The Black Period
“I say, ‘the Black Period,’ and mean ‘home’ in all its shapeshifting ways.” A book of great hope, Hafizah Augustus Geter’s The Black Period creates a map for how to survive: a country, a closet, a mother’s death, and the terror of becoming who we are in a world not built to accommodate diverse identities.
At nineteen, she suddenly lost her mother to a stroke. Weeks later, her father became so heartsick that he needed a triple bypass. Amid the crumbling of her world, Hafizah struggled to know how to mourn a Muslim woman in a freshly post-9/11 America. Weaving through a childhood populated with southern and Nigerian relatives, her days in a small Catholic school, and learning to accept her own sexuality, and in the face of a chronic pain disability that sends her pinballing through the grind that is the American Dream, Hafizah discovers that grief is a political condition. In confronting the many layers of existence that the world tries to deny, it becomes clear that in order to emerge from erasure, she must map out her own narrative.
Through a unique combination of gripping memoir, history, political analysis, cultural criticism, and Afrofuturist thought—alongside stunning original artwork created by her father, renowned artist Tyrone Geter—Hafizah leans into her parents’ lessons on the art of Black revision to create a space for the beauty of Blackness, Islam, disability, and queerness to flourish.
As exquisitely told as it is innovative, and with a lyricism that dazzles, The Black Period is a reminder that joy and tenderness require courage, too.
When Crack Was King
The crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s is arguably the least examined crisis in American history. Beginning with the myths inspired by Reagan’s war on drugs, journalist Donovan X. Ramsey’s exacting analysis traces the path from the last triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement to the devastating realities we live with today: a racist criminal justice system, continued mass incarceration and gentrification, and increased police brutality.
When Crack Was King follows four individuals to give us a startling portrait of crack’s destruction and devastating legacy: Elgin Swift, an archetype of American industry and ambition and the son of a crack-addicted father who turned their home into a “crack house”; Lennie Woodley, a former crack addict and sex worker; Kurt Schmoke, the longtime mayor of Baltimore and an early advocate of decriminalization; and Shawn McCray, community activist, basketball prodigy, and a founding member of the Zoo Crew, Newark’s most legendary group of drug traffickers.
Weaving together riveting research with the voices of survivors, When Crack Was King is a crucial reevaluation of the era and a powerful argument for providing historically violated communities with the resources they deserve.
Twice as Hard
Black women physicians’ stories have gone untold for far too long, leaving gaping holes in American medical history, in women’s history, and in black history. It’s time to set the record straight
No real account of black women physicians in the US exists, and what little mention is made of these women in existing histories is often insubstantial or altogether incorrect. In this work of extensive research, Jasmine Brown offers a rich new perspective, penning the long-erased stories of nine pioneering black women physicians beginning in 1860, when a black woman first entered medical school. Brown champions these black women physicians, including the stories of:
· Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler, who graduated from medical school only fourteen months after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed and provided medical care for the newly freed slaves who had been neglected and exploited by the medical system.
· Dr. Edith Irby Jones, the first African American to attend a previously white-only medical school in the Jim Crow South, where she was not allowed to eat lunch with her classmates or use the women’s bathroom. Still, Dr. Irby Jones persisted and graduated from medical school, going on to directly inspire other black women to pursue medicine such as . . .
· Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who, after meeting Dr. Irby Jones, changed her career ambitions from becoming a Dillard’s salesclerk to becoming a doctor. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Elders as the US surgeon general, making her the first African American and second woman to hold this position.
Brown tells the stories of these doctors from the perspective of a black woman in medicine. Her journey as a medical student already has parallels to those of black women who entered medicine generations before her. What she uncovers about these women’s struggles, their need to work twice as hard and be twice as good, and their ultimate success serves as instruction and inspiration for new generations considering a career in medicine or science.
Built from the Fire
When Ed Goodwin moved with his parents to the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his family joined a community soon to become the center of black life in the West. But just a few years later, on May 31, 1921, the teenaged Ed hid in a bathtub as a white mob descended on his neighborhood, laying waste to thirty-five blocks and murdering as many as three hundred people in one of the worst acts of racist violence in U.S. history.
