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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

MORE BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE HI

MORE BEAUTIFUL AND TERRIBLE HISTORY

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Praised by The New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Bitch Magazine; Slate; Publishers Weekly; and more, this is "a bracing corrective to a national mythology" (New York Times) around the civil rights movement.

The civil rights movement has become national legend, lauded by presidents from Reagan to Obama to Trump, as proof of the power of American democracy. This fable, featuring dreamy heroes and accidental heroines, has shuttered the movement firmly in the past, whitewashed the forces that stood in its way, and diminished its scope. And it is used perniciously in our own times to chastise present-day movements and obscure contemporary injustice. In A More Beautiful and Terrible History award-winning historian Jeanne Theoharis dissects this national myth-making, teasing apart the accepted stories to show them in a strikingly different light.

We see Rosa Parks not simply as a bus lady but a lifelong criminal justice activist and radical; Martin Luther King, Jr. as not only challenging Southern sheriffs but Northern liberals, too; and Coretta Scott King not only as a "helpmate" but a lifelong economic justice and peace activist who pushed her husband's activism in these directions.

Moving from "the histories we get" to "the histories we need," Theoharis challenges nine key aspects of the fable to reveal the diversity of people, especially women and young people, who led the movement; the work and disruption it took; the role of the media and "polite racism" in maintaining injustice; and the immense barriers and repression activists faced. Theoharis makes us reckon with the fact that far from being acceptable, passive or unified, the civil rights movement was unpopular, disruptive, and courageously persevering. Activists embraced an expansive vision of justice--which a majority of Americans opposed and which the federal government feared.

By showing us the complex reality of the movement, the power of its organizing, and the beauty and scope of the vision, Theoharis proves that there was nothing natural or inevitable about the progress that occurred. A More Beautiful and Terrible History will change our historical frame, revealing the richness of our civil rights legacy, the uncomfortable mirror it holds to the nation, and the crucial work that remains to be done.

Winner of the 2018 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize in Nonfiction

More Perfect Reunion: Race, Integration, and the Future of America

More Perfect Reunion: Race, Integration, and the Future of America

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A provocative case for integration as the single most radical, discomfiting idea in America, yet the only enduring solution to the racism that threatens our democracy.

Americans have prided ourselves on how far we've come from slavery, lynching, and legal segregation-measuring ourselves by incremental progress instead of by how far we have to go. But fifty years after the last meaningful effort toward civil rights, the US remains overwhelmingly segregated and unjust. Our current solutions -- diversity, representation, and desegregation -- are not enough.

As acclaimed writer Calvin Baker argues in this bracing, necessary book, we first need to envision a society no longer defined by the structures of race in order to create one. The only meaningful remedy is integration: the full self-determination and participation of all African-Americans, and all other oppressed groups, in every facet of national life. This is the deepest threat to the racial order and the real goal of civil rights.

At once a profound, masterful reading of US history from the colonial era forward and a trenchant critique of the obstacles in our current political and cultural moment, A More Perfect Reunion is also a call to action. As Baker reminds us, we live in a revolutionary democracy. We are one of the best-positioned generations in history to finish that revolution.

NATIVES

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NEW JIM CROW ANNIV/E 10/E

NEW JIM CROW ANNIV/E 10/E

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Named one of the most important nonfiction books of the 21st century by Entertainment Weekly' Slate' Chronicle of Higher Education' Literary Hub, Book Riot' and Zora

A tenth-anniversary edition of the iconic bestseller--one of the most influential books of the past 20 years, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education--with a new preface by the author

It is in no small part thanks to Alexander's account that civil rights organizations such as Black Lives Matter have focused so much of their energy on the criminal justice system.
--Adam Shatz, London Review of Books

Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Most important of all, it has spawned a whole generation of criminal justice reform activists and organizations motivated by Michelle Alexander's unforgettable argument that we have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. As the Birmingham News proclaimed, it is undoubtedly the most important book published in this century about the U.S.

Now, ten years after it was first published, The New Press is proud to issue a tenth-anniversary edition with a new preface by Michelle Alexander that discusses the impact the book has had and the state of the criminal justice reform movement today.

Notes of a Native Son

Notes of a Native Son

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#26 on The Guardian's list of 100 best nonfiction books of all time, the essays explore what it means to be Black in America

In an age of Black Lives Matter, James Baldwin's essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written. With films like I Am Not Your Negro and the forthcoming If Beale Street Could Talk bringing renewed interest to Baldwin's life and work, Notes of a Native Son serves as a valuable introduction.

Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in "The Harlem Ghetto" to a sobering "Journey to Atlanta."

Notes of a Native Son inaugurated Baldwin as one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic social changes erupting in the United States in the twentieth century, and many of his observations have proven almost prophetic. His criticism on topics such as the paternalism of white progressives or on his own friend Richard Wright's work is pointed and unabashed. He was also one of the few writing on race at the time who addressed the issue with a powerful mixture of outrage at the gross physical and political violence against black citizens and measured understanding of their oppressors, which helped awaken a white audience to the injustices under their noses. Naturally, this combination of brazen criticism and unconventional empathy for white readers won Baldwin as much condemnation as praise.

Notes is the book that established Baldwin's voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin's own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American.

