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  • Discourse on Colonialism

    by Aimé Césaire

    $16.00
    "Césaire's essay stands as an important document in the development of
    third world consciousness--a process in which [he] played a prominent
    role."

    --Library Journal
    This classic work, first
    published in France in 1955, profoundly influenced the generation of
    scholars and activists at the forefront of liberation struggles in
    Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Nearly twenty years later,
    when published for the first time in English, Discourse on Colonialism
    inspired a new generation engaged in the Civil Rights, Black Power, and
    anti-war movements and has sold more than 75,000 copies to date.


    Aimé Césaire eloquently describes the brutal impact of capitalism and
    colonialism on both the colonizer and colonized, exposing the
    contradictions and hypocrisy implicit in western notions of "progress"
    and "civilization" upon encountering the "savage," "uncultured," or
    "primitive." Here, Césaire reaffirms African values, identity, and
    culture, and their relevance, reminding us that "the relationship
    between consciousness and reality are extremely complex. . . . It is
    equally necessary to decolonize our minds, our inner life, at the same
    time that we decolonize society." An interview with Césaire by the poet
    René Depestre is also included.
  • Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum

    by Antonia Hylton

    $30.00

    In the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a page-turning 93-year history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the nation’s last segregated asylums, that New York Times bestselling author Clint Smith describes as “a book that left me breathless.”

    On a cold day in March of 1911, officials marched twelve Black men into the heart of a forest in Maryland. Under the supervision of a doctor, the men were forced to clear the land, pour cement, lay bricks, and harvest tobacco. When construction finished, they became the first twelve patients of the state’s Hospital for the Negro Insane. For centuries, Black patients have been absent from our history books. Madness transports readers behind the brick walls of a Jim Crow asylum.
     
    In Madness, Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist Antonia Hylton tells the 93-year-old history of Crownsville Hospital, one of the last segregated asylums with surviving records and a campus that still stands to this day in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She blends the intimate tales of patients and employees whose lives were shaped by Crownsville with a decade-worth of investigative research and archival documents. Madness chronicles the stories of Black families whose mental health suffered as they tried, and sometimes failed, to find safety and dignity. Hylton also grapples with her own family’s experiences with mental illness, and the secrecy and shame that it reproduced for generations.
     
    As Crownsville Hospital grew from an antebellum-style work camp to a tiny city sitting on 1,500 acres, the institution became a microcosm of America’s evolving battles over slavery, racial integration, and civil rights. During its peak years, the hospital’s wards were overflowing with almost 2,700 patients. By the end of the 20th-century, the asylum faded from view as prisons and jails became America’s new focus.
     
    In Madness, Hylton traces the legacy of slavery to the treatment of Black people’s bodies and minds in our current mental healthcare system. It is a captivating and heartbreaking meditation on how America decides who is sick or criminal, and who is worthy of our care or irredeemable.

  • Gordon Parks: Stokely Carmichael and Black Power
    $50.00

    A nuanced profile, in image and text, of the great Black Power leader at the exhilarating moment of the movement’s ascendancy

    Gordon Parks’ 1967 Life magazine essay “Whip of Black Power” is a nuanced profile of the young, controversial civil rights leader Stokely Carmichael. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Carmichael gained national attention and inspired media backlash when he issued the call for Black Power in Greenwood, Mississippi, in June 1966. Parks shadowed him from the fall of 1966 to the spring of 1967, as Carmichael gave speeches, headed meetings and promoted the growing Black Power movement. Parks’ photos and writing addressed Carmichael’s intelligence and humor, presenting the whole man behind the headline-making speeches and revealing his own advocacy of Black Power and its message of self-determination and love.
    Stokely Carmichael and Black Power delves into Parks’ groundbreaking presentation of Carmichael, with analysis of his images and accompanying text about the charismatic leader. Lisa Volpe explores Parks’ complex understanding of the movement and its leader, and Cedric Johnson frames Black Power within the heightened political moment of the late 1960s. Carmichael’s own voice is represented through a reprint of his important 1966 essay “What We Want.”
    Gordon Parks (1912–2006) was a photographer, filmmaker, musician and author whose 50-year career focused on American culture, social justice, the civil rights movement and the Black American experience. Born into poverty and segregation in Fort Scott, Kansas, Parks was awarded the Julius Rosenwald Fellowship in 1942, which led to a position with the Farm Security Administration. In 1969 he became the first Black American to write and direct a major feature film, The Learning Tree, and his next directorial endeavor, Shaft (1971), helped define a film genre.

  • Black in Latin America

    by Henry Louis Gates Jr.

    $26.00
    The history of how six Latin American countries acknowledge—or deny—their African past

    12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World during the Middle Passage. While just over 11.0 million survived the arduous journey, only about 450,000 of them arrived in the United States. The rest—over ten and a half million—were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America. This astonishing fact changes our entire picture of the history of slavery in the Western hemisphere, and of its lasting cultural impact. These millions of Africans created new and vibrant cultures, magnificently compelling syntheses of various African, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.

