A story of resistance, power and politics as revealed through New York City's complex history of police brutality The 2014 killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri was the catalyst for a national conversation about race, policing, and injustice. The subsequent killings of other black (often unarmed) citizens led to a surge of media coverage which in turn led to protests and clashes between the police and local residents that were reminiscent of the unrest of the 1960s. Fight the Power examines the explosive history of police brutality in New York City and the black community's long struggle to resist it. Taylor brings this story to life by exploring the institutions and the people that waged campaigns to end the mistreatment of people of color at the hands of the police, including the black church, the black press, black communists and civil rights activists. Ranging from the 1940s to the mayoralty of Bill de Blasio, Taylor describes the significant strides made in curbing police power in New York City, describing the grassroots street campaigns as well as the accomplishments achieved in the political arena and in the city's courtrooms. Taylor challenges the belief that police reform is born out of improved relations between communities and the authorities arguing that the only real solution is radically reducing the police domination of New York's black citizens.
Mothering While Black examines the complex lives of the African American middle class--in particular, black mothers and the strategies they use to raise their children to maintain class status while simultaneously defining and protecting their children's "authentically black" identities. Sociologist Dawn Marie Dow shows how the frameworks typically used to research middle-class families focus on white mothers' experiences, inadequately capturing the experiences of African American middle- and upper-middle-class mothers. These limitations become apparent when Dow considers how these mothers apply different parenting strategies for black boys and for black girls, and how they navigate different expectations about breadwinning and childrearing from the African American community. At the intersection of race, ethnicity, gender, work, family, and culture, Mothering While Black sheds light on the exclusion of African American middle-class mothers from the dominant cultural experience of middle-class motherhood. In doing so, it reveals the painful truth of the decisions that black mothers must make to ensure the safety, well-being, and future prospects of their children.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth's integral importance to American history, as told by a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native. Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed's On Juneteenth provides a historian's view of the country's long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed--herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s--forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all. Combining personal anecdotes with poignant facts gleaned from the annals of American history, Gordon-Reed shows how, from the earliest presence of Black people in Texas to the day in Galveston on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in the state, African-Americans played an integral role in the Texas story. Reworking the traditional "Alamo" framework, she powerfully demonstrates, among other things, that the slave- and race-based economy not only defined the fractious era of Texas independence but precipitated the Mexican-American War and, indeed, the Civil War itself. In its concision, eloquence, and clear presentation of history, On Juneteenth vitally revises conventional renderings of Texas and national history. As our nation verges on recognizing June 19 as a national holiday, On Juneteenth is both an essential account and a stark reminder that the fight for equality is exigent and ongoing.
Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Brendan Kiely starts a conversation with white kids about race in this accessible introduction to white privilege and why allyship is so vital. Talking about racism can be hard, but... Most kids of color grow up talking about racism. They have "The Talk" with their families--the honest talk about survival in a racist world. But white kids don't. They're barely spoken to about race at all--and that needs to change. Because not talking about racism doesn't make it go away. Not talking about white privilege doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The Other Talk begins this much-needed conversation for white kids. In an instantly relatable and deeply honest account of his own life, Brendan Kiely offers young readers a way to understand one's own white privilege and why allyship is so vital, so that we can all start doing our part--today.
Winner, 2020 William Sanders Scarborough Prize, Modern Language Association Honorable Mention, MSA First Book Prize In Thinking Through Crisis, James Edward Ford III examines the works of Richard Wright, Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes during the 1930s in order to articulate a materialist theory of trauma. Ford highlights the dark proletariat's emergence from the multitude apposite to white supremacist agendas. In these works, Ford argues, proletarian, modernist, and surrealist aesthetics transform fugitive slaves, sharecroppers, leased convicts, levee workers, and activist intellectuals into protagonists of anti-racist and anti-capitalist movements in the United States. Thinking Through Crisis intervenes in debates on the 1930s, radical subjectivity, and states of emergency. It will be of interest to scholars of American literature, African American literature, proletarian literature, black studies, trauma theory, and political theory.
