African-American Studies
Featured Items
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name: A Biomythography
Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
A Biomythography
Paperback      ISBN: 0895941228

"ZAMI is a fast-moving chronicle. From the author's vivid childhood memories in Harlem to her coming of age in the late 1950s, the nature of Audre Lorde's work is cyclical. It especially relates the linkage of women who have shaped her . . . Lorde brings into play her craft of lush description and characterization. It keeps unfolding page after page."--Off Our Backs

Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made
Roll, Jordan, Roll
The World the Slaves Made
Paperback      ISBN: 0394716523

A testament to the power of the human spirit under conditions of extreme oppression, this landmark history of slavery in the South challenged conventional views by illuminating the many forms of resistance to dehumanization that developed in slave society.

Displaying keen insight into the minds of both enslaved persons and slaveholders, historian Eugene Genovese investigates the ways that enslaved persons forced their owners to acknowledge their humanity through culture, music, and religion. He covers a vast range of subjects, from slave weddings and funerals, to language, food, clothing, and labor, and places particular emphasis on religion as both a major battleground for psychological control and a paradoxical source of spiritual strength.

A winner of the Bancroft Prize.

Brown: The Last Discovery of America
Brown
The Last Discovery of America
Paperback      ISBN: 0142000795

In his dazzling new memoir, Richard Rodriguez reflects on the color brown and the meaning of Hispanics to the life of America today. Rodriguez argues that America has been brown since its inception-since the moment the African and the European met within the Indian eye. But more than simply a book about race, Brown is about America in the broadest sense--a look at what our country is, full of surprising observations by a writer who is a marvelous stylist as well as a trenchant observer and thinker.

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.
Hope in the Unseen
Hope in the Unseen
Paperback      ISBN: 0767901266
The inspiring, true coming-of-age story of a ferociously determined young man who, armed only with his intellect and his willpower, fights his way out of despair.

In 1993, Cedric Jennings was a bright and ferociously determined honor student at Ballou, a high school in one of Washington D.C.'s most dangerous neighborhoods, where the dropout rate was well into double digits and just 80 students out of more than 1,350 boasted an average of B or better. At Ballou, Cedric had almost no friends. He ate lunch in a classroom most days, plowing through the extra work he asked for, knowing that he was really competing with kids from other, harder schools. Cedric Jennings's driving ambition--which was fully supported by his forceful mother--was to attend a top college.

In September 1995, after years of near superhuman dedication, he realized that ambition when he began as a freshman at Brown University. But he didn't leave his struggles behind. He found himself unprepared for college: he struggled to master classwork and fit in with the white upper-class students. Having traveled too far to turn back, Cedric was left to rely on his intelligence and his determination to maintain hope in the unseen--a future of acceptance and reward.

In this updated edition, A Hope in the Unseen chronicles Cedric's odyssey during his last two years of high school, follows him through his difficult first year at Brown, and tells the story of his subsequent successes in college and the world of work. Eye-opening, sometimes humorous, and often deeply moving, A Hope in the Unseen weaves a crucial new thread into the rich and ongoing narrative of the American experience.
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.
Black Like Me
Black Like Me
Paperback      ISBN: 0451192036

A white writer recounts his experiences in the American South following treatments that darkened his skin and shares his thoughts on the problems of prejudice and racial injustice.

The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440 - 1870
The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade
1440 - 1870
Paperback      ISBN: 0684835657

After many years of research, award-winning historian Hugh Thomas portrays, in a balanced account, the complete history of the slave trade.

Beginning with the first Portuguese slaving expeditions, he describes and analyzes the rise of one of the largest and most elaborate maritime and commercial ventures in all of history. Between 1492 and 1870, approximately eleven million black slaves were carried from Africa to the Americas to work on plantations, in mines, or as servants in houses. The Slave Trade is alive with villains and heroes and illuminated by eyewitness accounts. Hugh Thomas's achievement is not only to present a compelling history of the time but to answer as well such controversial questions as who the traders were, the extent of the profits, and why so many African rulers and peoples willingly collaborated. Thomas also movingly describes such accounts as are available from the slaves themselves.
I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey
I Wonder as I Wander
An Autobiographical Journey
Paperback      ISBN: 0809015501

In I Wonder as I Wander, Langston Hughes vividly recalls the most dramatic and intimate moments of his life in the turbulent 1930s.

His wanderlust leads him to Cuba, Haiti, Russia, Soviet Central Asia, Japan, Spain (during its Civil War), through dictatorships, wars, revolutions. He meets and brings to life the famous and the humble, from Arthur Koestler to Emma, the Black Mammy of Moscow. It is the continuously amusing, wise revelation of an American writer journeying around the often strange and always exciting world he loves.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Paperback      ISBN: 0345350685
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

"Malcolm X's autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence on respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will."--Barack Obama

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

"A great book . . . Its dead level honesty, its passion, its exalted purpose, will make it stand as a monument to the most painful truth."--The Nation

"The most important book I'll ever read, it changed the way I thought, it changed the way I acted. It has given me courage I didn't know I had inside me. I'm one of hundreds of thousands whose lives were changed for the better."--Spike Lee

"This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle."--I. F. Stone