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  • Kindred

    by Octavia E. Butler

    $16.00

    The visionary author’s masterpiece pulls us—along with her Black female hero—through time to face the horrors of slavery and explore the impacts of racism, sexism, and white supremacy then and now.

    Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin.

  • Assata

    by Assata Shakur

    $18.95

    On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder.

    This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou.

    Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

  • You Don't Know Us Negroes

    Zora Neale Hurston

    Sold out

    Introduction by New York Times bestselling author Henry Louis Gates Jr. 

    Spanning more than 35 years of work, the first comprehensive collection of essays, criticism, and articles by the legendary author of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston, showcasing the evolution of her distinctive style as an archivist and author.

    “One of the greatest writers of our time.”—Toni Morrison

    One of the most acclaimed artists of the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston was a gifted novelist, playwright, and essayist. Drawn from three decades of her work, this anthology showcases her development as a writer, from her early pieces expounding on the beauty and precision of African American art to some of her final published works, covering the sensational trial of Ruby McCollum, a wealthy Black woman convicted in 1952 for killing a white doctor. Among the selections are Hurston’s well-known works such as “How It Feels to be Colored Me” and “My Most Humiliating Jim Crow Experience.” 

    The essays in this essential collection are grouped thematically and cover a panoply of topics, including politics, race and gender, and folkloric study from the height of the Harlem Renaissance to the early years of the Civil Rights movement. Demonstrating the breadth of this revered and influential writer’s work, You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays is an invaluable chronicle of a writer’s development and a window into her world and time.

  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    from $17.99

    Harper Perennial Modern Classic

    One of the most important books of the 20th century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a true Southern love story with the wit and voice only found in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston

    First published in 1937, here is Zora Neale Hurston’s beloved story of Janie Crawford, a proud, independent black woman and her evolving selfhood through three marriages—a classic that is recognized as one of the most important American novels of the 20th century.

  • Sister Outsider

    by Audre Lorde

    $16.99
    In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde’s philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published.
  • Giovanni's Room

    James Baldwin

    $15.00
    Set among the bohemian bars and nightclubs of 1950s Paris, this groundbreaking novel about love and the fear of love is "a book that belongs in the top rank of fiction" (The Atlantic).

    In the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality.

    David is a young American expatriate who has just proposed marriage to his girlfriend, Hella. While she is away on a trip, David meets a bartender named Giovanni to whom he is drawn in spite of himself. Soon the two are spending the night in Giovanni’s curtainless room, which he keeps dark to protect their privacy. But Hella’s return to Paris brings the affair to a crisis, one that rapidly spirals into tragedy.

    David struggles for self-knowledge during one long, dark night—“the night which is leading me to the most terrible morning of my life.” With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's now-classic narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a deeply moving story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
  • I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem

    by Maryse Conde

    Sold out

    This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the general amnesty for witches two years later.

    Maryse Condé brings Tituba out of historical silence and creates for her a fictional childhood, adolescence, and old age. She turns her into what she calls "a sort of female hero, an epic heroine, like the legendary 'Nanny of the maroons, '" who, schooled in the sorcery and magical ritual of obeah, is arrested for healing members of the family that owns her.

  • The Bluest Eye

    by Toni Morrison

    $14.95
    NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A PARADE BEST BOOK OF ALL TIME  From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner—a powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender with characteristic subtly and grace.
     
    In Morrison’s acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove—an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
  • Mules and Men

    by Zora Neale Hurston

    $15.99
    Mules and Men is a treasury of black America's folklore as collected by a famous storyteller and anthropologist who grew up hearing the songs and sermons, sayings and tall tales that have formed an oral history of the South since the time of slavery. Returning to her hometown of Eatonville, Florida, to gather material, Zora Neale Hurston recalls "a hilarious night with a pinch of everything social mixed with the storytelling." Set intimately within the social context of black life, the stories, "big old lies," songs, Vodou customs, and superstitions recorded in these pages capture the imagination and bring back to life the humor and wisdom that is the unique heritage of African Americans.
  • Tar Baby

    by Toni Morrison

    $16.00
    The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones—of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people.

