62 Books Published by Perseus Books on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell Discrimination and Disparities

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Mar 20, 2018)
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An empirical examination of how economic and other disparities arise
Economic and other outcomes differ vastly among individuals, groups, and nations. Many explanations have been offered for the differences. Some believe that those with less fortunate outcomes are victims of genetics. Others believe that those who are less fortunate are victims of the more fortunate.

Discrimination and Disparities gathers a wide array of empirical evidence from to challenge the idea that different economic outcomes can be explained by any one factor, be it discrimination, exploitation or genetics.

It is readable enough for people with no prior knowledge of economics. Yet the empirical evidence with which it backs up its analysis spans the globe and challenges beliefs across the ideological spectrum.

The point of Discrimination and Disparities is not to recommend some particular policy "fix" at the end, but to clarify why so many policy fixes have turned out to be counterproductive, and to expose some seemingly invincible fallacies—behind many counterproductive policies.


Click for more detail about Wealth, Poverty and Politics by Thomas Sowell Wealth, Poverty and Politics

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Sep 06, 2016)
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In Wealth, Poverty, and Politics, Dr. Thomas Sowell of the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, examines the reasons for large differences in income and wealth between nations and among groups within nations. A wide range of geographic, demographic, cultural, and political factors are examined, not to find a single factor or a single combination of factors that will explain all economic differences, but to show how particular combinations of factors limit or expand the possibilities for specific nations and peoples at specific times and places.

Dr. Sowell also examines some popular explanations of these differences and shows why they will not stand up under scrutiny. In doing so, he takes on some of the reigning titans of the redistributionist movement—including John Rawls, Thomas Piketty, Paul Krugman, and Joseph Stiglitz—and shows how a remarkable number of their claims cannot withstand plain common sense, expressed in plain English.


Click for more detail about Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation by Nicholas Guyatt Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation

by Nicholas Guyatt
Basic Books (Apr 26, 2016)
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Why did the Founding Fathers fail to include blacks and Indians in their cherished proposition that ?all men are created equal”? The usual answer is racism, but the reality is more complex and unsettling. In Bind Us Apart, historian Nicholas Guyatt argues that, from the Revolution through the Civil War, most white liberals believed in the unity of all human beings. But their philosophy faltered when it came to the practical work of forging a color-blind society. Unable to convince others?and themselves?that racial mixing was viable, white reformers began instead to claim that people of color could only thrive in separate republics: in Native states in the American West or in the West African colony of Liberia.

Herein lie the origins of ?separate but equal.” Decades before Reconstruction, America’s liberal elite was unable to imagine how people of color could become citizens of the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, Native Americans were pushed farther and farther westward, while four million slaves freed after the Civil War found themselves among a white population that had spent decades imagining that they would live somewhere else.

Essential reading for anyone disturbed by America’s ongoing failure to achieve true racial integration, Bind Us Apart shows conclusively that ?separate but equal” represented far more than a southern backlash against emancipation?it was a founding principle of our nation.


Click for more detail about Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X

by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
Basic Books (Feb 02, 2016)
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In 1962, boxing writers and fans considered Cassius Clay an obnoxious self-promoter, and few believed that he would become the heavyweight champion of the world. But Malcolm X, the most famous minister in the Nation of Islam—a sect many white Americans deemed a hate cult—saw the potential in Clay, not just for boxing greatness, but as a means of spreading the Nation’s message. The two became fast friends, keeping their interactions secret from the press for fear of jeopardizing Clay’s career. Clay began living a double life—a patriotic “good Negro” in public, and a radical reformer behind the scenes. Soon, however, their friendship would sour, with disastrous and far-reaching consequences.

Based on previously untapped sources, from Malcolm’s personal papers to FBI records, Blood Brothers is the first book to offer an in-depth portrait of this complex bond. Acclaimed historians Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith reconstruct the worlds that shaped Malcolm and Clay, from the boxing arenas and mosques, to postwar New York and civil rights–era Miami. In an impressively detailed account, they reveal how Malcolm molded Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali, helping him become an international symbol of black pride and black independence. Yet when Malcolm was barred from the Nation for criticizing the philandering of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, Ali turned his back on Malcolm—a choice that tragically contributed to the latter’s assassination in February 1965.

Malcolm’s death marked the end of a critical phase of the civil rights movement, but the legacy of his friendship with Ali has endured. We inhabit a new era where the roles of entertainer and activist, of sports and politics, are more entwined than ever before. Blood Brothers is the story of how Ali redefined what it means to be a black athlete in America—after Malcolm first enlightened him. An extraordinary narrative of love and deep affection, as well as deceit, betrayal, and violence, this story is a window into the public and private lives of two of our greatest national icons, and the tumultuous period in American history that they helped to shape.


Click for more detail about Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country by Shelby Steele Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country

by Shelby Steele
Basic Books (Feb 24, 2015)
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The United States today is hopelessly polarized; the political Right and Left have hardened into rigid and deeply antagonistic camps, preventing any sort of progress. Amid the bickering and inertia, the promise of the 1960s—when we came together as a nation to fight for equality and universal justice—remains unfulfilled.

As Shelby Steele reveals in Shame, the roots of this impasse can be traced back to that decade of protest, when in the act of uncovering and dismantling our national hypocrisies—racism, sexism, militarism—liberals internalized the idea that there was something inauthentic, if not evil, in the America character. Since then, liberalism has been wholly concerned with redeeming modern American from the sins of the past, and has derived its political legitimacy from the premise of a morally bankrupt America. The result has been a half-century of well-intentioned but ineffective social programs, such as Affirmative Action. Steele reveals that not only have these programs failed, but they have in almost every case actively harmed America’s minorities and poor. Ultimately, Steele argues, post-60s liberalism has utterly failed to achieve its stated aim: true equality. Liberals, intending to atone for our past sins, have ironically perpetuated the exploitation of this country’s least fortunate citizens.

It therefore falls to the Right to defend the American dream. Only by reviving our founding principles of individual freedom and merit-based competition can the fraught legacy of American history be redeemed, and only through freedom can we ever hope to reach equality.

Approaching political polarization from a wholly new perspective, Steele offers a rigorous critique of the failures of liberalism and a cogent argument for the relevance and power of conservatism.


Click for more detail about Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell Basic Economics

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Dec 02, 2014)
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In this fifth edition of Basic Economics, Thomas Sowell revises and updates his popular book on common sense economics, bringing the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Drawing on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history, Sowell explains basic economic principles for the general public in plain English.

Basic Economics, which has now been translated into six languages and has additional material online, remains true to its core principle: that the fundamental facts and principles of economics do not require jargon, graphs, or equations, and can be learned in a relaxed and even enjoyable way.


Click for more detail about This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible by Charles E. Cobb, Jr. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible

by Charles E. Cobb, Jr.
Basic Books (Jun 03, 2014)
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Visiting Martin Luther King Jr. at the peak of the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, journalist William Worthy almost sat on a loaded pistol. ?Just for self defense,” King assured him. It was not the only weapon King kept for such a purpose; one of his advisors remembered the reverend’s Montgomery, Alabama home as ?an arsenal.”

Like King, many ostensibly ?nonviolent” civil rights activists embraced their constitutional right to selfprotection?yet this crucial dimension of the Afro-American freedom struggle has been long ignored by history. In This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed, civil rights scholar Charles E. Cobb Jr. describes the vital role that armed self-defense played in the survival and liberation of black communities in America during the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s. In the Deep South, blacks often safeguarded themselves and their loved ones from white supremacist violence by bearing?and, when necessary, using?firearms. In much the same way, Cobb shows, nonviolent civil rights workers received critical support from black gun owners in the regions where they worked. Whether patrolling their neighborhoods, garrisoning their homes, or firing back at attackers, these courageous men and women and the weapons they carried were crucial to the movement’s success.

