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  • The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez: A Border Story

    by Aaron Bobrow-Strain

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    What happens when an undocumented teen mother takes on the U.S. immigration system?

    When Aida Hernandez was born in 1987 in Agua Prieta, Mexico, the nearby U.S. border was little more than a worn-down fence. Eight years later, Aida's mother took her and her siblings to live in Douglas, Arizona. By then, the border had become one of the most heavily policed sites in America.

    Undocumented, Aida fought to make her way. She learned English, watched Friends, and, after having a baby at sixteen, dreamed of teaching dance and moving with her son to New York City. But life had other plans. Following a misstep that led to her deportation, Aida found herself in a Mexican city marked by violence, in a country that was not hers. To get back to the United States and reunite with her son, she embarked on a harrowing journey. The daughter of a rebel hero from the mountains of Chihuahua, Aida has a genius for survival—but returning to the United States was just the beginning of her quest. Taking us into detention centers, immigration courts, and the inner lives of Aida and other daring characters, The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez reveals the human consequences of militarizing what was once a more forgiving border. With emotional force and narrative suspense, Bobrow-Strain brings us into the heart of a violently unequal America. He shows us that the heroes of our current immigration wars are less likely to be paragons of virtue than flawed human beings who deserve justice and empathy all the same.

  • Punished for Dreaming: How School Reform Harms Black Children and How We Heal

    by Bettina L. Love

    $29.00

    In the tradition of Michelle Alexander, an unflinching reckoning with the impact of 40 years of racist public school policy on generations of Black lives

    In Punished for Dreaming Dr. Bettina Love argues forcefully that Reagan’s presidency ushered in a War on Black Children, pathologizing and penalizing them in concert with the War on Drugs. New policies punished schools with policing, closure, and loss of funding in the name of reform, as white savior, egalitarian efforts increasingly allowed private interests to infiltrate the system. These changes implicated children of color, and Black children in particular, as low performing, making it all too easy to turn a blind eye to their disproportionate conviction and incarceration. Today, there is little national conversation about a structural overhaul of American schools; cosmetic changes, rooted in anti-Blackness, are now passed off as justice.

    It is time to put a price tag on the miseducation of Black children. In this prequel to The New Jim Crow, Dr. Love serves up a blistering account of four decades of educational reform through the lens of the people who lived it. Punished for Dreaming lays bare the devastating effect on 25 Black Americans caught in the intersection of economic gain and racist ideology. Then with input from leading U.S. economists, Dr. Love offers a road map for repair, arguing for reparations with transformation for all children at its core.

  • Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe

    by Jeezy

    $29.99

    *Ships in 7-10 business days*

    To Jeezy’s legion of fans, his name is synonymous with hustle, grit, and the integrity to go out there and achieve your dreams. In his first book, Adversity for Sale: Ya Gotta Believe, Jeezy shares never heard stories of what it took for him to beat the odds and get out of the streets, his mindset he carefully honed to get an edge, and the lessons that changed his life and business.

    Born into poverty and raised in a small town in the middle of South Georgia’s so-called “Black belt,” Jeezy realized at an early age that nothing was going to come easy, there were no handouts headed his way, and if he ever wanted anything in life, he was going to have to get out there and get it on his own. So that’s what he did. 

    Now, for the first time, Jeezy retraces his steps, going back to day one to share how he turned nothing into something, stayed solid, survived the trap, and triumphed over adversity to become the successful artist, father, husband, entrepreneur, and philanthropist that he is today. 

    Adversity for Sale isn’t a street memoir. Like his music, these pages are filled with lessons from his deeply personal story to motivate you to go out and get after your dream.

  • Crying in H Mart: A Memoir

    by Michelle Zauner

    $17.00
    NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • From the indie rock sensation known as Japanese Breakfast, an unforgettable memoir about family, food, grief, love, and growing up Korean American. •  "In losing her mother and cooking to bring her back to life, Zauner became herself.” —NPR

    In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the East Coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, and performing gigs with her fledgling band--and meeting the man who would become her husband--her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her.

    Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.
  • Miles

    by Miles Davis

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    Universally acclaimed as a musical genius, Miles Davis was one of the most important and influential musicians in the world. Here, Miles speaks out about his extraordinary life.

    Miles: The Autobiography, like Miles himself, holds nothing back. He speaks frankly and openly about his drug problem and how he overcame it. He condemns the racism he encountered in the music business and in American society generally. And he discusses the women in his life. But above all, Miles talks about music and musicians, including the legends he has played with over the years: Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Trane, Mingus, and many others.

    The man who gave us some of the most exciting music of the twentieth century here gives us a compelling and fascinating autobiography, featuring a concise discography and thirty-two pages of photographs.
  • Afeni Shakur : Evolution of a Revolutionary

    by Jasmine Guy

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    *ships in 7 - 10 business days*
    Afeni Shakur, one of the most visible figures in both the hip-hop and civil rights movements, reveals her moral and spiritual development in an innovative memoir spanning four decades.

