African-American Studies
Featured Items
Thirteen Senses: A Memoir
Thirteen Senses
A Memoir
Paperback      ISBN: 0060935677

A daring memoir of love, magic, adventure, and miracles, Victor Villase or's Thirteen Senses continues the exhilarating family saga that began in the widely acclaimed bestseller Rain of Gold, delivering a stunning story of passion, family, and the forgotten mystical senses that stir within us all.

Thirteen Senses begins with the fiftieth wedding anniversary of the aging former bootlegger Salvador and his elegant wife, Lupe. When asked by a young priest to repeat the sacred ceremonial phrase to honor and obey, Lupe surprises herself and says. No, I will not say 'obey'. How dare you You don't talk to me like this after fifty years of marriage and I now knowing what I know After the hilarious shock of Lupe's rejection of the ceremony, the Villase or family is forced to examine the love that Lupe and Salvador have shared for so many years -- a universal, gut-honest love that will eventually energize and inspire the couple into old age.

Lakota Woman
Lakota Woman
Paperback      ISBN: 0060973897

A unique autobiography unparalleled in American Indian literature, and a deeply moving account of a woman's triumphant struggle to survive in a hostile world.

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 Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man
Paperback      ISBN: 048628512x

One of the most prominent African-Americans of his time, James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a successful lawyer, educator, social reformer, songwriter, and critic. But it was as a poet and novelist that he achieved lasting fame.
Among his most famous works, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man in many ways parallels Johnson's own remarkable life. First published in 1912, the novel relates, through an anonymous narrator, events in the life of an American of mixed ethnicity whose exceptional abilities and ambiguous appearance allow him unusual social mobility -- from the rural South to the urban North and eventually to Europe.
A radical departure from earlier books by black authors, this pioneering work not only probes the psychological aspects of "passing for white" but also examines the American caste and class system. The human drama is powerful and revealing -- from the narrator's persistent battles with personal demons to his firsthand observations of a Southern lynching and the mingling of races in New York's bohemian atmosphere at the turn of the century.
Revolutionary for its time, the Autobiography remains both an unrivaled example of black expression and a major contribution to American literature.

Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation
Amazing Grace
The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation
Paperback      ISBN: 0060976977

The children in this book defy the stereotypes of urban youth too frequently presented by the media. Tender, generous and often religiously devout, they speak with eloquence and honesty about the poverty and racial isolation that have wounded but not hardened them.

The book does not romanticize or soften the effects of violence and sickness. One fourth of the child-bearing women in the neighborhoods where these children live test positive for HIV. Pediatric AIDs, life-consuming fires and gang rivalries take a high toll. Several children die during the year in which this narrative takes place.

A gently written work, Amazing Grace asks questions that are at once political and theological. What is the value of a child's life? What exactly do we plan to do with those whom we appear to have defined as economically and humanly superfluous? How cold -- how cruel, how tough -- do we dare be?

Up from Slavery: An Autobiography
Up from Slavery
An Autobiography
Paperback      ISBN: 0679640142
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time

In Up from Slavery, Washington recounts the story of his life--from slave to educator. The early sections deal with his upbringing as a slave and his efforts to get an education. Washington details his transition from student to teacher, and outlines his own development as an educator and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. In the final chapters of Up From Slavery, Washington describes his career as a public speaker and civil rights activist.
Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youths Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa
Kaffir Boy
The True Story of a Black Youths Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa
Paperback      ISBN: 0684848287

The classic story of life in Apartheid South Africa.

Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa's most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were his rites of passage. Like every other child born in the hopelessness of apartheid, he learned to measure his life in days, not years. Yet Mark Mathabane, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.

This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation. For Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered "Kaffir" from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do -- he escaped to tell about it.
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.

Witnessing and Testifying
Witnessing and Testifying
Paperback      ISBN: 0800636031

After a chapter exploring black women's religious context and presenting early examples of this work by women of the ante-bellum and post-Reconstruction eras, Ross looks at seven civil rights activists who continue this tradition. They are Ella Josephine Baker, Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Way DeLee, Clara Muhammad, Diane Nash, and Ruby Doris Smith Robinson. In a fascinating narrative style that draws on biography, social history, and original archival research, Ross shows how their moral formation and work reflect both womanist consciousness and practices of witness and testimony, both emergent from the black religious context. Ross' major work is engrossing history and moving ethical challenge. Examining black women's civil rights activism as religiously impelled moral practices brings a new insight to work on the movement and lifts up a paradigm for engagement in the mountainous challenges of contemporary social life.

The Fire Next Time
The Fire Next Time
Paperback      ISBN: 067974472x
"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

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.

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.