Giving voice to the World War II veterans, rural activists, volunteer security guards, and self-defense groups who took up arms to defend their lives and liberties, This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed lays bare the paradoxical relationship between the nonviolent civil rights struggle and the Second Amendment. Drawing on his firsthand experiences in the civil rights movement and interviews with fellow participants, Cobb provides a controversial examination of the crucial place of firearms in the fight for American freedom.


Click for more detail about Stokely: A Life by Peniel E. Joseph Stokely: A Life

by Peniel E. Joseph
Basic Civitas Books (Mar 04, 2014)
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Stokely Carmichael, the charismatic and controversial black activist, stepped onto the pages of history when he called for ?Black Power” during a speech one Mississippi night in 1966. A firebrand who straddled both the American civil rights and Black Power movements, Carmichael would stand for the rest of his life at the center of the storm he had unleashed that night. In Stokely, preeminent civil rights scholar Peniel E. Joseph presents a groundbreaking biography of Carmichael, using his life as a prism through which to view the transformative African American freedom struggles of the twentieth century.

During the heroic early years of the civil rights movement, Carmichael and other civil rights activists advocated nonviolent measures, leading sit-ins, demonstrations, and voter registration efforts in the South that culminated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Still, Carmichael chafed at the slow progress of the civil rights movement and responded with Black Power, a movement that urged blacks to turn the rhetoric of freedom into a reality through whatever means necessary. Marked by the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., a wave of urban race riots, and the rise of the anti-war movement, the late 1960s heralded a dramatic shift in the tone of civil rights. Carmichael became the revolutionary icon for this new racial and political landscape, helping to organize the original Black Panther Party in Alabama and joining the iconic Black Panther Party for Self Defense that would galvanize frustrated African Americans and ignite a backlash among white Americans and the mainstream media. Yet at the age of twenty-seven, Carmichael made the abrupt decision to leave the United States, embracing a pan-African ideology and adopting the name of Kwame Ture, a move that baffled his supporters and made him something of an enigma until his death in 1998.

A nuanced and authoritative portrait, Stokely captures the life of the man whose uncompromising vision defined political radicalism and provoked a national reckoning on race and democracy.


Click for more detail about Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists And Progressive Politics During World War Ii by Farah Jasmine Griffin Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists And Progressive Politics During World War Ii

by Farah Jasmine Griffin
Basic Civitas Books (Sep 10, 2013)
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As World War II raged overseas, Harlem witnessed a battle of its own. Brimming with creative and political energy, the neighborhood’s diverse array of artists and activists took advantage of a brief period of progressivism during the war years to launch a bold cultural offensive aimed at winning democracy for all Americans, regardless of race or gender. Ardent believers in America’s promise, these men and women helped to lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement before Cold War politics and anti-Communist fervor temporarily froze their dreams at the dawn of the postwar era.

In Harlem Nocturne, esteemed scholar Farah Jasmine Griffin tells the stories of three black female artists whose creative and political efforts fueled this historic movement for change: choreographer and dancer Pearl Primus, composer and pianist Mary Lou Williams, and novelist Ann Petry. Like many African Americans in the city at the time, these women weren’t native New Yorkers, but the metropolis and its vibrant cultural scene gave them the space to flourish and the freedom to express their political concerns. Pearl Primus performed nightly at the legendary Café Society, the first racially integrated club in New York, where she débuted dances of social protest that drew on long-buried African traditions and the dances of former slaves in the South. Williams, meanwhile, was a major figure in the emergence of bebop, collaborating with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Bud Powell and premiering her groundbreaking Zodiac Suite at the legendary performance space Town Hall. And Ann Petry conveyed the struggles of working-class black women to a national audience with her acclaimed novel The Street, which sold over a million copies?a first for a female African American author.

A rich biography of three artists and the city that inspired them, Harlem Nocturne captures a period of unprecedented vitality and progress for African Americans and women, revealing a cultural movement and a historical moment whose influence endures today.


Click for more detail about Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power To Barack Obama by Peniel E. Joseph Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power To Barack Obama

by Peniel E. Joseph
Basic Civitas Books (Feb 05, 2013)
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The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ?60s is now remembered as a distant, sepia-toned campaign, whose achievements and idealism were soon eclipsed by angry, confrontational Black Power activists. However, far from marking the end of an era, as is commonly thought, the 1965 Voting Rights Act wrested open a dam holding back radical political impulses. This political explosion initially took the form of the Black Power Movement, which, though conventionally adjudged a failure, in fact laid the groundwork for a crucial new wave of black leadership culminating in the inauguration of Barack Obama. In Dark Days, Bright Nights, acclaimed scholar Peniel E. Joseph elucidates Black Power’s forgotten achievements by retelling the story of the movement through the lives of activists, intellectuals, and artists including Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, and Barack Obama. In so doing, Joseph re-assesses a half-century fraught with struggle to expose the Black Power movement’s resounding triumphs and continuing influence on American democracy.


Click for more detail about The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Basic Civitas Books (May 01, 2012)
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Educator, writer, critic, intellectual, film-maker?Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has been widely praised as being one of America’s most prominent and prolific scholars. In what will be an essential volume, The Henry Louis Gates Reader collects three decades of writings from his many fields of interest and expertise.
From his earliest work of literary-historical excavation in 1982, through his current writings on the history and science of African American genealogy, the essays collected here follow his path as historian, theorist, canon-builder, and cultural critic, revealing a thinker of uncommon breadth whose work is uniformly guided by the drive to uncover and restore a history that has for too long been buried and denied.An invaluable reference, The Henry Louis Gates Reader will be a singular reflection of one of our most gifted minds.

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Click for more detail about In Defense of Taboos by Stanley Crouch In Defense of Taboos

by Stanley Crouch
Basic Civitas Books (Nov 30, 2011)
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Click for more detail about Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic by Michael Eric Dyson Born to Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Dec 29, 2009)
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At the age of nineteen, Nasir ?Nas” Jones began recording tracks for his debut album?and changed the music world forever. Released in 1994, Illmatic was hailed as an instant masterpiece and has proven one of the most influential albums in hip-hop history. With its close attention to beats and lyricism, and riveting first-person explorations of the isolation and desolation of urban poverty, Illmatic was pivotal in the evolution of the genre.In Born to Use Mics, Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai have brought together renowned writers and critics including Mark Anthony Neal, Marc Lamont Hill, Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., and many others to confront Illmatic song by song, with each scholar assessing an individual track from the album. The result is a brilliant engagement with and commentary upon one of the most incisive sets of songs ever laid down on wax.


Click for more detail about Can You Hear Me Now?: The Inspiration, Wisdom, And Insight Of Michael Eric Dyson by Michael Eric Dyson Can You Hear Me Now?: The Inspiration, Wisdom, And Insight Of Michael Eric Dyson

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (May 12, 2009)
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Over the last 20 years, Michael Eric Dyson has become one of America’s most visible—and quotable—public intellectuals. Whether in his sixteen books, or in countless newspapers, television and radio appearances, or on stages, podiums, and pulpits across the world, Dyson has spun an enchanting web of words that has caught the attention of the masses and elites alike. He has weighed in on a myriad array of topics – from faith to fatherhood, and from race to sex, as well as sports, manhood, gender, music, leadership, politics, language, love, justice, literature, suffering, death, hope, relationships and much, much more.Can You Hear Me Now?, offers a sampling of Dyson’s sharp wit, profound thought, and edifying eloquence on the enduring problems of humanity, from love to justice, and the latest topics of the day, including race and the presidency. It is both revealing and relevant, and at once thoughtful provoking and uplifting. Whether he is writing about Jay-Z or Barack Obama, addressing racial catastrophes or opportunities, or speaking about religion or the felicities of King’s rhetoric, Dyson’s intellect shines with insight and inspiration.Can You Hear Me Now? captures Dyson’s incredible facility with words, and his prodigious intelligence, at a time when he has gained greater fame as a public intellectual, university professor, best-selling author, and most recently, as one of the first prominent blacks to endorse President Barack Obama. The time is ripe for his wit, wisdom and worldview, and this book is Dyson’s most accessible compendium of thinking on a broad range of topics that haunt and shape the nation.


