African-American Studies
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No Disrespect
No Disrespect
Paperback      ISBN: 0679767088
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, rapper, and activist--Sister Souljah uses her passionate voice to deliver what is at once a fiercely candid autobiography and a survival manual for any Black woman determined to keep her heart open and her integrity intact in modern America.

Each chapter of No Disrespect is devoted to someone who made a difference in Sister Souljah's life--from the mother who raised her to the men who educated (and mis-educated) her about love--and each bares a controversial truth about the Black condition in America: the disintegration of families; the unremitting combat between the sexes; and the thousand and one ways in which racism continues to circumscribe how Black people see themselves and treat one another.

The result is an outspoken and often courageous rejoinder to the pieties of race, class, and gender by a writer who is at once wise, bawdy, brutally funny, and as sensitive a lightning rod in a thunderstorm.
Narrative of Sojourner Truth
Narrative of Sojourner Truth
Paperback      ISBN: 048629899x

One of the most famous and admired African American women in U.S. history, Sojourner Truth sang, preached, and debated at camp meetings across the country, led by her devotion to the antislavery movement and her ardent pursuit of women's rights. Born into slavery in 1797, Truth fled from bondage some 30 years later to become a powerful figure in the progressive movements reshaping American society.
This remarkable narrative, first published in 1850, offers a rare glimpse into the little-documented world of Northern slavery. Truth recounts her life as a slave in rural New York, her separation from her family, her religious conversion, and her life as a traveling preacher during the 1840s. She also describes her work as a social reformer, counselor of former slaves, and sponsor of a black migration to the West.
A spellbinding orator and implacable prophet, Truth mesmerized audiences with her tales of life in bondage and with her moving renditions of Methodist hymns and her own songs. Frederick Douglass described her message as a "strange compound of wit and wisdom, of wild enthusiasm, and flint-like common sense." This inspiring account of a black woman's struggles for racial and sexual equality is essential reading for students of American history, as well as for those interested in the continuing quest for equality of opportunity.

Africans in America: America's Journey Through Slavery
Africans in America
America's Journey Through Slavery
1st Edition    Hardcover      ISBN: 0151003394

The companion volume to the public television series. This extraordinary examination of slavery in americanca features a four-part history by poet and performance artist Patricia Smith and a dozen fictional narratives by National Book Award-winning novelist Charles Johnson. Two-color with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

Race Against Empire
Race Against Empire
Paperback      ISBN: 0801482925

Marshaling evidence from a wide array of international sources, including the black presses of the time, Penny M. Von Eschen offers a vivid portrayal of the African diaspora in its international heyday, from the 1945 Manchester Pan-African Congress to early cooperation with the United Nations. Tracing the relationship between transformations in anti-colonial politics and the history of the United States during its emergence as the dominant world power, she challenges bipolar Cold War paradigms. She documents the efforts of African-American political leaders, intellectuals, and journalists who forcefully promoted anti-colonial politics and critiqued U.S. foreign policy.

The eclipse of anti-colonial politics--which Von Eschen traces through African-American responses to the early Cold War, U.S. government prosecution of black American anti-colonial activists, and State Department initiatives in Africa--marked a change in the very meaning of race and racism in America from historical and international issues to psychological and domestic ones. She concludes that the collision of anti-colonialism with Cold War liberalism illuminates conflicts central to the reshaping of America; the definition of political, economic, and civil rights; and the question of who, in America and across the globe, is to have access to these rights.

All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes
Paperback      ISBN: 067973404x

In 1962 the poet, musician, and performer Maya Angelou claimed another piece of her identity by moving to Ghana, joining a community of Revolutionist Returnees inspired by the promise of pan-Africanism. All God's Children Need Walking Shoes is her lyrical and acutely perceptive exploration of what it means to be an African American on the mother continent, where color no longer matters but where American-ness keeps asserting itself in ways both puzzling and heartbreaking. As it builds on the personal narrative of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Gather Together in My Name, this book confirms Maya Angelou's stature as one of the most gifted autobiographers of our time.

Life on the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black
Life on the Color Line
The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black
Paperback      ISBN: 0452275334
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

"A triumph of storytelling as well as a triumph of spirit."--Alex Kotlowitz, award-winning author of There Are No Children Here

As a child in 1950s segregated Virginia, Gregory Howard Williams grew up believing he was white. But when the family business failed and 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: one of privilege, opportunity and comfort, the other of deprivation, repression, and struggle. 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.

Life on the Color Line is a uniquely important book. It is a wonderfully inspiring testament of purpose, perseverance, and human triumph.

"Heartbreaking and uplifting... a searing book about race and prejudice in America... brims with insights that only someone who has lived on both sides of the racial divide could gain."--Cleveland Plain Dealer
The Prisoner's Wife
The Prisoner's Wife
Paperback      ISBN: 0671021486
The Prisoner's Wife is a beautiful story about love that overcomes every obstacle and thrives against all odds.

As a favor for a friend, a bright and talented young woman volunteered to read her poetry to a group of prisoners during a Black History Month program. It was an encounter that would alter her life forever, because it was there, in the prison, that she would meet Rashid, the man who was to become her friend, her confidant, her husband, her lover, her soul mate. At the time, Rashid was serving a sentence of twenty years to life for his part in a murder. The Prisoner's Wife is a testimony, for wives and mothers, friends and families. It's a tribute to anyone who has ever chosen, against the odds, to love.
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.'

All about Love: New Visions
All about Love
New Visions
Paperback      ISBN: 0060959479

The acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks' Love Song to the Nation," All About Love is a revelation about what causes a polarized society and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces.

"The word 'love' is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb," writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, renowned scholar, cultural critic and feminist bell hooks offers a proactive new ethic for a society bereft with lovelessness--not the lack of romance, but the lack of care, compassion, and unity. People are divided, she declares, by society's failure to provide a model for learning to love.

As bell hooks uses her incisive mind to explore the question "What is love?" her answers strike at both the mind and heart. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the "100 Visionaries Who Can Change Your Life." All About Love is a powerful, timely affirmation of just how profoundly her revelations can change hearts and minds for the better.

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano: Or, Gustavus Vassa, the African
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano
Or, Gustavus Vassa, the African
Paperback      ISBN: 0375761152

Edited and with Notes by Shelly Eversley
Introduction by Robert Reid-Pharr

In this truly astonishing eighteenth-century memoir, Olaudah Equiano recounts his remarkable life story, which begins when he is kidnapped in Africa as a boy and sold into slavery and culminates when he has achieved renown as a British antislavery advocate. The narrative "is a strikingly beautiful monument to the startling combination of skill, cunning, and plain good luck that allowed him to win his freedom, write his story, and gain international prominence," writes Robert Reid-Pharr in his Introduction. "He alerts us to the very concerns that trouble modern intellectuals, black, white, and otherwise, on both sides of the Atlantic."

The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the definitive ninth edition of 1794, reflecting the author's final changes to his masterwork.