6 Books Published by Seal Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

by Ijeoma Oluo
Seal Press (Dec 01, 2020)
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The publication of So You Want to Talk About Race in 2018, the #1 New York Times Bestseller with more than 500,000 copies in print, resulted in Seattle-based author Ijeoma Oluo emerging as a leading commentator and expert on racial justice issues. In the book, Oluo identifies white male supremacy as “America’s oldest pyramid scheme.” White Southern elites assured poor white men that, despite being bit players in a system of oppression from which they reaped very little financial reward, they would always have more power and status than women or people of color. But that notion wasn’t unique to the South. And more than two hundred years later, Oluo argues, the tragic bargain exerts deadly force. The only way to break free is to understand what we’re up against.

It’s precisely why Oluo was compelled to write her new book, Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America, which traces the through lines of White male supremacy and the havoc it has wreaked on this country and our people for generations. In devastating example after example, from the mythical “Buffalo Bill” Cody and the destruction of the actual buffalo and Indigenous communities, through the Great Migration and the Great Depression, right up through the current state of higher education, housing policy, electoral politics, and even professional sports, Oluo shows how White male supremacy has shaped—and continues to shape—our lives.

Our society has historically conditioned White men to derive self-worth from a feeling of superiority over others—regardless of their level of skill or talent. People of color are the most severely impacted, as the news cycle continues to teach us. But Oluo shows how White male supremacy harms everyone, except for the wealthiest, most powerful of white men. And while powerful white men designed these systems to maintain a stranglehold on wealth and power, we are all complicit to varying degrees, depending on our level of racial, gender, and socioeconomic privilege.

In Mediocre, however, Oluo shares that there is good news in that we have the power to create new, better systems—through our wallets, our votes, and our refusal to play by traditional rules that privilege arrogance and aggression over collaboration and community. As Oluo writes:

I do not believe that White men are born wanting to dominate…. We need to do more than just break free of the oppression of White men. We also have to imagine a White manhood that is not based in the oppression of others…. We must start asking what we want White manhood to be, and what we will no longer accept.”


Click for more detail about Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage by Dianne M. Stewart Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage

by Dianne M. Stewart
Seal Press (Oct 06, 2020)
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In this analysis of social history, examine the complex lineage of America’s oppression of Black companionship.

According to the 2010 US census, more than seventy percent of Black women in America are unmarried. Black Women, Black Love reveals how four centuries of laws, policies, and customs have created that crisis.

Dianne Stewart begins in the colonial era, when slave owners denied Blacks the right to marry, divided families, and, in many cases, raped enslaved women and girls. Later, during Reconstruction and the ensuing decades, violence split up couples again as millions embarked on the Great Migration north, where the welfare system mandated that women remain single in order to receive government support. And no institution has forbidden Black love as effectively as the prison-industrial complex, which removes Black men en masse from the pool of marriageable partners.

Prodigiously researched and deeply felt, Black Women, Black Love reveals how white supremacy has systematically broken the heart of Black America, and it proposes strategies for dismantling the structural forces that have plagued Black love and marriage for centuries.


Click for more detail about So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo So You Want to Talk About Race

by Ijeoma Oluo
Seal Press (Sep 24, 2019)
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A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today’s racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, and Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor’s seminal essay "The Meaning of a Word."


Click for more detail about So You Want to Talk About Race (Hardcover) by Ijeoma Oluo So You Want to Talk About Race (Hardcover)

by Ijeoma Oluo
Seal Press (Jan 16, 2018)
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A current, constructive, and actionable exploration of today’s racial landscape, offering straightforward clarity that readers of all races need to contribute to the dismantling of the racial divide

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Editor at Large of The Establishment Ijeoma Oluo offers a contemporary, accessible take on the racial landscape in America, addressing head-on such issues as privilege, police brutality, intersectionality, micro-aggressions, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the "N" word. Perfectly positioned to bridge the gap between people of color and white Americans struggling with race complexities, Oluo answers the questions readers don’t dare ask, and explains the concepts that continue to elude everyday Americans.

Oluo is an exceptional writer with a rare ability to be straightforward, funny, and effective in her coverage of sensitive, hyper-charged issues in America. Her messages are passionate but finely tuned, and crystalize ideas that would otherwise be vague by empowering them with aha-moment clarity. Her writing brings to mind voices like Ta-Nehisi Coates and Roxane Gay, and Jessica Valenti in Full Frontal Feminism, and a young Gloria Naylor, particularly in Naylor’s seminal essay "The Meaning of a Word."


Click for more detail about A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman by Lisa J Shannon
A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman

by Lisa J Shannon
Seal Press (Feb 01, 2011)
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Lisa Shannon had what some would call a good life?her own business, a successful fiancé, a secure home. Then one day in 2005, shortly after her father’s death, an episode of Oprah changed everything. The show about women in the Congo depicted atrocities too horrible to comprehend: millions dead, women gang-raped and tortured, children starving and dying in shocking numbers. That day Lisa woke up to her dissatisfaction with the ?good” life and to her role as an activist and a sister.

She created a foundation called Run for Congo Women, with the goal to raise money to sponsor 30 Congolese women. What started as a solo 30-mile run has now grown into a national organization in connection with Women for Women International. Run for Congo Women holds fundraising runs in four countries and ten states, and continues to raise money and awareness. In A Thousand Sisters, Lisa shares firsthand accounts of her experiences visiting the Congo, the women she’s helped, and the relationships she’s formed. With compelling stories of why she remains committed to this cause, Lisa inspires her audience to reach out and help as well, forming a sisterhood that transcends geographic boundaries.


Click for more detail about Stories From Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers At Home And Abroad by Elizabeth Nunez and Jennifer Sparrow Stories From Blue Latitudes: Caribbean Women Writers At Home And Abroad

by Elizabeth Nunez and Jennifer Sparrow
Seal Press (Nov 29, 2005)
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Stories from Blue Latitudes gathers the major and emerging women fiction writers from the Caribbean, including Dionne Brand, Michelle Cliff, Merle Collins, Edwidge Danticat, Jamaica Kincaid, Paule Marshall, and Pauline Melville. Similar themes grace their stories of life at home and abroad. In some, the sexual exploitation of Caribbean girls and women becomes a metaphor for neocolonialism, a biting rejoinder to enticing travel brochures that depict the Caribbean as a tropical playground and encourage Americans to "make it your own." Other tales deal with the sad legacy of colonial history and the ways in which race, skin color, and class complicate relationships between men and women, parents and children.
But whether writing about childhood or adulthood, life in the islands or life abroad, the writers express their particular concerns with a passion that comes from lived experience, and with a love of place and a feminist sensibility that are accessible to new readers of Caribbean literature as well as to an academic audience. "What matters is how well we have told our tale, how well we have drawn pictures of the people and places we write about, " Nunez says. And indeed, this anthology makes those pictures come alive.