The Goodwins and their neighbors soon rebuilt the district into “a Mecca,” in Ed’s words, where nightlife thrived and small businesses flourished. Ed bought a newspaper to chronicle Greenwood’s resurgence and battles against white bigotry, and his son Jim, an attorney, embodied the family’s hopes for the civil rights movement. But by the 1970s urban renewal policies had nearly emptied the neighborhood. Today the newspaper remains, and Ed’s granddaughter Regina represents the neighborhood in the Oklahoma state legislature, working alongside a new generation of local activists to revive it once again.
In Built from the Fire, journalist Victor Luckerson tells the true story behind a potent national symbol of success and solidarity and weaves an epic tale about a neighborhood that refused, more than once, to be erased.
We Refuse to Forget
A landmark work of untold American history that reshapes our understanding of identity, race, and belonging
In We Refuse to Forget, award-winning journalist Caleb Gayle tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that two centuries ago both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Thanks to the efforts of Creek leaders like Cow Tom, a Black Creek citizen who rose to become chief, the U.S. government recognized Creek citizenship in 1866 for its Black members. Yet this equality was shredded in the 1970s when tribal leaders revoked the citizenship of Black Creeks, even those who could trace their history back generations—even to Cow Tom himself.
Why did this happen? How was the U.S. government involved? And what are Cow Tom’s descendants and other Black Creeks doing to regain their citizenship? These are some of the questions that Gayle explores in this provocative examination of racial and ethnic identity. By delving into the history and interviewing Black Creeks who are fighting to have their citizenship reinstated, he lays bare the racism and greed at the heart of this story. We Refuse to Forget is an eye-opening account that challenges our preconceptions of identity as it shines new light on the long shadows of white supremacy and marginalization that continue to hamper progress for Black Americans.
Black Women Taught Us
This is my offering. My love letter to them, and to us.
Jenn M. Jackson, PhD, has been known to bring historical acuity to some of the most controversial topics in America today. Now, in their first book, Jackson applies their critical analysis to the questions that have long energized their work: Why has Black women’s freedom fighting been so overlooked throughout history, and what has our society lost because of our refusal to engage with our forestrugglers’ lessons?
A love letter to those who have been minimized and forgotten, this collection repositions Black women’s intellectual and political work at the center of today’s liberation movements.
Across eleven original essays that explore the legacy of Black women writers and leaders—from Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells to the Combahee River Collective and Audre Lorde—Jackson sets the record straight about Black women’s longtime movement organizing, theorizing, and coalition building in the name of racial, gender, and sexual justice in the United States and abroad. These essays show, in both critical and deeply personal terms, how Black women have been at the center of modern liberation movements despite the erasure and misrecognition of their efforts. Jackson illustrates how Black women have frequently done the work of liberation at great risk to their lives and livelihoods.
For a new generation of movement organizers and co-strugglers, Black Women Taught Us serves as a reminder that Black women were the first ones to teach us how to fight racism, how to name that fight, and how to imagine a more just world for everyone.
His Name Is George Floyd (Pulitzer Prize Winner)
The events of that day are now tragically familiar: on May 25, 2020, George Floyd became the latest Black person to die at the hands of the police, murdered outside of a Minneapolis convenience store by white officer Derek Chauvin. The video recording of his death set off the largest protest movement in the history of the United States, awakening millions to the pervasiveness of racial injustice. But long before his face was painted onto countless murals and his name became synonymous with civil rights, Floyd was a father, partner, athlete, and friend who constantly strove for a better life.
His Name Is George Floyd tells the story of a beloved figure from Houston's housing projects as he faced the stifling systemic pressures that come with being a Black man in America. Placing his narrative within the context of the country's enduring legacy of institutional racism, this deeply reported account examines Floyd's family roots in slavery and sharecropping, the segregation of his schools, the overpolicing of his community amid a wave of mass incarceration, and the callous disregard toward his struggle with addiction—putting today's inequality into uniquely human terms. Drawing upon hundreds of interviews with Floyd's closest friends and family, his elementary school teachers and varsity coaches, civil rights icons, and those in the highest seats of political power, Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa offer a poignant and moving exploration of George Floyd’s America, revealing how a man who simply wanted to breathe ended up touching the world.
