Winner of a 2020 Pulitzer Prize Special Citation, Ida B. Wells was born enslaved in Holly Springs, Mississippi, in 1862. In this inspiring and accessible biography, Duster tells the incredible story of Wells's life, including stories from her childhood in Mississippi, her famous refusal to give up her seat on a ladies' train car in Memphis, and her later work as a pioneering journalist and anti-lynching crusader. Overlooked and underestimated, Wells would single-handedly change the course of American history and come to inspire millions. Ida B. the Queen shines a bright light on one of the most extraordinary women in history.
From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the "me too" movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words-me too-and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history. Tarana didn't always have the courage to say "me too." As a child, she reeled from her sexual assault, believing she was responsible. Unable to confess what she thought of as her own sins for fear of shattering her family, her soul split in two. One side was the bright, intellectually curious third generation Bronxite steeped in Black literature and power, and the other was the bad, shame ridden girl who thought of herself as a vile rule breaker, not of a victim. She tucked one away, hidden behind a wall of pain and anger, which seemed to work...until it didn't. Tarana fought to reunite her fractured soul, through organizing, pursuing justice, and finding community. In her debut memoir she shares her extensive work supporting and empowering Black and brown girls, and the devastating realization that to truly help these girls she needed to help that scared, ashamed child still in her soul. She needed to stop running and confront what had happened to her, for Heaven and Diamond and the countless other young Black women for whom she cared. They gave her the courage to embrace her power. A power which in turn she shared with the entire world. Through these young Black and brown women, Tarana found that we can only offer empathy to others if we first offer it to ourselves. Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman's inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying "me too," Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys
Maya Angelou, one of the best-loved authors of our time, shares the wisdom of a remarkable life in this best-selling spiritual classic. This is Maya Angelou talking from the heart, down to earth and real, but also inspiring. This is a book to be treasured, a book about being in all ways a woman, about living well, about the power of the word, and about the power do spirituality to move and shape your life. Passionate, lively, and lyrical, Maya Angelou's latest unforgettable work offers a gem of truth on every page.
In a display case in the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture sits a rough cotton bag, called Ashley's Sack, embroidered with just a handful of words that evoke a sweeping family story of loss and of love, passed down through generations. In 1850s South Carolina, an enslaved woman named Rose gave this sack filled with a few precious items to her daughter, Ashley, as a token of love and to try to ensure Ashley's survival as well. Soon after, the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold. Decades later, Ashley's granddaughter Ruth embroidered this family history on the bag in spare yet haunting language - including Rose's wish that "It be filled with my Love always." Now, in this illuminating, deeply moving book inspired by Rose's gift to Ashley, historian Tiya Miles carefully unearths these women's faint presence in archival records to follow the paths of their lives - and the lives of so many women like them - to write a singular and revelatory history of the experience of slavery, and the uncertain freedom afterward, in the United States.
In this startling group memoir, four friends - black and white, gay and straight, immigrant and American-born - use Toni Morrison's novels as a springboard for intimate and revealing conversations about the problems of everyday racism and living whole in times of uncertainty. Tackling everything from first love and Soul Train to police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the authors take up what it means to read challenging literature collaboratively and to learn in public as an act of individual reckoning and social resistance. Framing their book club around collective secrets, the group bears witness to how Morrison's works and words can propel us forward while we sit with uncomfortable questions about race, gender, and identity. How do we make space for black vulnerability in the face of white supremacy and internalized self-loathing? How do historical novels speak to us now about the delicate seams that hold black minds and bodies together? This slim and brilliant confessional offers a radical vision for book clubs as sites of self-discovery and communal healing. The Toni Morrison Book Club insists that we find ourselves in fiction and think of Morrison as a spiritual guide to our most difficult thoughts and ideas about American literature and life.
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.
In the bestselling tradition of The Notorious RBG comes a lively, informative, and illustrated tribute to one of the most exceptional women in American history - Harriet Tubman - a heroine whose fearlessness and activism still resonates today.Harriet Tubman is best known as one of the most famous conductors on the Underground Railroad. As a leading abolitionist, her bravery and selflessness has inspired generations in the continuing struggle for civil rights. Now, National Book Award nominee Erica Armstrong Dunbar presents a fresh take on this American icon blending traditional biography, illustrations, photos, and engaging sidebars that illuminate the life of Tubman as never before. Not only did Tubman help liberate hundreds of slaves, she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition during the Civil War, worked as a spy for the Union Army, was a fierce suffragist, and was an advocate for the aged. She Came to Slay reveals the many complexities and varied accomplishments of one of our nation's true heroes and offers an accessible and modern interpretation of Tubman's life that is both informative and engaging. Filled with rare outtakes of commentary, an expansive timeline of Tubman's life, photos (both new and those in public domain) , commissioned illustrations, and sections including "Harriet By the Numbers" (number of times she went back down south, approximately how many people she rescued, the bounty on her head) and "Harriet's Homies" (those who supported her over the years) , She Came to Slay is a stunning and powerful mix of pop culture and scholarship and proves that Harriet Tubman is well deserving of her permanent place in our nation's history.
