African-American Studies
Featured Items
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.
Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality
Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power
Essays on Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the Construction of Social Reality
1st Edition    Paperback      ISBN: 0679741453

It was perhaps the most wretchedly aspersive race and gender scandal of recent times: the dramatic testimony of Anita Hill at the Senate hearings on the confirmation of Clarence Thomas as Supreme Court Justice. Yet even as the televised proceedings shocked and galvanized viewers not only in this country but the world over, they cast a long shadow on essential issues that define America.

In Race-ing Justice, En-gendering Power, Toni Morrison contributes an introduction and brings together eighteen provocative essays, all but one written especially for this book, by prominent and distinguished academicians--black and white, male and female. These writings powerfully elucidate not only the racial and sexual but also the historical, political, cultural, legal, psychological, and linguistic aspects of a signal and revelatory moment in American history.

With contributions by:
Homi K. Bhabha, Margaret A. Burnham, Kimberl Crenshaw, Paula Giddings, A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Claudia Brodsky Lacour, Wahneema Lubiano, Manning Marable, Nellie Y. McKay, Toni Morrison, Nell Irvin Painter, Gayle Pemberton, Andrew Ross, Christine Stansell, Carol M. Swain, Michael Thelwell, Kendall Thomas, Cornel West, Patricia J. Williams
My Soul Is Rested: Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered
My Soul Is Rested
Movement Days in the Deep South Remembered
Paperback      ISBN: 0140067531

The almost unfathomable courage and the undying faith that propelled the Civil Rights Movement are brilliantly captured in these moving personal recollections. Here are the voices of leaders and followers, of ordinary people who became extraordinary in the face of turmoil and violence. From the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956 to the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968, these are the peeople who fought the epic battle: Rosa Parks, Andrew Young, Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams, Fannie Lou Hamer, and others, both black and white, who participated in sit-ins, Freedom Rides, voter drives, and campaigns for school and university integration.

Here, too, are voices from the Down-Home Resistance that supported George Wallace, Bull Connor, and the traditions of the Old South--voices that conjure up the frightening terrain on which the battle was fought. My Soul is Rested is a powerful document of social and political history, as well as a magnificent tribute to those who made history happen.

Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution
Carry Me Home
Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution
Paperback      ISBN: 0743217721

The Year of Birmingham, 1963, was a cataclysmic turning point in America's long civil rights struggle. That spring, child demonstrators faced down police dogs and fire hoses in huge nonviolent marches for desegregation. A few months later, Ku Klux Klansmen retaliated by bombing the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and killing four young black girls. Diane McWhorter, journalist and daughter of a prominent Birmingham family, weaves together police and FBI documents, interviews with black activists and former Klansmen, and personal memories into an extraordinary narrative of the city, the personalities, and the events that brought about America's second emancipation.

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.

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
The Color of Water
A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
Paperback      ISBN: 1573225789

The phenomenal New York Times bestseller for over 100 weeks is an unforgettable memoir of McBride's mother and his interracial family.

Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years 1963-65
Pillar of Fire
America in the King Years 1963-65
Paperback      ISBN: 0684848090
From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch, the second part of his epic trilogy on Martin Luther King, Jr. and the American Civil Rights Movement.

In the second volume of his three-part history, a monumental trilogy that began with Parting the Waters, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Taylor Branch portrays the Civil Rights Movement at its zenith, recounting the climactic struggles as they commanded the national stage.

Beginning with the Nation of Islam and conflict over racial separatism, Pillar of Fire takes the reader to Mississippi and Alabama: Birmingham, the murder of Medgar Evers, the March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act, and voter registration drives. In 1964, King is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Branch's magnificent trilogy makes clear why the Civil Rights Movement, and indeed King's leadership, are among the nation's enduring achievements. In bringing these decades alive, preserving the integrity of those who marched and died, Branch gives us a crucial part of our history and heritage.
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.
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.

Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South
Coming of Age in Mississippi
The Classic Autobiography of Growing Up Poor and Black in the Rural South
Paperback      ISBN: 0440314887
The unforgettable memoir of a woman at the front lines of the civil rights movement--a harrowing account of black life in the rural South and a powerful affirmation of one person's ability to affect change.

"Anne Moody's autobiography is an eloquent, moving testimonial to her courage."--Chicago Tribune

Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South. The week before she began high school came the news of Emmet Till's lynching. Before then, she had "known the fear of hunger, hell, and the Devil. But now there was . . . the fear of being killed just because I was black." In that moment was born the passion for freedom and justice that would change her life.

A straight-A student who realized her dream of going to college when she won a basketball scholarship, she finally dared to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC, she experienced firsthand the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement--and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs, and deadly force that were used to destroy it.

A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the footsoldiers in the civil rights movement.

Praise for Coming of Age in Mississippi

"A history of our time, seen from the bottom up, through the eyes of someone who decided for herself that things had to be changed . . . a timely reminder that we cannot now relax."--Senator Edward Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review

"Something is new here . . . rural southern black life begins to speak. It hits the page like a natural force, crude and undeniable and, against all principles of beauty, beautiful."--The Nation

"Engrossing, sensitive, beautiful . . . so candid, so honest, and so touching, as to make it virtually impossible to put down."--San Francisco Sun-Reporter