Click for more detail about The Housing Boom and Bust by Thomas Sowell The Housing Boom and Bust

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Apr 24, 2009)
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This is a plain-English explanation of how we got into the current economic disaster that developed out of the economics and politics of the housing boom and bust. The ?creative” financing of home mortgages and the even more ?creative” marketing of financial securities based on American mortgages to countries around the world, are part of the story of how a financial house of cards was built up?and then suddenly collapsed.The politics behind all this is another story full of strange twists. No punches are pulled when discussing politicians of either party, the financial dangers they created, or the distractions they created later to escape their own responsibility for what happened when the financial house of cards in the financial markets collapsed.What to do, now that we are in the midst of an economic disaster, is yet another story?one whose ending we do not yet know, but one whose outlines and implications are explored to reveal some surprising and sobering lessons.


Click for more detail about Triangular Road: A Memoir by Paule Marshall Triangular Road: A Memoir

by Paule Marshall
Basic Civitas Books (Mar 03, 2009)
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In Triangular Road, famed novelist Paule Marshall tells the story of her years as a fledgling young writer in the 1960s. A memoir of self-discovery, it also offers an affectionate tribute to the inimitable Langston Hughes, who entered Marshall’s life during a crucial phase and introduced her to the world of European letters during a whirlwind tour of the continent funded by the State Department. In the course of her journeys to Europe, Barbados, and eventually Africa, Marshall comes to comprehend the historical enormity of the African diaspora, an understanding that fortifies her sense of purpose as a writer.In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Paule Marshall offers an indelible portrait of a young black woman coming of age as a novelist in a literary world dominated by white men.

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Click for more detail about Something Torn And New: An African Renaissance by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o Something Torn And New: An African Renaissance

by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o
Basic Civitas Books (Feb 24, 2009)
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Novelist Ngugi wa Thiong’o has been a force in African literature for decades: Since the 1970s, when he gave up the English language to commit himself to writing in African languages, his foremost concern has been the critical importance of language to culture. In Something Torn and New, Ngugi explores Africa’s historical, economic, and cultural fragmentation by slavery, colonialism, and globalization. Throughout this tragic history, a constant and irrepressible force was Europhonism: the replacement of native names, languages, and identities with European ones. The result was the dismemberment of African memory.Seeking to remember language in order to revitalize it, Ngugi’s quest is for wholeness. Wide-ranging, erudite, and hopeful, Something Torn and New is a cri de coeur to save Africa’s cultural future.

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Click for more detail about The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow by Walter Mosley The Right Mistake: The Further Philosophical Investigations of Socrates Fortlow

by Walter Mosley
Basic Civitas Books (Oct 07, 2008)
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Living in South Central L.A., Socrates Fortlow is a sixty-year-old ex-convict, still strong enough to kill men with his bare hands. Now freed after serving twenty-seven years in prison, he is filled with profound guilt about his own crimes and disheartened by the chaos of the streets. Along with his gambler friend Billy Psalms, Socrates calls together local people of all races from their different social stations—lawyers, gangsters, preachers, Buddhists, businessmen—to conduct meetings of a Thinkers’ Club, where all can discuss the unanswerable questions in life.The street philosopher enjoins his friends to explore—even in the knowledge that there’s nothing that they personally can do to change the ways of the world—what might be done anyway, what it would take to change themselves. Infiltrated by undercover cops, and threatened by strain from within, tensions rise as hot-blooded gangsters and respectable deacons fight over issues of personal and social responsibility. But simply by asking questions about racial authenticity, street justice, infidelity, poverty, and the possibility of mutual understanding, Socrates and his unlikely crew actually begin to make a difference.In turns outraged and affectionate, The Right Mistake offers a profoundly literary and ultimately redemptive exploration of the possibility of moral action in a violent and fallen world.

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Click for more detail about April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death And How It Changed America by Michael Eric Dyson April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death And How It Changed America

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Mar 31, 2008)
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On April 4, 1968, at 6:01 PM, while he was standing on a balcony at a Memphis hotel, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and fatally wounded. Only hours earlier King?the prophet for racial and economic justice in America?ended his final speech with the words, ?I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.”

Acclaimed public intellectual and best-selling author Michael Eric Dyson uses the fortieth anniversary of King’s assassination as the occasion for a provocative and fresh examination of how King fought, and faced, his own death, and we should use his death and legacy. Dyson also uses this landmark anniversary as the starting point for a comprehensive reevaluation of the fate of Black America over the four decades that followed King’s death. Dyson ambitiously investigates the ways in which African-Americans have in fact made it to the Promised Land of which King spoke, while shining a bright light on the ways in which the nation has faltered in the quest for racial justice. He also probes the virtues and flaws of charismatic black leadership that has followed in King’s wake, from Jesse Jackson to Barack Obama.

Always engaging and inspiring, April 4, 1968 celebrates the prophetic leadership of Dr. King, and challenges America to renew its commitment to his deeply moral vision.


Click for more detail about Party Crashing: How The Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence by Keli Goff Party Crashing: How The Hip-Hop Generation Declared Political Independence

by Keli Goff
Basic Civitas Books (Feb 26, 2008)
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For the last forty years the label ?black voter” has been virtually synonymous with ?Democrat” but a new generation of voters is changing that. In her provocative new book Party Crashing, political commentator Keli Goff introduces America’s newest swing voter. Like soccer moms and Nascar dads before them, young, black voters born after the Civil Rights Movement are becoming increasingly up for grabs, politically speaking. While the politics of their parents and grandparents were shaped by the Civil Rights Movement, Goff notes that the politics of her peers, members of the post-Civil Rights generation, have been shaped by a number of cultural influencers that transcend race; from ?The Cosby Show,” to icons such as Oprah Winfrey, and the tragedy of 9/11. Civil rights has long been the defining political issue for black Americans but for this emerging generation of black voters, civil rights is now one issue among many that define their politics. As a result, they are challenging the idea that one’s skin color should color one’s political identity, and they are also challenging the idea that they should be Democrats. Since the support of black Americans has been crucial to the success of democratic candidates-from Presidents Kennedy to Clinton-this shift could be one of the most important developments in modern politics, arguably as important as the Civil Rights movement itself. Along with the political shift occurring, Goff also examines the cultural shift that is taking place on a wide range of issues including: gay marriage, hip-hop, and the emergence of what Goff calls ?Generation Obama.” Through in-depth interviews with young, black voters, groundbreaking survey research, and conversations with a range of high profile Americans-from Colin Powell to Russell Simmons-Party Crashing explores the issues and people who have helped shape the politics of the post-Civil Rights Generation, and how this generation is reshaping America.


