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YA Book Club POSTPONED! Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to cancel this Saturday's YA book club meeting. We will reschedule and post it here and on our social media as soon as we can. 

Race Studies & History

CROSS OF REDEMPTION: UNCOLLECT

CROSS OF REDEMPTION: UNCOLLECT

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Baldwin on race is Baldwin on the white American psyche.... The Cross of Redemption becomes an absorbing portrait of Baldwin's time--and of him. --New York Review of Books

A revelation by an American literary master: a gathering of essays, articles, polemics, reviews, and interviews that have never before appeared in book form.

James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the past century, renowned for his fierce engagement with issues haunting our common history. In The Cross of Redemption we have Baldwin discoursing on, among other subjects, the possibility of an African-American president and what it might mean; the hypocrisy of American religious fundamentalism; the black church in America; the trials and tribulations of black nationalism; anti-Semitism; the blues and boxing; Russian literary masters; and the role of the writer in our society.

Prophetic and bracing, The Cross of Redemption is a welcome and important addition to the works of a cosmopolitan and canonical American writer who still has much to teach us about race, democracy, and personal and national identity. As Michael Ondaatje has remarked, "If van Gogh was our nineteenth-century artist-saint, Baldwin [was] our twentieth-century one."

DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVIL-3/E

DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVIL-3/E

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The Destruction of Black Civilization took Chancellor Williams sixteen years of research and field study to compile. The book, which was to serve as a reinterpretation of the history of the African race, was intended to be a general rebellion against the subtle message from even the most 'liberal' white authors (and their Negro disciples): 'You belong to a race of nobodies. You have no worthwhile history to point to with pride.' The book was written at a time when many black students, educators, and scholars were starting to piece together the connection between the way their history was taught and the way they were perceived by others and by themselves. They began to question assumptions made about their history and took it upon themselves to create a new body of historical research. The book is premised on the question: If the Blacks were among the very first builders of civilization and their land the birthplace of civilization, what has happened to them that has left them since then, at the bottom of world society, precisely what happened? The Caucasian answer is simple and well-known: The Blacks have always been at the bottom. Williams instead contends that many elements--nature, imperialism, and stolen legacies-- have aided in the destruction of the black civilization. The Destruction of Black Civilization is revelatory and revolutionary because it offers a new approach to the research, teaching, and study of African history by shifting the main focus from the history of Arabs and Europeans in Africa to the Africans themselves, offering instead a history of blacks that is a history of blacks. Because only from history can we learn what our strengths were and, especially, in what particular aspect we are weak and vulnerable. Our history can then become at once the foundation and guiding light for united efforts in serious[ly] planning what we should be about now. It was part of the evolution of the black revolution that took place in the 1970s, as the focus shifted from politics to matters of the mind.
DEVIL YOU KNOW: A BLACK POWER

DEVIL YOU KNOW: A BLACK POWER

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From journalist and New York Times bestselling author Charles Blow comes a powerful manifesto and call to action for Black Americans to amass political power and fight white supremacy.

Race, as we have come to understand it, is a fiction; but, racism, as we have come to live it, is a fact. The point here is not to impose a new racial hierarchy, but to remove an existing one. After centuries of waiting for white majorities to overturn white supremacy, it seems to me that it has fallen to Black people to do it themselves.

Acclaimed columnist and author Charles Blow never wanted to write a "race book." But as violence against Black people--both physical and psychological--seemed only to increase in recent years, culminating in the historic pandemic and protests of the summer of 2020, he felt compelled to write a new story for Black Americans. He envisioned a succinct, counterintuitive, and impassioned corrective to the myths that have for too long governed our thinking about race and geography in America. Drawing on both political observations and personal experience as a Black son of the South, Charles set out to offer a call to action by which Black people can finally achieve equality, on their own terms.

So what will it take to make lasting change when small steps have so frequently failed? It's going to take an unprecedented shift in power. The Devil You Know is a groundbreaking manifesto, proposing nothing short of the most audacious power play by Black people in the history of this country. This book is a grand exhortation to generations of a people, offering a road map to true and lasting freedom.

DOG WHISTLE POLITICS: HOW CODE

DOG WHISTLE POLITICS: HOW CODE

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Campaigning for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan told stories of Cadillac-driving welfare queens and strapping young bucks buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. In trumpeting these tales of welfare run amok, Reagan never needed to mention race, because he was blowing a dog whistle:
sending a message about racial minorities inaudible on one level, but clearly heard on another. In doing so, he tapped into a long political tradition that started with George Wallace and Richard Nixon, and is more relevant than ever in the age of the Tea Party and the first black president.

In Dog Whistle Politics, Ian Haney López offers a sweeping account of how politicians and plutocrats deploy veiled racial appeals to persuade white voters to support policies that favor the extremely rich yet threaten their own interests. Dog whistle appeals generate middle-class enthusiasm for
political candidates who promise to crack down on crime, curb undocumented immigration, and protect the heartland against Islamic infiltration, but ultimately vote to slash taxes for the rich, give corporations regulatory control over industry and financial markets, and aggressively curtail social
services. White voters, convinced by powerful interests that minorities are their true enemies, fail to see the connection between the political agendas they support and the surging wealth inequality that takes an increasing toll on their lives. The tactic continues at full force, with the
Republican Party using racial provocations to drum up enthusiasm for weakening unions and public pensions, defunding public schools, and opposing health care reform.