    Despite their great numbers, the cultural and social worlds that they created remain largely unknown to most Americans, except for certain popular, cross-over musical forms. So Henry Louis Gates, Jr. set out on a quest to discover how Latin Americans of African descent live now, and how the countries acknowledge—or deny—their African past; how the fact of race and African ancestry play themselves out in the multicultural worlds of the Caribbean and Latin America. Starting with the slave experience and extending to the present, Gates unveils the history of the African presence in six Latin American countries—Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru—through art, music, cuisine, dance, politics, and religion, but also the very palpable presence of anti-black racism that has sometimes sought to keep the black cultural presence from view.

    In Brazil, he delves behind the façade of Carnaval to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.

    In Cuba, he finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island is inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

    In Haiti, he tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves’s hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.

    In Mexico and Peru, he explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people—far greater than the number brought to the United States—brought to these countries as early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.

    Professor Gates’ journey becomes ours as we are introduced to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans who created these worlds. He shows both the similarities and distinctions between these cultures, and how the New World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents. “Black in Latin America” is the third instalment of Gates’s documentary trilogy on the Black Experience in Africa, the United States, and in Latin America. In America Behind the Color Line, Professor Gates examined the fortunes of the black population of modern-day America. In Wonders of the African World, he embarked upon a series of journeys to reveal the history of African culture. Now, he brings that quest full-circle in an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America, with a rich legacy of thoughtful, articulate subjects whose stories are astonishingly moving and irresistibly compelling.
  • The Third Reconstruction: America's Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century by Peniel E. Joseph
    $27.00

    One of our preeminent historians of race and democracy argues that the period since 2008 has marked nothing less than America’s Third Reconstruction

    In The Third Reconstruction, distinguished historian Peniel E. Joseph offers a powerful and personal new interpretation of recent history. The racial reckoning that unfolded in 2020, he argues, marked the climax of a Third Reconstruction: a new struggle for citizenship and dignity for Black Americans, just as momentous as the movements that arose after the Civil War and during the civil rights era. Joseph draws revealing connections and insights across centuries as he traces this Third Reconstruction from the election of Barack Obama to the rise of Black Lives Matter to the failed assault on the Capitol.

    America’s first and second Reconstructions fell tragically short of their grand aims. Our Third Reconstruction offers a new chance to achieve Black dignity and citizenship at last—an opportunity to choose hope over fear.

  • Zora Neale Hurston on Florida Food: Recipes, Remedies & Simple Pleasures

    by Frederick Douglass Opie

    $19.99

    *ships in 7-10 business days

    Florida native Zora Neale Hurston's early twentieth-century ethnographic research and writing emphasizes the essentials of food in Florida through simple dishes and recipes.


    It considers foods prepared for everyday meals as well as special occasions and looks at what shaped people's eating traditions in early twentieth-century Florida. Hurston did for Florida what William Faulkner did for Mississippi - provided insight into a state's history and culture through various styles of writing. Her collected food stories, folklore and remedies, and the related recipes food professor Fred Opie pairs with them, are essential reading for those who love to cook and eat.

  • Medgar and Myrlie: Medgar Evers and the Love Story That Awakened America

    by Joy-Ann Reid

    $30.00

    The host of MSNBC’s The ReidOut and New York Times bestselling author of The Man Who Sold America traces the extraordinary lives and legacy of civil rights icons Medgar and Myrlie Evers, situating Medgar Evers’s assassination as a catalyzing moment in American history.

    Myrlie Louise Beasley met Medgar Evers on her first day of college. They fell in love at first sight, married just one year later, and Myrlie left school to focus on their growing family.

    Medgar became the field secretary for the Mississippi branch of the NAACP, charged with beating back the most intractable and violent resistance to black voting rights in the country. Myrlie served as Medgar’s secretary and confidant, working hand in hand with him as they struggled against public accommodations and school segregation, lynching, violence, and sheer despair within their state’s “black belt.” They fought to desegregate the intractable University of Mississippi, organized picket lines and boycotts, despite repeated terroristic threats, including the 1962 firebombing of their home, where they lived with their three young children.

    On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers became the highest profile victim of Klan-related assassination of a black civil rights leader at that time; gunned down in the couple’s driveway in Jackson. In the wake of his tragic death, Myrlie carried on their civil rights legacy; writing a book about Medgar’s fight, trying to win a congressional seat, and becoming a leader of the NAACP in her own right.

    In this groundbreaking and thrilling account of two heroes of the civil rights movement, Joy-Ann Reid uses Medgar and Myrlie’s relationship as a lens through which to explore the on-the-ground work that went into winning basic rights for Black Americans, and the repercussions that still resonate today.

  • Black Writers of the Founding Era: A Library of America Anthology

    edited by James G. Basker

    $40.00

    A radical new vision of the nation's founding era and a major act of historical recovery 

    Featuring more than 120 writers, this groundbreaking anthology reveals the astonishing richness and diversity of Black experience in the turbulent decades of the American Revolution


    Black Writers of the Founding Era is the most comprehensive anthology ever published of Black writing from the turbulent decades surrounding the birth of the United States. An unprecedented archive of historical sources––including more than 200 poems, letters, sermons, newspaper advertisements, slave narratives, testimonies of faith and religious conversion, criminal confessions, court transcripts, travel accounts, private journals, wills, petitions for freedom, even dreams, by over 100 authors––it is a collection that reveals the surprising richness and diversity of Black experience in the new nation.

