"Magisterial . . . in Williams' richly detailed portrait, Marshall emerges as a born rebel."--Jack E. White, Time
Thurgood Marshall was the twentieth century's great architect of American race relations. His victory in the Brown v. Board of Education decision, the landmark Supreme Court case outlawing school segregation in the United States, would have made him a historic figure even if he had never been appointed as the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court. He had a fierce will to change America, which led to clashes with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X, and Robert F. Kennedy. Most surprising was Marshall's secret and controversial relationship with the FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover. Based on eight years of research and interviews with over 150 sources, Thurgood Marshall is the sweeping and inspirational story of an enduring figure in American life who rose from the descendants of slaves to become an American hero.
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.'
Commentary by Jean Fagan Yellin and Margaret Fuller
This Modern Library edition combines two of the most important African American slave narratives--crucial works that each illuminate and inform the other. Frederick Douglass's Narrative, first published in 1845, is an enlightening and incendiary text. Born into slavery, Douglass became the preeminent spokesman for his people during his life; his narrative is an unparalleled account of the dehumanizing effects of slavery and Douglass's own triumph over it. Like Douglass, Harriet Jacobs was born into slavery, and in 1861 she published Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, now recognized as the most comprehensive antebellum slave narrative written by a woman. Jacobs's account broke the silence on the exploitation of African American female slaves, and it remains essential reading. Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
"All who love children are served generously and intelligently by the ideas, commitments, and passion of Marian Wright Edelman. Her arms are open to the children and adults of the world, and we all are stronger and more safe because of her." -- Maya Angelou
Throughout her life and work, Marian Wright Edelman has been at the heart of this century's most dramatic civil rights and child advocacy struggles. In this stirring, heartfelt memoir she pays tribute to the extraordinary mentors who helped light her way including Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, and William Sloane Coffin. She celebrates the lives of her parents and the great Black Women of Bennettsville, South Carolina--Miz Tee, Miz Lucy, Miz Kate--who gave her love and guidance in her youth, as well as the many teachers and figures who inspired her education at Spelman College and empowered her early as an activist in the 1960's.
Illustrated with many of the author's personal photographs, Lanterns also includes a Parents' Pledge and Twenty-Five More Lessons for Life to guide, protect, and love our children every day so that they will become, in Edelman's moving vision, the healing agents for national transformation.
With a new introduction, the groundbreaking classic Race Matters affirms its position as the bestselling, most influential, and most original articulation of the urgent issues in America's ongoing racial debate.Cornel West is at the forefront of thinking about race. In Race Matters he addresses a range of issues, from the crisis in black leadership and the myths surrounding black sexuality to affirmative action, the new black conservatism, and the strained relations between Jews and African Americans. He never hesitates to confront the prejudices of all his readers or wavers in his insistence that they share a common destiny. Bold in its thought and written with a redemptive passion grounded in the tradition of the African-American church, Race Matters is a book that is at once challenging and deeply healing.