27 Books Published by The University of North Carolina Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
The University of North Carolina Press (Oct 21, 2019)
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By the late 1960s and early 1970s, reeling from a wave of urban uprisings, politicians finally worked to end the practice of redlining. Reasoning that the turbulence could be calmed by turning Black city-dwellers into homeowners, they passed the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, and set about establishing policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black homebuyers equally. The disaster that ensued revealed that racist exclusion had not been eradicated, but rather transmuted into a new phenomenon of predatory inclusion.

Race for Profit uncovers how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The same racist structures and individuals remained intact after redlining’s end, and close relationships between regulators and the industry created incentives to ignore improprieties. Meanwhile, new policies meant to encourage low-income homeownership created new methods to exploit Black homeowners. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers - as if unprofitability, rather than racism, was the cause of housing segregation. Bankers, investors, and real estate agents took advantage of the perverse incentives, targeting the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits. As a result, by the end of the 1970s, the nation’s first programs to encourage Black homeownership ended with tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country. The push to uplift Black homeownership had descended into a goldmine for realtors and mortgage lenders, and a ready-made cudgel for the champions of deregulation to wield against government intervention of any kind.

Narrating the story of a sea-change in housing policy and its dire impact on African Americans, Race for Profit reveals how the urban core was transformed into a new frontier of cynical extraction.


Click for more detail about The Negro College Graduate by Charles S. Johnson The Negro College Graduate

by Charles S. Johnson
The University of North Carolina Press (Jul 01, 2018)
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The record of black graduates covers the period from the time the first Afro-American received an academic degree, 120 years ago, down through 1936. Particular attention is given to the number, location, occupations, and social and economic backgrounds of living graduates. On the basis of the gathered information an attempt is made to estimate future trends in higher education for blacks.

Originally published in 1938.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.


Click for more detail about Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era by Ashley D. Farmer Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era

by Ashley D. Farmer
The University of North Carolina Press (Dec 18, 2017)
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In this comprehensive history, Ashley D. Farmer examines black women’s political, social, and cultural engagement with Black Power ideals and organizations. Complicating the assumption that sexism relegated black women to the margins of the movement, Farmer demonstrates how female activists fought for more inclusive understandings of Black Power and social justice by developing new ideas about black womanhood. This compelling book shows how the new tropes of womanhood that they created—the "Militant Black Domestic," the "Revolutionary Black Woman," and the "Third World Woman," for instance—spurred debate among activists over the importance of women and gender to Black Power organizing, causing many of the era’s organizations and leaders to critique patriarchy and support gender equality.

Making use of a vast and untapped array of black women’s artwork, political cartoons, manifestos, and political essays that they produced as members of groups such as the Black Panther Party and the Congress of African People, Farmer reveals how black women activists reimagined black womanhood, challenged sexism, and redefined the meaning of race, gender, and identity in American life.


Click for more detail about Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women by Mia E. Bay, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Martha S. Jones, and Barbara D. Savage Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women

by Mia E. Bay, Farah Jasmine Griffin, Martha S. Jones, and Barbara D. Savage
The University of North Carolina Press (Apr 13, 2015)
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The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture

Despite recent advances in the study of black thought, black women intellectuals remain often neglected. This collection of essays by fifteen scholars of history and literature establishes black women’s places in intellectual history by engaging the work of writers, educators, activists, religious leaders, and social reformers in the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean. Dedicated to recovering the contributions of thinkers marginalized by both their race and their gender, these essays uncover the work of unconventional intellectuals, both formally educated and self-taught, and explore the broad community of ideas in which their work participated. The end result is a field-defining and innovative volume that addresses topics ranging from religion and slavery to the politicized and gendered reappraisal of the black female body in contemporary culture.

Contributors are Mia E. Bay, Judith Byfield, Alexandra Cornelius, Thadious Davis, Corinne T. Field, Arlette Frund, Kaiama L. Glover, Farah J. Griffin, Martha S. Jones, Natasha Lightfoot, Sherie Randolph, Barbara D. Savage, Jon Sensbach, Maboula Soumahoro, and Cheryl Wall.