    Here are writers both enslaved and free, loyalist and patriot, female and male, northern and southern; soldiers, seamen, and veterans; painters, poets, accountants, orators, scientists, community organizers, preachers, restaurateurs and cooks, hairdressers, criminals, carpenters, and many more. Along with long-famous works like Phillis Wheatley’s poems and Benjamin Banneker’s astonishing mathematical and scientific puzzles are dozens of first-person narratives offering little-known Black perspectives on the events of the times, like the Boston Massacre and the death of George Washington.

    From their bold and eloquent contributions to public debates about the meanings of the revolution and the values of the new nation–– writings that dramatize the many ways in which protest, activism, and community organizing have been integral to the Black American experience from the beginning––to their intimate thoughts preserved in private diaries and letters, some unseen to the present day, the words of the many writers gathered here will indelibly alter our understandings of American history. 

    A foreword by Annette Gordon-Reed and an introduction by James G. Basker, along with introductory headnotes and explanatory notes drawing on cutting edge scholarship, illuminate these writers’ works and to situate them in their historical contexts.

    A 16-page color photo insert presents portraits of some of the writers included and images of the original manuscripts, broadside, and books in which their words have been preserved.

  • Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class

    by Blair LM Kelley

    $30.00

    An award-winning historian illuminates the adversities and joys of the Black working class in America through a stunning narrative centered on her forebears.

    There have been countless books, articles, and televised reports in recent years about the almost mythic “white working class,” a tide of commentary that has obscured the labor, and even the very existence, of entire groups of working people, including everyday Black workers. In this brilliant corrective, Black Folk, acclaimed historian Blair LM Kelley restores the Black working class to the center of the American story.

    Spanning two hundred years—from one of Kelley’s earliest known ancestors, an enslaved blacksmith, to the essential workers of the Covid-19 pandemic—Black Folk highlights the lives of the laundresses, Pullman porters, domestic maids, and postal workers who established the Black working class as a force in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taking jobs white people didn’t want and confined to segregated neighborhoods, Black workers found community in intimate spaces, from stoops on city streets to the backyards of washerwomen, where multiple generations labored from dawn to dusk, talking and laughing in a space free of white supervision and largely beyond white knowledge. As millions of Black people left the violence of the American South for the promise of a better life in the North and West, these networks of resistance and joy sustained early arrivals and newcomers alike and laid the groundwork for organizing for better jobs, better pay, and equal rights.

    As her narrative moves from Georgia to Philadelphia, Florida to Chicago, Texas to Oakland, Kelley treats Black workers not just as laborers, or members of a class, or activists, but as people whose daily experiences mattered—to themselves, to their communities, and to a nation that denied that basic fact. Through affecting portraits of her great-grandfather, a sharecropper named Solicitor, and her grandmother, Brunell, who worked for more than a decade as a domestic maid, Kelley captures, in intimate detail, how generation after generation of labor was required to improve, and at times maintain, her family’s status. Yet her family, like so many others, was always animated by a vision of a better future. The church yards, factory floors, railcars, and postal sorting facilities where Black people worked were sites of possibility, and, as Kelley suggests, Amazon package processing centers, supermarkets, and nursing homes can be the same today. With the resurgence of labor activism in our own time, Black Folk presents a stirring history of our possible future.

  • Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook

    by Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall

    $22.95

    A guidebook to the institutional transformation of design theory and practice by restoring the long-excluded cultures of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities.

    From the excesses of world expositions to myths of better living through technology, modernist design, in its European-based guises, has excluded and oppressed the very people whose lands and lives it reshaped. Decolonizing Design first asks how modernist design has encompassed and advanced the harmful project of colonization—then shows how design might address these harms by recentering its theory and practice in global Indigenous cultures and histories.

    A leading figure in the movement to decolonize design, Dori Tunstall uses hard-hitting real-life examples and case studies drawn from over fifteen years of working to transform institutions to better reflect the lived experiences of Indigenous, Black, and People of Color communities. Her book is at once enlightening, inspiring, and practical, interweaving her lived experiences with extensive research to show what decolonizing design means, how it heals, and how to practice it in our institutions today.

    For leaders and practitioners in design institutions and communities, Tunstall’s work demonstrates how we can transform the way we imagine and remake the world, replacing pain and repression with equity, inclusion, and diversity—in short, she shows us how to realize the infinite possibilities that decolonized design represents.

  • Negro with a Hat

    by Colin Grant

    $17.95
    In the 1920s, Marcus Mosiah Garvey captivated audiences with his Universal Negro Improvement Association and Back to Africa program. In this biography, Grant captures Garvey's extraordinary life, from his impoverished beginnings to the pinnacle of his fame to his tragic final days.
  • Blood Brothers

    by Randy Roberts

    $18.99
    *ships/available for pickup in 7-10 business days*
    In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam—a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult—saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation’s message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay’s career. Clay began living a double life—a patriotic “good Negro” in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences.

    Based on previously untapped sources, from Malcolm’s personal papers to FBI records, Blood Brothers is the first book to offer an in-depth portrait of this complex bond. Acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith reconstruct the worlds that shaped Malcolm and Clay, from the boxing arenas and mosques, to postwar New York and civil rights–era Miami. In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm molded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence. Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm—a choice that tragically contributed to the latter’s assassination in February 1965.