Civil Rights Queen
With the US Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson, “it makes sense to revisit the life and work of another Black woman who profoundly shaped the law: Constance Baker Motley” (CNN). Born to an aspirational blue-collar family during the Great Depression, Constance Baker Motley was expected to find herself a good career as a hair dresser. Instead, she became the first black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court, the first of ten she would eventually argue. The only black woman member in the legal team at the NAACP's Inc. Fund at the time, she defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham, helped to argue in Brown vs. The Board of Education, and played a critical role in vanquishing Jim Crow laws throughout the South. She was the first black woman elected to the state Senate in New York, the first woman elected Manhattan Borough President, and the first black woman appointed to the federal judiciary.
Civil Rights Queen captures the story of a remarkable American life, a figure who remade law and inspired the imaginations of African Americans across the country. Burnished with an extraordinary wealth of research, award-winning, esteemed Civil Rights and legal historian and dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Tomiko Brown-Nagin brings Motley to life in these pages. Brown-Nagin compels us to ponder some of our most timeless and urgent questions--how do the historically marginalized access the corridors of power? What is the price of the ticket? How does access to power shape individuals committed to social justice? In Civil Rights Queen, she dramatically fills out the picture of some of the most profound judicial and societal change made in twentieth-century America.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
“As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power—which groups have it and which do not.”
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.
The definitive history of World War II from the African American perspective, by award-winning historian and civil rights expert
More than one million Black soldiers served in World War II. Black troops were at Normandy, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge, serving in segregated units while waging a dual battle against inequality in the very country for which they were laying down their lives. The stories of these Black veterans have long been ignored, cast aside in favor of the myth of the “Good War” fought by the “Greatest Generation.” And yet without their sacrifices, the United States could not have won the war.
Half American is World War II history as you’ve likely never read it before. In these pages are stories of Black military heroes and civil rights icons such as Benjamin O. Davis Jr., the leader of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, who fought to open the Air Force to Black pilots; Thurgood Marshall, the chief lawyer for the NAACP, who investigated and publicized violence against Black troops and veterans; poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a war correspondent for the Black press; Ella Baker, the civil rights leader who advocated on the home front for Black soldiers, veterans, and their families; and James G. Thompson, the twenty-six-year-old whose letter to a newspaper laying bare the hypocrisy of fighting against fascism abroad when racism still reigned at home set in motion the Double Victory campaign. Their bravery and patriotism in the face of unfathomable racism is both inspiring and galvanizing. An essential and meticulously researched retelling of the war, Half American honors the men and women who dared to fight not just for democracy abroad but for their dreams of a freer and more equal America.
A Black Women's History of the United States
The award-winning Revisioning American History series continues with this “groundbreaking new history of Black women in the United States” (Ibram X. Kendi)—the perfect companion to An Indigenous People’s History of the United States and An African American and Latinx History of the United States.
An empowering and intersectional history that centers the stories of African American women across 400+ years, showing how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country.
In centering Black women’s stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women’s unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.
A Black Women’s History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women’s lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women’s history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation.
Vigilance: The Life of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad
Born free in 1821 to two parents who had been enslaved, William Still was drawn to antislavery work from a young age. Hired as a clerk at the Anti-Slavery office in Philadelphia after teaching himself to read and write, he began directly assisting enslaved people who were crossing over from the South into freedom. Andrew Diemer captures the full range and accomplishments of Still's life, from his resistance to Fugitive Slave Laws and his relationship with John Brown before the war, to his long career fighting for citizenship rights and desegregation until the early twentieth century.
In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life-changing decision to stop running forever.
This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose but also my voice in a world that didn’t always see me.
As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. We are forced to reinvent them to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone running through life untethered, desperate and clawing their way through murky memories, trying to get to some form of self-love. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be . . . you.
Finding Me is a deep reflection, a promise, and a love letter of sorts to self. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.
Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.
Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens.
Starting in World War II and moving through to the Cold War, the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures follows the interwoven accounts of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden, four African American women who participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes. It chronicles their careers over nearly three decades they faced challenges, forged alliances and used their intellect to change their own lives, and their country’s future.
The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama
The rise of Barack Obama is one of the great stories of this century: a defining moment in American history, and one with truly global resonance. Until now, no journalist or historian has written a book that fully investigates the circumstances and experiences of Obama’s life or explores the ambition and conviction behind his journey to election. The Bridge – from a writer whose gift for illuminating the historical significance of unfolding events is unsurpassed – offers a portrait, at once masterly and fresh, nuanced and unexpected, of the man who was determined to become the first African-American president.
