work a graceful and engaging literary style developed over his many years as an essayist and critic on African-American literature and culture.Reflecting on interviews with Robeson’s schoolmates in elementary school, high school, Rutgers University, and Columbia Law School and drawing on original information from other sources, Brown provides a well-paced narrative of Robeson’s life, from his birth in Princeton to the budding of his artistic career in Harlem. Because Robeson always attributed his achievements to the guiding hand of his slave-born father, the Reverend William D. Robeson, Brown traced Robeson’s ancestral roots to North Carolina, where he found and interviewed cousins of Robeson as well as descendants of the family that had owned his father and his grandparents. Brown’s discovery of how William Robeson escaped to freedom and gained academic excellence is one of the many aspects of the Paul Robeson legend told here for the first time.
Publication Date: 1998-02-06
Bayard Rustin by Jervis AndersonAs organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, the Montgomery bus boycott, and architect of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rustin's influence on American culture has been immeasurable. Written with complete access to Rustin's personal papers, this biography delves into the character of this influential man. Photos.
Publication Date: 1997-02-01
Conversations with Amiri Baraka by Charlie Reilly (Editor)This collection of interviews with Amiri Baraka, the former LeRoi Jones and a key figure in the worldwide black liberation movement, provides an extraordinary insight not only into African American literature but also into the turmoil and passions of the "black experience" during the second half of the twentieth century. As they offer an understanding of the political turbulence of his times, these interviews provide special insights into Baraka's works, his anger, and his career. Not only does Baraka criticize and explain his most celebrated works, but also his comments supply a rich context for understanding the African American experience. Throughout these candid conversations Baraka maintains his belief in the firm alliance of art and social criticism. "To me, social commentary and art cannot be divorced. Art and life are the same: art comes out of life, art is a reflection of life, art is life." Here is a collection that contains nearly all of the major interviews this poet, playwright, fiction writer, essayist, and social activist has given in his long and controversial career. Four of them have not been previously published. Included here are interviews conducted by Maya Angelou, Austen Clarke, and David Frost, as well as a new interview Baraka granted the editor of this volume.
Publication Date: 1994-05-01
The Fire Now by Remi Joseph-Salisbury (Editor); Azeezat Johnson (Editor); Beth Kamunge (Editor); Christina Sharpe (Foreword); George Yancy (Afterword)Not so long ago, many spoke of a 'post-racial' era, claiming that advances made by people of colour showed that racial divisions were becoming a thing of the past. But the hollowness of such claims has been exposed by the rise of Trump and Brexit, both of which have revealed deep seated white resentment, and have been attended by a resurgence in hate crime and overt racial hatred on both sides of the Atlantic. At a time when progress towards equality is not only stalling, but being actively reversed, how should anti-racist scholars respond? This collection carries on James Baldwin's legacy of bearing witness to racial violence in its many forms. Its authors address how we got to this particular moment, arguing that it can only be truly understood by placing it within the wider historical and structural contexts that normalise racism and white supremacy. Its chapters engage with a wide range of contemporary issues and debates, from the whiteness of the recent women's marches, to anti-racist education, to the question of Black resistance and intersectionality. Mapping out the problems we face, and the solutions we need, the book considers how anti-racist scholarship and activism can overcome the setbacks posed by the resurgence of white supremacy.
Publication Date: 2018-11-15
Black Workers Remember by Michael Keith HoneyThe labor of black workers has been crucial to economic development in the United States. Yet because of racism and segregation, their contribution remains largely unknown. Spanning the 1930s to the present, Black Workers Remember tells the hidden history of African American workers in their own words. It provides striking firsthand accounts of the experiences of black southerners living under segregation in Memphis, Tennessee. Eloquent and personal, these oral histories comprise a unique primary source and provide a new way of understanding the black labor experience during the industrial era. Together, the stories demonstrate how black workers resisted racial apartheid in American industry and underscore the active role of black working people in history. The individual stories are arranged thematically in chapters on labor organizing, Jim Crow in the workplace, police brutality, white union racism, and civil rights struggles. Taken together, the stories ask us to rethink the conventional understanding of the civil rights movement as one led by young people and preachers in the 1950s and 1960s. Instead, we see the freedom struggle as the product of generations of people, including workers who organized unions, resisted Jim Crow at work, and built up their families, churches, and communities. The collection also reveals the devastating impact that a globalizing capitalist economy has had on black communities and the importance of organizing the labor movement as an antidote to poverty. Michael Honey gathered these oral histories for more than fifteen years. He weaves them together here into a rich collection reflecting many tragic dimensions of America's racial history while drawing new attention to the role of workers and poor people in African American and American history.
Publication Date: 2000-01-03
In Love and Struggle by Stephen M. WardJames Boggs (1919-1993) and Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) were two largely unsung but critically important figures in the black freedom struggle. Born and raised in Alabama, James Boggs came to Detroit during the Great Migration, becoming an automobile worker and a union activist. Grace Lee was a Chinese American scholar who studied Hegel, worked with Caribbean political theorist C. L. R. James, and moved to Detroit to work toward a new American revolution. As husband and wife, the couple was influential in the early stages of what would become the Black Power movement, laying the intellectual foundation for racial and urban struggles during one of the most active social movement periods in recent U.S. history. Stephen Ward details both the personal and the political dimensions of the Boggses' lives, highlighting the vital contributions these two figures made to black activist thinking. At once a dual biography of two crucial figures and a vivid portrait of Detroit as a center of activism, Ward's book restores the Boggses, and the intellectual strain of black radicalism they shaped, to their rightful place in postwar American history.