    Malcolm’s death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured. We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are more entwined than ever before. Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America—after Malcolm first enlightened him. An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape.
    Randy Roberts is a distinguished professor of history at Purdue University. An award-winning author, he has written biographies of iconic athletes and celebrities, including Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Bear Bryant, and John Wayne. Roberts lives in Lafayette, Indiana.

  • Black Power and Palestine: Transnational Countries of Color (Stanford Studies in Comparative Race and Ethnicity)
    $28.00

    The 1967 Arab–Israeli War rocketed the question of Israel and Palestine onto the front pages of American newspapers. Black Power activists saw Palestinians as a kindred people of color, waging the same struggle for freedom and justice as themselves. Soon concerns over the Arab–Israeli conflict spread across mainstream black politics and into the heart of the civil rights movement itself. Black Power and Palestine uncovers why so many African Americans―notably Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Muhammad Ali, among others―came to support the Palestinians or felt the need to respond to those who did.

    Americans first heard pro-Palestinian sentiments in public through the black freedom struggle of the 1960s and 1970s. Michael R. Fischbach uncovers this hidden history of the Arab–Israeli conflict's role in African American activism and the ways that distant struggle shaped the domestic fight for racial equality. Black Power's transnational connections between African Americans and Palestinians deeply affected U.S. black politics, animating black visions of identity well into the late 1970s. Black Power and Palestine allows those black voices to be heard again today.

    In chronicling this story, Fischbach reveals much about how American peoples of color create political strategies, a sense of self, and a place within U.S. and global communities. The shadow cast by events of the 1960s and 1970s continues to affect the United States in deep, structural ways. This is the first book to explore how conflict in the Middle East shaped the American civil rights movement.

  • Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History

    by Nur Masalha

    $16.95
    Beginning with the late Bronze Age and moving through to the present day, this is the definitive history of Palestine and its people.

    This rich and magisterial work traces Palestine's millennia-old heritage, uncovering cultures and societies of astounding depth and complexity that stretch back to the very beginnings of recorded history.

    Starting with the earliest references in Egyptian and Assyrian texts, Nur Masalha explores how Palestine and its Palestinian identity have evolved over thousands of years, from the Bronze Age to the present day. Drawing on a rich body of sources and the latest archaeological evidence, Masalha shows how Palestine’s multicultural past has been distorted and mythologised by Biblical lore and the Israel–Palestinian conflict.

    In the process, Masalha reveals that the concept of Palestine, contrary to accepted belief, is not a modern invention or one constructed in opposition to Israel, but rooted firmly in ancient past. Palestine represents the authoritative account of the country's history.

  • Wild Girls: How the Outdoors Shaped the Women Who Challenged a Nation

    by Tiya Miles

    $22.00

    Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by The Millions and Literary Hub

    An award-winning historian shows how girls who found self-understanding in the natural world became women who changed America.

    Harriet Tubman, forced to labor outdoors on a Maryland plantation, learned from the land a terrain for escape. Louisa May Alcott ran wild, eluding gendered expectations in New England. The Indigenous women’s basketball team from Fort Shaw, Montana, recaptured a sense of pride in physical prowess as they trounced the white teams of the 1904 World’s Fair. Celebrating women like these who acted on their confidence outdoors, Wild Girls brings new context to misunderstood icons like Sacagawea and Pocahontas, and to underappreciated figures like Native American activist writer Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Bonnin, farmworkers’ champion Dolores Huerta, and labor and Civil Rights organizer Grace Lee Boggs.

    This beautiful, meditative work of history puts girls of all races—and the landscapes they loved—at center stage and reveals the impact of the outdoors on women’s independence, resourcefulness, and vision. For these trailblazing women of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, navigating the woods, following the stars, playing sports, and taking to the streets in peaceful protest were not only joyful pursuits, but also techniques to resist assimilation, racism, and sexism. Lyrically written and full of archival discoveries, Wild Girls evokes landscapes as richly as the girls who roamed in them—and argues for equal access to outdoor spaces for young women of every race and class today.

  • The Delectable Negro: Human Consumption and Homoeroticism within US Slave Culture

    by Vincent Woodard

    $30.00
    Winner of the 2015 LGBT Studies Award presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation

    Unearths connections between homoeroticism, cannibalism, and cultures of consumption in the context of American literature and US slave culture that has largely been ignored until now

    Scholars of US and transatlantic slavery have largely ignored or dismissed accusations that Black Americans were cannibalized. Vincent Woodard takes the enslaved person’s claims of human consumption seriously, focusing on both the literal starvation of the slave and the tropes of cannibalism on the part of the slaveholder, and further draws attention to the ways in which Blacks experienced their consumption as a fundamentally homoerotic occurrence. The Delectable Negro explores these connections between homoeroticism, cannibalism, and cultures of consumption in the context of American literature and US slave culture.

    Utilizing many staples of African American literature and culture, such as the slave narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass, as well as other less circulated materials like James L. Smith’s slave narrative, runaway slave advertisements, and numerous articles from Black newspapers published in the nineteenth century, Woodard traces the racial assumptions, political aspirations, gender codes, and philosophical frameworks that dictated both European and white American arousal towards Black males and hunger for Black male flesh. Woodard uses these texts to unpack how slaves struggled not only against social consumption, but also against endemic mechanisms of starvation and hunger designed to break them. He concludes with an examination of the controversial chain gang oral sex scene in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, suggesting that even at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century, we are still at a loss for language with which to describe Black male hunger within a plantation culture of consumption.
  • An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design

    edited by Terresa Moses & Omari Souza

    $32.95

    An adventurous collection that examines how the design field has consistently failed to attract and support Black professionals—and how to create an anti-racist, pro-Black design industry instead.