An African American Dilemma offers the first social history of northern Black debates over school integration versus separation from the 1840s to the present. Since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 Americans have viewed school integration as a central tenet of the Black civil rights movement. Yet, school integration was not the only--or even always the dominant--civil rights strategy. At times, African Americans also fought for separate, Black controlled schools dedicated to racial uplift and community empowerment. An African American Dilemma offers a social history of these debates within northern Black communities from the 1840s to the present. Drawing on sources including the Black press, school board records, social science studies, the papers of civil rights activists, and court cases, it reveals that northern Black communities, urban and suburban, vacillated between a preference for either school integration or separation during specific eras. Yet, there was never a consensus. It also highlights the chorus of dissent, debate, and counter-narratives that pushed families to consider a fuller range of educational reforms. A sweeping historical analysis that covers the entire history of public education in the North, this work complicates our understanding of school integration by highlighting the diverse perspectives of Black students, parents, teachers, and community leaders all committed to improving public education. It finds that Black school integrationists and separatists have worked together in a dynamic tension that fueled effective strategies for educational reform and the Black civil rights movement, a discussion that continues to be highly charged in present-day schooling choices.
Bearing Witness While Black tells the story of this century's most powerful Black social movement through the eyes of 15 activists who documented it. At the height of the Black Lives Matter uprisings, African Americans filmed and tweeted evidence of fatal police encounters in dozens of US cities--using little more than the device in their pockets. Their urgent dispatches from the frontlines spurred a global debate on excessive police force, which claimed the lives of African American men, women, and children at disproportionate rates. This groundbreaking book reveals how the perfect storm of smartphones, social media, and social justice empowered Black activists to create their own news outlets, which continued a centuries-long, African American tradition of using the news to challenge racism. Bearing Witness While Black is the first book of its kind to identify three overlapping eras of domestic terror against African American people--slavery, lynching, and police brutality--and explain how storytellers during each period documented its atrocities through journalism. What results is a stunning genealogy--of how the slave narratives of the 1700s inspired the Abolitionist movement; how the black newspapers of the 1800s galvanized the anti-lynching and Civil Rights movements; and how the smartphones of today have powered the anti-police brutality movement. This lineage of black witnessing, Allissa V. Richardson argues, is formidable and forever evolving. Richardson's own activism, as an award-winning pioneer of smartphone journalism, informs this text. Weaving in personal accounts of her teaching in the US and Africa, and of her own brushes with police brutality, Richardson shares how she has inspired black youth to use mobile devices, to speak up from the margins. It is from this vantage point, as participant-observer, that she urges us not to become numb to the tragic imagery that African Americans have documented. Instead, Bearing Witness While Black conveys a crucial need to protect our right to look into the forbidden space of violence against black bodies, and to continue to regard the smartphone as an instrument of moral suasion and social change.
A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are--and have always been--instrumental in shaping our country 2021 NAACP Image Award Nominee- Outstanding Literary Work - Non-Fiction Honorable Mention for the 2021 Organization of American Historians Darlene Clark Hine Award A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show 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.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A chorus of extraordinary voices tells the epic story of the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present--edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire. FINALIST FOR THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post, Town & Country, Ms. magazine, BookPage, She Reads, BookRiot, Booklist * "A vital addition to [the] curriculum on race in America . . . a gateway to the solo works of all the voices in Kendi and Blain's impressive choir."--The Washington Post "From journalist Hannah P. Jones on Jamestown's first slaves to historian Annette Gordon-Reed's portrait of Sally Hemings to the seductive cadences of poets Jericho Brown and Patricia Smith, Four Hundred Souls weaves a tapestry of unspeakable suffering and unexpected transcendence."--O: The Oprah Magazine The story begins in 1619--a year before the Mayflower--when the White Lion disgorges "some 20-and-odd Negroes" onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and a thousand other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history. Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume "community" history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled ninety brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that four-hundred-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from ninety different minds, reflecting ninety different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith--instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness. This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.
Examining the significance of the Movement for Black Lives, Reckoning uncovers a broadly applicable argument for the democratic necessity of social movements. Barack Obama famously said that the purpose of social movements is to get a seat at the table. However, as Deva Woodly argues in Reckoning - a sweeping account of the meaning and purpose of the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) - the value of such movements is something much more profound: they are necessary for the health and survival of democracy. Drawing from on-the-ground interviews with activists in the movement, Woodly analyzes the emergence of the M4BL, its organizational structure and culture, and its strategies and tactics. She also shows how a unique political philosophy - Radical Black Feminist Pragmatism - served as an intellectual foundation of the movement and documents the role it played in transforming public meanings, public opinion, and policy. Interweaving theoretical and empirical observations throughout, Woodly provides both a unique portrait of the movement and a powerful explanation of the labor social movements do in democracy. A major work that speaks to both scholars and activists, Woodly's account of the rise and spread of M4BL will reshape our understanding of why the movement is so important - and so necessary - for democracy.
An inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and other leaders of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman was a crucial figure in the history of African Americans in the 20th century. Until now, however, he has not received the biographical treatment he deserves. In Against the Hounds of Hell, Thurman scholar Peter Eisenstadt offers a fascinating exploration of the life of this religious thinker and activist. Thurman's life, was as notable for its remarkable variety as its accomplishments. The first significant African American pacifist, Thurman was the first African American to meet Mahatma Gandhi. An early and outspoken feminist, environmentalist, and advocate for social and economic justice, he was one of the first and most insistent mid-twentieth-century proponents of racial integration. At the same time, he was a key figure in the emergence of mysticism and spirituality as an alternative to formal religion. Thurman dedicated his career to challenging what he called the "hounds of hell"--the ways in which fear, deception, and hatred so often dogged the steps of African Americans and the marginalized and disinherited peoples of the world. This biography will at last establish this multifaceted historical personage as a leading figure of twentieth-century American politics, religion, and culture.
What began in spring 2020 as local protests in response to the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police quickly exploded into a massive nationwide movement. Millions of mostly young people defiantly flooded into the nation's streets, demanding an end to police brutality and to the broader, systemic repression of Black people and other people of color. To many observers, the protests appeared to be without precedent in their scale and persistence. Yet, as the acclaimed historian Elizabeth Hinton demonstrates in America on Fire, the events of 2020 had clear precursors--and any attempt to understand our current crisis requires a reckoning with the recent past. Even in the aftermath of Donald Trump, many Americans consider the decades since the civil rights movement in the mid-1960s as a story of progress toward greater inclusiveness and equality. Hinton's sweeping narrative uncovers an altogether different history, taking us on a troubling journey from Detroit in 1967 and Miami in 1980 to Los Angeles in 1992 and beyond to chart the persistence of structural racism and one of its primary consequences, the so-called urban riot. Hinton offers a critical corrective: the word riot was nothing less than a racist trope applied to events that can only be properly understood as rebellions--explosions of collective resistance to an unequal and violent order. As she suggests, if rebellion and the conditions that precipitated it never disappeared, the optimistic story of a post-Jim Crow United States no longer holds. Black rebellion, America on Fire powerfully illustrates, was born in response to poverty and exclusion, but most immediately in reaction to police violence. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson launched the "War on Crime," sending militarized police forces into impoverished Black neighborhoods. Facing increasing surveillance and brutality, residents threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at officers, plundered local businesses, and vandalized exploitative institutions. Hinton draws on exclusive sources to uncover a previously hidden geography of violence in smaller American cities, from York, Pennsylvania, to Cairo, Illinois, to Stockton, California. The central lesson from these eruptions--that police violence invariably leads to community violence--continues to escape policymakers, who respond by further criminalizing entire groups instead of addressing underlying socioeconomic causes. The results are the hugely expanded policing and prison regimes that shape the lives of so many Americans today. Presenting a new framework for understanding our nation's enduring strife, America on Fire is also a warning: rebellions will surely continue unless police are no longer called on to manage the consequences of dismal conditions beyond their control, and until an oppressive system is finally remade on the principles of justice and equality.
"A firsthand, eye-opening story of a prosecutor that exposes the devastating criminal punishment system. Laura Coates bleeds for justice on the page." --Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist When Laura Coates joined the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, she wanted to advocate for the most vulnerable among us. But she quickly realized that even with the best intentions, "the pursuit of justice creates injustice." Through Coates's experiences, we see that no matter how fair you try to fight, being Black, a woman, and a mother are identities often at odds in the justice system. She and her colleagues face seemingly impossible situations as they teeter between what is right and what is just. On the front lines of our legal system, Coates saw how Black communities are policed differently; Black cases are prosecuted differently; Black defendants are judged differently. How the court system seems to be the one place where minorities are overrepresented, an unrelenting parade of Black and Brown defendants in numbers that belie their percentage in the population and overfill American prisons. She also witnessed how others in the system either abused power or were abused by it--for example, when an undocumented witness was arrested by ICE, when a white colleague taught Coates how to unfairly interrogate a young Black defendant, or when a judge victim-blamed a young sexual assault survivor based on her courtroom attire. Through these revelatory and captivating scenes from the courtroom, Laura Coates explores the tension between the idealism of the law and the reality of working within the parameters of our flawed legal system, exposing the chasm between what is right and what is lawful.
