13 Books Published by New York University Press on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about We Are Worth Fighting for (paperback): A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 by Joshua M. Myers We Are Worth Fighting for (paperback): A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989

by Joshua M. Myers
New York University Press (Apr 01, 2022)
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The Howard University protests from the perspective and worldview of its participants

We Are Worth Fighting For is the first history of the 1989 Howard University protest. The three-day occupation of the university’s Administration Building was a continuation of the student movements of the sixties and a unique challenge to the politics of the eighties. Upset at the university’s appointment of the Republican strategist Lee Atwater to the Board of Trustees, students forced the issue by shutting down the operations of the university. The protest, inspired in part by the emergence of "conscious" hip hop, helped to build support for the idea of student governance and drew upon a resurgent black nationalist ethos.

At the center of this story is a student organization known as Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. This group, co-founded by Ras J. Baraka (current mayor of Newark, NJ) and later led by current cultural arts entrepreneur April R. Silver, was at the forefront of organizing the student mobilization at Howard during the spring of 1989 and thereafter.

We Are Worth Fighting For explores how young Black student activists helped shape and resist the rightward shift and neoliberal foundations of American politics. This history adds to the literature on Black campus activism, Black Power studies, and the emerging histories of African American life in the 1980s.


Click for more detail about Black Ephemera: The Crisis and Challenge of the Musical Archive by Mark Anthony Neal Black Ephemera: The Crisis and Challenge of the Musical Archive

by Mark Anthony Neal
New York University Press (Mar 08, 2022)
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A framework for understanding the deep archive of Black performance in the digital era

In an era of Big Data and algorithms, our easy access to the archive of contemporary and historical Blackness is unprecedented. That iterations of Black visual art, such as Bert Williams’s 1916 silent film short "A Natural Born Gambler" or the performances of Josephine Baker from the 1920s, are merely a quick YouTube search away has transformed how scholars teach and research Black performance.

While Black Ephemera celebrates this new access, it also questions the crisis and the challenge of the Black musical archive in a moment when Black American culture has become a global export. Using music and sound as its primary texts, Black Ephemera argues that the cultural DNA of Black America has become obscured in the transformation from analog to digital. Through a cross-reading of the relationship between the digital era and culture produced in the pre-digital era, Neal argues that Black music has itself been reduced to ephemera, at best, and at worst to the background sounds of the continued exploitation and commodification of Black culture. The crisis and challenges of Black archives are not simply questions of knowledge, but of how knowledge moves and manifests itself within Blackness that is obscure, ephemeral, fugitive, precarious, fluid, and increasingly digital.

Black Ephemera is a reminder that for every great leap forward there is a necessary return to the archive. Through this work, Neal offers a new framework for thinking about Black culture in the digital world.


Click for more detail about The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship by Deborah Willis The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship

by Deborah Willis
New York University Press (Jan 26, 2021)
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A stunning collection of stoic portraits and intimate ephemera from the lives of Black Civil War soldiers

Though both the Union and Confederate armies excluded African American men from their initial calls to arms, many of the men who eventually served were black. Simultaneously, photography culture blossomed—marking the Civil War as the first conflict to be extensively documented through photographs. In The Black Civil War Soldier, Deb Willis explores the crucial role of photography in (re)telling and shaping African American narratives of the Civil War, pulling from a dynamic visual archive that has largely gone unacknowledged.

With over seventy images, The Black Civil War Soldier contains a huge breadth of primary and archival materials, many of which are rarely reproduced. The photographs are supplemented with handwritten captions, letters, and other personal materials; Willis not only dives into the lives of black Union soldiers, but also includes stories of other African Americans involved with the struggle—from left-behind family members to female spies. Willis thus compiles a captivating memoir of photographs and words and examines them together to address themes of love and longing; responsibility and fear; commitment and patriotism; and—most predominantly—African American resilience.

The Black Civil War Soldier offers a kaleidoscopic yet intimate portrait of the African American experience, from the beginning of the Civil War to 1900. Through her multimedia analysis, Willis acutely pinpoints the importance of African American communities in the development and prosecution of the war. The book shows how photography helped construct a national vision of blackness, war, and bondage, while unearthing the hidden histories of these black Civil War soldiers. In combating the erasure of this often overlooked history, Willis asks how these images might offer a more nuanced memory of African-American participation in the Civil War, and in doing so, points to individual and collective struggles for citizenship and remembrance.


Click for more detail about We Are Worth Fighting for: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989 by Joshua M. Myers We Are Worth Fighting for: A History of the Howard University Student Protest of 1989

by Joshua M. Myers
New York University Press (Dec 24, 2019)
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The Howard University protests from the perspective and worldview of its participants

We Are Worth Fighting For is the first history of the 1989 Howard University protest. The three-day occupation of the university’s Administration Building was a continuation of the student movements of the sixties and a unique challenge to the politics of the eighties. Upset at the university’s appointment of the Republican strategist Lee Atwater to the Board of Trustees, students forced the issue by shutting down the operations of the university. The protest, inspired in part by the emergence of "conscious" hip hop, helped to build support for the idea of student governance and drew upon a resurgent black nationalist ethos.

