African-American Studies
Featured Items
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas
Paperback      ISBN: 0553251996

The noted writer-entertainer continues her autobiography, recounting her passage into adulthood and the white world, her initial experiences of marriage, motherhood, and show business, and her European tour in Porgy and Bess

My Bondage and My Freedom
My Bondage and My Freedom
Paperback      ISBN: 0812970314

"My Bondage and My Freedom," writes John Stauffer in his Foreword, " is] a deep meditation on the meaning of slavery, race, and freedom, and on the power of faith and literacy, as well as a portrait of an individual and a nation a few years before the Civil War." As his narrative unfolds, Frederick Douglass--abolitionist, journalist, orator, and one of the most powerful voices to emerge from the American civil rights movement--transforms himself from slave to fugitive to reformer, leaving behind a legacy of social, intellectual, and political thought. Set from the text of the 1855 first edition, this Modern Library Paperback Classic includes Douglass's original Appendix, composed of excerpts from the author's speeches as well as a letter he wrote to his former master.

Standing Bear Is A Person: The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice
Standing Bear Is A Person
The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice
Hardcover      ISBN: 030681370x

In 1877, Standing Bear and his Indian people, the Ponca, were forcibly removed from their land in northern Nebraska. In defiance, Standing Bear sued in U.S. District Court for the right to return home. In a landmark case, the judge, for the first time in U.S. history, recognized Native American rights-acknowledging that "Standing Bear is a person"-and ruled in favor of Standing Bear. Standing Bear Is a Person is the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of that landmark 1879 court case, and the subsequent reverberations of the judge's ruling across nineteenth-century America. It is also a story filled with memorable characters typical of the Old West-the crusty and wise Indian chief, Standing Bear, the Army Indian-fighting general who became a strong Indian supporter, the crusading newspaper editor who championed Standing Bear's cause, and the "most beautiful Indian maiden of her time," Bright Eyes, who became Standing Bear's national spokesperson. At a time when America was obsessed with winning the West, no matter what, this is an intensely human story and a small victory for compassion. It is also the chronicle of an American tragedy: Standing Bear won his case, but the court's decision that should have changed everything, in the end, changed very little for America's Indians.

Richard Wright's Travel Writings: New Reflections
Richard Wright's Travel Writings
New Reflections
Hardcover      ISBN: 1578063477

Attracted to remote lands by his interest in the postcolonial struggle, Richard Wright (1908-1960) became one of the few African Americans of his time to engage in travel writing. He went to emerging nations not as a sightseer but as a student of their cultures, learning the politics and the processes of social transformation.

When Wright fled from the United States in 1946 to live as an expatriate in Paris, he was exposed to intellectual thoughts and challenges that transcended his social and political education in America. Three events broadened his world view- his introduction to French existentialism, the rise of the Pan-Africanist movement to decolonize Africa, and Indonesia's declaration of independence from colonial rule in 1945. During the 1950s as he traveled to emerging nations his encounters produced four travel narratives-Black Power (1953), The Color Curtain (1956), Pagan Spain (1956), and White Man, Listen (1957). Upon his death in 1960, he left behind an unfinished book on French West Africa, which exists only in notes, outlines, and a draft.

Written by multinational scholars, this collection of essays exploring Wright's travel writings shows how in his hands the genre of travel writing resisted, adapted, or modified the forms and formats practiced by white authors. Enhanced by nine photographs taken by Wright during his travels, the essays focus on each of Wright's four separate narratives as well as upon his unfinished book and reveal how Wright drew on such non-Western influences as the African American slave narrative and Asian literature of protest and resistance. The essays critique Wright's representation of customs and people and employ a broad range of interpretive modes, including the theories of formalism, feminism, and postmodernism, among others.

Wright's travel books are proved here to be innovative narratives that laid down the roots of such later genres as postcolonial literature, contemporary travel writing, and resistance literature.

Virginia Whatley Smith is an associate professor of English at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Her work has appeared in African American Review, Mississippi Quarterly, and MLA Approaches to Teaching Wright's 'Native Son.'

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0679427430

Wisdom from a remarkable woman of many talents--a writer who captured America's heart on Inauguration Day.