From Children's Literature Legacy Award-winning author Nikki Grimes comes a feminist-forward new collection of poetry celebrating the little-known women poets of the Harlem Renaissance--paired with full-color, original art from today's most talented female African-American illustrators. For centuries, accomplished women--of all races--have fallen out of the historical records. The same is true for gifted, prolific, women poets of the Harlem Renaissance who are little known, especially as compared to their male counterparts. In this poetry collection, bestselling author Nikki Grimes uses "The Golden Shovel" poetic method to create wholly original poems based on the works of these groundbreaking women-and to introduce readers to their work. Each poem is paired with one-of-a-kind art from today's most exciting female African-American illustrators: Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Nina Crews, Pat Cummings, Laura Freeman, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, April Harrison, Vashti Harrison, Ekua Holmes, Cathy Ann Johnson, Keisha Morris, Daria Peoples-Riley, Andrea Pippins, Erin Robinson, Shadra Strickland, Nicole Tadgell, and Elizabeth Zunon. Legacy also includes a foreword, an introduction to the history of the Harlem Renaissance, author's note, and poet biographies, which make this a wonderful resource and a book to cherish. Acclaim for One Last Word A Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor winner A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of the Year A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Middle Grade A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Nonfiction
In the United States, Black men are almost six times more likely to be imprisoned than white men. This disproportionate impact can be traced back to slavery, Jim Crow laws, and the criminalization of Black people into the modern day. With growing awareness about unfair treatment in the justice system, more and more people are calling for change. Read more about the history and causes of mass incarceration and how activists are reforming and rethinking justice. Read Woke(tm) Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. Inspired by a belief that knowledge is power, Read Woke Books seek to amplify the voices of people of the global majority (people who are of African, Arab, Asian, and Latin American descent and identify as not white), provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, share perspectives of people who have been underrepresented or oppressed, challenge social norms and disrupt the status quo, and encourage readers to take action in their community.
"A detail-rich picture book." --Kirkus Reviews "Straightforward and inviting." --School Library Journal From award-winning author Lesa Cline-Ransome and acclaimed illustrator Raúl Colón comes the sensitive, informative, and inspiring picture book biography of the remarkable mathematician Katherine Johnson, one of the NASA "human computers" whose work was critical to the first US space launch. Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or astronauts walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as "human computers" used their knowledge, pencils, adding machines, and writing paper to calculate the orbital mechanics needed to launch spacecraft. Katherine Johnson was one of these mathematicians who used trajectories and complex equations to chart the space program. Even as Virginia's Jim Crow laws were in place in the early 1950s, Katherine worked analyzing data at the NACA (later NASA) Langley laboratory. In 1962, as NASA prepared for the orbital mission of John Glenn, Katherine Johnson was called upon and John Glenn said "get the girl" (Katherine Johnson) to run the numbers by hand to chart the complexity of the orbital flight. He knew that his flight couldn't work without her unique skills. President Barack Obama awarded Katherine Johnson the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and her incredible life inspired the Oscar-nominated film Hidden Figures. Get to know this incredible and inspirational woman with this beautifully illustrated picture book from an award-winning duo.
On a hot day in July 1919, five black youths went swimming in Lake Michigan, unintentionally floating close to the "white" beach. An angry white man began throwing stones at the boys, striking and killing one. Racial conflict on the beach erupted into days of urban violence that shook the city of Chicago to its foundations. This mesmerizing narrative draws on contemporary accounts as it traces the roots of the explosion that had been building for decades in race relations, politics, business, and clashes of culture.Archival photos and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.
Did you know that many of America's Founding Fathers--who fought for liberty and justice for all--were slave owners? Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were "owned" by four of our greatest presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America. From Billy Lee, valet to George Washington, to Alfred Jackson, faithful servant of Andrew Jackson, these dramatic narratives explore our country's great tragedy--that a nation "conceived in liberty" was also born in shackles. These stories help us know the real people who were essential to the birth of this nation but traditionally have been left out of the history books. Their stories are true--and they should be heard. This thoroughly-researched and documented book can be worked into multiple aspects of the common core curriculum.
A stunning, rhythmic picture book biography of African American composer Scott Joplin, whose ragtime music paved the way for jazz. There was something special about Scott Joplin... This quiet kid could make a piano laugh out loud. Scott, the son of a man who had been enslaved, became a king--the King of Ragtime. This celebration of Scott Joplin, whose ragtime compositions paved the way for jazz, will captivate audiences and put a beat in their step, and the kaleidoscope-like illustrations will draw young readers in again and again.
"When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened." --Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice--and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her amazing career in this illuminating and inspiring picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader. Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice that made people sit up, stand up, and take notice. So what do you do with a voice like that? Barbara took her voice to places few African American women had been in the 1960s: first law school, then the Texas state senate, then up to the United States congress. Throughout her career, she persevered through adversity to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice. New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes deliver a remarkable picture book biography about a woman whose struggles and mission continue to inspire today.