African-American Studies
Featured Items
Dancing on Main Street
Dancing on Main Street
Paperback      ISBN: 1566891566

A major figure in the Black Arts Movement and a founding member of the Umbra workshop, Lorenzo Thomas is one of the most heralded authors of his generation. Dancing on Main Street, Thomas's long-awaited collection spanning many decades of his career, blends traditional lyricism with a surrealist's touch and a realist's eye. Together, these poems form a cinematic look at the obsessions, -pleasures, trials, and tribulations of life on Main Street.

Lorenzo Thomas, who was born in Panama and grew up in New York City, is a poet, critic and professor of English at the University of Houston. His books of poetry include Chances Are Few, The Bathers and Sound Science. He is the recipient of two Poets Foundation awards and the Lucille Medwick Prize.

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.

Coming of Age in Mississippi: The Classic Autobiography of a Young Black Girl in the Rural South
Coming of Age in Mississippi
The Classic Autobiography of a Young Black Girl in the Rural South
Paperback      ISBN: 0385337817
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
The Evidence of Things Not Seen: Reissued Edition
The Evidence of Things Not Seen
Reissued Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0805039392

One of America's most important writers takes on the arrest of Wayne Bertram Williams for the murder of twenty-eight black children in Atlanta to offer this searing indictment of the nation's racial stagnation.

This edition of James Baldwin's classic work offers a new foreword by Derrick Bell (with Janet Dewart Bell), and is as meaningful today as it was when it was first published in 1985.

In his searing and moving essay, James Baldwin explores the Atlanta child murders that took place over a period of twenty-two months in 1979 and 1980. Examining this incident with a reporter's skill and an essayist's insight, he notes the significance of Atlanta as the site of these brutal killings--a city that claimed to be "too busy to hate"--and the permeation of race throughout the case: the black administration in Atlanta; the murdered black children; and Wayne Williams, the black man tried for the crimes.

Rummaging through the ruins of American race relations, Baldwin addresses all the hard-to-face issues that have brought us a moment in history where it is terrifying to to be a black child in white America, and where, too often, public officials fail to ask real questions about "justice for all." Baldwin takes a time-specific event and makes it timeless: The Evidence of Things Not Seen offers an incisive look at race in America through a lens at once disturbing and profoundly revealing.

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.

Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez
Hunger of Memory
The Education of Richard Rodriguez
Paperback      ISBN: 0553272934
Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.

Here is the poignant journey of a "minority student" who pays the cost of his social assimilation and academic success with a painful alienation -- from his past, his parents, his culture -- and so describes the high price of "making it" in middle-class America.

Provocative in its positions on affirmative action and bilingual education, Hunger of Memory is a powerful political statement, a profound study of the importance of language ... and the moving, intimate portrait of a boy struggling to become a man.
James Baldwin: Collected Essays (Loa #98): Notes of a Native Son / Nobody Knows My Name / The Fire Next Time / No Name in the Street / The Devil Finds
James Baldwin: Collected Essays (Loa #98)
Notes of a Native Son / Nobody Knows My Name / The Fire Next Time / No Name in the Street / The Devil Finds
Hardcover      ISBN: 1883011523

James Baldwin was a uniquely prophetic voice in American letters. His brilliant and provocative essays made him the literary voice of the Civil Rights Era, and they continue to speak with powerful urgency to us today, whether in the swirling debate over the Black Lives Matter movement or in the words of Raoul Peck's documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Edited by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, the Library of America's Collected Essays is the most comprehensive gathering of Baldwin's nonfiction ever published.

With burning passion and jabbing, epigrammatic wit, Baldwin fearlessly articulated issues of race and democracy and American identity in such famous essays as The Harlem Ghetto, Everybody's Protest Novel, Many Thousands Gone, and Stranger in the Village. Here are the complete texts of his early landmark collections, Notes of a Native Son (1955) and Nobody Knows My Name (1961), which established him as an essential intellectual voice of his time, fusing in unique fashion the personal, the literary, and the political. One writes, he stated, out of one thing only--one's own experience. Everything depends on how relentlessly one forces from this experience the last drop, sweet or bitter, it can possibly give. With singular eloquence and unblinking sharpness of observation he lived up to his credo: I want to be an honest man and a good writer.

The classic The Fire Next Time (1963), perhaps the most influential of his writings, is his most penetrating analysis of America's racial divide and an impassioned call to end the racial nightmare...and change the history of the world. The later volumes No Name in the Street (1972) and The Devil Finds Work (1976) chart his continuing response to the social and political turbulence of his era and include his remarkable works of film criticism. A further 36 essays--nine of them previously uncollected--include some of Baldwin's earliest published writings, as well as revealing later insights into the language of Shakespeare, the poetry of Langston Hughes, and the music of Earl Hines.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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.

How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society
How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America
Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society
Paperback      ISBN: 0896085791

Contents Preface How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America A Critical Assessment Introduction to the First Edition Part 1 The Black Majority Chapter 1 The Crisis of the Black Working Class Chapter 2 The Black Poor Chapter 3 Grounding with My Sisters Chapter 4 Black Prisoners and Punishment in a Racist/Capitalist State Part 2 The Black Elite Chapter 5 Black Capitalism Chapter 6 Black Brahmins Chapter 7 The Ambiguous Politics of the Black Church Chapter 8 The Destruction of Black Education Part 3 A Question of Genocide Chapter 9 The Meaning of Racist Violence in Late Capitalism Chapter 10 Conclusion: Towards a Socialist America Reviews Manning Marable examines developments in the political economy of racism in the United States and assesses shifts in the American Political terrain since the first edition....He is one of the most widely read Black progressive authors in the country.-Black Employment Journal The reissue of Manning Marable's How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America confirms that this is a classic work of political history and social criticism. Unfortunately, Marable's blistering insights into racial injustice and economic inequality remain depressingly relevant. But the good news is that Marable's prescient analysis-and his eloquent and self-critical preface to this new edition-will prove critical in helping us to think through and conquer the oppressive forces that remain.-Michael Eric Dyson, author of I May Not Get Therewith You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. For those of us who came of political age in the 1980s, Manning Marable's How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America was one of ourbibles. Published during the cold winter of Reaganism, he introduced a new generation of Black activists/thinkers to class and gender struggles within Black communities, the political economy of incarceration, the limitations of Black capitalism, and the nearly forgotten vision of what a socialist future might look like. Two decades later, Marable's urgent and hopeful voice is as relevant as ever.-Robin D.G. Kelley, author of Yo' Mama's DisFunktional:

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?