    The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years—the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife—who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them—a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant’s dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian’s expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art.

    Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian’s perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret’s delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him—he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she has dreaded since childhood; uneducated, violent, contemptuous of her privilege.

    As Jadine and Son come together in the loving collision they have both welcomed and feared, the novel moves outward—to the Florida backwater town Son was raised in, fled from, yet cherishes; to her sleek New York; then back to the island people and their protective and entangling legends. As the lovers strive to hold and understand each other, as they experience the awful weight of the separate worlds that have formed them—she perceiving his vision of reality and of love as inimical to her freedom, he perceiving her as the classic lure, the tar baby set out to entrap him—all the mysterious elements, all the highly charged threads of the story converge. Everything that is at risk is made clear: how the conflicts and dramas wrought by social and cultural circumstances must ultimately be played out in the realm of the heart.

    Once again, Toni Morrison has given us a novel of daring, fascination, and power.
  • The Wretched of the Earth

    by Frantz Fanon

    $17.00

    First published in 1961, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a masterful and timeless interrogation of race, colonialism, psychological trauma, and revolutionary struggle. In 2020, it found a new readership in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests and the centering of narratives interrogating race by Black writers. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in spurring historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A landmark text for revolutionaries and activists, The Wretched of the Earth is an eternal touchstone for civil rights, anti-colonialism, psychiatric studies, and Black consciousness movements around the world. Translated by Richard Philcox, and featuring now-classic critical essays by Jean-Paul Sartre and Homi K. Bhabha, as well as a new essay, this sixtieth anniversary edition of Fanon’s most famous text stands proudly alongside such pillars of anti-colonialism and anti-racism as Edward Said’s Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

  • Beloved

    by Toni Morrison

    $17.00
    The magnificent Pulitzer Prize–winning work that brought the wrenching experience of slavery into the literature of our time, enlarging our comprehension of America’s original sin.

    Upon the original publication of Beloved in 1987, John Leonard wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “I can’t imagine American literature without it.” Nearly two decades later, The New York Times chose Beloved as the best American novel of the previous fifty years.

    Set in post–Civil War Ohio, it is the story of Sethe, an escaped slave who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has withstood savagery and not gone mad. Sethe, who now lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing apparition who calls herself Beloved.

    Sethe works at “beating back the past,” but it makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in her memory; in Denver’s fear of the world outside the house; in the sadness that consumes Baby Suggs; in the arrival of Paul D, a fellow former slave; and, most powerfully, in Beloved, whose childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who has now come from the “place over there” to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her.

    Sethe’s struggle to keep Beloved from gaining possession of the present—and to throw off the long-dark legacy of the past—is at the center of this spellbinding novel. But it also moves beyond its particulars, combining imagination and the vision of legend with the unassailable truths of history.
  • Dust Tracks on a Road

    by Zora Neale Hurston

    $16.99

    A Harper Perennial Deluxe Modern Classic

    The bold, funny, and poignant autobiography from one of American literature’s greats, now beautifully packaged as a Harper Perennial Deluxe Edition

    “Warm, witty, imaginative. . . . This is a rich and winning book.”—The New Yorker

    “I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows with a harp and a sword in my hands.”—Zora Neale Hurston


    First published in 1942 at the crest of her popularity as a writer, this is Zora Neale Hurston’s imaginative and exuberant account of her rise from childhood poverty in the rural South to a prominent place among the leading artists and intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.

  • Go Tell It on the Mountain

    by James Baldwin

    $15.00
    In one of the greatest American classics, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery of the terms of his identity. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.

    With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin tells the story of the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Originally published in 1953, Baldwin said of his first novel, “Mountain is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.”