Click for more detail about Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion To The Pbs Series by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion To The Pbs Series

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
The University of North Carolina Press (Sep 15, 2014)
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Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Finding Your Roots, the companion book to the PBS documentary series seen by 30 million people. As Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. shows us, the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research now allow us to learn more about our roots, looking further back in time than ever before. Gates’s investigations take on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries, including United States Congressman John Lewis, actor Robert Downey Jr., CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, President of the "Becoming American Institute" Linda Chavez, and comedian Margaret Cho. Interwoven with their moving stories of immigration, assimilation, strife, and success, Gates provides practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families’ roots, and he details the advances in genetic research now available to the public. The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.


Click for more detail about Soul Food: The Surprising Story Of An American Cuisine, One Plate At A Time by Adrian Miller Soul Food: The Surprising Story Of An American Cuisine, One Plate At A Time

by Adrian Miller
The University of North Carolina Press (Aug 15, 2013)
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In this insightful and eclectic history, Adrian Miller delves into the influences, ingredients, and innovations that make up the soul food tradition. Focusing each chapter on the culinary and social history of one dish—such as fried chicken, chitlins, yams, greens, and "red drinks—Miller uncovers how it got on the soul food plate and what it means for African American culture and identity.
Miller argues that the story is more complex and surprising than commonly thought. Four centuries in the making, and fusing European, Native American, and West African cuisines, soul food—in all its fried, pork-infused, and sugary glory—is but one aspect of African American culinary heritage. Miller discusses how soul food has become incorporated into American culture and explores its connections to identity politics, bad health raps, and healthier alternatives. This refreshing look at one of America’s most celebrated, mythologized, and maligned cuisines is enriched by spirited sidebars, photographs, and 22 recipes.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Fire Of Freedom: Abraham Galloway And The Slaves’ Civil War by David S. Cecelski The Fire Of Freedom: Abraham Galloway And The Slaves’ Civil War

by David S. Cecelski
The University of North Carolina Press (Sep 29, 2012)
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Abraham H. Galloway (1837-1870) was a fiery young slave rebel, radical abolitionist, and Union spy who rose out of bondage to become one of the most significant and stirring black leaders in the South during the Civil War. Throughout his brief, mercurial life, Galloway fought against slavery and injustice. He risked his life behind enemy lines, recruited black soldiers for the North, and fought racism in the Union army’s ranks. He also stood at the forefront of an African American political movement that flourished in the Union-occupied parts of North Carolina, even leading a historic delegation of black southerners to the White House to meet with President Lincoln and to demand the full rights of citizenship. He later became one of the first black men elected to the North Carolina legislature.
Long hidden from history, Galloway’s story reveals a war unfamiliar to most of us. As David Cecelski writes, "Galloway’s Civil War was a slave insurgency, a war of liberation that was the culmination of generations of perseverance and faith." This riveting portrait illuminates Galloway’s life and deepens our insight into the Civil War and Reconstruction as experienced by African Americans in the South.

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Color Of Christ: The Son Of God And The Saga Of Race In America by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey The Color Of Christ: The Son Of God And The Saga Of Race In America

by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey
The University of North Carolina Press (Sep 21, 2012)
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How is it that in America the image of Jesus Christ has been used both to justify the atrocities of white supremacy and to inspire the righteousness of civil rights crusades? In The Color of Christ, Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey weave a tapestry of American dreams and visions—from witch hunts to web pages, Harlem to Hollywood, slave cabins to South Park, Mormon revelations to Indian reservations—to show how Americans remade the Son of God visually time and again into a sacred symbol of their greatest aspirations, deepest terrors, and mightiest strivings for racial power and justice.
The Color of Christ uncovers how, in a country founded by Puritans who destroyed depictions of Jesus, Americans came to believe in the whiteness of Christ. Some envisioned a white Christ who would sanctify the exploitation of Native Americans and African Americans and bless imperial expansion. Many others gazed at a messiah, not necessarily white, who was willing and able to confront white supremacy. The color of Christ still symbolizes America’s most combustible divisions, revealing the power and malleability of race and religion from colonial times to the presidency of Barack Obama.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Help Me To Find My People: The African American Search For Family Lost In Slavery by Heather Andrea Williams Help Me To Find My People: The African American Search For Family Lost In Slavery

by Heather Andrea Williams
The University of North Carolina Press (Jun 01, 2012)
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After the Civil War, African Americans placed poignant "information wanted" advertisements in newspapers, searching for missing family members. Inspired by the power of these ads, Heather Andrea Williams uses slave narratives, letters, interviews, public records, and diaries to guide readers back to devastating moments of family separation during slavery when people were sold away from parents, siblings, spouses, and children. Williams explores the heartbreaking stories of separation and the long, usually unsuccessful journeys toward reunification. Examining the interior lives of the enslaved and freedpeople as they tried to come to terms with great loss, Williams grounds their grief, fear, anger, longing, frustration, and hope in the history of American slavery and the domestic slave trade.