    Before becoming one of the most well-known members of the Black Power movement, Alice Faye Williams was not unlike any other poor, African American girl growing up in the impoverished South. But when her family moved to New York during the radical sixties, she became intoxicated by the promise of social change. By the time she turned twenty-one, Alice had a new name—Afeni Shakur, derived from the Yoruba term for "lover of people"—and a new vision for the future. The rest is history.

    In 1969, Afeni was arrested along with other members of the Black Panther party on 189 felony charges that included 30 counts of conspiracy. Though she was eventually acquitted of the charges, Afeni spent eleven months in jail before being released. Once on bail, she became pregnant with a son: Tupac Amaru Shakur, a rap megastar until his tragic death in 1996.

    In this searing work, renowned actress and Afeni's trusted friend Jasmine Guy reveals the evolution of a woman through a series of intimate conversations on themes such as love, death, race, drugs, politics, music, and, of course, her son. Filled with startling revelations and heartbreaking truths, Afeni's memoir is a powerful testament to the human spirit and the perseverance of the African American people.
  • Prince of Darkness

    by Shane White

    $20.00
    he amazing and forgotten story of Wall Street's first black millionaire in pre-Civil War New York

    In the middle decades of the nineteenth century Jeremiah G. Hamilton was a well-known figure on Wall Street. Cornelius Vanderbilt, America's first tycoon, came to respect, grudgingly, his one-time opponent. The day after Vanderbilt's death on January 4, 1877, an obituary acknowledged that "There was only one man who ever fought the Commodore to the end, and that was Jeremiah Hamilton." Hamilton, although his origins were lowly, possibly slave, was reportedly the richest black man in the United States, possessing a fortune of $2 million, or in excess of two hundred and $50 million in today's currency.

    In this groundbreaking and vivid account, eminent historian Shane White reveals the larger than life story of a man who defied every convention of his time. He wheeled and dealed in the lily white business world, he married a white woman, he bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, he owned railroad stock on trains he was not legally allowed to ride, and generally set his white contemporaries teeth on edge when he wasn't just plain outsmarting them. An important contribution to American history, the Hamilton's life offers a way into considering, from the unusual perspective of a black man.

  • Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World

    by Christian Cooper

    $28.00

     

    Central Park birder Christian Cooper takes us beyond the viral video that shocked a nation and into a world of avian adventures, global excursions, and the unexpected lessons you can learn from a life spent looking up at the birds

    Christian Cooper is a self-described Blerd (Black nerd), an avid comics fan, and an expert birder who devotes every spring to gazing upon the migratory birds that stop to rest in Central Park, just a subway ride away from where he lives in New York City. When birdwatching in the park one morning in May 2020, Cooper was engaged in the ritual that had been a part of his life since he was ten years old. But when a routine encounter with a dog-walker escalates age old racial tensions, Cooper’s viral video of the incident would send shockwaves through the nation.

    In Better Living Through Birding, Cooper tells the story of his extraordinary life leading up to the now-infamous encounter in Central Park and shows how a life spent looking up at the birds prepared him, in the most uncanny of ways, to be a gay, Black man in American today. From sharpened senses that work just as well in a protest as in a park, to what a bird like the Common Grackle can teach us about self-acceptance, Better Living Through Birding exults in the pleasures of a life spent in pursuit of the natural world and beckons you to discover these joys for yourself.

    Equal parts memoir, travelogue, and primer on the art of birding, this is Cooper’s story of learning to claim and defend space for himself and others like him, from his days as a writer for Marvel Comics, where Cooper introduced the first gay storyline, to vivid and life-changing birding expeditions through Africa, Australia, the Americas, and the Himalayas. Better Living Through Birding is Cooper’s invitation into the wonderful world of birds, and what they can teach us about life, if only we would stop and listen.

     

  • Memorial Drive

    by Natasha Trethwey

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    At age nineteen, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Grieving and still new to adulthood, she confronted the twin pulls of life and death in the aftermath of unimaginable trauma and now explores the way this experience lastingly shaped the artist she became.

    With penetrating insight and a searing voice that moves from the wrenching to the elegiac, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Natasha Trethewey investigates this profound experience of pain, loss, and grief as an entry point into understanding the tragic course of her mother’s life and the way her own life has been shaped by a legacy of fierce love and resilience. Moving through her mother’s history in the deeply segregated South and through her own girlhood as a “child of miscegenation” in Mississippi, Trethewey plumbs her sense of dislocation and displacement in the lead-up to the harrowing crime that took place on Memorial Drive in Atlanta in 1985.

    Memorial Drive is a compelling and searching look at a shared human experience of sudden loss and absence but also a piercing glimpse at the enduring ripple effects of white racism and domestic abuse. Animated by unforgettable prose and inflected by a poet’s attention to language, this is a luminous, urgent, and visceral memoir from one of our most important contemporary writers and thinkers.