Through extensive on-the-record interviews with friends and teachers, mentors and disparagers, family members and Obama himself, David Remnick allow us to see an early life coloured by absence and uncertainty: one that asked demanding questions of a rootless and literate man in search of himself, sending him firstly towards social work and then into law. Deftly setting Obama’s burgeoning political career against the volatile scene in Chicago, Remnick shows us how it was that city’s complex racial legacy that shaped the young politician and made his first forays into politics a source of controversy and bare-knuckle tactics: his clashes with older black politicians in the Illinois State Senate, his disastrous decision to challenge the former Black Panther Bobby Rush for Congress in 2000, the sex scandals that would decimate his more experienced opponents in the 2004 Senate race, and the story – from both sides – of his confrontation with his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
In exploring the way in which Barack Obama imagined and fashioned an identity for himself against the backdrop of race in America, Remnick illuminates an American life without precedent, and reminds us that, electrifying though Obama’s victory may have been, there was nothing fated about it. Interrogating both the personal and political elements of the story – and, most crucially, the points at which they intersect – he gives shape to a decisive period of American history, and in turn, to the way it crucially influenced, animated and motivated a gifted and complex man.
A Long Way Gone
My new friends have begun to suspect I haven't told them the full story of my life.
"Why did you leave Sierra Leone?"
"Because there is a war."
"You mean, you saw people running around with guns and shooting each other?"
"Yes, all the time."
I smile a little.
"You should tell us about it sometime."
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.
What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.
In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he'd been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts. This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The New York Public Library • Tordotcom
Definition of finna, created by the author: fin·na /ˈfinə/ contraction: (1) going to; intending to [rooted in African American Vernacular English] (2) eye dialect spelling of “fixing to” (3) Black possibility; Black futurity; Blackness as tomorrow
These poems consider the brevity and disposability of Black lives and other oppressed people in our current era of emboldened white supremacy, and the use of the Black vernacular in America’s vast reserve of racial and gendered epithets. Finna explores the erasure of peoples in the American narrative; asks how gendered language can provoke violence; and finally, how the Black vernacular, expands our notions of possibility, giving us a new language of hope:
nothing about our people is romantic
& it shouldn’t be. our people deserve
poetry without meter. we deserve our
own jagged rhythm & our own uneven
walk towards sun. you make happening happen.
we happen to love. this is our greatest
Black Girl, Call Home
"[Mans'] lucid and lyrical lines are as undeniable as those of a pop song yet as arresting as only spoken word artistry can be."--O, the Oprah Magazine
From spoken word poet Jasmine Mans comes an unforgettable poetry collection about race, feminism, and queer identity.
With echoes of Gwendolyn Brooks and Sonia Sanchez, Mans writes to call herself--and us--home. Each poem explores what it means to be a daughter of Newark, and America--and the painful, joyous path to adulthood as a young, queer Black woman.
Black Girl, Call Home is a love letter to the wandering Black girl and a vital companion to any woman on a journey to find truth, belonging, and healing.
Born Sarah Breedlove in Louisiana in 1867, this determined woman developed a line of beauty products, beginning with hair conditioner, that made her rich and famous, the first African-American millionaire. She helped other women go into business for themselves, and she worked hard for the rights and dignity of other African Americans.
I Am a Girl from Africa
A “profound and soul-nourishing memoir” (Oprah Daily) from an African girl whose near-death experience sparked a lifelong dedication to humanitarian work that helps bring change across the world.
When severe drought hit her village in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth Nyamayaro, then only eight, had no idea that this moment of utter devastation would come to define her life’s purpose. Unable to move from hunger and malnourishment, she encountered a United Nations aid worker who gave her a bowl of warm porridge and saved her life—a transformative moment that inspired Elizabeth to dedicate herself to giving back to her community, her continent, and the world.
In the decades that have followed, Elizabeth has been instrumental in creating change and uplifting the lives of others: by fighting global inequalities, advancing social justice for vulnerable communities, and challenging the status quo to accelerate women’s rights around the world. She has served as a senior advisor at the United Nations, where she launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest global solidarity movements for gender equality. In I Am a Girl from Africa, she charts this “journey of perseverance” (Entertainment Weekly) from her small village of Goromonzi to Harare, Zimbabwe; London; New York; and beyond, always grounded by the African concept of ubuntu—“I am because we are”—taught to her by her beloved grandmother.