Williams follows those who were separated, chronicles their searches, and documents the rare experience of reunion. She also explores the sympathy, indifference, hostility, or empathy expressed by whites about sundered black families. Williams shows how searches for family members in the post-Civil War era continue to reverberate in African American culture in the ongoing search for family history and connection across generations.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography by Randal Maurice Jelks Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement: A Biography

by Randal Maurice Jelks
The University of North Carolina Press (May 15, 2012)
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In this first full-length biography of Benjamin Mays (1894-1984), Randal Maurice Jelks chronicles the life of the man Martin Luther King Jr. called his "spiritual and intellectual father." Dean of the Howard University School of Religion, president of Morehouse College, and mentor to influential black leaders, Mays had a profound impact on the education of the leadership of the black church and of a generation of activists, policymakers, and educators. Jelks argues that Mays’s ability to connect the message of Christianity with the responsibility to challenge injustice prepared the black church for its pivotal role in the civil rights movement.

From Mays’s humble origins in Epworth, South Carolina, through his doctoral education, his work with institutions such as the National Urban League, the NAACP, and the national YMCA movement, and his significant career in academia, Jelks creates a rich portrait of the man, the teacher, and the scholar. Benjamin Elijah Mays, Schoolmaster of the Movement is a powerful portrayal of one man’s faith, thought, and mentorship in bringing American apartheid to an end.


Click for more detail about Uncle Tom’s Story of His Life: An Autobiography of the Reverend Josiah Henson by Josiah Henson Uncle Tom’s Story of His Life: An Autobiography of the Reverend Josiah Henson

by Josiah Henson
The University of North Carolina Press (Sep 01, 2011)
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This 1876 version of Josiah Henson’s autobiography, the first of many editions issued by British editor John Lobb, followed the original 1849 edition and a much-expanded 1858 version. The autobiography traces Henson's life from his birth into slavery in Maryland in 1789; his escape to Canada in 1830; his participation in the founding of the Dawn Settlement for fugitive slaves in Ontario; and his several trips to England to raise funds for the settlement. Henson, who in his later years toured as the model for the Uncle Tom of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, describes his meeting with Stowe in 1852 and draws parallels between the histories of other Uncle Tom’s Cabin characters and his own acquaintances. While Stowe herself stressed that there was no single model for her title character, she called Henson a "parallel instance" for Uncle Tom in A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. nineteenth century and translated into several other languages, Henson's autobiography continues to reward readers with its descriptions not only of slave life in Maryland and Kentucky, but also of the business and educational ventures of escaped slaves in Ontario.

A Docsouth Book. This collaboration between UNC Press and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library brings selected classic works from the digital library of Documenting the American South back into print. DocSouth Books uses the latest digital technologies to make these works available as downloadable e-books or print-on-demand publications. DocSouth Books are unaltered from the original publication, providing affordable and easily accessible editions to a new generation of scholars, students, and general readers.

Related Links
A Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin: Presenting the Original Facts and Documents Upon Which the Story Is Founded by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe


Click for more detail about The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story by Tiya Miles The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story

by Tiya Miles
The University of North Carolina Press (Aug 02, 2010)
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At the turn of the nineteenth century, James Vann, a Cherokee chief and entrepreneur, established Diamond Hill in Georgia, the most famous plantation in the southeastern Cherokee Nation. In this first full-length study to reconstruct the history of the plantation, Tiya Miles tells the story of Diamond Hill’s founding, its flourishing, its takeover by white land-lottery winners on the eve of the Cherokee Removal, its decay, and ultimately its renovation in the 1950s.

This moving multiracial history sheds light on the various cultural communities that interacted within the plantation boundaries—from elite Cherokee slaveholders to Cherokee subsistence farmers, from black slaves of various ethnic backgrounds to free blacks from the North and South, from German-speaking Moravian missionaries to white southern skilled laborers. Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier.