  • Wildflower: A Memoir

    by Aurora James

    $27.00

    *ships in 7-10 business days*

    This extraordinary memoir of struggle and perseverance offers new ways of envisioning economic equality for everyone—from a leading activist and fashion pioneer.

    Aurora James’s story is not a “success story.” Or at least, it shouldn’t be told that way. Having dropped out of high school, struggled with body image, and dabbled in street racing, her eventual arrest might have been her rock bottom. But as a visionary and optimist, that experience became one of many that reshaped her way of thinking about the world. After a brief modeling stint, James discovered the real power in creating for the runway and started her own business in a flea market, a sustainable fashion line showcasing traditional African design that would become an award-winning international brand. Then she founded one of the fastest-growing social justice nonprofits, the Fifteen Percent Pledge. But none of this came from a desire to “succeed.” It came from a desire to forge a new creative path—and to lift others up alongside her.

    Already a rising star in fashion and the first Black American female designer to win a CFDA Award, James was inspired by the activism that swept the nation in the summer of 2020 to think bigger about how to empower Black business owners. With an idea and an Instagram post, she founded the Fifteen Percent Pledge, which challenges retailers to commit 15% of their shelf space and spending power to Black businesses. To date, more than two dozen of the world’s most recognized retailers have taken the pledge, redirecting $10 billion in revenue to Black brands.

    Empowering and full of heart, Wildflower is the story of how Aurora James got to where she is now and a rallying cry for those eager to make change.

  • Quilt of Souls: A Memoir

    by Phyllis Biffle Elmore

    $24.99
    The Yellow House meets Hidden in Plain View in this multigenerational memoir that celebrates African American quilting, family, and honoring the past.

    At age four, Phyllis Biffle Elmore was plucked off her front porch in Detroit and dropped on her grandmother Lula Horn’s doorstep in rural Alabama. Phyllis felt utterly abandoned until Grandma Lula showed her both all-encompassing love and her intricate “Quilts of Souls.” Phyllis listened intently as Lula told epic stories of folks who had passed on as she turned their clothing into breathtaking quilts for their families.

    Grandma Lula’s generosity of spirit, strong will, and creative soul animate every page and through the quilts, she paints portraits of extraordinary Black women born before and after the Civil War. They are enslaved people, laundresses, storytellers, healers, and quilters whose stories have gone untold until now.

    Beautifully written and brilliantly told, Phyllis weaves back and forth through time, piecing together true tales of racism, sexism, and colorism, but also strength and pride, creating a multigenerational patchwork honoring her family and ancestors. From the lush visuals to the powerful history, Quilt of Souls is oral tradition written and preserved for posterity.
  • The Black Period: On Personhood, Race, and Origin by Hafizah Augustus Geter
    $28.99

    An acclaimed poet reclaims her origin story as the queer daughter of a Muslim Nigerian immigrant and a Black American visual artist in this groundbreaking memoir, combining lyrical prose, biting criticism, and haunting visuals.

    “Hafizah Augustus Geter is a genuine artist, not bound by genre or form. Her only loyalty is the harrowing beauty of the truth.”—Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage


    “I say, ‘the Black Period,’ and mean ‘home’ in all its shapeshifting ways.” In The Black Period, Hafizah creates a space for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish, celebrating the many layers of her existence that America has time and again sought to erase.

    At nineteen, she lost her mother to a sudden stroke. Weeks later, her father became so heartsick that he needed a triple bypass. By her thirties, she was constantly in pain, pinballing between physical therapy appointments, her grief, and the grind that is the American Dream. Hafizah realized she'd spent years internalizing the narratives that white supremacy had fed her about herself. Suddenly, she says, I was standing at the cliff of my own life, remembering.

    Recalling her parents’ lessons on the art of Black revision, and mixing history, political analysis, and cultural criticism, alongside stunning original artworks created by her father, renowned artist Tyrone Geter, Hafizah maps out her own narrative, weaving between a childhood populated with Southern and Nigerian relatives; her days in a small Catholic school; a loving but tragically short relationship with her mother; and the feelings of joy and community that the Black Lives Matter protests engendered in her as an adult. All throughout, she forms a new personal and collective history, addressing the systems of inequity that make life difficult for non-able-bodied persons, queer people, and communities of color while capturing a world brimming with potential, art, music, hope, and love.

    A unique combination of gripping memoir and Afrofuturist thought, in The Black Period, Hafizah manages to sidestep shame, confront disability, embrace forgiveness, and emerge from the erasures

  • Stand Up!: 10 Mighty Women Who Made a Change by Brittney Cooper
    $18.99
    From the New York Times bestselling author of Eloquent Rage comes a powerful, groundbreaking picture book debut introducing young readers to ten revolutionary Black women -- both historical and contemporary -- who changed the world for the better, inspiring readers today to know their strength, to be brave, and to STAND UP!