Click for more detail about Economic Facts and Fallacies by Thomas Sowell Economic Facts and Fallacies

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Jan 01, 2008)
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Economic Facts and Fallacies exposes some of the most popular fallacies about economic issues-and does so in a lively manner and without requiring any prior knowledge of economics by the reader. These include many beliefs widely disseminated in the media and by politicians, such as mistaken ideas about urban problems, income differences, male-female economic differences, as well as economics fallacies about academia, about race, and about Third World countries. One of the themes of Economic Facts and Fallacies is that fallacies are not simply crazy ideas but in fact have a certain plausibility that gives them their staying power-and makes careful examination of their flaws both necessary and important, as well as sometimes humorous. Written in the easy-to-follow style of the author’s Basic Economics, this latest book is able to go into greater depth, with real world examples, on specific issues.


Click for more detail about Know What I Mean?  Reflections on Hip-Hop by Michael Eric Dyson Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip-Hop

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jul 02, 2007)
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Whether along race, class or generational lines, hip-hop music has been a source of controversy since the beats got too big and the voices too loud for the block parties that spawned them. America has condemned and commended this music and the culture that inspires it. Dubbed ?the Hip-Hop Intellectual” by critics and fans for his pioneering explorations of rap music in the academy and beyond, Michael Eric Dyson is uniquely situated to probe the most compelling and controversial dimensions of hip-hop culture. Know What I Mean? addresses salient issues within hip hop: the creative expression of degraded youth that has garnered them global exposure; the vexed gender relations that have made rap music a lightning rod for pundits; the commercial explosion that has made an art form a victim of its success; the political elements that have been submerged in the most popular form of hip hop; and the intellectual engagement with some of hip hop’s most influential figures. In spite of changing trends, both in the music industry and among the intelligentsia, Dyson has always supported and interpreted this art that bloomed unwatered, and in many cases, unwanted from our inner cities. For those who wondered what all the fuss is about in hip hop, Dyson’s bracing and brilliant book breaks it all down.


Click for more detail about An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President by Randall Robinson An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President

by Randall Robinson
Basic Civitas Books (Jun 25, 2007)
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On February 29th, 2004 the democratically elected president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was forced to leave his country. The twice elected President was kidnapped, along with his Haitian-American wife, American soldiers and flown, against his will, to the isolated Central African Republic. Although the American government has denied ousting Aristide it was clear that the Haitian people’s most recent attempt at self-determination had not been crushed by Haitian paramilitaries as Washington claimed. In An Unbroken Agony , bestselling author and social justice advocate Randall Robinson explores the heroic and tragic history of Haiti. He traces the history of a people forced across the Atlantic in chains; recounting their spectacularly successful slave revolt against France and the two hundred years of reprisals that would follow. The fate of Aristide’s presidency is tied to this people’s century-long quest for self-determination and his removal from power exposes the apartheid-like forces that frustrate these aspirations even today. Robinson majestically chronicles the convulsive history of this island nation-from Columbus’s arrival to the fearlessness of the slave revolutionaries who defeated the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, wresting from France the most valuable colony of any European power anywhere in the world; from the ideals of the young republic, to the foreign backed dictators who corrupted those ideals, culminating in the American led operation removing from power Haiti’s first democratically elected president and his entire government in 2004. Robinson captures the pride and courage of the Haitian people in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. With his passionate prose, Robinson brings alive the powerful memory of the Haitian revolution in the souls of ordinary citizens and shows the boundless desire of all Haitians to chart their own destiny-free of foreign interference.


Click for more detail about A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles by Thomas Sowell A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Jun 05, 2007)
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In this classic work, Thomas Sowell analyzes the two competing visions that shape our debates about the nature of reason, justice, equality, and power: the ?constrained” vision, which sees human nature as unchanging and selfish, and the ?unconstrained” vision, in which human nature is malleable and perfectible. He describes how these two radically opposed views have manifested themselves in the political controversies of the past two centuries, including such contemporary issues as welfare reform, social justice, and crime. Updated to include sweeping political changes since its first publication in 1987, this revised edition of A Conflict of Visions offers a convincing case that ethical and policy disputes circle around the disparity between both outlooks.


Click for more detail about Considering Genius: Writings On Jazz by Stanley Crouch Considering Genius: Writings On Jazz

by Stanley Crouch
Basic Civitas Books (Apr 10, 2007)
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Stanley Crouch-MacArthur ?Genius” Award recipient, co-founder of Jazz at Lincoln Center, National Book Award nominee, and perennial bull in the china shop of black intelligentsia-has been writing about jazz and jazz artists for more than thirty years. His reputation for controversy is exceeded only by a universal respect for his intellect and passion. As Gary Giddons notes: ?Stanley may be the only jazz writer out there with the kind of rhinoceros hide necessary to provoke and outrage and then withstand the fulminations that come back.” In Considering Genius, Crouch collects some of his best loved, most influential, and most controversial pieces (published in Jazz Times, The New Yorker, the Village Voice, and elsewhere), together with two new essays. The pieces range from the introspective ?Jazz Criticism and Its Effect on the Art Form” to a rollicking debate with Amiri Baraka, to vivid, intimate portraits of the legendary performers Crouch has known.


Click for more detail about The Devil and Dave Chappelle: And Other Essays by William Jelani Cobb The Devil and Dave Chappelle: And Other Essays

by William Jelani Cobb
Basic Books (Mar 27, 2007)
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An unflinching collection of essays that takes on the subjects of Biggie Smalls, Three 6 Mafia, The King Family, and what it takes to be black at the turn of the twenty-first century.


Click for more detail about Debating Race: with Michael Eric Dyson by Michael Eric Dyson Debating Race: with Michael Eric Dyson

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Feb 13, 2007)
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Whether chronicling the class conflict in the African-American community or exposing the failings of the government response in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Michael Eric Dyson has never shied away from controversy. No stranger to intellectual combat, Dyson has always been ready to engage friends and foes alike in open conversation about the issues that matter. Debating Race collects many of Dyson’s most memorable encounters and most poignant arguments. Dyson shows that he is as eloquent off the cuff as he is on the book page, and Debating Race gives readers a front row seat as he spars with politicians, pundits, and public intellectuals. From John Kerry and John McCain to Ann Coulter and the hosts of television’s ?The View”-Dyson shows the mental agility and rhetorical tenacity that have made him one of America’s most astute intellectuals, and with topics ranging from civil rights, the legacy of the O.J. Simpson trial, and the authenticity of Colin Powell there is something in Debating Race to touch a nerve in all of us.


Click for more detail about Total Chaos: The Art And Aesthetics Of Hip-Hop by Jeff Chang Total Chaos: The Art And Aesthetics Of Hip-Hop

by Jeff Chang
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 09, 2007)
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It’s not just rap music. Hip-hop has transformed theater, dance, performance, poetry, literature, fashion, design, photography, painting, and film, to become one of the most far-reaching and transformative arts movements of the past two decades.American Book Award-winning journalist Jeff Chang, author of the acclaimed Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, assembles some of the most innovative and provocative voices in hip-hop to assess the most important cultural movement of our time. It’s an incisive look at hip-hop arts in the voices of the pioneers, innovators, and mavericks.With an introductory survey essay by Chang, the anthology includes: Greg Tate, Mark Anthony Neal, Brian ?B+” Cross, and Vijay Prashad examining hip-hop aesthetics in the wake of multiculturalism. Joan Morgan and Mark Anthony Neal discussing gender relations in hip-hop. Hip-hop novelists Danyel Smith and Adam Mansbach on "street lit" and "lit hop". Actor, playwright, and performance artist Danny Hoch on how hip-hop defined the aesthetics of a generation. Rock Steady Crew b-boy-turned-celebrated visual artist DOZE on the uses and limits of a "hip-hop" identity. Award-winning writer Raquel Cepeda on West African cosmology and "the flash of the spirit" in hip-hop arts. Pioneer dancer POPMASTER FABEL’s history of hip-hop dance, and acclaimed choreographer Rennie Harris on hip-hop’s transformation of global dance theatre. Bill Adler’s history of hip-hop photography, including photos by Glen E. Friedman, Janette Beckman, and Joe Conzo. Poetry and prose from Watts Prophet Father Amde Hamilton and Def Poetry Jam veterans Staceyann Chin, Suheir Hammad, Marc Bamuthi Joseph and Kevin Coval. Roundtable discussions and essays presenting hip-hop in theatre, graphic design, documentary film and video, photography, and the visual arts. ?Total Chaos is Jeff Chang at his best: fierce and unwavering in his commitment to document the hip-hop explosion. In beginning to define a hip-hop aesthetic, this gathering of artists, pioneers, and thinkers illuminates the special truth that hip-hop speaks to youth around the globe.” (Bakari Kitwana, author of The Hip-Hop Generation)