Click for more detail about Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins: Black Daughter of the Revolution (Gender and American Culture) by Lois Brown Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins: Black Daughter of the Revolution (Gender and American Culture)

by Lois Brown
The University of North Carolina Press (Jun 30, 2008)
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Born into an educated free black family in Portland, Maine, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859-1930) was a pioneering playwright, journalist, novelist, feminist, and public intellectual, best known for her 1900 novel Contending Forces: A Romance of Negro Life North and South. In this critical biography, Lois Brown documents for the first time Hopkins’s early family life and her ancestral connections to eighteenth-century New England, the African slave trade, and twentieth-century race activism in the North.

Brown includes detailed descriptions of Hopkins’s earliest known performances as a singer and actress; textual analysis of her major and minor literary works; information about her most influential mentors, colleagues, and professional affiliations; and details of her battles with Booker T. Washington, which ultimately led to her professional demise as a journalist.

Richly grounded in archival sources, Brown’s work offers a definitive study that clarifies a number of inconsistencies in earlier writing about Hopkins. Brown re-creates the life of a remarkable woman in the context of her times, revealing Hopkins as the descendant of a family comprising many distinguished individuals, an active participant and supporter of the arts, a woman of stature among professional peers and clubwomen, and a gracious and outspoken crusader for African American rights.


Click for more detail about All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900 by Martha S. Jones All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900

by Martha S. Jones
The University of North Carolina Press (Oct 08, 2007)
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The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture

The place of women’s rights in African American public culture has been an enduring question, one that has long engaged activists, commentators, and scholars. All Bound Up Together explores the roles black women played in their communities’ social movements and the consequences of elevating women into positions of visibility and leadership. Martha Jones reveals how, through the nineteenth century, the "woman question" was at the core of movements against slavery and for civil rights.

Unlike white women activists, who often created their own institutions separate from men, black women, Jones explains, often organized within already existing institutions—churches, political organizations, mutual aid societies, and schools. Covering three generations of black women activists, Jones demonstrates that their approach was not unanimous or monolithic but changed over time and took a variety of forms, from a woman’s right to control her body to her right to vote. Through a far-ranging look at politics, church, and social life, Jones demonstrates how women have helped shape the course of black public culture.


Click for more detail about Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Heather Andrea Williams Self-Taught: African American Education in Slavery and Freedom (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

by Heather Andrea Williams
The University of North Carolina Press (Feb 26, 2007)
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In this previously untold story of African American self-education, Heather Andrea Williams moves across time to examine African Americans’ relationship to literacy during slavery, during the Civil War, and in the first decades of freedom. Self-Taught traces the historical antecedents to freedpeople’s intense desire to become literate and demonstrates how the visions of enslaved African Americans emerged into plans and action once slavery ended. Enslaved people, Williams contends, placed great value in the practical power of literacy, whether it was to enable them to read the Bible for themselves or to keep informed of the abolition movement and later the progress of the Civil War. Some slaves devised creative and subversive means to acquire literacy, and when slavery ended, they became the first teachers of other freedpeople. Soon overwhelmed by the demands for education, they called on northern missionaries to come to their aid. Williams argues that by teaching, building schools, supporting teachers, resisting violence, and claiming education as a civil right, African Americans transformed the face of education in the South to the great benefit of both black and white southerners.


Click for more detail about Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation by Michael D. Harris Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation

by Michael D. Harris
The University of North Carolina Press (Feb 27, 2006)
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In this book, artist and art historian Michael Harris investigates the role of visual representation in the construction of black identities, both real and imagined, in the United States. He focuses particularly on how African American artists have responded to—and even used—stereotypical images in their own works.

Harris shows how, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, racial stereotypes became the dominant mode through which African Americans were represented. These characterizations of blacks formed a substantial part of the foundation of white identity and social power. They also, Harris argues, seeped into African Americans’ self-images and undermined their self-esteem.

Harris traces black artists’ responses to racist imagery across two centuries, from early works by Henry O. Tanner and Archibald J. Motley Jr., in which African Americans are depicted with dignity, to contemporary works by Kara Walker and Michael Ray Charles, in which derogatory images are recycled to controversial effect. The work of these and other artists—such as John Biggers, Jeff Donaldson, Betye Saar, Juan Logan, and Camille Billops—reflects a wide range of perspectives. Examined together, they offer compelling insight into the profound psychological impact of visual stereotypes on the African American community.