When the renowned trumpeter and bandleader Miles Davis chose the members of his quintet in 1955, he passed over well-known, respected saxophonists such as Sonny Rollins to pick out the young, still untested John Coltrane. What might have seemed like a minor decision at the time would instead set the course not just for each of their careers but for jazz itself. Clawing at the Limits of Cool is the first book to focus on Davis and Coltrane's musical interaction and its historical context, on the ways they influenced each other and the tremendous impact they've had?on culture since then. It chronicles the drama of their collaboration, from their initial historic partnership to the interlude of their breakup, during which each man made tremendous progress toward his personal artistic goals.
"Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer. Cate Lineberry has done us all a great service by telling this incredibly moving, thrilling, and important story about an American hero who deserves to be remembered, and admired." -- Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire. Facing death rather than enslavement -- a story of one man's triumphant choice and ultimate rise to national heroIt was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old slave named Robert Smalls did the unthinkable and boldly seized a Confederate steamer. With his wife and two young children hidden on board, Smalls and a small crew ran a gauntlet of heavily armed fortifications in Charleston Harbor and delivered the valuable vessel and the massive guns it carried to nearby Union forces. To be unsuccessful was a death sentence for all. Smalls' courageous and ingenious act freed him and his family from slavery and immediately made him a Union hero while simultaneously challenging much of the country's view of what African Americans were willing to do to gain their freedom. After his escape, Smalls served in numerous naval campaigns off Charleston as a civilian boat pilot and eventually became the first black captain of an Army ship. In a particularly poignant moment Smalls even bought the home that he and his mother had once served in as house slaves. Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls' amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country's first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.
A definitive selection of Audre Lorde's "intelligent, fierce, powerful, sensual, provocative, indelible" (Roxane Gay) prose and poetry, for a new generation of readers.Self-described "black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet" Audre Lorde is an unforgettable voice in twentieth-century literature, and one of the first to center the experiences of black, queer women. This essential reader showcases her indelible contributions to intersectional feminism, queer theory, and critical race studies in twelve landmark essays and more than sixty poems -- selected and introduced by one of our most powerful contemporary voices on race and gender, Roxane Gay. Among the essays included here are:"The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action" "The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House" "I Am Your Sister" Excerpts from the American Book Award-winning A Burst of Light. The poems are drawn from Lorde's nine volumes, including The Black Unicorn and National Book Award finalist From a Land Where Other People Live.
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.
Congressman John Lewis was a paragon of the Civil Rights Movement and political leadership for decades. A hero we won't soon forget, Lewis was a beacon of hope and a model of humility whose invocation to "good trouble" continues to inspire millions across our nation. In his last months on earth, even while battling cancer, he dedicated time to share his memories, beliefs, and advice - exclusively immortalized in these pages - as a message to the generations to come.Organized by topic ranging from justice, courage, faith, mentorship, and forgiveness to the protests and the pandemic, and many more besides, Carry On collects the late Congressman's thoughts for readers to draw on whenever they are in need of guidance. John Lewis had great confidence in our future, even as he died in the midst of one of our country's most challenging years to date.
One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Miles Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his "mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music." This hobby quickly turned into a serious passion, and Davis approached it with the same obsessive creativity he applied to music. The result is an impressive archive of unique and evocative visual work showcasing the varied skill of this legendary artist. Throughout the 1980s, Davis studied regularly with New York painter Jo Gelbard, developing a distinct graphic style. Incorporating bright colors and geometric shapes, his art is reminiscent of work by Pablo Picasso as well as African tribal art, the historical influences he cited during occasional interviews on the subject.
The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era.As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.