    “With vivid imagery, with lavish attention to details…[a] feverish story.” —The New York Times
  • Jonah's Gourd Vine

    By Zora Neale Hurston

    $14.99

    Jonah's Gourd Vine, Zora Neale Hurston's first novel, originally published in 1934, tells the story of John Buddy Pearson, "a living exultation" of a young man who loves too many women for his own good. Lucy, his long-suffering wife, is his true love, but there's also Mehaley and Big 'Oman, as well as the scheming Hattie, who conjures hoodoo spells to ensure his attentions. Even after becoming the popular pastor of Zion Hope, where his sermons and prayers for cleansing rouse the congregation's fervor, John has to confess that though he is a preacher on Sundays, he is a "natchel man" the rest of the week.

    And so in this sympathetic portrait of a man and his community, Zora Neale Hurston shows that faith, tolerance, and good intentions cannot resolve the tension between the spiritual and the physical. That she makes this age-old dilemma come so alive is a tribute to her understanding of the vagaries of human nature.

  • The Best Short Stories by Black Writers

    edited by Langston Hughes

    $22.99
    A classic anthology of short stories by Black writers including James Baldwin, Zora Neale Hurston, and Richard Wright -- edited and with an introduction by Langston Hughes. 

    Originally published in 1967, The Best Short Stories by Black Writers offers a timeless and unforgettable portrait of the tragedy, comedy, triumph, and suffering that were part of African American life from 1899 to 1967. 
  • The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara
    $15.95
    A community of Black faith healers witness an event that will change their lives forever in this “hard-nosed, wise, funny” novel (Los Angeles Times).

    Set in a fictional city in the American South, the novel also "inhabits the nonlinear, sacred space and sacred time of traditional African religion” (The New York Times Book Review).

    Though they all united in their search for the healing properties of salt, some of them are centered, some are off-balance; some are frightened, and some are daring. From the men who live off welfare women to the mud mothers who carry their children in their hides, the novel brilliantly explores the narcissistic aspect of despair and the tremendous responsibility that comes with physical, spiritual, and mental well-being.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

    by Maya Angelou

    $26.00
    Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. Her life story is told in the documentary film And Still I Rise, as seen on PBS’s American Masters.

    Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide.

    Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local “powhitetrash.” At eight years old and back at her mother’s side in St. Louis, Maya is attacked by a man many times her age—and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns that love for herself, the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors (“I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare”) will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

    Poetic and powerful, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings will touch hearts and change minds for as long as people read.

    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings liberates the reader into life simply because Maya Angelou confronts her own life with such a moving wonder, such a luminous dignity.”—James Baldwin
  • Children of the Night

    edited by Gloria Naylor

    $24.99
    *Ships in 7-10 Business Days*
    The sequel to Langston Hughes's 1967 classic anthology The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, Gloria Naylor's Children of the Night is a "brilliant collection" of short stories by black writers including Maya Angelou, Ralph Ellison, and Edward P. Jones (Booklist).

    In 1969, Langston Hughes edited The Best Short Stories by Black Writers, the classic compendium of African-American short fiction from 1899 to 1967. A quarter of a century later, Gloria Naylor compiled an encore volume, Children of the Night, gathering together the most gifted black writers of the later twentieth century -- from 1967 to its publication in 1997 -- in a rich and varied collection of stories.

    The portrait that emerges of the African-American experience in the post-Civil Rights era is stirring, compelling, sometimes disturbing, and certainly provocative. Arranged in in four thematic section -- "Remembering," "Affirming," "Revealing the Self Divided," and "Moving On" -- the thirty-seven stories included brilliantly capture the many facets of the black experience in America.
  • Jazz

    by Toni Morrison

    $16.00
    From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner, a passionate, profound story of love and obsession that brings us back and forth in time, as a narrative is assembled from the emotions, hopes, fears, and deep realities of Black urban life. With a foreword by the author.