Dancing on Main Street
Dancing on Main Street
Paperback      ISBN: 1566891566

A major figure in the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the Umbra workshop, Lorenzo Thomas is one of the most heralded authors of his generation. Dancing on Main Street, Thomas's long-awaited collection spanning many decades of his career, blends traditional lyricism with a surrealist's touch and a realist's eye. Together, these poems form a cinematic look at the obsessions, -pleasures, trials, and tribulations of life on Main Street.

Lorenzo Thomas, who was born in Panama and grew up in New York City, is a poet, critic and professor of English at the University of Houston. His books of poetry include Chances Are Few, The Bathers and Sound Science. He is the recipient of two Poets Foundation awards and the Lucille Medwick Prize.

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society
How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America
Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society
Paperback      ISBN: 0896085791

Contents Preface How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America A Critical Assessment Introduction to the First Edition Part 1 The Black Majority Chapter 1 The Crisis of the Black Working Class Chapter 2 The Black Poor Chapter 3 Grounding with My Sisters Chapter 4 Black Prisoners and Punishment in a Racist/Capitalist State Part 2 The Black Elite Chapter 5 Black Capitalism Chapter 6 Black Brahmins Chapter 7 The Ambiguous Politics of the Black Church Chapter 8 The Destruction of Black Education Part 3 A Question of Genocide Chapter 9 The Meaning of Racist Violence in Late Capitalism Chapter 10 Conclusion: Towards a Socialist America Reviews Manning Marable examines developments in the political economy of racism in the United States and assesses shifts in the American Political terrain since the first edition....He is one of the most widely read Black progressive authors in the country.-Black Employment Journal The reissue of Manning Marable's How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America confirms that this is a classic work of political history and social criticism. Unfortunately, Marable's blistering insights into racial injustice and economic inequality remain depressingly relevant. But the good news is that Marable's prescient analysis-and his eloquent and self-critical preface to this new edition-will prove critical in helping us to think through and conquer the oppressive forces that remain.-Michael Eric Dyson, author of I May Not Get Therewith You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. For those of us who came of political age in the 1980s, Manning Marable's How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America was one of ourbibles. Published during the cold winter of Reaganism, he introduced a new generation of Black activists/thinkers to class and gender struggles within Black communities, the political economy of incarceration, the limitations of Black capitalism, and the nearly forgotten vision of what a socialist future might look like. Two decades later, Marable's urgent and hopeful voice is as relevant as ever.-Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Yo' Mama's DisFunktional:

Constructing the Black Masculine: Identity and Ideality in African American Men's Literature and Culture, 1775-1995
Constructing the Black Masculine
Identity and Ideality in African American Men's Literature and Culture, 1775-1995
Paperback      ISBN: 0822328690

In seven representative episodes of black masculine literary and cultural history--from the founding of the first African American Masonic lodge in 1775 to the 1990s choreographies of modern dance genius Bill T. Jones--Constructing the Black Masculine maps black men's historical efforts to negotiate the frequently discordant relationship between blackness and maleness in the cultural logic of American identity. Maurice O. Wallace draws on an impressive variety of material to investigate the survivalist strategies employed by black men who have had to endure the disjunction between race and masculinity in American culture.
Highlighting their chronic objectification under the gaze of white eyes, Wallace argues that black men suffer a social and representational crisis in being at once seen and unseen, fetish and phantasm, spectacle and shadow in the American racial imagination. Invisible and disregarded on one hand, black men, perceived as potential threats to society, simultaneously face the reality of hypervisibility and perpetual surveillance. Paying significant attention to the sociotechnologies of vision and image production over two centuries, Wallace shows how African American men--as soldiers, Freemasons, and romantic heroes--have sought both to realize the ideal image of the American masculine subject and to deconstruct it in expressive mediums like modern dance, photography, and theatre. Throughout, he draws on the experiences and theories of such notable figures as Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and James Baldwin.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Paperback      ISBN: 0345376714
ONE OF TIME'S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America.

Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X

"Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book."--The New York Times

"This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle."--I. F. Stone
The Fire Next Time
The Fire Next Time
Paperback      ISBN: 067974472x
An official Oprah Winfrey's "The Books That Help Me Through" selection

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement--and still lights the way to understanding race in America today.

Basically the finest essay I've ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone's hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you." --Ta-Nehisi Coates

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two letters, written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose, The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.