This “victorious” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir brings to vivid life one extraordinary woman’s story of persevering through incredible odds and finding her true calling—while delivering an important message of hope, empowerment, community support, and interdependence.
This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects.
Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even—and especially—well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled.
This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of “living while Black,” came at the urging of Winters's Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life—from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes—for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society.
Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that “my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice—those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve.”
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tears We Cannot Stop
"Entertaining Race is a splendid way to spend quality time reading one of the most remarkable thinkers in America today." —Speaker Nancy Pelosi
"To read Entertaining Race is to encounter the life-long vocation of a teacher who preaches, a preacher who teaches and an activist who cannot rest until all are set free." —Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock
For more than thirty years, Michael Eric Dyson has played a prominent role in the nation as a public intellectual, university professor, cultural critic, social activist and ordained Baptist minister. He has presented a rich and resourceful set of ideas about American history and culture. Now for the first time he brings together the various components of his multihued identity and eclectic pursuits.
Entertaining Race is a testament to Dyson’s consistent celebration of the outsized impact of African American culture and politics on this country. Black people were forced to entertain white people in slavery, have been forced to entertain the idea of race from the start, and must find entertaining ways to make race an object of national conversation. Dyson’s career embodies these and other ways of performing Blackness, and in these pages, ranging from 1991 to the present, he entertains race with his pen, voice and body, and occasionally, alongside luminaries like Cornel West, David Blight, Ibram X. Kendi, Master P, MC Lyte, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alicia Garza, John McWhorter, and Jordan Peterson.
Most of this work will be new to readers, a fresh light for many of his long-time fans and an inspiring introduction for newcomers. Entertaining Race offers a compelling vision from the mind and heart of one of America’s most important and enduring voices.
Letters to My White Male Friends
In Letters to My White Male Friends, Dax-Devlon Ross speaks directly to the millions of middle-aged white men who are suddenly awakening to race and racism.
White men are finally realizing that simply not being racist isn’t enough to end racism. These men want deeper insight not only into how racism has harmed Black people, but, for the first time, into how it has harmed them. They are beginning to see that racism warps us all. Letters to My White Male Friends promises to help men who have said they are committed to change and to develop the capacity to see, feel and sustain that commitment so they can help secure racial justice for us all.
Ross helps readers understand what it meant to be America’s first generation raised after the civil rights era. He explains how we were all educated with colorblind narratives and symbols that typically, albeit implicitly, privileged whiteness and denigrated Blackness. He provides the context and color of his own experiences in white schools so that white men can revisit moments in their lives where racism was in the room even when they didn’t see it enter. Ross shows how learning to see the harm that racism did to him, and forgiving himself, gave him the empathy to see the harm it does to white people as well.
Ultimately, Ross offers white men direction so that they can take just action in their workplace, community, family, and, most importantly, in themselves, especially in the future when race is no longer in the spotlight.
When the Stars Begin to Fall
A bold, thought-provoking pathway to the national solidarity that could, finally, address the ills of racism in America
“Racism is an existential threat to America,” Theodore R. Johnson declares at the start of his profound and exhilarating book. It is a refutation of the American Promise enshrined in our Constitution that all men and women are inherently equal. And yet racism continues to corrode our society. If we cannot overcome it, Johnson argues, while the United States will remain as a geopolitical entity, the promise that made America unique on Earth will have died.
When the Stars Begin to Fall makes a compelling, ambitious case for a pathway to the national solidarity necessary to mitigate racism. Weaving memories of his own and his family’s multi-generational experiences with racism, alongside strands of history, into his elegant narrative, Johnson posits that a blueprint for national solidarity can be found in the exceptional citizenship long practiced in Black America. Understanding that racism is a structural crime of the state, he argues that overcoming it requires us to recognize that a color-conscious society—not a color-blind one—is the true fulfillment of the American Promise.
Fueled by Johnson’s ultimate faith in the American project, grounded in his family’s longstanding optimism and his own military service, When the Stars Begin to Fall is an urgent call to undertake the process of overcoming what has long seemed intractable.
Carefree Black Girls
"Powerful... Calling for Black women (in and out of the public eye) to be treated with empathy, Blay’s pivotal work will engage all readers, especially fans of Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism." —Kirkus (Starred)
An empowering and celebratory portrait of Black women—from Josephine Baker to Aunt Viv to Cardi B.