Click for more detail about The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s by James Smethurst The Black Arts Movement: Literary Nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s

by James Smethurst
The University of North Carolina Press (May 09, 2005)
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Emerging from a matrix of Old Left, black nationalist, and bohemian ideologies and institutions, African American artists and intellectuals in the 1960s coalesced to form the Black Arts Movement, the cultural wing of the Black Power Movement. In this comprehensive analysis, James Smethurst examines the formation of the Black Arts Movement and demonstrates how it deeply influenced the production and reception of literature and art in the United States through its negotiations of the ideological climate of the Cold War, decolonization, and the civil rights movement.

Taking a regional approach, Smethurst examines local expressions of the nascent Black Arts Movement, a movement distinctive in its geographical reach and diversity, while always keeping the frame of the larger movement in view. The Black Arts Movement, he argues, fundamentally changed American attitudes about the relationship between popular culture and "high" art and dramatically transformed the landscape of public funding for the arts.


Click for more detail about Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (Gender and American Culture) by Barbara Ransby Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (Gender and American Culture)

by Barbara Ransby
The University of North Carolina Press (Feb 28, 2005)
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One of the most important African American leaders of the twentieth century and perhaps the most influential woman in the civil rights movement, Ella Baker (1903-1986) was an activist whose remarkable career spanned fifty years and touched thousands of lives.

A gifted grassroots organizer, Baker shunned the spotlight in favor of vital behind-the-scenes work that helped power the black freedom struggle. She was a national officer and key figure in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and a prime mover in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Baker made a place for herself in predominantly male political circles that included W. E. B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King Jr., all the while maintaining relationships with a vibrant group of women, students, and activists both black and white.

In this deeply researched biography, Barbara Ransby chronicles Baker’s long and rich political career as an organizer, an intellectual, and a teacher, from her early experiences in depression-era Harlem to the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Ransby shows Baker to be a complex figure whose radical, democratic worldview, commitment to empowering the black poor, and emphasis on group-centered, grassroots leadership set her apart from most of her political contemporaries. Beyond documenting an extraordinary life, the book paints a vivid picture of the African American fight for justice and its intersections with other progressive struggles worldwide across the twentieth century.


Click for more detail about Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition (Gender and American Culture) by Cheryl A. Wall Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition (Gender and American Culture)

by Cheryl A. Wall
The University of North Carolina Press (Feb 28, 2005)
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For blues musicians, "worrying the line" is the technique of breaking up a phrase by changing pitch, adding a shout, or repeating words in order to emphasize, clarify, or subvert a moment in a song. Cheryl A. Wall applies this term to fiction and nonfiction writing by African American women in the twentieth century, demonstrating how these writers bring about similar changes in African American and American literary traditions.

Examining the works of Lucille Clifton, Gayl Jones, Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Toni Morrison, Gloria Naylor, and Alice Walker, Wall highlights ways in which these authors construct family genealogies, filling in the gaps with dreams, rituals, music, or images that forge a connection to family lost through slavery. For the black woman author, Wall contends, this method of revising and extending canonical forms provides the opportunity to comment on the literary past while also calling attention to the lingering historical effects of slavery. For the reader, Wall shows, the images and words combine to create a new kind of text that extends meanings of the line, both as lineage and as literary tradition.


Click for more detail about Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power by Timothy B. Tyson Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams and the Roots of Black Power

by Timothy B. Tyson
The University of North Carolina Press (Jan 05, 2005)
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This book tells the remarkable story of Robert F. Williams—one of the most influential black activists of the generation that toppled Jim Crow and forever altered the arc of American history. In the late 1950s, as president of the Monroe, North Carolina, branch of the NAACP, Williams and his followers used machine guns, dynamite, and Molotov cocktails to confront Klan terrorists. Advocating "armed self-reliance" by blacks, Williams challenged not only white supremacists but also Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights establishment. Forced to flee during the 1960s to Cuba—where he broadcast "Radio Free Dixie," a program of black politics and music that could be heard as far away as Los Angeles and New York City—and then China, Williams remained a controversial figure for the rest of his life.