    “As rich in themes and poetic images as her Pulitzer Prize–winning Beloved.... Morrison conjures up the hand of slavery on Harlem’s jazz generation. The more you listen, the more you crave to hear.” —Glamour

    In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At the funeral, Joe’s wife, Violet, attacks the girl’s corpse. This novel “transforms a familiar refrain of jilted love into a bold, sustaining time of self-knowledge and discovery. Its rhythms are infectious” (People).
  • Mama Day

    by Gloria Naylor

    $16.95
    On the island of Willow Springs, off the Georgia coast, the powers of healer Mama Day are tested by her great niece, Cocoa, a stubbornly emancipated woman endangered by the island’s darker forces.
  • The Wedding by Dorothy West
    $16.00

    In her final novel, “a beautiful and devastating examination of family, society and race” (The New York Times), Dorothy West offers an intimate glimpse into the Oval, a proud, insular community made up of the best and brightest of the East Coast's Black bourgeoisie on Martha’s Vineyard in the 1950s.

    Within this inner circle of "blue-vein society," we witness the prominent Coles family gather for the wedding of the loveliest daughter, Shelby, who could have chosen from "a whole area of eligible men of the right colors and the right professions." Instead, she has fallen in love with and is about to be married to Meade Wyler, a white jazz musician from New York. A shock wave breaks over the Oval as its longtime members grapple with the changing face of its community.

    With elegant, luminous prose, Dorothy West crowns her literary career by illustrating one family's struggle to break the shackles of race and class.

  • Tar Baby

    by Toni Morrison

    $30.00
    The author of Song of Solomon now sets her extraordinary novelistic powers on a striking new course. Tar Baby, audacious and hypnotic, is masterful in its mingling of tones—of longing and alarm, of urbanity and a primal, mythic force in which the landscape itself becomes animate, alive with a wild, dark complicity in the fates of the people whose drama unfolds. It is a novel suffused with a tense and passionate inquiry, revealing a whole spectrum of emotions underlying the relationships between black men and women, white men and women, and black and white people.

    The place is a Caribbean island. In their mansion overlooking the sea, the cultivated millionaire Valerian Street, now retired, and his pretty, younger wife, Margaret, go through rituals of living, as if in a trance. It is the black servant couple, who have been with the Streets for years—the fastidious butler, Sydney, and his strong yet remote wife—who have arranged every detail of existence to create a surface calm broken only by sudden bursts of verbal sparring between Valerian and his wife. And there is a visitor among them—a beautiful young black woman, Jadine, who is not only the servant’s dazzling niece, but the protegée and friend of the Streets themselves; Jadine, who has been educated at the Sorbonne at Valerian’s expense and is home now for a respite from her Paris world of fashion, film and art.

    Through a season of untroubled ease, the lives of these five move with a ritualized grace until, one night, a ragged, starving black American street man breaks into the house. And, in a single moment, with Valerian’s perverse decision not to call for help but instead to invite the man to sit with them and eat, everything changes. Valerian moves toward a larger abdication. Margaret’s delicate and enduring deception is shattered. The butler and his wife are forced into acknowledging their illusions. And Jadine, who at first is repelled by the intruder, finds herself moving inexorably toward him—he calls himself Son; he is a kind of black man she has dreaded since childhood; uneducated, violent, contemptuous of her privilege.

    As Jadine and Son come together in the loving collision they have both welcomed and feared, the novel moves outward—to the Florida backwater town Son was raised in, fled from, yet cherishes; to her sleek New York; then back to the island people and their protective and entangling legends. As the lovers strive to hold and understand each other, as they experience the awful weight of the separate worlds that have formed them—she perceiving his vision of reality and of love as inimical to her freedom, he perceiving her as the classic lure, the tar baby set out to entrap him—all the mysterious elements, all the highly charged threads of the story converge. Everything that is at risk is made clear: how the conflicts and dramas wrought by social and cultural circumstances must ultimately be played out in the realm of the heart.