A vibrant celebration of President Obama, this perfect commemorative book provides a valuable record of his historical presidency. In January 2017, Barack Obama concluded two terms of his historic presidency. Through stunning images by White House photographers and beyond, as well as notable essays and quotes from a broad spectrum of people, Obama looks back at President Obama's journey - from his remarkable victory to his final days in office and the significant milestones along the way. Obama features rare and unseen photographs, along with iconic images and newspaper front pages from the president's 2,920 days in office. It includes dramatic pictures, including the iconic shot from the situation room as the president and his staff watched the live unfolding of the bin Laden raid; day-to-day images of Obama in his roles as a world leader, policy maker, commander in chief, and father; lighthearted photos from the White House Correspondents' Dinner; late-night television appearances; and moments with the entire Obama family. Included are excerpts from seven historic speeches and contributions from notable historians, community leaders, journalists, academics and business leaders - including Sir Richard Branson, Laurie Garrett, Tweed Roosevelt, Anastasia Somoza and others whose lives have been touched by Obama's actions and initiatives. Obama is truly a keepsake memento of a beloved president.
In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley - daughter of actress Lena Horne - delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights.Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family's two branches: one that stayed in the South, and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives' momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history. From Atlanta during Reconstruction and the rise of Jim Crow, to New York City during the Harlem Renaissance, and then from World War II to the Civil Rights Movement, this ambitious, brilliant family witnessed and participated in the most crucial events of the 19th and 20th centuries. Combining personal and national history, The Black Calhouns is a unique and vibrant portrait of six generations during dynamic times of struggle and triumph.
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 Americathe first African American to serve in that roleshe 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 herfrom 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 worlds 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 itin 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 expectationsand whose story inspires us to do the same.
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.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER | NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER | PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST | NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review * O: The Oprah Magazine * The Washington Post * People * Entertainment Weekly * Vogue * Los Angeles Times * San Francisco Chronicle * Chicago Tribune * New York * Newsday * Library Journal * Publishers WeeklyHailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States" (The New York Observer) "This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it."In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men - bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son - and readers - the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.Praise for Between the World and Me"I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates. The language of Between the World and Me, like Coates's journey, is visceral, eloquent, and beautifully redemptive. And its examination of the hazards and hopes of black male life is as profound as it is revelatory." - Toni Morrison "Powerful and passionate . . . profoundly moving . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Really powerful and emotional." - John Legend, The Wall Street Journal "Extraordinary." - David Remnick, The New Yorker "Brilliant . . . a mature writer entirely consumed by a momentous subject and working at the extreme of his considerable powers." - The Washington Post "An eloquent blend of history, reportage, and memoir." - The Boston Globe "[Coates] speaks resolutely and vividly to all of black America." - Los Angeles Times "A work that's both titanic and timely . . . the latest essential reading in America's social canon." - Entertainment Weekly
Much has been written about Berdis Baldwin's son James, about Alberta King's son Martin Luther, and Louise Little's son Malcolm. But virtually nothing has been said about the extraordinary women who raised them, who were all born at the beginning of the 20th century and forced to contend with the prejudices of Jim Crow as Black women.Berdis, Alberta, and Louise passed their knowledge to their children with the hope of helping them to survive in a society that would deny their humanity from the very beginning -- from Louise teaching her children about their activist roots, to Berdis encouraging James to express himself through writing, to Alberta basing all of her lessons in faith and social justice. These women used their strength and motherhood to push their children toward greatness, all with a conviction that every human being deserves dignity and respect despite the rampant discrimination they faced.
Ernest C. Withers was one of the most prominent African-American photographers of the civil rights era. During the course of his work, he took thousands photographs that document the civil rights movement -- from the Emmett Till trial in 1955 to the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968. What set his work apart was that he goes beyond the political struggles to explain the civil rights movement that changed the country. Withers was primarily a local photographer, working as a freelancer for the Memphis World and Tri-State Defender starting in 1948. His photographs of the everyday world -- bridge clubs, funerals, people at work and play, and street life -- create a stunning record of what it was like to live in Memphis and the Mid-South. He was also a noted baseball photographer, documenting Negro League baseball in Memphis, and a noted music photographer, taking thousands of photographs of jazz, blues, rock 'n' roll and R&B performers.
An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author's interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Beginning in 1990 on a quest that would consume him for the rest of his life, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Les Payne started interviewing all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to create a portrait of Malcolm X that would separate fact from fiction. Interweaving unknown details of Malcolm X's life -- from harrowing vignettes culled from his Depression-era Nebraska and Michigan youth; to his Massachusetts prison years and religious conversion; to his recruitment for Elijah Muhammad; and, finally, to a moment-by-moment retelling of the 1965 assassination -- Payne has written a groundbreaking biography that brings to vivid life the story of one of the most politically relevant figures in twentieth-century American history.