Click for more detail about My Confederate Kinfolk: A Twenty-First Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots by Thulani Davis My Confederate Kinfolk: A Twenty-First Century Freedwoman Discovers Her Roots

by Thulani Davis
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 02, 2007)
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Starting from a photograph and writings left by her grandmother, acclaimed African-American novelist Thulani Davis goes looking for the ?white folk” in her family, a Scots-Irish family of cotton planters unknown to her-and uncovers a history far richer and stranger than she had ever imagined. Her journey challenges us to examine the origins of some of our most deeply ingrained notions about what makes a family black or white, and offers an immensely compelling, intellectually challenging alternative.


Click for more detail about Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? by Michael Eric Dyson Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 24, 2006)
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Michael Eric Dyson took America by storm with this provocative expose of the class and generational divide that is tearing black America apart. Nothing exposed the class and generational divide in black America more starkly than Bill Cosby’s now-infamous assault on the black poor when he received an NAACP award in the spring of 2004. The comedian-cum-social critic lamented the lack of parenting, poor academic performance, sexual promiscuity, and criminal behavior among what he called the ?knuckleheads” of the African-American community. Even more surprising than his comments, however, was the fact that his audience laughed and applauded. Best-selling writer, preacher, and scholar Michael Eric Dyson uses the Cosby brouhaha as a window on a growing cultural divide within the African-American community. According to Dyson, the ?Afristocracy”?lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, bankers, civil rights leaders, entertainers, and other professionals?looks with disdain upon the black poor who make up the ?Ghettocracy”?single mothers on welfare, the married, single, and working poor, the incarcerated, and a battalion of impoverished children. Dyson explains why the black middle class has joined mainstream America to blame the poor for their troubles, rather than tackling the systemic injustices that shape their lives. He exposes the flawed logic of Cosby’s diatribe and offers a principled defense of the wrongly maligned black citizens at the bottom of the social totem pole. Displaying the critical prowess that has made him the nation’s preeminent spokesman for the hip-hop generation, Dyson challenges us all?black and white?to confront the social problems that the civil rights movement failed to solve.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster by Michael Eric Dyson Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 23, 2006)
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When Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, hundreds of thousands were left behind to suffer the ravages of destruction, disease, and even death. The majority of these people were black; nearly all were poor. The Federal government’s slow response to local appeals for help is by now notorious. Yet despite the cries of outrage that have mounted since the levees broke, we have failed to confront the disaster’s true lesson: to be poor, or black, in today’s ownership society, is to be left behind. Displaying the intellectual rigor, political passion, and personal empathy that have won him acclaim and fans all across the color line, Michael Eric Dyson offers a searing assessment of the meaning of Hurricane Katrina. Combining interviews with survivors of the disaster with his deep knowledge of black migrations and government policy over decades, Dyson provides the historical context that has been sorely missing from public conversation. He explores the legacy of black suffering in America since slavery and ties its psychic scars to today’s crisis. And, finally, his critique of the way black people are framed in the national consciousness will shock and surprise even the most politically savvy reader. With this clarion call Dyson warns us that we can only find redemption as a society if we acknowledge that Katrina was more than an engineering or emergency response failure. From the TV newsroom to the Capitol Building to the backyard, we must change the way we relate to the black and the poor among us. What’s at stake is no less than the future of democracy.


Click for more detail about Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America’s Racial Future by Manning Marable Living Black History: How Reimagining the African-American Past Can Remake America’s Racial Future

by Manning Marable
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 03, 2006)
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Are the stars of the Civil Rights firmament yesterday’s news? In Living Black History scholar and activist Manning Marable offers a resounding ?No!” with a fresh and personal look at the enduring legacy of such well-known figures as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers and W.E.B. Du Bois. Marable creates a ?living history” that brings the past alive for a generation he sees as having historical amnesia. His activist passion and scholarly memory bring immediacy to the tribulations and triumphs of yesterday and reveal that history is something that happens everyday. Living Black History dismisses the detachment of the codified version of American history that we all grew up with. Marable’s holistic understanding of history counts the story of the slave as much as that of the master; he highlights the flesh-and-blood courage of those figures who have been robbed of their visceral humanity as members of the historical cannon. As people comprehend this dynamic portrayal of history they will begin to understand that each day we-the average citizen-are ?makers” of our own American history. Living Black History will empower readers with knowledge of their collective past and a greater understanding of their part in forming our future.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Artificial White Man: Essays On Authenticity by Stanley Crouch The Artificial White Man: Essays On Authenticity

by Stanley Crouch
Basic Civitas Books (Nov 08, 2005)
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Another dance of the bull through the china shop of cliches, The Artificial White Man proves the correctness of Tom Wolfe’s observation that Stanley Crouch is "the jazz virtuoso of the American essay." This time out, Crouch focuses his attenti

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Click for more detail about Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America by Bakari Kitwana Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wankstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality of Race in America

by Bakari Kitwana
Basic Civitas Books (May 31, 2005)
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Our national conversation about race is ludicrously out-of-date. Hip-hop is the key to understanding how things are changing. In a provocative book that will appeal to hip-hoppers both black and white and their parents, Bakari Kitwana deftly teases apart the culture of hip-hop to illuminate how race is being lived by young Americans. This topic is ripe, but untried, and Kitwana poses and answers a plethora of questions: Does hip-hop belong to black kids? What in hip-hop appeals to white youth? Is hip-hop different from what rhythm, blues, jazz, and even rock ’n’ roll meant to previous generations? How have mass media and consumer culture made hip-hop a unique phenomenon? What does class have to do with it? Are white kids really hip-hop’s primary listening audience? How do young Americans think about race, and how has hip-hop influenced their perspective? Are young Americans achieving Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream through hip-hop? Kitwana addresses uncomfortable truths about America’s level of comfort with black people, challenging preconceived notions of race. With this brave tour de force, Bakari Kitwana takes his place alongside the greatest African American intellectuals of the past decades.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind? by Michael Eric Dyson Is Bill Cosby Right?: Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (May 03, 2005)
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Nothing exposed the class and generational divide in black America more starkly than Bill Cosby’s now-infamous assault on the black poor when he received an NAACP award in the spring of 2004. The comedian-cum-social critic lamented the lack of parenting, poor academic performance, sexual promiscuity, and criminal behavior among what he called the ?knuckleheads” of the African-American community. Even more surprising than his comments, however, was the fact that his audience laughed and applauded.Best-selling writer, preacher, and scholar Michael Eric Dyson uses the Cosby brouhaha as a window on a growing cultural divide within the African-American community. According to Dyson, the ?Afristocracy”?lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, bankers, civil rights leaders, entertainers, and other professionals?looks with disdain upon the black poor who make up the ?Ghettocracy”?single mothers on welfare, the married, single, and working poor, the incarcerated, and a battalion of impoverished children. Dyson explains why the black middle class has joined mainstream America to blame the poor for their troubles, rather than tackling the systemic injustices that shape their lives. He exposes the flawed logic of Cosby’s diatribe and offers a principled defense of the wrongly maligned black citizens at the bottom of the social totem pole. Displaying the critical prowess that has made him the nation’s preeminent spokesman for the hip-hop generation, Dyson challenges us all?black and white?to confront the social problems that the civil rights movement failed to solve.


