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This guide is designed as a starting point for learning about anti-racism and systemic racism. You will find electronic books and streaming video from the Libraries’ collection. The guide also links to community-based organizations and non-profit journa
Showdown in Desire portrays the Black Panther Party in New Orleans in 1970, a year that included a shootout with the police on Piety Street, the creation of survival programs, and the daylong standoff between the Panthers and the police in the Desire housing development. Through interviews with Malik Rahim, the Panther; Robert H. King, Panther and member of the Angola 3; Larry Preston Williams, the black policeman; Moon Landrieu, the mayor; Henry Faggen, the Desire resident; Robert Glass, the white lawyer; Jerome LeDoux, the black priest; William Barnwell, the white priest; and many others, Orissa Arend tells a nuanced story that unfolds amid guns, tear gas, desperate poverty, oppression, and inflammatory rhetoric to capture the palpable spirit of rebellion, resistance, and revolution of an incendiary summer in New Orleans.
Born black and poor, King journeyed to Chicago at the age of 15. He married, had a child and briefly pursued a semi-pro boxing career. However, he was sent to prison in 1970 for 35 years for a crime he didn't commit. While incarcerated he joined the Black Panther Party and successful lobbied to improve prisoner condistions. In return, the wardens beat him, starved him and the authorities never gave him parole. This is the story of inspiration and courage and the triumph of the human spirit.
In Out of Oakland, Sean L. Malloy explores the evolving internationalism of the Black Panther Party (BPP); the continuing exile of former members, including Assata Shakur, in Cuba is testament to the lasting nature of the international bonds that were forged during the party's heyday. Founded in Oakland, California, in October 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the BPP began with no more than a dozen members. Focused on local issues, most notably police brutality, the Panthers patrolled their West Oakland neighborhood armed with shotguns and law books. Within a few years, the BPP had expanded its operations into a global confrontation with what Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver dubbed "the international pig power structure." Malloy traces the shifting intersections between the black freedom struggle in the United States, Third World anticolonialism, and the Cold War. By the early 1970s, the Panthers had chapters across the United States as well as an international section headquartered in Algeria and support groups and emulators as far afield as England, India, New Zealand, Israel, and Sweden. The international section served as an official embassy for the BPP and a beacon for American revolutionaries abroad, attracting figures ranging from Black Power skyjackers to fugitive LSD guru Timothy Leary. Engaging directly with the expanding Cold War, BPP representatives cultivated alliances with the governments of Cuba, North Korea, China, North Vietnam, and the People's Republic of the Congo as well as European and Japanese militant groups and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. In an epilogue, Malloy directly links the legacy of the BPP to contemporary questions raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Black Panther Party suffers from a distorted image largely framed by television and print media, including the Panthers' own newspaper. These sources frequently reduced the entire organization to the Bay Area where the Panthers were founded, emphasizing the Panthers' militant rhetoric and actions rather than their community survival programs. This image, however, does not mesh with reality. The Panthers worked tirelessly at improving the life chances of the downtrodden regardless of race, gender, creed, or sexual orientation. In order to chronicle the rich history of the Black Panther Party, this anthology examines local Panther activities throughout the United States---in Seattle, Washington; Kansas City, Missouri; New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, Texas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Detroit, Michigan. This approach features the voices of people who served on the ground---those who kept the offices in order, prepared breakfasts for school children, administered sickle cell anemia tests, set up health clinics, and launched free clothing drives. The essays shed new light on the Black Panther Party, re-evaluating its legacy in American cultural and political history. Just as important, this volume gives voice to those unsung Panthers whose valiant efforts have heretofore gone unnoticed, unheard, or ignored.
Exploring the interface between the cultural politics of the Black Power and the Black Arts movements and the production of postwar African American popular culture, Amy Ongiri shows how the reliance of Black politics on an oppositional image of African Americans was the formative moment in the construction of "authentic blackness" as a cultural identity. While other books have adopted either a literary approach to the language, poetry, and arts of these movements or a historical analysis of them, Ongiri's captures the cultural and political interconnections of the postwar period by using an interdisciplinary methodology drawn from cinema studies and music theory. She traces the emergence of this Black aesthetic from its origin in the Black Power movement's emphasis on the creation of visual icons and the Black Arts movement's celebration of urban vernacular culture.
In this nuanced and groundbreaking history, Donna Murch argues that the Black Panther Party (BPP) started with a study group. Drawing on oral history and untapped archival sources, she explains how a relatively small city with a recent history of African American settlement produced such compelling and influential forms of Black Power politics. During an era of expansion and political struggle in California's system of public higher education, black southern migrants formed the BPP. In the early 1960s, attending Merritt College and other public universities radicalized Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and many of the young people who joined the Panthers' rank and file. In the face of social crisis and police violence, the most disfranchised sectors of the East Bay's African American community--young, poor, and migrant--challenged the legitimacy of state authorities and of an older generation of black leadership. By excavating this hidden history, Living for the City broadens the scholarship of the Black Power movement by documenting the contributions of black students and youth who created new forms of organization, grassroots mobilization, and political literacy.
San Francisco is the endgame of gentrification, where racialized displacement means that the Black population of the city hovers at just over 3 percent. The Robeson Justice Academy opened to serve the few remaining low-income neighborhoods of the city, with the mission of offering liberatory, social justice--themed education to youth of color. While it features a progressive curriculum including Frantz Fanon and Audre Lorde, the majority Latinx school also has the district's highest suspension rates for Black students. In Progressive Dystopia Savannah Shange explores the potential for reconciling the school's marginalization of Black students with its sincere pursuit of multiracial uplift and solidarity. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and six years of experience teaching at the school, Shange outlines how the school fails its students and the community because it operates within a space predicated on antiblackness. Seeing San Francisco as a social laboratory for how Black communities survive the end of their worlds, Shange argues for abolition over revolution or progressive reform as the needed path toward Black freedom.