In 2013, film and culture critic Zeba Blay was one of the first people to coin the viral term #carefreeblackgirls on Twitter. As she says, it was “a way to carve out a space of celebration and freedom for Black women online.”
In this collection of essays, Carefree Black Girls, Blay expands on this initial idea by delving into the work and lasting achievements of influential Black women in American culture--writers, artists, actresses, dancers, hip-hop stars--whose contributions often come in the face of bigotry, misogyny, and stereotypes. Blay celebrates the strength and fortitude of these Black women, while also examining the many stereotypes and rigid identities that have clung to them. In writing that is both luminous and sharp, expansive and intimate, Blay seeks a path forward to a culture and society in which Black women and their art are appreciated and celebrated.
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • An essential tool for individuals, organizations, and communities of all sizes to jump-start dialogue on racism and bias and to transform well-intentioned statements on diversity into concrete actions—from a leading Harvard social psychologist.
How can I become part of the solution? In the wake of the social unrest of 2020 and growing calls for racial justice, many business leaders and ordinary citizens are asking that very question. This book provides a compass for all those seeking to begin the work of anti-racism. In The Conversation, Robert Livingston addresses three simple but profound questions: What is racism? Why should everyone be more concerned about it? What can we do to eradicate it?
For some, the existence of systemic racism against Black people is hard to accept because it violates the notion that the world is fair and just. But the rigid racial hierarchy created by slavery did not collapse after it was abolished, nor did it end with the civil rights era. Whether it’s the composition of a company’s leadership team or the composition of one’s neighborhood, these racial divides and disparities continue to show up in every facet of society. For Livingston, the difference between a solvable problem and a solved problem is knowledge, investment, and determination. And the goal of making organizations more diverse, equitable, and inclusive is within our capability.
Livingston’s lifework is showing people how to turn difficult conversations about race into productive instances of real change. For decades he has translated science into practice for numerous organizations, including Airbnb, Deloitte, Microsoft, Under Armour, L’Oreal, and JPMorgan Chase. In The Conversation, Livingston distills this knowledge and experience into an eye-opening immersion in the science of racism and bias. Drawing on examples from pop culture and his own life experience, Livingston, with clarity and wit, explores the root causes of racism, the factors that explain why some people care about it and others do not, and the most promising paths toward profound and sustainable progress, all while inviting readers to challenge their assumptions.
Social change requires social exchange. Founded on principles of psychology, sociology, management, and behavioral economics, The Conversation is a road map for uprooting entrenched biases and sharing candid, fact-based perspectives on race that will lead to increased awareness, empathy, and action.
This is Why I Resist
'Inclusive, exciting and focused, This Is Why I Resist is a fantastic point of reference for intersectional anti-racism work, no matter who you are.' Munroe Bergdorf
In 2020 we have seen clearer than ever that Black people are still fighting for the right to be judged by the content of their character and not the colour of their skin. In the words of the author, "there is no freedom without rights and no rights without the freedom to exercise those rights."
This book demands change, because Black people are done waiting.
In This Is Why I Resist activist and political commentator, Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu digs down into the deep roots of racism and anti-blackness in the UK and the US. Using real life examples from the modern day, Dr Shola shows us the different forms racism takes in our day-to-day lives and asks us to raise our voice to end the oppression. She delves into subjects not often explored such as racial gatekeepers, white ingratitude, performative allyship (those black squares on Instagram), current identity politics and abuse of the Black trans community.
Where other books take White people by the hand to help them negotiate issues of race, This Is Why I Resist offers no sugar-coated comfort, instead it challenges and asks WHEN will White people progress on race inclusion. Black Lives Matter and change is now.
It's time for a conscious revolution.
Don't Drop the Mic
#1 New York Times bestselling author Bishop Jakes has been speaking in front of audiences large and small for decades, and over the years, he has learned a thing or two about communicating with audiences.
Now, for the first time ever, Bishop Jakes shares his wisdom and skills he’s learned to help readers communicate better themselves. Whether you are preparing to speak on stage before thousands or present at the next budget meeting, preach a sermon or deliver a diagnosis, this book is full of practical advice and solutions to help you get your message across.