    “A breakthrough... this force of nature is becoming one of our fiercest voices in the new generation of African-American thinkers.” -- Essence

    Bestselling author Brittney Cooper is a leading Black feminist voice of our times. From her New York Times bestseller Eloquent Rage, selected by Emma Watson as an "Our Shared Shelf Book," to her frequent guest appearances on MSNBC, to her regular features on Cosmopolitan.com and Salon.com, and her TED Talk with over 800K views, there's no question Brittney Cooper is one of the most preeminent Black influencers of today. Now, this author, professor, activist, and cultural critic brings her immense talents to the children's space with a seven-title publishing deal at Scholastic, spanning from picture books to middle grade, and launching with this momentous picture book debut: Stand Up!

    Stand Up! tells the story of ten historic female figures who changed the world by standing up for what's right, including legendary Civil Rights activists like Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks and spanning to contemporary role models like Bree Newsome, who removed the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds, and Mari Copeny, a youth activist who fought for clean water in Flint, Michigan. This inspirational biographical collection will live side by side with bestselling classics like Little Leaders and She Persisted yet offers a wholly original, powerful new voice and approach that make this story so singular, personal, and groundbreaking. Cooper's enlightening text depicts both famous and unsung Black women who took a stand and made the world a better place for future generations. Each heroic figure is interconnected by a united quest for equity, and offers young readers a stirring, inspirational call to action, reminding them that they are mighty too, and can be forces for change when they stand up!

  • The Mamas: What I Learned About Kids, Class, and Race from Moms Not Like Me

    by Helena Andrews-Dyer

    $27.00

    A Washington Post culture writer chronicles the challenges she faces as a Black mother in a mostly white mommy group in a time of gentrification, racial reckoning, and a global pandemic.

    “Can white moms and Black moms ever truly be friends, not just mom friends, like really real friends?”
     
    Helena Andrews-Dyer lives in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C., a picturesque collection of rowhouses near the center of the city that has become increasingly gentrified in the last decade. After having her first child a few years ago, she joined the local motherhood support group—“the Mamas”—and was surprised to find she was one of the only Black mothers. The racial, cultural, and socio-economic differences were made clear almost immediately. Then George Floyd happened. A man was murdered. A man who called out for his mama. And suddenly, the Mamas felt even more different. Though they were alike in some ways—they want their kids to be safe, they think their husbands are lazy, they work too much and they feel guilty about it—Helena realized she had an entirely different set of problems her neighborhood mom friends could never truly understand.
     
    In The Mamas, Helena chronicles the particular challenges she faces in a group where a reading list is the first step to solving systemic racism and where she, a Black, professional, Ivy League-educated mom, is overcompensating with every move. And Helena grapples with her own inner tensions like, “Why do I never leave the house with the baby and without my wedding ring?” and “Why did every name we considered for our kids have to pass the résumé test?” Throw in a pandemic and a nationwide movement for social justice and follow Helena as she ultimately tries to find out if moms from different backgrounds can truly understand one another.
     
    With sharp wit and refreshing honesty, The Mamas explores the contradictions and community of motherhood—white and Black and everything—against the backdrop of the rapidly changing world.

  • I Put A Spell On You: The Autobiography Of Nina Simone

    by Nina Simone

    $15.99
    The mesmerizing autobiography of one of the most revered soul, jazz, and blues divas of our time-the late Nina Simone

    James Baldwin used to tell Nina Simone, "This is the world you have made for yourself, now you have to live in it." Simone has created for herself a world of magnificent peaks. Often compared to Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf, Simone is known as one of the greatest singers of her generation. She has recorded forty-three albums, ranging from blues to jazz to folk, and her hits like "I Loves You, Porgy," "My Baby Just Cares for Me," "I Put a Spell on You," and "Mississippi Goddam" have confirmed her as an enduring force in popular music. Her song "Young, Gifted, and Black" became the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and thrust her beyond international stardom into the center of activism. But such worlds as Simone's are not without their grim valleys: disastrous marriages, arrest and the threat of imprisonment, mental breakdown, poverty, and attempted suicide. She has survived these trials and continues to perform throughout Europe and the United States. With undiminished passion and in her unconquerable voice, this is Nina Simone's powerful memoir of her tempestuous life.
  • My Pinup

    by Hilton Als

    $9.95

    Marrying the memoir and essay forms while exploring desire, Prince, and racism, Hilton Als’s My Pinup expands and delivers love.

    In this brilliant two-part memoir, the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Hilton Als distills into one cocktail the deep and potent complexities of love and of loss, of Prince and of power, of desire and of race. It’s delicious and it’s got the kick of a mule, especially as Als swirls into his mix the downtown queer nightclub scene, the AIDS crisis, Prince’s ass in his tight little pants, an ill-fated peach pie, Dorothy Parker, and his desire for true love. Always surprising and stealthily—even painfully—moving, Als plumbs longing: “I inched closer to him as he danced to you, Prince. But already he was you, Prince, in my mind. He had the same coloring, and the same loneliness I wanted to fill with my admiration. I couldn’t love him enough. We were colored boys together. There is not enough of that in the world, Prince—but you know that. Still, when other people see that kind of fraternity they want to kill it. But we were so committed to each other, we never could work out what that violence meant. There was so much love between us. Why didn’t anyone want us to share it?”