The John Coltrane Church began in 1965, when Franzo and Marina King attended a performance of the John Coltrane Quartet at San Francisco's Jazz Workshop and saw a vision of the Holy Ghost as Coltrane took the bandstand. Celebrating the spirituality of the late jazz innovator and his music, the storefront church emerged during the demise of black-owned jazz clubs in San Francisco, and at a time of growing disillusionment with counter-culture spirituality following the 1978 Jonestown tragedy. For 50 years, the church has effectively fought redevelopment, environmental racism, police brutality, mortgage foreclosures, religious intolerance, gender disparity and the corporatization of jazz. This critical history is the first book-length treatment of an extraordinary African-American church and community institution.
Paul Bontemps decided to move his family to Los Angeles from Louisiana in 1906 on the day he finally submitted to a strictly enforced Southern custom--he stepped off the sidewalk to allow white men who had just insulted him to pass by. Friends of the Bontemps family, like many others beckoning their loved ones West, had written that Los Angeles was "a city called heaven" for people of color. But just how free was Southern California for African Americans? This splendid history, at once sweeping in its historical reach and intimate in its evocation of everyday life, is the first full account of Los Angeles's black community in the half century before World War II. Filled with moving human drama, it brings alive a time and place largely ignored by historians until now, detailing African American community life and political activism during the city's transformation from small town to sprawling metropolis. Writing with a novelist's sensitivity to language and drawing from fresh historical research, Douglas Flamming takes us from Reconstruction to the Jim Crow era, through the Great Migration, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the build-up to World War II. Along the way, he offers rich descriptions of the community and its middle-class leadership, the women who were front and center with men in the battle against racism in the American West. In addition to drawing a vivid portrait of a little-known era, Flamming shows that the history of race in Los Angeles is crucial for our understanding of race in America. The civil rights activism in Los Angeles laid the foundation for critical developments in the second half of the century that continue to influence us to this day.
In 1964 an Urban League survey ranked Los Angeles as the most desirable city for African Americans to live in. In 1965 the city burst into flames during one of the worst race riots in the nation's history. How the city came to such a pass--embodying both the best and worst of what urban America offered black migrants from the South--is the story told for the first time in this history of modern black Los Angeles. A clear-eyed and compelling look at black struggles for equality in L.A.'s neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces from the Great Depression to our day, L.A. City Limits critically refocuses the ongoing debate about the origins of America's racial and urban crisis. Challenging previous analysts' near-exclusive focus on northern "rust-belt" cities devastated by de-industrialization, Josh Sides asserts that the cities to which black southerners migrated profoundly affected how they fared. He shows how L.A.'s diverse racial composition, dispersive geography, and dynamic postwar economy often created opportunities--and limits--quite different from those encountered by blacks in the urban North.
2020 Miriam Matthews Ethnic History Award from the Los Angeles City Historical Society As Southern California was reimagining leisure and positioning it at the center of the American Dream, African American Californians were working to make that leisure an open, inclusive reality. By occupying recreational sites and public spaces, African Americans challenged racial hierarchies and marked a space of black identity on the regional landscape and social space. In Living the California Dream Alison Rose Jefferson examines how African Americans pioneered America's "frontier of leisure" by creating communities and business projects in conjunction with their growing population in Southern California during the nation's Jim Crow era. By presenting stories of Southern California African American oceanfront and inland leisure destinations that flourished from 1910 to the 1960s, Jefferson illustrates ho these places helped create leisure production, purposes, and societal encounters. Black communal practices and economic development around leisure helped define the practice and meaning of leisure for the region and the nation, confronted the emergent power politics of recreational space, and set the stage for the sites as places for remembrance of invention and public contest. Living the California Dream presents the overlooked local stories that are foundational to the national narrative of mass movement to open recreational accommodations to all Americans and to the long freedom rights struggle.
In 1917, Fort Ord was established in the tiny subdivision of Seaside, California. Over the course of the 20th century, it held great national and military importance--a major launching point for World War II operations, the first base in the military to undergo complete integration, the West Coast's most important training base for draftees in the Vietnam War, a site of important civil rights movements--until its closure in the 1990s. Alongside it, the city of Seaside took form. Racial Beachhead offers the story of this city, shaped over the decades by military policies of racial integration in the context of the ideals of the American civil rights movement. Middle class blacks, together with other military families--black, white, Hispanic, and Asian--created a local politics of inclusion that continues to serve as a reminder that integration can work to change ideas about race. Though Seaside's relationship with the military makes it unique, at the same time the story of Seaside is part and parcel of the story of 20th century American town life. Its story contributes to the growing history of cities of color--those minority-majority places that are increasingly the face of urban America.
Few people in the history of the United States embody ideals of the American Dream more than Nathan Harrison. His is a story with prominent themes of overcoming staggering obstacles, forging something-from-nothing, and evincing gritty perseverance. In a lifetime of hard-won progress, Harrison survived the horrors of slavery in the Antebellum South, endured the mania of the California Gold Rush, and prospered in the rugged chaos of the Wild West. This book uses spectacular recent discoveries from the Nathan Harrison cabin site to offer new insights and perspectives into this most American biography.