Click for more detail about Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye by Michael Eric Dyson Mercy, Mercy Me: The Art, Loves and Demons of Marvin Gaye

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 18, 2005)
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The best-selling Motown artist of all time, Marvin Gaye defined the hopes and shattered dreams of an entire generation. Twenty years after his tragic death-he was shot by his father-his relevance persists because of the indelible mark his outsized talent left on American culture. A transcendent performer whose career spanned the history of rhythm and blues, from doo-wop to the sultriest of soul music, Gaye’s artistic scope and emotional range set the soundtrack for America’s tumultuous coming of age in the 1970s. Michael Eric Dyson’s searching narrative illuminates Marvin Gaye’s stellar ascendance-from a black church in Washington, D.C., to the artistic peak of What’s Going On?-and charts his sobering personal decline. Dyson draws from interviews with those closest to Gaye to paint an intimate portrait of the tensions and themes that shaped contemporary urban America: racism, drug abuse, economic adversity, and the long legacy of hardship. Gaye’s stormy relationships with women, including duet partner Tammi Terrell and wives Anna Gordy and Janis Hunter, are examined in light of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. Dyson also considers family violence in the larger context of the African-American life and how that heartbreaking legacy resulted in Gaye’s murder. Mercy, Mercy, Me is an unforgettable portrait of a beloved black genius whose art is reflected in the dynamism of contemporary urban America.


Click for more detail about Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, A Memoir by W. Ralph Eubanks Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past, A Memoir

by W. Ralph Eubanks
Basic Books (Jan 03, 2005)
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In June of 1957, Governor James Coleman stepped before the cameras of "Meet the Press" and was asked whether the public schools would ever be integrated. "Well, ever is a long time," he replied, "[but] I would say that a baby born in Mississippi today will never live long enough to see an integrated school." In this extraordinary pilgrimage, Library of Congress Publishing Director W. Ralph Eubanks recaptures the feel of growing up during this tumultuous era, deep in rural Mississippi. Vividly re-creating a time and place where even small steps across the Jim Crow line became a matter of life and death, he offers eloquent testimony to a family’s grace against all odds. Inspired by the 1998 declassification of files kept by the State Sovereignty Commission-an agency specifically created to maintain white supremacy-the result is a journey of discovery that leads Eubanks not only to surprising conclusions about his own family, but also to harrowing encounters with those involved in some of the era’s darkest activities.


Click for more detail about Another Day At The Front: Dispatches From The Race War by Ishmael Reed Another Day At The Front: Dispatches From The Race War

by Ishmael Reed
Basic Books (Jan 08, 2004)
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African Americans have been at war with some elements of the white population from the very beginning. In this collection of essays, his first since Airing Dirty Laundry in 1993, Reed explores the many forms that this homefront war has taken. His brilliant social criticism feints deftly among past and present, government and media, personal and political. From the author whose essay style has been compared to the punching power of boxers Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali, this book is a series of fast, powerful strikes against America’s long tradition of racism.


Click for more detail about Why I Love Black Women by Michael Eric Dyson Why I Love Black Women

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 08, 2004)
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In this open love letter to black women everywhere, Michael Eric Dyson celebrates the strength and beauty of African-American women. From Miss James, his grammar school teacher, to Linda Johnson Rice, who heads the communications empire that publishes Ebony and Jet; from Toni Morrison, whose novels inspired him, as a young welfare dad, to Debbie Bethea, the housecleaner whose labors remind him of his mother in Detroit; from civil rights widow Myrlie Evers-Williams to activist and scholar Angela Davis-and many more-the women in Dyson’s pantheon inspire us to remember, "When we love black women, we love ourselves, and the God who made us."


Click for more detail about The Great Wells Of Democracy: The Meaning Of Race In American Life by Manning Marable The Great Wells Of Democracy: The Meaning Of Race In American Life

by Manning Marable
Basic Civitas Books (Nov 13, 2003)
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In his boldest and most accessible book to date, Manning Marable lays out a new way to think about the past and the future of race in America. Exploding traditional lines of left and right, Marable stakes out such controversial and seemingly incompatible positions as the re-enfranchisement of felons, state support for faith-based institutions, reparations for slavery that systematically inject capital into the black community, and a reconfiguration of racial identities that accounts for the increasingly multi-racial nature of our society. He exhorts us to construct a new political language and practical public policies to bridge the racial divide—so that we do no less than reinvent the democratic project called America.


Click for more detail about The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture by Bakari Kitwana The Hip-Hop Generation: Young Blacks and the Crisis in African-American Culture

by Bakari Kitwana
Basic Civitas Books (Apr 24, 2003)
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The Hip Hop Generation is an eloquent testament for black youth culture at the turn of the century. The only in-depth study of the first generation to grow up in post-segregation America, it combines culture and politics into a pivotal work in American studies. Bakari Kitwana, one of black America’s sharpest young critics, offers a sobering look at this generation’s disproportionate social and political troubles, and celebrates the activism and politics that may herald the beginning of a new phase of African-American empowerment.


Click for more detail about Some Of Us Did Not Die: New And Selected Essays (New And And Selected Essays) by June Jordan Some Of Us Did Not Die: New And Selected Essays (New And And Selected Essays)

by June Jordan
Basic Civitas Books (Mar 15, 2003)
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A posthumous collection of the essays of June Jordan, noted for its "love of language" and "expression of social identity" (Reamy Jansen, San Francisco Chronicle)


Click for more detail about Why I Love Black Women by Michael Eric Dyson Why I Love Black Women

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Jan 06, 2003)
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Son and husband, soulmate and teacher, Michael Eric Dyson owes his success to the love and support of the black women in his life. Yet too often, he warns, African American women are the victims of negative stereotypes that dominate the larger culture and even many quarters of black America. It’s time to stop viewing black women as scolding sapphires, welfare queens, professional prima donnas-and carping competitors with white women -and to start giving them the respect and the love they deserve.Why I Love Black Women is an act of cultural restoration that rescues black women from vicious rhetoric and irresponsible generalizations. It is a catalogue of virtues, an unapologetically cheerful view of black women that rescues their strengths and beauties from callous denial or cruel indifference. Deeply personal and socially provocative, Dyson singles out the defining virtues of African American women. More than a colored knock-off of "vanilla" virtues, these qualities evoke praise and conjure awe in the face of black women’s struggles. In an era marred by bigoted and baleful beliefs about black women-from hip-hop to the pulpit, from the streets to scholarly focus-Dyson offers a welcome reprieve from cultural madness. Why I Love Black Women explodes taboos while it celebrates the perseverance and the pride, the sensuality and the sophistication, of African American women everywhere.


Click for more detail about Open Mike by Michael Eric Dyson Open Mike

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Dec 24, 2002)
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Here, collected for the first time, are interviews and essays representing Michael Eric Dyson’s most important thinking on race and identity. Exploring such topics as "whiteness" as seen through a black man’s eye, modernism and postmodernism in black culture, and the emancipating role of black music from the plantation to the ghetto, Open Mike is a perfect introduction to Dyson’s work and a must-have for students and scholars in African American Studies and Cultural Studies.


