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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw
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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw


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Paperback

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
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$16.00

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon


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In Heavy, Laymon writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to time in New York as a college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling. 

Heavy is a “gorgeous, gutting…generous” (The New York Times) memoir that combines personal stories with piercing intellect to reflect both on the strife of American society and on Laymon’s experiences with abuse. By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, he asks us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
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$20.00

The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers


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“My life had its significance and its only deep significance because it was part of a Problem,” W. E. B. Du Bois once wrote. Since childhood, Ailey Pearl Garfield has understood these words all too well. Bearing the names of two formidable Black Americans—the revered choreographer Alvin Ailey and her great grandmother, the descendant of slaves and tenant farmers—Ailey carries the weight of this Problem on her shoulders.

The daughter of an accomplished doctor and a strict schoolteacher, Ailey is raised in the City but spends summers in the small Georgia town of Chicasetta, where her mother’s family has lived since their ancestors arrived from Africa in bondage. Growing up, she struggles with this duality, a battle for belonging that shapes her identity. On one side are her exacting parents and her imperious, light-skinned grandmother Nana Claire, to whom skin color is paramount. On the other, Ailey feels the pull of the “deep country” of her mother’s land-tending family, whose forebears endured the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow.

But how can Ailey live up to everyone’s expectations when half of her family rejects the truth of a fraught racial history, while the rest can’t ever seem to break away from it?

Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown
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Pleasure Activism by Adrienne Maree Brown


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No more self-denial. Politics should be a resounding, erotic "yes," not another deadening "no."

How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? Author and editor Adrienne Maree Brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Her mindset-altering essays are interwoven with conversations and insights from other feminist thinkers, including Audre Lorde, Joan Morgan, Cara Page, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Together they cover a wide array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—building new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.

Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!