    An Anthology of Blackness examines the intersection of Black identity and practice, probing why the design field has failed to attract Black professionals, how Eurocentric hegemony impacts Black professionals, and how Black designers can create an anti-racist design industry. Contributing authors and creators demonstrate how to develop a pro-Black design practice of inclusivity, including Black representation in designed media, anti-racist pedagogy, and radical self-care. Through autoethnography, lived experience, scholarship, and applied research, these contributors share proven methods for creating an anti-racist and inclusive design practice.

    The contributions in An Anthology of Blackness include essays, opinion pieces, case studies, and visual narratives. Many contributors write from an intersectional perspective on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and ability. Each section of the book expands on community-driven concerns about the state of the design industry, design pedagogy, and design activism. Ultimately, this articulated intersection of Black identity and Black design practice reveals the power of resistance, community, and solidarity—and the hope for a more equitable future. With a foreword written by design luminary Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall, An Anthology of Blackness is a pioneering contribution to the literature of social justice.

    Contributors 
    Kprecia Ambers, Jazmine Beatty, Anne H. Berry, John Brown VI, Nichole Burroughs, Antionette D. Carroll, Jillian M. Harris, Asher Kolieboi, Terrence Moline, Tracey L. Moore, Lesley-Ann Noel, Pierce Otlhogile-Gordon, Jules Porter, Stacey Robinson, Melanie Walby, Jacinda N. Walker, Kelly Walters, Jennifer White-Johnson, Maya Aduba Williams, S. Alfonso Williams

  • Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War

    by Howard W. French

    Sold out
    Revealing the central yet intentionally obliterated role of Africa in the creation of modernity, Born in Blackness vitally reframes our understanding of world history.

    Traditional accounts of the making of the modern world afford a place of primacy to European history. Some credit the fifteenth-century Age of Discovery and the maritime connection it established between West and East; others the accidental unearthing of the “New World.” Still others point to the development of the scientific method, or the spread of Judeo-Christian beliefs; and so on, ad infinitum. The history of Africa, by contrast, has long been relegated to the remote outskirts of our global story. What if, instead, we put Africa and Africans at the very center of our thinking about the origins of modernity?

    In a sweeping narrative spanning more than six centuries, Howard W. French does just that, for Born in Blackness vitally reframes the story of medieval and emerging Africa, demonstrating how the economic ascendancy of Europe, the anchoring of democracy in the West, and the fulfillment of so-called Enlightenment ideals all grew out of Europe’s dehumanizing engagement with the “dark” continent. In fact, French reveals, the first impetus for the Age of Discovery was not—as we are so often told, even today—Europe’s yearning for ties with Asia, but rather its centuries-old desire to forge a trade in gold with legendarily rich Black societies sequestered away in the heart of West Africa.

    Creating a historical narrative that begins with the commencement of commercial relations between Portugal and Africa in the fifteenth century and ends with the onset of World War II, Born in Blackness interweaves precise historical detail with poignant, personal reportage. In so doing, it dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures, from the unimaginably rich medieval emperors who traded with the Near East and beyond, to the Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers, to the ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage and profoundly altered the course of American history.

    While French cogently demonstrates the centrality of Africa to the rise of the modern world, Born in Blackness becomes, at the same time, a far more significant narrative, one that reveals a long-concealed history of trivialization and, more often, elision in depictions of African history throughout the last five hundred years. As French shows, the achievements of sovereign African nations and their now-far-flung peoples have time and again been etiolated and deliberately erased from modern history. As the West ascended, their stories—siloed and piecemeal—were swept into secluded corners, thus setting the stage for the hagiographic “rise of the West” theories that have endured to this day.

    “Capacious and compelling” (Laurent Dubois), Born in Blackness is epic history on the grand scale. In the lofty tradition of bold, revisionist narratives, it reframes the story of gold and tobacco, sugar and cotton—and of the greatest “commodity” of them all, the twelve million people who were brought in chains from Africa to the “New World,” whose reclaimed lives shed a harsh light on our present world.

  • The History of White People

    by Nell Irvin Painter

    $18.95
    A New York Times bestseller: “This terrific new book . . . [explores] the ‘notion of whiteness,’ an idea as dangerous as it is seductive.”—Boston Globe

    Telling perhaps the most important forgotten story in American history, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but also the frequent praise of “whiteness” for economic, scientific, and political ends. A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People closes a huge gap in literature that has long focused on the non-white and forcefully reminds us that the concept of “race” is an all-too-human invention whose meaning, importance, and reality have changed as it has been driven by a long and rich history of events.
  • When We See Us: A Century of Black Figuration in Painting

    edited by Koyo Kouoh

    $65.00

    This landmark publication accompanies an international touring exhibition devoted to Black figuration in painting from the 1920s to now, featuring artists from Africa and the African diaspora.

    Published to accompany a major exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, CapeTown, When We See Us presents a comprehensive exploration of Black representation through portraiture and figuration, celebrating Black subjectivity and Black consciousness from Pan-African and Pan-Diasporic perspectives.