Historians have customarily portrayed the civil rights movement as a nonviolent call on America’ s conscience—and the subsequent rise of Black Power as a violent repudiation of the civil rights dream. But Radio Free Dixie reveals that both movements grew out of the same soil, confronted the same predicaments, and reflected the same quest for African American freedom. As Robert Williams’ s story demonstrates, independent black political action, black cultural pride, and armed self-reliance operated in the South in tension and in tandem with legal efforts and nonviolent protest.


Click for more detail about Southern History Across the Color Line by Nell Irvin Painter Southern History Across the Color Line

by Nell Irvin Painter
The University of North Carolina Press (Apr 29, 2002)
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The color line, once all too solid in southern public life, still exists in the study of southern history. As distinguished historian Nell Irvin Painter notes, historians often still write about the South as though people of different races occupied entirely different spheres. In truth, although blacks and whites were expected to remain in their assigned places in the southern social hierarchy throughout the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century, their lives were thoroughly entangled.

In this powerful collection, Painter reaches across the color line to examine how race, gender, class, and individual subjectivity shaped the lives of black and white women and men in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century South. Through six essays, she explores such themes as interracial sex, white supremacy, and the physical and psychological violence of slavery, using insights gleaned from psychology and feminist social science as well as social, cultural, and intellectual history.

At once pioneering and reflective, the book illustrates both the breadth of Painter’s interests and the originality of her intellectual contributions. It will inspire and guide a new generation of historians who take her goal of transcending the color bar as their own.


Click for more detail about Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s Plantation Frontier before the Civil War by Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s Plantation Frontier before the Civil War

by
The University of North Carolina Press (Apr 29, 2002)
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Set on the antebellum southern frontier, this book uses the history of two counties in Florida’s panhandle to tell the story of the migrations, disruptions, and settlements that made the plantation South.

Soon after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821, migrants from older southern states began settling the land that became Jackson and Leon Counties. Slaves, torn from family and community, were forced to carve plantations from the woods of Middle Florida, while planters and less wealthy white men battled over the social, political, and economic institutions of their new society.

Conflict between white men became full-scale crisis in the 1840s, but when sectional conflict seemed to threaten slavery, the whites of Middle Florida found common ground. In politics and everyday encounters, they enshrined the ideal of white male equality—and black inequality. To mask their painful memories of crisis, the planter elite told themselves that their society had been transplanted from older states without conflict. But this myth of an "Old," changeless South only papered over the struggles that transformed slave society in the course of its expansion. In fact, that myth continues to shroud from our view the plantation frontier, the very engine of conflict that had led to the myth’s creation.


Click for more detail about From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980 by Gerald Horne From the Barrel of a Gun: The United States and the War against Zimbabwe, 1965-1980

by Gerald Horne
The University of North Carolina Press (Jun 25, 2001)
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In November 1965, Ian Smith’s white minority government in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) made a unilateral declaration of independence, breaking with Great Britain. With a European population of a few hundred thousand dominating an African majority of several million, Rhodesia’s racial structure echoed the apartheid of neighboring South Africa. Smith’s declaration sparked an escalating guerrilla war that claimed thousands of lives. Across the Atlantic, President Lyndon B. Johnson nervously watched events in Rhodesia, fearing that racial conflict abroad could inflame racial discord at home. Although Washington officially voiced concerns over human rights violations, an attitude of tolerance generally marked U. S. relations with the Rhodesian government: sanctions were imposed but not strictly enforced, and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of American mercenaries joined white Rhodesia’s side in battle with little to fear from U. S. laws. Despite such tacit U. S. support, Smith’s regime fell in 1980, and the independent state of Zimbabwe was born. The first comprehensive account of American involvement in the war against Zimbabwe, this compelling work also explores how our relationship with Rhodesia helped define interracial dynamics in the United States, and vice versa.


Click for more detail about Mary: An Autobiography (Chapel Hill Books) by Mary E. Mebane Mary: An Autobiography (Chapel Hill Books)

by Mary E. Mebane
The University of North Carolina Press (Mar 22, 1999)
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Born in rural North Carolina in 1933, into the last generation before the lines of segregation were broken, the young Mary Mebane felt herself trapped in a "world without options." But even in the face of poverty, racism, and the chilling certainty that her mother’s affection would never be won, she vowed to escape.In this powerful autobiography, first published in 1981, Mebane recalls the joys and chores of her country childhood, the pain of her alienation from her family and community, and her dawning awareness that in her gifts for language and learning lay her key to freedom. With her graduation from college comes a triumph that is both hard-won and bittersweet.


