David Covin is Professor Emeritus of Government and
Ethnic Studies at CSU Sacramento. He is Past President of the National
Conference of Black Political Scientists, and the Founding Co-Principal
Investigator of the Race & Democracy in the Americas Project. He is
currently Co-Editor of the National Political Science Review.
Professor Covin received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois, his M.A. in Political Science from Colorado University, and his PhD in Political Science from Washington State University.
Dr. Covin is a published novelist and short story writer. His most recent
book is a novel, Wimbey’s Corner
(Blue Nile Press, 2011). He is also the author of
Black Politics After the Civil Rights Movement, Sacramento, 1970 - 2000
(McFarland, 2009) and The Unified Black Movement in Brazil, 1978-2002
(McFarland, 2006). His first novel was, Brown Sky (Path Press, 1987). He has
published over thirty articles in scholarly journals, the popular press, and
as book chapters, including articles in Drum Voices Review, the National
Political Science Review, the Black Scholar, the Journal of Black Studies,
the Western Journal of Black Studies, the Journal of Third World Studies,
Souls, and Explorations in Ethnic Studies. His research has been supported
by grants from CSU Sacramento’s Faculty Research and Creative Activity
Committee, CSU Sacramento’s Office of Global Education, the CSU Chancellor’s
Office, the California Council for the Humanities in Public Policy, the
Russell Sage Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the National
Science Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. His major research interests
are Black politics in the U.S.; Afro-Brazilian Politics; the Politics of the
African Diaspora; and Black Social Movements.
Dr. Covin was active in the Civil Rights Movement. He was co-chair of the Boulder, Colorado chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality; he did voter registration work in Jackson, Mississippi and Birmingham, Alabama. He participated in the March on Montgomery. In the Black Student Movement he was a founder of the Black Student Union at Washington State University, and of the Black Studies Program at Washington State University. He was a founding member of the National Black Independent Political Party. He is currently Chair of the Political Committee of the Sacramento Area Black Caucus, a member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Civic Improvement Club, Co-Convenor of the Sacramento Congress of African Peoples, and Facilitator of the Black Group. He is a Charter Member of the National Black Political Convention, headed by Bennet Johnson and Haki Mahdabuti, and of the Ad Hoc Committee for Racial and Human Justice.
He reads and Speaks, French and Portuguese; reads Spanish, Latin, and elementary Mandarin.
Princes of the Road
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Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Blue Nile Press; first edition (May 31, 2012)
Princes of the Road is centered around the lives of members of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the Pullman Porters. Most of its action takes place during the years 1938 - 40. By focusing on a limited number of porters (despite a cast of almost 90 characters, both fictional and historical), the novel explores the inner lives of the porters, their myriad personal strengths and failures, their common efforts, struggles with each other and the Pullman company, the penetration of every aspect of their lives by the effects of race, and the horrors - both domestic and foreign - endemic in those middle years of the 20th century.
Using trains as both metaphors and dramatic instruments of transportation, it traverses the whole country, from the big cities to the smallest hamlets, North and South, East and West, from the Rockies to the Gulf Coast, from New England to the beaches of Southern California, and into the railroad hub of Chicago, home of the Pullman Company. By entering the lives of individual porters, it exposes the reader to how such historical figures as Father Divine, A. Philip Randolph, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Madame C.J. Walker got there, too, making substantive impacts both on how they lived, and how they understood themselves. Princes of the Road is a historical novel which does not seek to evade, cloak, or minimize the horrors that much of the country s history has visited upon the least of these. It does this, as the poet Eugene Redmond has said of it, with rich storytelling, and memorably drawn lives, times, and rhymes that hold us like a spell.
Paperback: 409 pages
Publisher: Blue Nile Press; first edition (May 31, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.1 inches
Wimbey's Corner is a novel centered in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois during the early 1940s. Most of its characters reside in Wimbey's Corner, a small Black neighborhood owned by Eskeridge Wimbey, a wealthy Black man. The book's principal characters are Eskeridge Wimbey; Wayne Hunter, who moved to Chicago from Kentucky; Mackenzie Sweet, who aspires to be the world's oldest Negro; Claude Bonfils, a prince of Chicago pimps; Electra Wenders, a single mother; and Tommy Brown, a sailor. Much of the book's tension arises from the question of whether Wayne is the right kind of resident for the corner, and how that question plays out in the lives of the principal characters and other residents of Evanston and Chicago during WWII.
Paperback: 236 pages
Publisher: McFarland (May 13, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 6.9 x 0.8 inches
This important study posits a new way of understanding how ordinary Black people used the 30 years following the civil rights movement to forge a new political reality for themselves and their country. While following national trends closely, it focuses particularly on the political environment of Sacramento, California, from 1970 to 2000. Having a racial profile that is remarkably similar to the nation's demographics as a whole, Sacramento serves as a useful national proxy on the racial question. Unlike most studies of Black politics over the era, this text pays close attention to minor actors in the political process, yet places them within the context of the larger political world. We see, for example, the local effects of the War on Poverty, the Harold Washington mayoral campaigns, the Rainbow Coalition, the Million Man March, and the great increases in locally appointed and elected Black officials within the context of similar campaigns and movements nationwide.
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: McFarland & Company; annotated edition edition (August 22, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
Brazil in the late 1970s was a country of racial tension and inequality. During this time, a number of independent Black organizations sprang up from older roots, giving the black population a place to create, develop and share narratives about life in Brazil. Within these organizations, they developed a sense of racial consciousness that gave rise to the Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU) in 1979. The MNU, or Unified Black Movement, created an outlet for racial grievances and gave a voice to those previously unheard. This intensive historical study of Brazil’s Movimento Negro Unificado centers on the political effects and ramifications of the group. In order to present a complete picture of the MNU, it looks at the organization within four separate contexts: international, national, historical and human. Through this approach, the MNU is examined in relation to the African Diaspora, the European colonization of the Americas, the Atlantic Slave Trade, and the development of Brazil as an independent state. From a national perspective, the MNU is viewed amid other social organizations and cultural expressions. The result is a detailed study that admits the organization’s shortcomings but assesses them contextually, providing a more complete and nuanced understanding of the significance of the MNU’s problems and achievements. Appendices offer additional information such as the MNU Letter of Principles, the Constitution of the MNU, the preamble to the MNU Action Program and the MNU Hymn. A glossary is also included.
Hardcover: 274 pages
Publisher: Path Press; First edition (October 1987)
Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
Covin's debut novel, focusing on an all-black platoon stationed in Arkansas during World War II