Rejecting any simple story of malevolent and obvious racism, Haney López links as never before the two central themes that dominate American politics today: the decline of the middle class and the Republican Party's increasing reliance on white voters. Dog Whistle Politics will generate a lively and
much-needed debate about how racial politics has destabilized the American middle class-white and nonwhite members alike.

Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

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Driving While Black demonstrates that the car--the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility--has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. Melding new archival research with her family's story, Gretchen Sorin recovers a lost history, demonstrating how, when combined with black travel guides--including the famous Green Book--the automobile encouraged a new way of resisting oppression.
DYING OF WHITENESS: HOW THE PO

DYING OF WHITENESS: HOW THE PO

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A physician's "remarkable" account of how right-wing backlash policies have mortal consequences (Minneapolis Star Tribune) -- even for the white voters they promise to help.

In election after election, conservative white Americans have embraced politicians who pledge to make their lives great again. But as physician Jonathan M. Metzl shows in Dying of Whiteness shows, the policies that result actually place white Americans at ever-greater risk of sickness and death. Interviewing a range of everyday Americans, Metzl examines how racial resentment has fueled progun laws in Missouri, resistance to the Affordable Care Act in Tennessee, and cuts to schools and social services in Kansas. e shows these policies' costs: increasing deaths by gun suicide, falling life expectancies, and rising dropout rates.
Now updated with a new afterword, Dying of Whiteness demonstrates how much white America would benefit by emphasizing cooperation rather than chasing false promises of supremacy.

EBONY AND IVY: RACE, SLAVERY,

EBONY AND IVY: RACE, SLAVERY,

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A groundbreaking exploration of the intertwined histories of slavery, racism, and higher education in America, from a leading African American historian.

A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution's complex and contested involvement in slavery--setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown's troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.

Many of America's revered colleges and universities--from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC--were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained them.

Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.

ELOQUENT RAGE: A BLACK FEMINIS

ELOQUENT RAGE: A BLACK FEMINIS

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NOW A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - An Emma Watson Our Shared Shelf Selection for November/December 2018 - NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2018/ MENTIONED BY: The New York Public Library - Mashable - The Atlantic - Bustle - The Root - Politico Magazine (What the 2020 Candidates Are Reading This Summer) - NPR - Fast Company (10 Best Books for Battling Your Sexist Workplace) - The Guardian (Top 10 Books About Angry Women)

Rebecca Solnit, The New Republic:

Funny, wrenching, pithy, and pointed.

Roxane Gay

: I encourage you to check out Eloquent Rage out now.

Joy Reid, Cosmopolitan: A dissertation on black women's pain and possibility.

America Ferrera: Razor sharp and hilarious. There is so much about her analysis that I relate to and grapple with on a daily basis as a Latina feminist.

Damon Young:

Like watching the world's best Baptist preacher but with sermons about intersectionality and Beyoncé instead of Ecclesiastes.

Melissa Harris Perry: "I was waiting for an author who wouldn't forget, ignore, or erase us black girls...I was waiting and she has come in Brittney Cooper."

Michael Eric Dyson: "Cooper may be the boldest young feminist writing today...and she will make you laugh out loud."

So what if it's true that Black women are mad as hell? They have the right to be. In the Black feminist tradition of Audre Lorde, Brittney Cooper reminds us that anger is a powerful source of energy that can give us the strength to keep on fighting.

Far too often, Black women's anger has been caricatured into an ugly and destructive force that threatens the civility and social fabric of American democracy. But Cooper shows us that there is more to the story than that. Black women's eloquent rage is what makes Serena Williams such a powerful tennis player. It's what makes Beyoncé's girl power anthems resonate so hard. It's what makes Michelle Obama an icon.

Eloquent rage keeps us all honest and accountable. It reminds women that they don't have to settle for less. When Cooper learned of her grandmother's eloquent rage about love, sex, and marriage in an epic and hilarious front-porch confrontation, her life was changed. And it took another intervention, this time staged by one of her homegirls, to turn Brittney into the fierce feminist she is today. In Brittney Cooper's world, neither mean girls nor fuckboys ever win. But homegirls emerge as heroes. This book argues that ultimately feminism, friendship, and faith in one's own superpowers are all we really need to turn things right side up again.

A BEST/MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2018 BY: Glamour - Chicago Reader - Bustle - Autostraddle

Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia

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Winner, 2020 Body and Embodiment Best Publication Award, given by the American Sociological Association

Honorable Mention, 2020 Sociology of Sex and Gender Distinguished Book Award, given by the American Sociological Association

How the female body has been racialized for over two hundred years

There is an obesity epidemic in this country and poor black women are particularly stigmatized as "diseased" and a burden on the public health care system. This is only the most recent incarnation of the fear of fat black women, which Sabrina Strings shows took root more than two hundred years ago.

Strings weaves together an eye-opening historical narrative ranging from the Renaissance to the current moment, analyzing important works of art, newspaper and magazine articles, and scientific literature and medical journals--where fat bodies were once praised--showing that fat phobia, as it relates to black women, did not originate with medical findings, but with the Enlightenment era belief that fatness was evidence of "savagery" and racial inferiority.

The author argues that the contemporary ideal of slenderness is, at its very core, racialized and racist. Indeed, it was not until the early twentieth century, when racialized attitudes against fatness were already entrenched in the culture, that the medical establishment began its crusade against obesity. An important and original work, Fearing the Black Body argues convincingly that fat phobia isn't about health at all, but rather a means of using the body to validate race, class, and gender prejudice.

FIRE NEXT TIME

FIRE NEXT TIME

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A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation and gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement. At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two "letters, " written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose, " The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of our literature.