    In the past decade, figurative painting by Black artists has risento a new prominence in the field of contemporary art. This timely and revelatory book highlights the many ways in which artists critically engage with notions of blackness, contributing to the critical discourse on topics such as Pan-Africanism, the Civil Rights Movement, African Liberation and Independence movements, the Anti-Apartheid and Black Consciousness mobilizations, Decoloniality, and Black Lives Matter.

    With a primary focus on figurative painting, When We See Us explores how Black artists have imagined, positioned, memorialized, and asserted African and African diasporic experiences from the early 20th century to the present day. Featuring more than 200 works of art—and contributions from well-known writers such as Ken Bugul, Maaza Mengiste, Robin Coste Lewis, and Bill Kouelany—When We See Us is a major contribution to our understanding of Black art that will appeal to anyone interested in modern and contemporary figurative art and Black cultural history.

  • America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s

    by Elizabeth Hinton

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    From one of our top historians, a groundbreaking story of policing and “riots” that shatters our understanding of the post–civil rights era.

    What began in spring 2020 as local protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police quickly exploded into a massive nationwide movement. Millions of mostly young people defiantly flooded into the nation’s streets, demanding an end to police brutality and to the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color. To many observers, the protests appeared to be without precedent in their scale and persistence. Yet, as the acclaimed historian Elizabeth Hinton demonstrates in America on Fire, the events of 2020 had clear precursors—and any attempt to understand our current crisis requires a reckoning with the recent past.

    Even in the aftermath of Donald Trump, many Americans consider the decades since the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s as a story of progress toward greater inclusiveness and equality. Hinton’s sweeping narrative uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot. Hinton offers a critical corrective: the word riot was nothing less than a racist trope applied to events that can only be properly understood as rebellions—explosions of collective resistance to an unequal and violent order. As she suggests, if rebellion and the conditions that precipitated it never disappeared, the optimistic story of a post–Jim Crow United States no longer holds.

    Black rebellion, America on Fire powerfully illustrates, was born in response to poverty and exclusion, but most immediately in reaction to police violence. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched the “War on Crime,” sending militarized police forces into impoverished Black neighborhoods. Facing increasing surveillance and brutality, residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, plundered local businesses, and vandalized exploitative institutions. Hinton draws on exclusive sources to uncover a previously hidden geography of violence in smaller American cities, from York, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, to Stockton, California.

    The central lesson from these eruptions—that police violence invariably leads to community violence—continues to escape policymakers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes. The results are the hugely expanded policing and prison regimes that shape the lives of so many Americans today. Presenting a new framework for understanding our nation’s enduring strife, America on Fire is also a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality.

  • Black Designers in American Fashion

    by Elizabeth Way

    $35.95

    From Elizabeth Keckly’s designs as a freewoman for Abraham Lincoln’s wife to flamboyant clothing showcased by Patrick Kelly in Paris, Black designers have made major contributions to American fashion. However, many of their achievements have gone unrecognized. This book, inspired by the award-winning exhibition at the Museum at FIT, uncovers hidden histories of Black designers at a time when conversations about representation and racialized experiences in the fashion industry have reached all-time highs.

    In chapters from leading and up-and-coming authors and curators, Black Designers in American Fashion uses previously unexplored sources to show how Black designers helped build America’s global fashion reputation. From enslaved 18th-century dressmakers to 20th-century “star” designers, via independent modistes and Seventh Avenue workers, the book traces the changing experiences of Black designers under conditions such as slavery, segregation, and the Civil Rights Movement. Black Designers in American Fashion shows that within these contexts Black designers maintained multifaceted practices which continue to influence American and global style today.

    Interweaving fashion design and American cultural history, this book fills critical gaps in the history of fashion and offers insights and context to students of fashion, design, and American and African American history and culture.

  • Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology

    by Deirdre Cooper Owens

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    How pioneering gynecologists promoted and exploited scientific myths about inferior races and nationalities. The accomplishments of pioneering doctors such as John Peter Mettauer, James Marion Sims, and Nathan Bozeman are well documented. It is also no secret that these nineteenth-century gynecologists performed experimental caesarean sections, ovariotomies, and obstetric fistula repairs primarily on poor and powerless women. Medical Bondage breaks new ground by exploring how and why physicians denied these women their full humanity yet valued them as “medical superbodies” highly suited for medical experimentation.


    In Medical Bondage, Cooper Owens examines a wide range of scientific literature and less formal communications in which gynecologists created and disseminated medical fictions about their patients, such as their belief that black enslaved women could withstand pain better than white “ladies.” Even as they were advancing medicine, these doctors were legitimizing, for decades to come, groundless theories related to whiteness and blackness, men and women, and the inferiority of other races or nationalities.

    Medical Bondage moves between southern plantations and northern urban centers to reveal how nineteenth-century American ideas about race, health, and status influenced doctor-patient relationships in sites of healing like slave cabins, medical colleges, and hospitals. It also retells the story of black enslaved women and of Irish immigrant women from the perspective of these exploited groups and thus restores for us a picture of their lives.