Click for more detail about 12 Million Black Voices by Richard Wright 12 Million Black Voices

by Richard Wright
Basic Books (Dec 16, 2002)
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12 Million Black Voices, first published in 1941, combines Wright’s prose with startling photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam from the Security Farm Administration files compiled during the Great Depression. The photographs include works by such giants as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Arthur Rothstein. From crowded, rundown farm shacks to Harlem storefront churches, the photos depict the lives of black people in 1930s America—their misery and weariness under rural poverty, their spiritual strength, and their lives in northern ghettos. Wright’s accompanying text eloquently narrates the story of these 90 pictures and delivers a powerful commentary on the origins and history of black oppression in this country. Also included are new prefaces by Douglas Brinkley, Noel Ignatiev, and Michael Eric Dyson.“Among all the works of Wright, 12 Million Black Voices stands out as a work of poetry,… passion,… and of love”—David Bradley“A more eloquent statement of its kind could hardly have been devised”—The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Hidden Heroism: Black Soldiers In America’s Wars by Robert Edgerton Hidden Heroism: Black Soldiers In America’s Wars

by Robert Edgerton
Basic Books (Nov 07, 2002)
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In Hidden Heroism, Robert Edgerton investigates the history of Afro-American participation in American wars, from the French and Indian War to the present. He argues that blacks in American society have long-suffered from a "natural coward" stereotype that is implicit in the racism propagated from America’s earliest days, and often intensified as blacks slowly received freedom in American society. For instance, blacks served admirably in various wars, returned home after their service to short-term recognition, and then soon found themselves even more seriously entrenched in a racist system because they were perceived as a threat to whites. This was true, Edgerton argues, until the Civil Rights movement and Vietnam, though the stereotypes have not been fully eradicated. In this book, Edgerton provides an accessible and well-informed tour through this little-known, but significant aspect of race in American military history.


Click for more detail about Out There by Darryl Pinckney Out There

by Darryl Pinckney
Basic Civitas Books (May 09, 2002)
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With this appreciation of three very different black writers, novelist Darryl Pinckney reminds us that marginal or neglected literary figures have a lot to tell us about the history of a people who are always "outsiders." Born in Jamaica in 1883, J. A. Rogers was an early member of the Harlem Renaissance—a newspaper columnist, historian of Negro achievement, polemicist against white supremacy, and amateur sociologist of interracial sex as evidenced in his massive three-volume work Sex and Race. Vincent O. Carter, who came of age in 1920’s Kansas City, wrote The Bern Book, an exploration of being black in a Swiss rather than an American setting. Caryl Phillips, a son of the generation of black Caribbeans who returned to Great Britain after the Second World War, has explored the psychology of migration in fiction and nonfiction that include The Final Passage, Higher Ground, and The Nature of Blood. Pinckney’s essays on these writers, drawn from his Alain Locke Lectures at Harvard University, give us a rich understanding of what it has meant to be "children of the diaspora" over the past century.


Click for more detail about Holler If You Hear Me: Searching For Tupac Shakur by Michael Eric Dyson Holler If You Hear Me: Searching For Tupac Shakur

by Michael Eric Dyson
Basic Civitas Books (Aug 15, 2001)
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Acclaimed for his writings on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his passionate defense of black youth culture, Michael Eric Dyson has emerged as the leading African American intellectual of his generation. Now Dyson turns his attention to one of the most enigmatic figures of the past decade: the slain hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur.Five years after his murder, Tupac remains a widely celebrated, deeply loved, and profoundly controversial icon among black youth. Viewed by many as a "black James Dean," he has attained cult status partly due to the posthumous release of several albums, three movies, and a collection of poetry. But Tupac endures primarily because of the devotion of his loyal followers, who have immortalized him through tributes, letters, songs, and celebrations, many in cyberspace.Dyson helps us to understand why a twenty-five-year-old rapper, activist, poet, actor, and alleged sex offender looms even larger in death than he did in life. With his trademark skills of critical thinking and storytelling, Dyson examines Tupac’s hold on black youth, assessing the ways in which different elements of his persona-thug, confused prophet, fatherless child-are both vital and destructive. At once deeply personal and sharply analytical, Dyson’s book offers a wholly original way of looking at Tupac Shakur that will thrill those who already love the artist and enlighten those who want to understand him."In the tradition of jazz saxophonists John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, Dyson riffs with speed, eloquence, bawdy humor, and startling truths that have the effect of hitting you like a Mack truck."-San Francisco Examiner"Such is the genius of Dyson. He flows freely from the profound to the profane, from popular culture to classical literature."-Washington Post"A major American thinker and cultural critic."-Philadelphia Inquirer"Among the young black intellectuals to emerge since the demise of the civil rights movement…undoubtedly the most insightful and thought-provoking is Michael Eric Dyson."-Manning Marable, Director of African American Studies, Columbia University


Click for more detail about Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood by June Jordan Soldier: A Poet’s Childhood

by June Jordan
Basic Civitas Books (Apr 23, 2001)
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Written with exceptional beauty throughout, Soldier stands and delivers an eloquent, heart-breaking, hilarious and hopeful, witness to the beginnings of a truly extraordinary, American life.


Click for more detail about DEL-Steppin’ Out: An African-American Guide to Our 20 Favorite Cities by Carla Labat DEL-Steppin’ Out: An African-American Guide to Our 20 Favorite Cities

by Carla Labat
Rick Steves/Avalon Travel (Sep 14, 2000)
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This comprehensive sourcebook of sightseeing information is written with the African-Amercian traveler in mind. Includes timely information on restaurants, nightclubs, museums, festivals, and the arts. The guide also covers churches historical landmarks, and sporting venues. 40 photos, 20 maps.


Click for more detail about The Cornel West Reader by Cornel West The Cornel West Reader

by Cornel West
Basic Civitas Books (Aug 14, 2000)
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Cornel West is one of the nation’s premier public intellectuals and one of the great prophetic voices of our era. Whether he is writing a scholarly book or an article for Newsweek, whether he is speaking of Emerson, Gramsci, or Marvin Gaye, his work radiates a passion that reflects the rich traditions he draws on and weaves togetherÑBaptist preaching, American transcendentalism, jazz, radical politics. This anthology reveals the dazzling range of West’s work, from his explorations of ”Prophetic Pragmatism” to his philosophizing on hip-hop.The Cornel West Reader traces the development of West’s extraordinary career as academic, public intellectual, and activist. In his essays, articles, books, and interviews, West emerges as America’s social conscience, urging attention to complicated issues of racial and economic justice, sexuality and gender, history and politics. This collection represents the best work of an always compelling, often controversial, and absolutely essential philosopher of the modern American experience.


Click for more detail about Toronto by Marcia  Douglas Toronto

by Marcia Douglas
Rick Steves/Avalon Travel (May 01, 2000)
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Click for more detail about The Reed Reader by Ishmael Reed The Reed Reader

by Ishmael Reed
Basic Books (Apr 05, 2000)
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In The Reed Reader Ishmael Reed displays the brilliant and witty satire, politically charged, wildly imaginative storytelling, and caustic cultural criticism that have become his unique trademarks. Included are excerpts from such celebrated novels as The Free-Lance Pallbearers, Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down, Mumbo Jumbo, and Japanese by Spring (among others) and two of his plays, Hubba City and The Preacher and the Rapper. In addition, a wide selection of his poems and essays are collected here, including "Airing Dirty Laundry" and "Shrovetide in New Orleans." The Reed Reader is the cumulative representation of an astonishingly rich and accomplished career, a powerful testament to Reed’s many and enormous literary gifts.