Readers will learn:
- The process Bishop Jakes uses to create his sermons, which connect with hundreds of thousands each week
- How to tailor you message for your intended audience
- The importance of body language
- How to be ready to make every opportunity count
- When and how to use silence to speak for you
- Why how you present yourself matters
Drawing lessons from Scripture and his own life, Jakes gives career advice for those who have or want to grow into a speaking career, but he also provides clear direction and insight for everyone who gives presentations, writes emails, or talks to other people in their job or home life.
Love is the Way
Walk the path of love with one of the warmest, most beloved spiritual leaders of our time, and learn how to put faith into action.
As the descendant of slaves and the son of a civil rights activist, Bishop Michael Curry's life illustrates massive changes in our times. Much of the world met Bishop Curry when he delivered his sermon on the redemptive power of love at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle. Here, he expands on his message of hope in an inspirational road map for living the way of love, illuminated with moving lessons from his own life. Through the prism of his faith, ancestry, and personal journey, Love Is the Way shows us how America came this far and, more important, how to go a whole lot further.
The way of love is essential for addressing the seemingly insurmountable challenges facing the world today: poverty, racism, selfishness, deep ideological divisions, competing claims to speak for God. This book will lead readers to discover the gifts they need in order to live the way of love: deep reservoirs of hope and resilience, simple wisdom, the discipline of nonviolence, and unshakable regard for human dignity.
Life, I Swear
A mixture of poignant essays, gorgeous photography, and sophisticated design elements, Life, I Swear is a chronicle of transformation and growth by and for modern-day Black women. Some of today's most influential Black female voices chronicle their private journeys, offering testimonies of living through pain and joy with raw honesty and unapologetic self-love.
With essays by Eniafebiafe Isis Adewale * Lauren Ash * Gabrielle Williams * Lindsey Farrar * Nneke Julia * Elaine Welteroth * Meryanne Loum-Martin * Lili Lopez * Deun Ivory * Morgan Ashley * Dydine Umunyana * Adriana Parrish * Orixa Jones * Offeibea Obubah * Alex Elle * Kalkidan Gebreyohannes * Esther Boykin * Brooke Hall * Qimmah Saafir * Josefina H. Sanders * Julee Wilson * Shay Jiles * Danasia Fantastic
In each episode of her podcast, Life, I Swear, emotive storyteller Chloe Dulce Louvouezo explores the nuances of our diverse experiences. In one-on-one interviews and personal prose, the podcast centers on personal stories that offer universal insights into topics relevant to modern women's lives, from identity and family to trauma and motherhood, told through the lens of Black women. A catalyst for change, this revelatory book builds on the premise of the podcast by diving deeper into themes of mental health, identity and resilience. Life, I Swear is sure to spark lively, thought-provoking, and necessary conversations that encourage Black women to return home to themselves through self-examination and grace.
Black Boy Out of Time
An eloquent, restless, and enlightening memoir by one of the most thought-provoking journalists today about growing up Black and queer in America, reuniting with the past, and coming of age their own way.
One of nineteen children in a blended family, Hari Ziyad was raised by a Hindu Hare Kṛṣṇa mother and a Muslim father. Through reframing their own coming-of-age story, Ziyad takes readers on a powerful journey of growing up queer and Black in Cleveland, Ohio, and of navigating the equally complex path toward finding their true self in New York City. Exploring childhood, gender, race, and the trust that is built, broken, and repaired through generations, Ziyad investigates what it means to live beyond the limited narratives Black children are given and challenges the irreconcilable binaries that restrict them.
Heartwarming and heart-wrenching, radical and reflective, Hari Ziyad's vital memoir is for the outcast, the unheard, the unborn, and the dead. It offers us a new way to think about survival and the necessary disruption of social norms. It looks back in tenderness as well as justified rage, forces us to address where we are now, and, born out of hope, illuminates the possibilities for the future.
Seven Days in June
Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again...
Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award‑winning novelist, who, to everyone's surprise, shows up in New York.
When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can't deny their chemistry—or the fact that they've been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
Over the next seven days, amidst a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect—but Eva's wary of the man who broke her heart, and wants him out of the city so her life can return to normal. Before Shane disappears though, she needs a few questions answered...
With its keen observations of creative life in America today, as well as the joys and complications of being a mother and a daughter, Seven Days in June is a hilarious, romantic, and sexy‑as‑hell story of two writers discovering their second chance at love.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
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.
There is fourteen-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At forty-two, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other.
With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.