  • Making Our Way Home: The Great Migration and the Black American Dream

    by Blair Imani

    $18.99

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    Over the course of six decades, an unprecedented wave of Black Americans left the South and spread across the nation in search of a better life--a migration that sparked stunning demographic and cultural changes in twentieth-century America. Through gripping and accessible historical narrative paired with illustrations, author and activist Blair Imani examines the largely overlooked impact of The Great Migration and how it affected--and continues to affect--Black identity and America as a whole.

    Making Our Way Home explores issues like voting rights, domestic terrorism, discrimination, and segregation alongside the flourishing of arts and culture, activism, and civil rights. Imani shows how these influences shaped America's workforce and wealth distribution by featuring the stories of notable people and events, relevant data, and family histories. The experiences of prominent figures such as James Baldwin, Fannie Lou Hamer, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), Ella Baker, and others are woven into the larger historical and cultural narratives of the Great Migration to create a truly singular record of this powerful journey.

  • Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

    by C. Riley Snorton

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    Winner of the John Boswell Prize from the American Historical Association 2018
    Winner of the William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association 2018
    Winner of an American Library Association Stonewall Honor 2018
    Winner of Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction 2018
    Winner of the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies


    The story of Christine Jorgensen, America’s first prominent transsexual, famously narrated trans embodiment in the postwar era. Her celebrity, however, has obscured other mid-century trans narratives—ones lived by African Americans such as Lucy Hicks Anderson and James McHarris. Their erasure from trans history masks the profound ways race has figured prominently in the construction and representation of transgender subjects. In Black on Both Sides, C. Riley Snorton identifies multiple intersections between blackness and transness from the mid-nineteenth century to present-day anti-black and anti-trans legislation and violence.

    Drawing on a deep and varied archive of materials—early sexological texts, fugitive slave narratives, Afro-modernist literature, sensationalist journalism, Hollywood films—Snorton attends to how slavery and the production of racialized gender provided the foundations for an understanding of gender as mutable. In tracing the twinned genealogies of blackness and transness, Snorton follows multiple trajectories, from the medical experiments conducted on enslaved black women by J. Marion Sims, the “father of American gynecology,” to the negation of blackness that makes transnormativity possible.

    Revealing instances of personal sovereignty among blacks living in the antebellum North that were mapped in terms of “cross dressing” and canonical black literary works that express black men’s access to the “female within,” Black on Both Sides concludes with a reading of the fate of Phillip DeVine, who was murdered alongside Brandon Teena in 1993, a fact omitted from the film Boys Don’t Cry out of narrative convenience. Reconstructing these theoretical and historical trajectories furthers our imaginative capacities to conceive more livable black and trans worlds.

  • The Red Record

    by Ida B. Wells

    $6.99

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    A riveting examination of racial violence in America that occurred in the late-1800s. The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States, by Ida B. Wells, is an exemplary investigative report that details a wave of brutal murders plaguing African Americans, particularly in the South.

  • How Muslims Shaped the Americas

    by Omar Mouallem

    $18.00

    Journalist Omar Mouallem uncovers the surprising history of Muslim communities thriving in the west, challenging assumptions about belonging and identity, in this beautifully written, award-winning book.

    Omar Mouallem grew up in a Muslim household, but always questioned the role of Islam in his life. As an adult, he used his voice to criticize what he saw as the harms of organized religion. But none of that changed the way others saw him. Now, as a father, he fears the challenges his children will no doubt face as Western nations become increasingly nativist and hostile toward their heritage.

    In How Muslims Shaped the Americas, Mouallem explores the unknown history of Islam across the Americas, traveling to thirteen unique mosques in search of an answer to how this religion has survived and thrived so far from the place of its origin. From California to Quebec, and from Brazil to Canada’s icy north, he meets the members of fascinating communities, all of whom provide different perspectives on what it means to be Muslim. Along this journey he comes to understand that Islam has played a fascinating role in how the Americas were shaped—from industrialization to the changing winds of politics. And he also discovers that there may be a place for Islam in his own life, even if he will never be a true believer.

    Original, insightful, and beautifully told, How Muslims Shaped the Americas reveals a secret history of home and the struggle for belonging taking place in towns and cities across the Americas, and points to a better, more inclusive future for everyone.

  • Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine

    by Noura Erakat

    $24.00
    The struggle for Palestinian sovereignty has been a quest for inclusion in—and recognition from—a world order that left them behind. Sovereignty has become a trap for Palestinians and getting out is a matter of political vision and will. The law does not determine any particular outcome, it only promises the contest over one. While Jewish and Palestinian sovereignty are incommensurable, their belonging is not. The law is not just and justice is not rule-based.

    Justice in the Question of Palestine is often framed as a question of law. Yet none of the Israel-Palestinian conflict's most vexing challenges have been resolved by judicial intervention. Occupation law has failed to stem Israel's settlement enterprise. Laws of war have permitted killing and destruction during Israel's military offensives in the Gaza Strip. The Oslo Accord's two-state solution is now dead letter.

    Justice for Some offers a new approach to understanding the Palestinian struggle for freedom, told through the power and control of international law. Focusing on key junctures—from the Balfour Declaration in 1917 to present-day wars in Gaza—Noura Erakat shows how the strategic deployment of law has shaped current conditions. Over the past century, the law has done more to advance Israel's interests than the Palestinians'. But, Erakat argues, this outcome was never inevitable.