Click for more detail about Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy by Timothy B. Tyson Democracy Betrayed: The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 and Its Legacy

by Timothy B. Tyson
The University of North Carolina Press (Nov 10, 1998)
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At the close of the nineteenth century, the Democratic Party in North Carolina engineered a white supremacy revolution. Frustrated by decades of African American self-assertion and threatened by an interracial coalition advocating democratic reforms, white conservatives used violence, demagoguery, and fraud to seize political power and disenfranchise black citizens. The most notorious episode of the campaign was the Wilmington “race riot” of 1898, which claimed the lives of many black residents and rolled back decades of progress for African Americans in the state.

Published on the centennial of the Wilmington race riot, Democracy Betrayed draws together the best new scholarship on the events of 1898 and their aftermath. Contributors to this important book hope to draw public attention to the tragedy, to honor its victims, and to bring a clear and timely historical voice to the debate over its legacy.

The contributors are David S. Cecelski, William H. Chafe, Laura F. Edwards, Raymond Gavins, Glenda E. Gilmore, John Haley, Michael Honey, Stephen Kantrowitz, H. Leon Prather Sr., Timothy B. Tyson, LeeAnn Whites, and Richard Yarborough.


Click for more detail about The Black Bard Of North Carolina: George Moses Horton And His Poetry by George Moses Horton The Black Bard Of North Carolina: George Moses Horton And His Poetry

by George Moses Horton
The University of North Carolina Press (Apr 28, 1997)
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For his humanistic religious verse, his poignant and deeply personal antislavery poems, and, above all, his lifelong enthusiasm for liberty, nature, and the art of poetry, George Moses Horton merits a place of distinction among nineteenth-century African American poets. Enslaved from birth until the close of the Civil War, the self-taught Horton was the first American slave to protest his bondage in published verse and the first black man to publish a book in the South. As a man and as a poet, his achievements were extraordinary.

In this volume, Joan Sherman collects sixty-two of Horton’s poems. Her comprehensive introduction—combining biography, history, cultural commentary, and critical insight—presents a compelling and detailed picture of this remarkable man’s life and art.

George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883) was born in Northampton County, North Carolina. A slave for sixty-eight years, Horton spent much of his life on a farm near Chapel Hill, and in time he fostered a deep connection with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The author of three books of poetry, Horton was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in May of 1996.

Inlcudes 62 of Horton Poems from his three books of Poetry

For his humanistic religious verse, his poignant and deeply personal antislavery poems, his folk verse, and, above all, his lifelong enthusiasm for liberty, nature, and the art of poetry, George Moses Horton merits a place of distinction among nineteenth-century African American poets. Enslaved for sixty-eight years - from his birth until the close of the Civil War - he was the first American slave to protest his bondage in published verse, the first black man to publish a book in the South, and the only slave to earn a significant income through the sale of his poems. As a man and as a poet, Horton's achievements were extraordinary. In this volume, Joan Sherman collects sixty-two of Horton's poems. Her comprehensive introduction - which combines biography, history, cultural commentary, and critical insight - presents a compelling and detailed picture of this remarkable man's life and art. Covering a wide range of poetical subjects in varied verse forms, this collection is an eloquent testament to Horton's unique voice.

For his humanistic religious verse, his poignant and deeply personal antislavery poems, and, above all, his lifelong enthusiasm for liberty, nature, and the art of poetry, George Moses Horton merits a place of distinction among nineteenth-century African American poets. Enslaved from birth until the close of the Civil War, the self-taught Horton was the first American slave to protest his bondage in published verse and the first black man to publish a book in the South. As a man and as a poet, his achievements were extraordinary.

In this volume, Joan Sherman collects sixty-two of Horton's poems. Her comprehensive introduction--combining biography, history, cultural commentary, and critical insight--presents a compelling and detailed picture of this remarkable man's life and art.