    Once again, Toni Morrison has given us a novel of daring, fascination, and power.
  • Love

    by Toni Morrison

    $16.00
    In life, Bill Cosey enjoyed the affections of many women, who would do almost anything to gain his favor. In death his hold on them may be even stronger. Wife, daughter, granddaughter, employee, mistress: As Morrison’s protagonists stake their furious claim on Cosey’s memory and estate, using everything from intrigue to outright violence, she creates a work that is shrewd, funny, erotic, and heartwrenching.
  • Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself

    by Harriet Jacobs

    $15.00
    One of the central firsthand accounts of slavery in America

    A haunting, evocative recounting of her life as a slave in North Carolina and of her final escape and emancipation, Harriet Jacobs's classic narrative, written between 1853 and 1858 and published pseduonymously in 1861, tells firsthand of the horrors inflicted on slaves. In writing this extraordinary memoir, which culminates in the seven years she spent hiding in a crawl space in her grandmother's attic, Jacobs skillfully used the literary genres of her time, presenting a thoroughly feminist narrative that portrays the evils and traumas of slavery, particularly for women and children.

    For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
  • Things Fall Apart

    by Chinua Achebe

    $14.00

    *Ships in 7-10 Business Days*

    Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe's critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa's cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man's futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.

  • If Beale Street Could Talk

    by James Baldwin

    $16.00
    In this honest and stunning novel that inspired the award-winning major motion picture of the same name, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice.

    "A major work of Black American fiction." –The New Republic

    Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
  • The Mis-education of the Negro

    by Carter G. Woodson

    $15.00

    The most influential work by “the father of Black history”, reflecting the long-standing tradition of antiracist teaching pioneered by Black educators

    A Penguin Classic


       The Mis-education of the Negro (1933) is Woodson’s most popular classic work of Black social criticism, drawing on history, theory, and memoir. As both student and teacher, Woodson witnessed the distortions of Black life in the history and literature taught in schools and universities. He argued that there was a relationship between these distortions and the violence that circumscribed Black life in the material world, declaring, “There would be no lynching it if did not start in the schoolroom.” Woodson’s primary focus was the impact dominant modes of schooling had on Black youth. From Emancipation through the 1930s, white Americans continued to control the institutional and ideological development of Black schools, based on a system of knowledge that reinforced ideas of Black inferiority.
        Across the country, Black teachers organized to make their curricula more relevant for students, and they critiqued the studious omission of Black life in formal curricula, anticipating many of the ideas appearing in Mis-education two decades later. Woodson wrote that the overrepresentation of white people and narratives of white achievement in curricula presented an outsize image of whites and their importance in the history of human progress. These distortions had the power to motivate white students to achieve and aspire and demotivate students of races that suffered under the hand of white supremacy. They cultivated an aspiration to whiteness among Black people and/or led them to despise their own race for its supposed lack of achievement. This was a systematic process of mis-education, articulating an aspect of Black America’s experience that scholars before and after Woodson recognized and worked to challenge.
        Woodson argued that students, teachers, and leaders needed to be educated in a manner that was accountable to Black experiences and lived realities, both past and present. With current debates over teaching race in U.S. classrooms, the ideas associated with Mis-education continue to resonate today.

  • Zora Neale Hurston Boxed Set
    $156.90

    Zora Neale Hurston’s work brilliantly captured the experience of American Black life in the early twentieth century and transformed the boundaries of modern literature. This boxed set features the best of her fiction and nonfiction in one extraordinary, giftable package. 

    Zora Neale Hurston Boxed Set includes:

    Dust Tracks on a Road—an intimate and insightful memoir of Zora’s childhood in the rural South and her rise to prominence during the Harlem Renaissance 

    Jonah’s Gourd Vine—a novel about a young man who loves too many women 

    Mules and Men—an oral history of Black American folklore featuring sermons, songs, sayings, and tall tales since the days of enslavement

    Tell My Horse—an insider look at the voodoo culture of Haiti and Jamaica of the 1930s 

    The Complete Stories—a collection of Zora’s most popular short fiction

    Every Tongue Got to Confess—an anthology of folktales that recounts the voices of ordinary people and celebrates the richness of Black vernacular 

    Moses, Man of the Mountain—a compelling allegory of power, redemption, and faith that blends the Moses of the Old Testament with the Moses of black folklore and song 

    Seraph on the Suwanee—a novel examining a complicated marriage

    Mule Bone—a three-act play written with Langston Hughes that explores life in a rural Southern black community 

    Their Eyes Were Watching God—the Southern love story that is the most highly acclaimed novel in the African-American literary canon 

    A tribute to one of our greatest writers and a major figure in the Harlem Renaissance, Zora Neale Hurston Boxed Set is essential for devoted collectors of her writing, an opportunity for fans to rediscover her genius, and a rich wellspring for readers new to her canon. 