At the center of this story is a student organization known as Black Nia F.O.R.C.E. This group, co-founded by Ras J. Baraka (current mayor of Newark, NJ) and later led by current cultural arts entrepreneur April R. Silver, was at the forefront of organizing the student mobilization at Howard during the spring of 1989 and thereafter.

We Are Worth Fighting For explores how young Black student activists helped shape and resist the rightward shift and neoliberal foundations of American politics. This history adds to the literature on Black campus activism, Black Power studies, and the emerging histories of African American life in the 1980s.


Click for more detail about Beyond Hashtags: Racial Politics and Black Digital Networks by Sarah Florini Beyond Hashtags: Racial Politics and Black Digital Networks

by Sarah Florini
New York University Press (Dec 03, 2019)
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How black Americans use digital networks to organize and cultivate solidarity

Unrest gripped Ferguson, Missouri, after Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. Many black Americans turned to their digital and social media networks to circulate information, cultivate solidarity, and organize during that tumultuous moment. While Ferguson and the subsequent protests made black digital networks visible to mainstream media, these networks did not coalesce overnight. They were built and maintained over years through common, everyday use.

Beyond Hashtags explores these everyday practices and their relationship to larger social issues through an in-depth analysis of a trans-platform network of black American digital and social media users and content creators. In the crucial years leading up to the emergence of the Movement for Black Lives, black Americans used digital networks not only to cope with day-to-day experiences of racism, but also as an incubator for the debates that have since exploded onto the national stage. Beyond Hashtags tells the story of an influential subsection of these networks, an assemblage of podcasting, independent media, Instagram, Vine, Facebook, and the network of Twitter users that has come to be known as "Black Twitter." Florini looks at how black Americans use these technologies often simultaneously to create a space to reassert their racial identities, forge community, organize politically, and create alternative media representations and news sources. Beyond Hashtags demonstrates how much insight marginalized users have into technology.


Click for more detail about Algorithms Of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Umoja Noble Algorithms Of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

by Safiya Umoja Noble
New York University Press (Feb 18, 2018)
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Algorithms Of Oppression is a revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms.

Run a Google search for “black girls”-what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so angry” presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society.

In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.

Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance-operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond-understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.

An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.


Click for more detail about Algorithms Of Oppression (Hardcover) by Safiya Umoja Noble Algorithms Of Oppression (Hardcover)

by Safiya Umoja Noble
New York University Press (Feb 18, 2018)
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Algorithms Of Oppression is a revealing look at how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms.

Run a Google search for “black girls”-what will you find? “Big Booty” and other sexually explicit terms are likely to come up as top search terms. But, if you type in “white girls,” the results are radically different. The suggested porn sites and un-moderated discussions about “why black women are so sassy” or “why black women are so angry” presents a disturbing portrait of black womanhood in modern society.

In Algorithms of Oppression, Safiya Umoja Noble challenges the idea that search engines like Google offer an equal playing field for all forms of ideas, identities, and activities. Data discrimination is a real social problem; Noble argues that the combination of private interests in promoting certain sites, along with the monopoly status of a relatively small number of Internet search engines, leads to a biased set of search algorithms that privilege whiteness and discriminate against people of color, specifically women of color.

Through an analysis of textual and media searches as well as extensive research on paid online advertising, Noble exposes a culture of racism and sexism in the way discoverability is created online. As search engines and their related companies grow in importance-operating as a source for email, a major vehicle for primary and secondary school learning, and beyond-understanding and reversing these disquieting trends and discriminatory practices is of utmost importance.

An original, surprising and, at times, disturbing account of bias on the internet, Algorithms of Oppression contributes to our understanding of how racism is created, maintained, and disseminated in the 21st century.


Click for more detail about The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness by Raphael G. Warnock The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety, and Public Witness

by Raphael G. Warnock
New York University Press (Dec 06, 2013)
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#1 New York Times bestseller

“Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society.” —Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives.


Click for more detail about Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities by Mark Anthony Neal Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

by Mark Anthony Neal
New York University Press (Apr 22, 2013)
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Mark Anthony Neal’s Looking for Leroy is an engaging and provocative analysis of the complex ways in which black masculinity has been read and misread through contemporary American popular culture. Neal argues that black men and boys are bound, in profound ways, to and by their legibility. The most "legible" black male bodies are often rendered as criminal, bodies in need of policing and containment. Ironically, Neal argues, this sort of legibility brings welcome relief to white America, providing easily identifiable images of black men in an era defined by shifts in racial, sexual, and gendered identities.

Neal highlights the radical potential of rendering legible black male bodies—those bodies that are all too real for us—as illegible, while simultaneously rendering illegible black male bodies—those versions of black masculinity that we can’t believe are real—as legible. In examining figures such as hip-hop entrepreneur and artist Jay-Z, R&B Svengali R. Kelly, the late vocalist Luther Vandross, and characters from the hit HBO series The Wire, among others, Neal demonstrates how distinct representations of black masculinity can break the links in the public imagination that create antagonism toward black men. Looking for Leroy features close readings of contemporary black masculinity and popular culture, highlighting both the complexity and accessibility of black men and boys through visual and sonic cues within American culture, media, and public policy. By rendering legible the illegible, Neal maps the range of identifications and anxieties that have marked the performance and reception of post-Civil Rights era African American masculinity.