  • Black Women Will Save the World: An Anthem

    by April Ryan

    $27.99

    *ships in 7-10 business days*

    In this long-overdue celebration of Black women’s resilience and unheralded strength, the revered, trailblazing White House correspondent reflects on “The Year That Changed Everything”—2020—and African-American women’s unprecedented role in upholding democracy.

    “I am keenly aware that everyone and everything has a story,” April D. Ryan acknowledges. “Also, I have always marveled at Black women and how we work to move mountains and are never really thanked or recognized.” In Black Women Will Save the World, she melds these two truths, creating an inspiring and heart-tugging portrait of one of the momentous years in America, 2020—when America elected its first Black woman Vice President—and celebrates the tenacity, power, and impact of Black women across America.

    From the beginning of the nation to today, Black women have transformed their pain into progress and have been at the frontlines of the nation’s political, social, and economic struggles. These “Sheroes” as Ryan calls them, include current political leaders such as Maxine Waters, Valerie Jarrett, and Kamala Harris; Brittany Packnett Cunningham, LaTosha Brown, and other activists; and artists like Regina King. Combining profiles and in-depth interviews with these influential movers and shakers and many more, Ryan explores the challenges Black women endure, and how the lessons they’ve learned can help us shape our own stories. Ryan also chronicles her personal journey from working-class Baltimore to the elite echelons of journalism and speaks out about the hurdles she faced in becoming one of the most well-connected members of the Washington press corps—while raising two daughters as a single mother in the aftermath of a messy divorce.

    It is time for everyone to acknowledge Black women’s unrivaled contributions to America. Yet our democracy remains in peril, and their work is far from done. Black Women Will Save the World presents a vital kaleidoscopic look at women of different ages and from diverse backgrounds who devote their lives to making the world a better place—even if that means stepping out of their “place.”

  • Miss Chloe: A Memoir of a Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison

    by A. J. Verdelle

    $27.99

    *ships in 7-10 business days

    The award-winning author of The Good Negress shares invaluable insights on the precarious journey toward creativity that is the writer’s life, and tells the compelling story of her relationship with Toni Morrison, painting an illuminating portrait of this towering yet enigmatic cultural icon.

    With the publication of her debut novel The Good Negress in 1995, A. J. Verdelle became an overnight sensation, winning critical acclaim and competing for prestigious literature prizes. But for Verdelle, the most unexpected consequence was the friendship she formed with the legendary Toni Morrison. Receiving an advance copy of the book, the Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author—notorious for never giving early praise—called The Good Negress, “Truly Extraordinary.” It was a writer’s dream come true—a dream that for Verdelle would become simultaneously exhilarating and challenging.

    Now, twenty-five years later, Verdelle tells the story of that success and what came after. Miss Chloe begins with the story of young Verdelle’s persistent aim to become an author, spending countless pre-dawn hours writing the novel that became The Good Negress. Verdelle then turns to the heady period after publication, focusing on her relationship with Toni—a precious gift that was most of the time a grace and a blessing, and at other times, confusing and too separate from literature. While Morrison continued to rise as an icon, Verdelle’s writing career took a sharp turn. Verdelle’s next novel—a Western featuring Black characters—is quickly bought by a young editor who leaves for another job before the manuscript is finished. Searching for direction, Verdelle moves to another publisher. Yet this second book will languish for more than fifteen years. In chronicling her journey, Verdelle offers an honest assessment of what it means to be a writer, including the expectations and let downs that famous friendships do not defray.

    Miss Chloe ends with the period after Morrison has passed away, when Verdelle is left to face the reality of her writing career, pondering what it means to have promise that is yet to materialize. She finds comfort in advice Morrison offered over the years, insight she shares in this wise book. “In order for Morrison to take you seriously, to have patience with you, to be interested, you had to be able to hear her,” Verdelle writes. “You had to be able to sit still and listen. You had to be able to pipe up in the pauses, and prove you understood. You needed demonstrate that language was a skill you had, that Black culture was known to you and respected by you.” 

  • Manifesto: On Never Giving Up

    by Bernardine Evaristo

    $27.00

    From the bestselling and Booker Prize–winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism

    Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win was a historic and revolutionary occasion, with Evaristo being the first Black woman and first Black British person ever to win the prize in its fifty-year history. Girl, Woman, Other was named a favorite book of the year by President Obama and Roxane Gay, was translated into thirty-five languages, and has now reached more than a million readers.

    Evaristo’s astonishing nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is a vibrant and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream and fought over several decades to bring her creative work into the world. With her characteristic humor, Evaristo describes her childhood as one of eight siblings, with a Nigerian father and white Catholic mother, tells the story of how she helped set up Britain’s first Black women’s theatre company, remembers the queer relationships of her twenties, and recounts her determination to write books that were absent in the literary world around her. She provides a hugely powerful perspective to contemporary conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging. She reminds us of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. In Manifesto, Evaristo charts her theory of unstoppability, showing creative people how they too can visualize and find success in their work, ignoring the naysayers.