    Law is politics, and its meaning and application depend on the political intervention of states and people alike. Within the law, change is possible. International law can serve the cause of freedom when it is mobilized in support of a political movement. Presenting the promise and risk of international law, Justice for Some calls for renewed action and attention to the Question of Palestine.

  • Twenty Dollars and Change: Harriet Tubman and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice and Democracy

    by Clarence Lusane

    $21.95

    Twenty Dollars and Change places Harriet Tubman’s life and legacy in a long tradition of resistance, illuminating the ongoing struggle to realize a democracy in which her emancipatory vision prevails.

    America is in the throes of a historic reckoning with racism, with the battle for control over official narratives at ground zero. Across the country, politicians, city councils, and school boards are engaged in a highly polarized debate about whose accomplishments should be recognized, and whose point of view should be included in the telling of America’s history.

    In Twenty Dollars and Change, political scientist Clarence Lusane, author of the acclaimed The Black History of the White House, writes from a basic premise: Racist historical narratives and pervasive social inequities are inextricably linked—changing one can transform the other. Taking up the debate over the future of the twenty-dollar bill, Lusane uses the question of Harriet Tubman vs. Andrew Jackson as a lens through which to view the current state of our nation's ongoing reckoning with the legacies of slavery and foundational white supremacy. He places the struggle to confront unjust social conditions in direct connection with the push to transform our public symbols, making it plain that any choice of whose life deserves to be remembered and honored is a direct reflection of whose basic rights are deemed worthy of protection, and whose are not.

  • Before the Mayflower: A History of the Negro in America, 1619-1962

    by Lerone Bennett Jr.

    $22.95

    The black experience in America-starting from its origins in western Africa up to 1961-is examined in this seminal study from a prominent African American figure. The entire historical timeline of African Americans is addressed, from the Colonial period through the civil rights upheavals of the late 1950s to 1961, the time of publication. "Before the Mayflower" grew out of a series of articles Bennett published in Ebony magazine regarding "the trials and triumphs of a group of Americans whose roots in the American soil are deeper than the roots of the Puritans who arrived on the celebrated Mayflower a year after a 'Dutch man of war' deposited twenty Negroes at Jamestown." Bennett's history is infused with a desire to set the record straight about black contributions to the Americas and about the powerful Africans of antiquity. While not a fresh history, it provides a solid synthesis of current historical research and a lively writing style that makes it accessible and engaging reading. After discussing the contributions of Africans to the ancient world, "Before the Mayflower" tells the history of "the other Americans," how they came to America, and what happened to them when they got here. The book is comprehensive and detailed, providing little-known and often overlooked facts about the lives of black folks through slavery, Reconstruction, America's wars, the Great Depression, and the civil rights movement. The book includes a useful time line and some fascinating archival images.

  • School Clothes: A Collective Memoir of Black Student Witness

    by Jarvis R. Givens

    from $16.95

    A chorus of Black student voices that renders a new story of US education—one where racial barriers and violence are confronted by freedom dreaming and resistance

    Black students were forced to live and learn on the Black side of the color line for centuries, through the time of slavery, Emancipation, and the Jim Crow era. And for just as long—even through to today—Black students have been seen as a problem and a seemingly troubled population in America’s public imagination.

    Through over one hundred firsthand accounts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Professor Jarvis Givens offers a powerful counter-narrative in School Clothes to challenge such dated and prejudiced storylines. He details the educational lives of writers such as Zora Neale Hurston and Ralph Ellison; political leaders like Mary McLeod Bethune, Malcolm X, and Angela Davis; and Black students whose names are largely unknown but who left their marks nonetheless. Givens blends this multitude of individual voices into a single narrative, a collective memoir, to reveal a through line shared across time and circumstance: a story of African American youth learning to battle the violent condemnation of Black life and imposed miseducation meant to quell their resistance.

    School Clothes elevates a legacy in which Black students are more than the sum of their suffering. By peeling back the layers of history, Givens unveils in high relief a distinct student body: Black learners shaped not only by their shared vulnerability but also their triumphs, fortitude, and collective strivings.

  • Organize, Fight, Win: Black Communist Women's Political Writing

    edited by Charisse Burden-Stelly & Jodi Dean

    $29.95
    The first collection of the writing of Black communist women

    Black Communist women throughout the early to mid-twentieth century fought for and led mass campaigns in the service of building collective power in the fight for liberation. Through concrete materialist analysis of the conditions of Black workers, these women argued that racial and economic equality can only be achieved by overthrowing capitalism.

    The first collection of its kind, Organize, Fight, Win brings together three decades of Black Communist women's political writings. In doing so, it highlights the link between Communism and Black liberation. Likewise, it makes clear how Black women fundamentally shaped, and were shaped by, Communist praxis in the twentieth century.

    Organize, Fight, Win includes writings from card-carrying Communists like Dorothy Burnham, Williana Burroughs, Grace P. Campbell, Alice Childress, Marvel Cooke, Esther Cooper Jackson, Thelma Dale Perkins, Vicki Garvin, Yvonne Gregory, Claudia Jones, Maude White Katz, and Louise Thompson Patterson, and writings by those who organized alongside the Communist Party, like Ella Baker, Charlotta Bass, Thyra Edwards, Lorraine Hansberry, and Dorothy Hunton.

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