Click for more detail about The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader by Amiri Baraka The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader

by Amiri Baraka
Basic Books (Nov 22, 1999)
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Amiri Baraka - dramatist, poet, essayist, orator, and fiction writer - is one of the preeminent African-American literary figures of our time. The Leroi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader provides the most comprehensive selection of Baraka’s work to date, spanning almost 40 years of a brilliant, prolific, and controversial career, in which he has produced more than 12 books of poetry, 26 plays, eight collections of essays and speeches, and two books of fiction. This updated edition contains over 50 pages of previously unpublished work, as well as a chronology and full bibliography.


Click for more detail about Africana by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Africana

by Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Basic Civitas Books (Oct 27, 1999)
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Inspired by the dream of the late African American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois and assisted by an eminent advisory board, Harvard scholars Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kwame Anthony Appiah have created the first scholarly encyclopedia to take as its scope the entire history of Africa and the African Diaspora.Beautifully designed and richly illustrated with over a thousand images - maps, tables, charts, photographs, hundreds of them in full color - this single-volume reference includes more than three thousand articles and over two million words. The interplay between text and illustration conveys the richness and sweep of the African and African American experience as no other publication before it. Certain to prove invaluable to anyone interested in black history and the influence of African culture on the world today, Africana is a unique testament to the remarkable legacy of a great and varied people.With entries ranging from ”affirmative action” to ”zydeco,” from each of the most prominent ethnic groups in Africa to each member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Africana brings the entire black world into sharp focus. Every concise, informative article is referenced to others with the aim of guiding the reader through such wide-ranging topics as the history of slavery; the civil rights movement; African-American literature, music, and art; ancient African civilizations; and the black experience in countries such as France, India, and Russia.More than a book for library reference, Africana will give hours of reading pleasure through its longer, interpretive essays by such notable writers as Stanley Crouch, Gerald Early, Randall Kennedy, and Cornel West. These specially commissioned essays give the reader an engaging chronicle of the religion, arts, and cultural life of Africans and of black people in the Old World and the New.


Click for more detail about Gospel Choirs: Psalms Of Survival In An Alien Land Called Home by Derrick Bell Gospel Choirs: Psalms Of Survival In An Alien Land Called Home

by Derrick Bell
Basic Books (May 30, 1997)
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Through parables and essays, Derrick Bell offers an eloquent work of social commentary on the permanence of racism.?Gospel,” says Derrick Bell, ?and particularly the gospel choir at its best, echoes the tempos of the soul searching for God’s peace in the midst of a hostile world.”Just like the songs of a gospel choir, the pieces in this book give voice to the hardships faced by African Americans. Through allegorical stories and fictional encounters, dreams, and dialogues, it presents fresh perspectives on the different issues that concern Blacks, such as the message of The Bell Curve, the Contract with America, the media’s handling of Black men, and corporate greed’s responsibility for today’s rising ?White rage” and subsequent ?Black blame.” Despite their tough subjects, however, these stories resound with laughter and compassion and a continuing theme of Christian love. Ultimately, like the gospel songs, they offer African Americans hope and direction as they travel the racist world they inhabit.


Click for more detail about Knowledge And Decisions by Thomas Sowell Knowledge And Decisions

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Oct 04, 1996)
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With a new preface by the author, this reissue of Thomas Sowell’s classic study of decision making updates his seminal work in the context of The Vision of the Annointed, Sowell, one of America’s most celebrated public intellectuals, describes in concrete detail how knowledge is shared and disseminated throughout modern society. He warns that society suffers from an ever-widening gap between firsthand knowledge and decision making?a gap that threatens not only our economic and political efficiency, but our very freedom because actual knowledge gets replaced by assumptions based on an abstract and elitist social vision f what ought to be.Knowledge and Decisions, a winner of the 1980 Law and Economics Center Prize, was heralded as a ”landmark work” and selected for this prize ”because of its cogent contribution to our understanding of the differences between the market process and the process of government.” In announcing the award, the center acclaimed Sowell, whose ”contribution to our understanding of the process of regulation alone would make the book important, but in reemphasizing the diversity and efficiency that the market makes possible, [his] work goes deeper and becomes even more significant.”


Click for more detail about Migrations And Cultures: A World View by Thomas Sowell Migrations And Cultures: A World View

by Thomas Sowell
Basic Books (Mar 21, 1996)
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Most commentators look at the issue of immigration from the viewpoint of immediate politics. In doing so, they focus on only a piece of the issue and lose touch with the larger picture. Now Thomas Sowell offers a sweeping historical and global look at a large number of migrations over a long period of time. Migrations and Cultures: shows the persistence of cultural traits, in particular racial and ethnic groups, and the role these groups’ relocations play in redistributing skills, knowledge, and other forms of ?human capital.” answers the question: What are the effects of disseminating the patterns of the particular set of skills, attitudes, and lifestyles each ethnic group has carried forth?both for the immigrants and for the host countries, in social as well as economic terms?


Click for more detail about Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Permanence Of Racism by Derrick Bell Faces At The Bottom Of The Well: The Permanence Of Racism

by Derrick Bell
Basic Books (Oct 06, 1993)
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The noted civil rights activist uses allegory and historical example to present a radical vision of the persistence of racism in America. These essays shed light on some of the most perplexing and vexing issues of our day: affirmative action, the disparity between civil rights law and reality, the ?racist outbursts” of some black leaders, the temptation toward violent retaliation, and much more.


Click for more detail about Freedom: Volume I: Freedom In The Making Of Western Culture by Orlando Patterson Freedom: Volume I: Freedom In The Making Of Western Culture

by Orlando Patterson
Basic Books (Oct 14, 1992)
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This magisterial work traces the history of our most cherished value. Patterson links the birth of freedom in primitive societies with the institution of slavery, and traces the evolution of three forms of freedom in the West from antiquity through the Middle Ages.


Click for more detail about Reflections Of An Affirmative Action Baby by Stephen L. Carter Reflections Of An Affirmative Action Baby

by Stephen L. Carter
Basic Books (Aug 24, 1992)
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In a climate where whites who criticize affirmative action risk being termed racist and blacks who do the same risk charges of treason and self hatred, a frank and open discussion of racial preference is difficult to achieve. But, in the first book on racial preference written from personal experience, Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, Stephen L. Carter, Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale University and self-described beneficiary (and, at times, victim) of affirmative action, does it.Using his own story of success and frustration as ?an affirmative action baby” as a point of departure, Carter, who has risen to the top of his profession, provides an incisive analysis of one of the most incendiary topics of our day?as well as an honest critique of the pressures on black professionals and intellectuals to conform to the ?politically correct” way of being black.Affirmative action as it is practiced today not only does little to promote racial equality, Carter argues, but also allows the nation to escape rather cheaply from its moral obligation to undo the legacy of slavery. Affirmative action, particularly in hiring often reinforces racist stereotypes by promoting the idea that the black professional cannot aspire to anything more than being ?the best black.”Has the time come to abandon these programs? No—but affirmative action must return to its simpler roots, Carter argues: to provide educational opportunities for those who might not otherwise have them. Then the beneficiaries should demand to be held to the same standards as anyone else.


Click for more detail about And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest For Racial Justice by Derrick Bell And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest For Racial Justice

by Derrick Bell
Basic Books (Mar 31, 1989)
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A distinguished legal scholar and civil rights activist employs a series of dramatic fables and dialogues to probe the foundations of America’s racial attitudes and raise disturbing questions about the nature of our society.




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