Click for more detail about Representing the Race by Gene Andrew Jarrett Representing the Race

by Gene Andrew Jarrett
New York University Press (Aug 08, 2011)
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The political value of African American literature has long been a topic of great debate among American writers, both black and white, from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama. In his compelling new book, Representing the Race, Gene Andrew Jarrett traces the genealogy of this topic in order to develop an innovative political history of African American literature. Jarrett examines texts of every sort—pamphlets, autobiographies, cultural criticism, poems, short stories, and novels—to parse the myths of authenticity, popular culture, nationalism, and militancy that have come to define African American political activism in recent decades. He argues that unless we show the diverse and complex ways that African American literature has transformed society, political myths will continue to limit our understanding of this intellectual tradition.Cultural forums ranging from the printing press, schools, and conventions, to parlors, railroad cars, and courtrooms provide the backdrop to this African American literary history, while the foreground is replete with compelling stories, from the debate over racial genius in early American history and the intellectual culture of racial politics after slavery, to the tension between copyright law and free speech in contemporary African American culture, to the political audacity of Barack Obama’s creative writing. Erudite yet accessible, Representing the Race is a bold explanation of what’s at stake in continuing to politicize African American literature in the new millennium.


Click for more detail about More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States by Imani Perry More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States

by Imani Perry
New York University Press (Feb 28, 2011)
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"Perry offers an insightful ’third way’ analysis…the book…is a good fit for cutting-edge graduate and faculty research."-M. Christian, Choice


Click for more detail about African American Literature Beyond Race by Gene Andrew Jarrett African American Literature Beyond Race

by Gene Andrew Jarrett
New York University Press (Apr 01, 2006)
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It is widely accepted that the canon of African American literature has racial realism at its core: African American protagonists, social settings, cultural symbols, and racial-political discourse. As a result, writings that are not preoccupied with race have long been invisible—unpublished, out of print, absent from libraries, rarely discussed among scholars, and omitted from anthologies.However, some of our most celebrated African American authors—from Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright to James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—have resisted this canonical rule, even at the cost of critical dismissal and commercial failure. African American Literature Beyond Race revives this remarkable literary corpus, presenting sixteen short stories, novelettes, and excerpts of novels-from the postbellum nineteenth century to the late twentieth century-that demonstrate this act of literary defiance. Each selection is paired with an original introduction by one of today’s leading scholars of African American literature, including Hazel V. Carby, Gerald Early, Mae G. Henderson, George Hutchinson, Carla Peterson, Amritjit Singh, and Werner Sollors.By casting African Americans in minor roles and marking the protagonists as racially white, neutral, or ambiguous, these works of fiction explore the thematic complexities of human identity, relations, and culture. At the same time, they force us to confront the basic question, "What is African American literature?"Stories by: James Baldwin, Octavia E. Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Chester B. Himes, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Toni Morrison, Ann Petry, Wallace Thurman, Jean Toomer, Frank J. Webb, Richard Wright, and Frank Yerby.Critical Introductions by: Hazel V. Carby, John Charles, Gerald Early, Hazel Arnett Ervin, Matthew Guterl, Mae G. Henderson, George B. Hutchinson, Gene Jarrett, Carla L. Peterson, Amritjit Singh, Werner Sollors, and Jeffrey Allen Tucker.


Click for more detail about Times Square Red, Times Square Blue by Samuel R. Delany Times Square Red, Times Square Blue

by Samuel R. Delany
New York University Press (Nov 01, 2001)
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If one street in America can claim to be the most infamous, it is surely 42nd Street. Between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, 42nd Street was once known for its peep shows, street corner hustlers and movie houses. Over the last two decades the notion of safety-from safe sex and safe neighborhoods, to safe cities and safe relationships-has overcome 42nd Street, giving rise to a Disney store, a children’s theater, and large, neon-lit cafes. 42nd Street has, in effect, become a family tourist attraction for visitors from Berlin, Tokyo, Westchester, and New Jersey’s suburbs.Samuel R. Delany sees a disappearance not only of the old Times Square, but of the complex social relationships that developed there: the points of contact between people of different classes and races in a public space. In Times Square Red, Times Square Blue, Delany tackles the question of why public restrooms, peepshows, and tree-filled parks are necessary to a city’s physical and psychological landscape. He argues that starting in 1985, New York City criminalized peep shows and sex movie houses to clear the way for the rebuilding of Times Square. Delany’s critique reveals how Times Square is being “ renovated” behind the scrim of public safety while the stage is occupied by gentrification. Times Square Red, Times Square Blue paints a portrait of a society dismantling the institutions that promote communication between classes, and disguising its fears of cross-class contact as “ family values.” Unless we overcome our fears and claim our “ community of contact,” it is a picture that will be replayed in cities across America.