    Both unconventional memoir and inspirational text, Manifesto is a unique reminder to us all to persist in doing work we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted. Evaristo shows us how we too can follow in her footsteps, from first vision, to insistent perseverance, to eventual triumph.

  • The Classic Slave Narratives

    edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

    $7.95
    A seminal volume of four classic slave narratives, including Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, The History of Mary Price: A West Indian Slave, Incident in the Life of a Slave Girl, and The Life of Olaudah Equiano.

    Before the end of the Civil War, more than one hundred former slaves had published moving stories of their captivity and escape, joined by a similar number after the war. No group of slaves anywhere, in any other era, has left such prolific testimony to the horror of bondage and servitude.

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of America's top experts in African American studies, presents four of these classic narratives that illustrate the real nature of black experience in slavery.

    Fascinating and powerful, this collection includes four of the best-known examples: the lives of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs (alias Linda Brent), Mary Price, and Olaudah Equiano (alias Gustavus Vassa). These amazing stories are not only first-person histories of the highest caliber, they are also a unique literary form that has given birth to the spirit, vitality, and vision of America's modern black writers.

    Updated with the ninth edition of The Life of Olaudah Equiano, the last edition he revised and published in his lifetime.

    With a Revised and Updated Introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
  • Constructing A Nervous System

    by Margo Jefferson

    $27.00

    *ships/available for pickup in 7-10 business days

    Stunning for her daring originality, the author of Negroland gives us what she calls “a temperamental autobiography,” comprised of visceral, intimate fragments that fuse criticism and memoir.

    Margo Jefferson constructs a nervous system with pieces of different lengths and tone, conjoining arts writing (poem, song, performance) with life writing (history, psychology). The book’s structure is determined by signal moments of her life, those that trouble her as well as those that thrill and restore. In this nervous system:
        The sounds of a black spinning disc of a 1950s jazz LP as intimate and instructive as a parent’s voice.
        The muscles and movements of a ballerina, spliced with those of an Olympic runner: template for what a female body could be.
        Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Topsy finds her way into the art of Kara Walker and the songs of Cécile McLorin Salvant.
        Bing Crosby and Ike Turner become alter egos.
        W. E. B. DuBois and George Eliot meet illicitly, as he appropriates lines from her story The Lifted Veil to write his famous “behind the veil” passages in The Souls of Black Folk.
        The words of multiple others (writers, singers, film characters, friends, family) act as prompts and as dialogue.
     
    The fragments of this brilliant book, while not neglecting family, race, and class, are informed by a kind of aesthetic drive: longing, ecstasy, or even acute ambivalence. Constructing a nervous system is Jefferson’s relentlessly galvanizing mise-en-scène for unconventional storytelling as well as a platform for unexpected dramatis personae.

  • Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer's Enduring Message to America

    by Keisah N Blain

    $24.95

    “We have a long fight and this fight is not mine alone, but you are not free whether you are white or black, until I am free.”—Fannie Lou Hamer

    A blend of social commentary, biography, and intellectual history, Until I Am Free is a manifesto for anyone committed to social justice. The book challenges us to listen to a working-poor and disabled Black woman activist and intellectual of the civil rights movement as we grapple with contemporary concerns around race, inequality, and social justice.

    Award-winning historian and New York Times best-selling author Keisha N. Blain situates Fannie Lou Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe.

    Despite her limited material resources and the myriad challenges she endured as a Black woman living in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer committed herself to making a difference in the lives of others. She refused to be sidelined in the movement and refused to be intimidated by those of higher social status and with better jobs and education. In these pages, Hamer’s words and ideas take center stage, allowing us all to hear the activist’s voice and deeply engage her words, as though we had the privilege to sit right beside her.

    More than 40 years since Hamer’s death in 1977, her words still speak truth to power, laying bare the faults in American society and offering valuable insights on how we might yet continue the fight to help the nation live up to its core ideals of “equality and justice for all.”

  • Better, Not Bitter

    by Yusef Salaam

    $28.00

    *ships in 7-10 business days*

    Better Not Bitter is the first time that one of the now Exonerated Five is telling his individual story, in his own words. Yusef writes his narrative: growing up Black in central Harlem in the '80s, being raised by a strong, fierce mother and grandmother, his years of incarceration, his reentry, and exoneration. Yusef connects these stories to lessons and principles he learned that gave him the power to survive through the worst of life's experiences.

  • The House of Hidden Meanings: A Memoir

    by RuPaul

    $29.99

    From international drag superstar and pop culture icon RuPaul, comes his most revealing and personal work to date—a brutally honest, surprisingly poignant, and deeply intimate memoir of growing up Black, poor, and queer in a broken home to discovering the power of performance, found family, and self-acceptance. A profound introspection of his life, relationships, and identity, The House of Hidden Meanings is a self-portrait of the legendary icon on the road to global fame and changing the way the world thinks about drag.

