African-American Studies
Featured Items
All Our Kin
All Our Kin
Paperback      ISBN: 0061319821

"This landmark study debunked the misconception that poor families were unstable and disorganized. Here is the chronicle of a young white woman's sojourn into The Flats, an African-American ghetto comm"

Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge (Revised)
Bond of Iron
Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge (Revised)
Paperback      ISBN: 039331359x

At Buffalo Forge, an extensive ironmaking and farming enterprise in Virginia before the Civil War, a unique treasury of materials yields an "engrossing, often surprising record of everyday life on an estate in the antebellum South" (Kirkus Reviews).

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
Angela's Ashes
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 068484267x

A Pulitzer Prize-winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela's Ashes is Frank McCourt's masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank's mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank's father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy--exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling--does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father's tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank's survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig's head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors--yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela's Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt's astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Peculiar Institution
Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South
Paperback      ISBN: 0679723072

Winner of the Lincoln Prize

Stampp's classic study of American slavery as a deliberately chosen, practical system of controlling and exploiting labor is one of the most important and influential works of American history written in our time.

"A thoughtful and deeply moving book. . . . Mr. Stampp wants to show specifically what slavery was like, why it existed, and what it did to the American people."--Bruce Catton
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.

I Choose to Stay: A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City
I Choose to Stay
A Black Teacher Refuses to Desert the Inner City
Paperback      ISBN: 0758201877

The challenges of working in an urban school are not for every teacher. Some get burnt out fast. Some lose sight of why they started teaching in the first place. Some find their calling in other neighborhoods...with other kids. But not Salome Thomas-El. A Teacher at Roberts Vaux Middle School in Philadelphia's inner city, he chose to stay. Gripping, poignant, and homest, this is his blistering real-life tale of mentoring and making a difference--and how the reformation of America's educational system can start with just one school.

Praise for I Choose To Stay

An intensely moving story of loyalty and courage and a deeply pewrsonal tribute to the great potential of our inner-city kids, so frequently dismissed and denigrated by American society. The redemptive power of a teacher's love shines through these pages with prophetic grace. I am grateful to the author for the lesson of essential decency he teaches us --Jonathan Kozol

This book is about courage. It is a story about determination, about compassion, love and the ultimate fight. This is the fight against the odds, against the 'system' and years of cultural, social and economic factors that would have allowed this group of inner-city kids to become nothing more than a set of statistics. But Salome Thomas-El would not let that happen. He would not give up. He saw the potential in them and he fought for them. he used a board game as a weapon in this figth. --From the forward by Arnold Schwarzenegger

A powerful story about what an inspirational teacher can do to open new horizons for economically disadvantaged young people --William H. Gray, III, President, United Negro College Fund

This book shows how one dedicated educator who believes in th potential of all our kids can make a huge difference and how, under teh proper circumstances, urban education can work. --Edward G. Rendell, former mayor of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Democratic National Convention

An eloquent example of how commitment and innovation can better the lives of inner-city children. --Kirkus Reviews
Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
Playing in the Dark
Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
Paperback      ISBN: 0679745424
An immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race--and promises to change the way we read American literature.

Morrison shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires. According to the Chicago Tribune, Morrison reimagines and remaps the possibility of America. Her brilliant discussions of the Africanist presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned the Nobel Prize-winning author a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark is an invaluable read for avid Morrison admirers as well as students, critics, and scholars of American literature.
Salvation: Black People and Love
Salvation
Black People and Love
Paperback      ISBN: 0060959495

"A manual for fixing our culture...In writing that is elegant and penetratingly simple, hooks] gives voice to some things we may know in our hearts but need an interpreter like her to process."--Black Issues Book Review

Bestselling author, acclaimed visionary and cultural critic bell hooks continues her exploration of the meaning of love in contemporary American society, offering groundbreaking, critical insight about Black people and love.

Written from both historical and cultural perspectives, Salvation takes an incisive look at the transformative power of love in the lives of African Americans. Whether talking about the legacy of slavery, relationships and marriage in Black life, the prose and poetry of Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, and Maya Angelou, the liberation movements of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, or hip hop and gangsta rap culture, hooks lets us know what love's got to do with it.

Combining the passionate politics of W.E.B. DuBois with fresh, contemporary insights, hooks brilliantly offers new visions that will heal our nation's wounds from a culture of lovelessness. Her writings on love and its impact on race, class, family, history, and popular culture raise all the relevant issues. This is work that helps us heal. Salvation shows us how to create beloved American communities.

Sambo: The Rise & Demise of an American Jester
Sambo
The Rise & Demise of an American Jester
Paperback      ISBN: 0195056582

Before the tumultuous events of the 1960's ended his long life, "Sambo" prevailed in American culture as the cheerful and comical entertainer. This stereotypical image of the black male, which developed during the Colonial period, extended into all regions and classes, pervading all levels of popular culture for over two centuries. It stands as an outstanding example of how American society has used humor oppressively.
Joseph Boskin's Sambo provides a comprehensive history of this American icon's rise and decline, tracing the image of "Sambo" in circuses and minstrel shows, in comic strips and novels, in children's stories, in advertisements and illustrations, in films and slides, in magazines and newspapers, and in knick-knacks found throughout the house. He demonstrates how the stereotype began to unravel in the 1930s with several radio series, specifically the Jack Benny show, which undercut and altered the "Sambo" image. Finally, the democratic thrust of World War II, coupled with the advent of the Civil Rights movement and growing national recognition of prominent black comedians in the 1950's and '60's, laid Sambo to rest.

There Are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
There Are No Children Here
The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America
Paperback      ISBN: 0385265565

This is the moving and powerful account of tworemarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago'sHenry Horner Homes, a public housing complexdisfigured by crime and neglect."