OMNI-AMERICANS: SOME ALTERNATI

OMNI-AMERICANS: SOME ALTERNATI

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Rediscover the most important book on black-white relationships in America in a special 50th anniversary edition introduced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The United States is in actuality not a nation of black people and white people. It is a nation of multicolored people. . . . Any fool can see that the white people are not really white, and that black people are not black. They are all interrelated one way or another. These words, written by Albert Murray at the height of the Black Power movement, cut against the grain of their moment, and announced the arrival of a major new force in American letters. In his 1970 classic The Omni-Americans, Murray took aim at protest writers and social scientists who accentuated the pathology of race in American life. Against narratives of marginalization and victimhood, Murray argued that black art and culture, particularly jazz and blues, stand at the very headwaters of the American mainstream, and that much of what is best in American art embodies the blues-hero tradition--a heritage of grace, wit, and inspired improvisation in the face of adversity. Reviewing The Omni-Americans in 1970, Walker Percy called it the most important book on black-white relationships . . . indeed on American culture . . . published in this generation. As Henry Louis Gates, Jr. makes clear in his introduction, Murray's singular poetic voice, impassioned argumentation, and pluralistic vision have only become more urgently needed today.

Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People

Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People

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Genocide--the intent to destroy in whole or in part, a group of people.

TIME's 42 Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019

Book Riot's 50 of the Best Books to Read This Fall

As seen on CBS This Morning, award-winning attorney Ben Crump exposes a heinous truth in Open Season: Whether with a bullet or a lengthy prison sentence, America is killing black people and justifying it legally. While some deaths make headlines, most are personal tragedies suffered within families and communities. Worse, these killings are done one person at a time, so as not to raise alarm. While it is much more difficult to justify killing many people at once, in dramatic fashion, the result is the same--genocide.

Taking on such high-profile cases as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and a host of others, Crump witnessed the disparities within the American legal system firsthand and learned it is dangerous to be a black man in America--and that the justice system indeed only protects wealthy white men.

In this enlightening and enthralling work, he shows that there is a persistent, prevailing, and destructive mindset regarding colored people that is rooted in our history as a slaveowning nation. This biased attitude has given rise to mass incarceration, voter disenfranchisement, unequal educational opportunities, disparate health care practices, job and housing discrimination, police brutality, and an unequal justice system. And all mask the silent and ongoing systematic killing of people of color.

Open Season is more than Crump's incredible mission to preserve justice, it is a call to action for Americans to begin living up to the promise to protect the rights of its citizens equally and without question.

RACE AFTER TECHNOLOGY: ABOLITI

RACE AFTER TECHNOLOGY: ABOLITI

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From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Benjamin argues that automation, far from being a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, has the potential to hide, speed up, and deepen discrimination while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to the racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the "New Jim Code," she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encode inequity by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies; by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions; or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of technology, designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice in the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide provides conceptual tools for decoding tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold but also the ones we ourselves manufacture.

Visit the book's free Discussion Guide here.

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

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LONGLISTED FOR THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
FINALIST, 2020 PULITZER PRIZE IN HISTORY

By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.

Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining's end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers - as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation's first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.

Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.








RACE MAN: SELECTED WORKS, 1960

RACE MAN: SELECTED WORKS, 1960

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Newsweek, Lit Hub, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution pick Race Man by Julian Bond as one of their Most-Anticipated Books of 2020!

"This compilation of works by social activist and civil rights leader Julian Bond should be required reading in 2020."--Juliana Rose Pignataro, Newsweek

"Bond's essays, speeches and interviews were powerful weapons in his lifelong fight for civil rights."--The New York Times

"Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life. Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that."--President Barack Obama

An inspiring, historic collection of writings from one of America's most important civil rights leaders.

No one in the United States did more to advance the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. than Julian Bond. Race Man--a collection of his speeches, articles, interviews, and letters--constitutes an unrivaled history of the life and times of one of America's most trusted freedom fighters, offering unfiltered access to his prophetic voice on a wide variety of social issues, including police brutality, abortion, and same-sex marriage.

A man who broke race barriers and set precedents throughout his life in politics; co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and long-time chair of the NAACP; Julian Bond was a leader and a visionary who built bridges between the black civil rights movement and other freedom movements--especially for LGBTQ and women's rights. As we enter the third decade of the twenty-first century, there is no better time to return to Bond's works and words, many of them published here for the first time.

"Endlessly grateful for this collection of work that shows the expansive nature of Julian Bond's ideas of black liberation, and how those ideas are woven into the fabric of both resistance and uplift. Race Man is the map of a journey that was not only struggle and not only triumph."--Hanif Abdurraqib, author of They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays

"Race Man is the essential collection of Julian Bond's wisdom--and required reading for the organizers and leaders who follow in his footsteps today."--Marian Wright Edelman, President Emerita, Children's Defense Fund

"Race Man is a staggering collection that offers a genealogy of Bond's freedom-oriented politics and soul work as captured in his written words. Race Man is a book that looks back and speaks forward. It is a timely example of what movement building can look like when servant leaders refuse to leave the most vulnerable out of their visions for Black freedom. We need that reminder, like never before, today."--Darnell L. Moore, author of No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black & Free in America

" [An] essential volume that will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in the civil rights movement and human rights overall . . ."--Library Journal, Starred Review

"Bond's years as an activist also offer a guide through the intellectual and political history of the left in the second half of the 20th century . . . Bond's essays capture the intellectual world that inspired him and that he helped inspire in turn."--Robert Greene II, The Nation