    Central to RuPaul’s success has been his chameleonic adaptability. From drag icon to powerhouse producer of one of the world’s largest television franchises, RuPaul’s ever-shifting nature has always been part of his brand as both supermodel and supermogul. Yet that adaptability has made him enigmatic to the public. In this memoir, his most intimate and detailed book yet, RuPaul makes himself truly known.

    In The House of Hidden Meanings, RuPaul strips away all artifice and recounts the story of his life with breathtaking clarity and tenderness, bringing his signature wisdom and wit to his own biography. From his early years growing up as a queer Black kid in San Diego navigating complex relationships with his absent father and temperamental mother, to forging an identity in the punk and drag scenes of Atlanta and New York, to finding enduring love with his husband Georges LeBar and self-acceptance in sobriety, RuPaul excavates his own biography life-story, uncovering new truths and insights in his personal history.

    Here in RuPaul’s singular and extraordinary story is a manual for living—a personal philosophy that testifies to the value of chosen family, the importance of harnessing what makes you different, and the transformational power of facing yourself fearlessly.

    A profound introspection of his life, relationships, and identity, The House of Hidden Meanings is a self-portrait of the legendary icon on the road to global fame and changing the way the world thinks about drag. “I've always loved to view the world with analytical eyes, examining what lies beneath the surface. Here, the focus is on my own life—as RuPaul Andre Charles,” says RuPaul.

    If we’re all born naked and the rest is drag, then this is RuPaul totally out of drag. This is RuPaul stripped bare.

  • Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder

    by Salman Rushdie

    $28.00

    From internationally renowned writer and Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie, a searing, deeply personal account of enduring—and surviving—an attempt on his life thirty years after the fatwa that was ordered against him Speaking out for the first time, and in unforgettable detail, about the traumatic events of August 12, 2022, Salman Rushdie answers violence with art, and reminds us of the power of words to make sense of the unthinkable. Knife is a gripping, intimate, and ultimately life-affirming meditation on life, loss, love, art—and finding the strength to stand up again.

  • Holy American Burnout!

    by Sean Enfield

    $16.00

    Sean Enfield delves into the great American condition: burnout.

    Threading his experiences both as a Texan student and later as a first-year teacher of predominately Muslim students at a Texas middle school, Holy American Burnout! weaves personal essay and cultural critique into the historical fabric of Black and bi-racial identity.

    Enfield intersects examinations of which voices are granted legitimacy by virtue of school curriculum, the complex relationship between basketball and education for Black and brown students, his students' burgeoning political consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign, and cultural figures ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Hamlet.

    These classroom narratives weave around Enfield's own formative experiences contending with a conflicted bi-racial family lineage, reenacting the Middle Passage as the only Black student in his 7th grade history class, and moshing in both Christian and secular hardcore pits.

    As Enfield wrestles with the physical, mental, and emotional burdens that American society places on educators, students, and all relatively conscious minorities in this country, he reaches for an education that better navigates our burnt-out empire.

  • Althea: The Life of Tennis Champion Althea Gibson

    by Sally H. Jacobs

    $32.00

    *ships in 7 -10 business days*

    The biography of Althea Gibson, the street savvy young woman from Harlem who broke the color barrier in tennis with her remarkable skill on the court.

    In 1950, three years after Jackie Robinson first walked onto the diamond at Ebbets Field, the lily white, upper-crust National Lawn Tennis Association opened its door just a crack to receive the powerhouse player who would integrate "the game of kings": Althea Gibson.

    A street-savvy young woman from Harlem, Gibson was about as alien in that rarefied white world as an aspiring tennis champion could be. In her tattered jeans and short-cropped hair, Gibson drew stares from both sides of the color fence. But her astonishing skill on the court soon eclipsed all of that, as she eventually became one of the greatest tennis champions the United States has ever produced.

    Gibson had a stunning career: She won top honors at Wimbledon and Forest Hills time and time again. As her star rose, the underestimated high school dropout shook hands with the Queen of England, was driven up Broadway in a snowstorm of ticker tape, was on the front of Time and Sports Illustrated—the first Black woman to appear on the covers of both magazines—and was named the number one female tennis player in the world.

    In Althea, prize-winning former Boston Globe reporter Sally H. Jacobs tells the heart-rending story of this pioneer. This first full biography of a remarkable woman reminds the world that Althea Gibson was a trailblazer, a champion, and one of the most remarkable Americans of the twentieth century.

  • Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America

    by Julia Lee

    from $18.99

    In the vein of Eloquent Rage and Minor Feelings—a passionate, no-holds-barred memoir about the Asian American experience in a nation defined by racial stratification

    When Julia Lee was fifteen, her hometown went up in smoke during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The daughter of Korean immigrant store owners in a predominantly Black neighborhood, Julia was taught to be grateful for the privilege afforded to her. However, the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King, following the the murder of Latasha Harlins by a Korean shopkeeper, forced Julia to question her racial identity and complicity. She was neither Black nor white. So who was she?