Publication Date: 2016-11-07
Ida B. Wells-Barnett and American Reform, 1880-1930 by Patricia A. SchechterPioneering African American journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1931) is widely remembered for her courageous antilynching crusade in the 1890s; the full range of her struggles against injustice is not as well known. With this book, Patricia Schechter restores Wells-Barnett to her central, if embattled, place in the early reform movements for civil rights, women's suffrage, and Progressivism in the United States and abroad. Schechter's comprehensive treatment makes vivid the scope of Wells-Barnett's contributions and examines why the political philosophy and leadership of this extraordinary activist eventually became marginalized. Though forced into the shadow of black male leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington and misunderstood and then ignored by white women reformers such as Frances E. Willard and Jane Addams, Wells-Barnett nevertheless successfully enacted a religiously inspired, female-centered, and intensely political vision of social betterment and empowerment for African American communities throughout her adult years. By analyzing her ideas and activism in fresh sharpness and detail, Schechter exposes the promise and limits of social change by and for black women during an especially violent yet hopeful era in U.S. history.
Publication Date: 2001-09-10
Assata by Assata Shakur; Angela Y. Davis (Foreword); Lennox S. Hinds (Foreword)On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.
Publication Date: 1999-11-01
When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan-Cullors; asha bandeleFrom one of the co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement comes a poetic memoir and reflection on humanity. Necessary and timely, Patrisse Cullors' story asks us to remember that protest in the interest of the most vulnerable comes from love. Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have been called terrorists, a threat to America. But in truth, they are loving women whose life experiences have led them to seek justice for those victimized by the powerful. In this meaningful, empowering account of survival, strength, and resilience, Patrisse Cullors and asha bandele seek to change the culture that declares innocent black life expendable.
Publication Date: 2018-01-16
Target Zero by Eldridge Cleaver; Kathleen Cleaver (Editor); Cecil Brown (Afterword); Henry Louis Gates (Foreword)Former Black Panther information minister Eldridge Cleaver was a complex man who inspired profound adulation, love, rage, and, among many, fear.Target Zerobrings Cleaver's controversial story into focus through his own words. This books charts Cleaver's life through his writings: his quiet childhood, his youth spent in prison, his startling emergence as a Black Panther leader who became a "fugitive from justice" by the end of 1968, his seven-year exile, and his religious and political conversion following his return to the U.S.Target Zero, which brings together previously unpublished essays, short stories, letters, interviews, and poems, is the most significant collection of Eldridge Cleaver's writing since his bestselling bookSoul on Ice (1968).
Publication Date: 2006-02-07
Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women's Political Activism by Joyce A. HansonMary McLeod Bethune was a significant figure in American political history. She devoted her life to advancing equal social, economic, and political rights for blacks. She distinguished herself by creating lasting institutions that trained black women for visible and expanding public leadership roles. Few have been as effective in the development of women's leadership for group advancement. Despite her accomplishments, the means, techniques, and actions Bethune employed in fighting for equality have been widely misinterpreted. Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women's Political Activism seeks to remedy the misconceptions surrounding this important political figure. Joyce A. Hanson shows that the choices Bethune made often appear contradictory, unless one understands that she was a transitional figure with one foot in the nineteenth century and the other in the twentieth. Bethune, who lived from 1875 to 1955, struggled to reconcile her nineteenth-century notions of women's moral superiority with the changing political realities of the twentieth century. She used two conceptually distinct levels of activism--one nonconfrontational and designed to slowly undermine systemic racism, the other openly confrontational and designed to challenge the most overt discrimination--in her efforts to achieve equality. Hanson uses a wide range of never- or little-used primary sources and adds a significant dimension to the historical discussion of black women's organizations by such scholars as Elsa Barkley Brown, Sharon Harley, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. The book extends the current debate about black women's political activism in recent work by Stephanie Shaw, Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, and Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore. Examining the historical evolution of African American women's activism in the critical period between 1920 and 1950, a time previously characterized as "doldrums" for both feminist and civil rights activity, Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women's Political Activism is important for understanding the centrality of black women to the political fight for social, economic, and racial justice.
Publication Date: 2003-03-14
We Want Freedom by Mumia Abu-JamalAward-winning journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal provides a compelling insider's account of one of America's most renown radical organizations, the Black Panther Party. Abu-Jamal helped found the Panther's Philadelphia branch and wrote for the Party's national newspaper. Through the Party, Abu-Jamal began his life-long work of building a movement to expose the violence of the state and end entrenched poverty, endemic racism, and police brutality. In We Want Freedom, Abu-Jamal's uniquely powerful, even poetic, voice makes his Black Panther days come alive. With an unsparing critical gaze, he situates the organization within its historical context, a context that included both great revolutionary fervor and great repression.