  • Romance in Marseille

    by Claude McKay

    $16.00

    *ships in 7-10 business days*

    The pioneering novel of physical disability, transatlantic travel, and black international politics. A vital document of black modernism and one of the earliest overtly queer fictions in the African American tradition. Published for the first time.

    A Penguin Classic

    Buried in the archive for almost ninety years, Claude McKay's Romance in Marseille traces the adventures of a rowdy troupe of dockworkers, prostitutes, and political organizers--collectively straight and queer, disabled and able-bodied, African, European, Caribbean, and American. Set largely in the culture-blending Vieux Port of Marseille at the height of the Jazz Age, the novel takes flight along with Lafala, an acutely disabled but abruptly wealthy West African sailor. While stowing away on a transatlantic freighter, Lafala is discovered and locked in a frigid closet. Badly frostbitten by the time the boat docks, the once-nimble dancer loses both of his lower legs, emerging from life-saving surgery as what he terms "an amputated man." Thanks to an improbably successful lawsuit against the shipping line, however, Lafala scores big in the litigious United States. Feeling flush after his legal payout, Lafala doubles back to Marseille and resumes his trans-African affair with Aslima, a Moroccan courtesan. With its scenes of black bodies fighting for pleasure and liberty even when stolen, shipped, and sold for parts, McKay's novel explores the heritage of slavery amid an unforgiving modern economy. This first-ever edition of Romance in Marseille includes an introduction by McKay scholars Gary Edward Holcomb and William J. Maxwell that places the novel within both the "stowaway era" of black cultural politics and McKay's challenging career as a star and skeptic of the Harlem Renaissance.

  • Corregidora

    by Gayl Jones

    $16.00

    *Ships in 7-10 business days*


    The new edition of an American masterpiece, this is the harrowing story of Ursa Corregidora, a blues singer in the early 20th century forced to confront the inherited trauma of slavery.

    A literary classic that remains vital to our understanding of the past, Corregidora is Gayl Jones’s powerful debut novel, examining womanhood, sexuality, and the psychological residue of slavery. Jones masterfully tells the story of Ursa, a Kentucky blues singer, who, in the wake of a tragic loss, confronts her maternal history and the legacy of Corregidora, the Brazilian slave master who fathered both her mother and grandmother. Consumed and haunted by her hatred of the man who irrevocably shaped her life and the lives of her family, Ursa Corregidora must come to terms with a past that is never too distant from the present.

    Selected, edited, and first edited by Toni Morrison, it is “the most brutally honest and painful revelation of what has occurred, and is occurring, in the souls of Black men and women,” (James Baldwin) and “a tale as American as Mount Rushmore and as murky as the Florida swamps.” (Maya Angelou).

  • Meridian

    by Alice Walker

    $16.99

    *ships in 7-10 business days

    From Alice Walker, author of the Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winner The Color Purple, comes Meridian, "a classic novel of both feminism and the Civil Rights movement" (Ms.).

    Meridian Hill is a young woman at an Atlanta college attempting to find her place in the 1960s revolution for racial and social equality. She discovers the limits beyond which she will not go for the cause, but despite her decision not to follow the path of some of her peers, she makes significant sacrifices in order to further her beliefs.

    Working in a campaign to register African American voters, Meridian cares broadly and deeply for the people she visits, and, while her coworkers quit and move to comfortable homes, she continues to work in the deep South despite a paralyzing illness. Meridian's nonviolent methods, though seemingly less radical than the methods of others, prove to be an effective means of furthering her beliefs.

    "A glowing affirmation of the possibility...of love and forgiveness??—??between men and women, black and white."??—??Baltimore Sun

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