    This question would follow Julia for years to come, resurfacing as she traded in her tumultuous childhood for the white upper echelon of elite academia. It was only when she began a PhD in English that she found answers—not in the Brontës or Austen, as Julia had planned, but rather in the brilliant prose of writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. Their works gave Julia the vocabulary and, more important, the permission to critically examine her own tortured position as an Asian American, setting off a powerful journey of racial reckoning, atonement, and self-discovery that has shaped her adult life.

    With prose by turns scathing and heart-wrenching, Julia Lee lays bare the complex disorientation and shame that stems from this country’s imposed racial hierarchy to argue that Asian Americans must leverage their liminality for lasting social change alongside Black and brown communities.

  • Among Flowers: A Walk in the Himalaya

    By Jamaica Kincaid

    $17.00

    *Ships in 7-10 Business Days*

    If you could go anywhere in the world and do one thing you love, what would you choose? When given that opportunity, the acclaimed writer Jamaica Kincaid decided to trek through Nepal collecting seeds to plant in her garden at home in Vermont. Among Flowers is the story of that journey through the Himalayan landscape, as Kincaid and her companions navigate not only the perilous physical terrain but also Maoist guerrillas and fields of leeches that stand in their way. The vertiginous peaks and exotic plants come alive in Kincaid’s masterful prose. She also ruminates on the wonders of the natural world that can only be discovered when one leaves the comfort of home for the disorienting thrill of the unknown, and self-reflects on the limitations of the body and the privileges that come with chartering a trip through the Himalaya. Rich in detail and engrossingly told, Among Flowers is a classic travel memoir.

  • Tina Turner: That's My Life: That's My Life
    $65.00

    *Ships in 7-10 Business Days*

    The first authorized pictorial autobiography for the trade by the legendary Tina Turner, containing iconic as well as never-before-seen candid photos, letters, and other personal items of The Queen of Rock 'n' Roll, from her early career to today.

    Tina Turner has always been a glorious force to be reckoned with; for more than sixty years, Tina has captivated audiences all over the world. For the first time, Tina has assembled an exceptional collection of images and ephemera to mark her eightieth birthday. Lavishly illustrated, Tina Turner: That's My Life features the work of world-renowned photographers including Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Bruce Weber, Anton Corbijn, Herb Ritts, Andy Warhol, Lord Snowdon, and Paul Cox among others. Also showcased are illustrations by fashion designers who were inspired by Tina, including Christian Louboutin, Antonio, and Bob Mackie.
    Additionally, Tina delved into her personal archive, and That's My Life showcases some of Tina's most famous dresses, wigs, and shoes. Comments handwritten by Tina Turner herself are included, and as well as handwritten letters from such friends as Beyoncé, Giorgio Armani, Bryan Adams, Oprah Winfrey, and Mick Jagger and others. Tina Turner: That's My Life is a comprehensive window into the world of Tina Turner, and is the perfect celebration of this storied performer that is sure to wow longtime and new fans alike.

  • Birth of a Dream Weaver

    by Ngugi wa Thiong'o

    Sold out

    In this acclaimed memoir, Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o recounts the four years he spent at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda—crucial years during which he found his voice as a journalist, short story writer, playwright, and novelist just as colonial empires were crumbling and new nations were being born—under the shadow of the rivalries, intrigues, and assassinations of the Cold War.

    Haunted by the memories of the carnage and mass incarceration carried out by the British colonial-settler state in his native Kenya but inspired by the titanic struggle against it, Ngũgĩ, then known as James Ngugi, begins to weave stories from the fibers of memory, history, and a shockingly vibrant and turbulent present.

    What unfolds in this moving and thought-provoking memoir is simultaneously the birth of one of the most important living writers—lauded for his "epic imagination" (Los Angeles Times)—the death of one of the most violent episodes in global history, and the emergence of new histories and nations with uncertain futures.

  • The Dead are Gods

    by Eirinie Carson

    $27.99

    An Oprah Daily Spring 2023 Reading List Pick

    From an exciting new literary voice: a memoir that explores grief, Blackness, and recovery after the death of a dear friend.


    After an unexpected phone call on an early morning in 2018, writer and model Eirinie Carson learned of her best friend Larissa’s death. In the wake of her shock, Eirinie attempts to make sense of the events leading up to Larissa’s death and uncovers startling secrets about her life in the process. 

    THE DEAD ARE GODS is Eirinie’s striking, intimate, and profoundly moving depiction of life after a sudden loss. Amid navigating moments of intense grief, Eirinie is overwhelmed by her love for Larissa. She finds power in pulling moments of joy from the depths of her emotion. Eirinie’s portrayal of what love feels like after death bursts from the page alongside a timely, honest, and personal exploration of Black love and Black life.

    Perhaps, Eirinie proposes, “The only way out is through.”

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