  1. Acrostics
  2. The Art Of A Poet
  3. The Cheerless Condition Of Bachelorship
  4. The Close Of Life
  5. Connubial Felicity
  6. The Creditor To His Proud Debtor
  7. Death Of An Old Carriage Horse
  8. Division Of An Estate
  9. Early Affection
  10. Excited From Reading The Obedience Of Nature To Her Lord In Vessel Sea
  11. Execution Of Private Henry Anderson
  12. Farewell To Frances
  13. The Fate Of An Innocent Dog
  14. The Fearful Traveller In The Haunted Castle
  15. For The Fair Miss M. M. Mcl(ean)
  16. Gen. Grant -- The Hero Of The War
  17. George Moses Horton, Myself
  18. The Graduate Leaving College
  19. Gratitude
  20. Heavenly Love
  21. The Horse Stolen From The Camp
  22. Imploring To Be Resigned At Death (from Poetical Works)
    Let me die and not tremble at death,
    But smile at the close of my day,
    And then, at the flight of my breath,
    Like a bird of the morning in May,
    Go chanting away.

    Let me die without fear of the dead,
    No horrors my soul shall dismay,
    And with faith's pillow under my head,
    With defiance to mortal decay,
    Go chanting away.

    Let me die like a son of the brave,
    And martial distinction display,
    Nor shrink from a thought of the grave,
    No, but with a smile from the clay,
    Go chanting away.

    Let me die glad, regardless of pain,
    No pang to this world to betray;
    And the spirit cut loose from its chain,
    So loath in the flesh to delay,
    Go chanting away.

    Let me die, and my worst foe forgive,
    When death veils the last vital ray;
  23. The Intemperance Club
  24. Jefferson In A Tight Place
  25. Liberty
  26. Lincoln Is Dead
  27. Lines To My --
  28. Love
  29. Man, A Torch
  30. Meditation On A Cold, Dark And Rainy Night
  31. My Native Home
  32. New Fashions
  33. The Obstruction Of Genius
  34. On An Old Deluded Suitor
  35. On Hearing Of Intention .. To Purchase The Poet's Freedom
  36. On Liberty And Slavery
  37. On Summer
  38. On The Evening And Morning
  39. On The Pleasure Of College Life
  40. On The Poetic Muse
  41. On The Truth Of The Saviour
  42. On Winter
  43. One Generation Passeth Away And Another Cometh
  44. The Poet's Feeble Petition
  45. Praise Of Creation
  46. Reflections From The Flash Of A Meteor
  47. The Retreat From Moscow
  48. Rosabella -- Purity Of Heart
  49. The Slave
  50. The Slave's Complaint
  51. A Slave's Reflections The Eve Before His Sale
  52. Slavery (1)
  53. Slavery (2)
  54. Snaps For Dinner, Snaps For Breakfast, And Snaps For Supper
  55. Song Of Liberty And Parental Advice
  56. The Southern Refugee
  57. The Tippler To His Bottle
  58. To Eliza
  59. To The Muse
  60. Troubled With The Itch, And Rubbing With Sulphur
  61. The Union Of Parties
  62. The Woodman And Money Hunter

 

 

The POETICAL WORKS of GEORGE M. HORTON, The Colored Bard of North-Carolina, to which is prefixed The Life Of The Author, Written by Himself. THE POETICAL WORKS of GEORGE M. HORTON, The Colored Bard of North-Carolina, to which is prefixed The Life Of The Author, Written by Himself.

Excerpt from The Poetical Works

From the importunate request of a few individuals, I assume the difficult task of writing a concise history of my life. But to open a scene of all the past occurrences of my life I shall not undertake, since I should fail by more than two-thirds in the matter. But if you will condescend to read it, I will endeavor to give a slight specimen entirely clear of exaggeration. A tedious and prolix detail in the matter may not be of any expected, since there is necessarily so much particularity required in a biographical narrative.

I was born in Northampton county, N C., near the line of Virginia, and within four miles of the Roanoke River; the property of William Horton, senior, who also owned my mother, and the whole stock of her children, which were five before me, all girls, but not of one father. I am the oldest child that my mother had by her second husband, and she had four younger than myself, one boy and three girls. But to account for my age is beyond the reach of my power. I was early fond of music, with an extraordinary appetite for singing lively times, for which I was a little remarkable. In the course of a few years after my birth, from the sterility of his land, my old master assumed the notion to move into Chatham, a more fertile and fresh part of country recently settled, and whose waters were far more healthy and agreeable. I here become a cow-boy, which I followed for perhaps ten years in succession, or more. In the course of this disagreeable occupation, I became fond of hearing people read; but being nothing but a poor cow-boy, I had but little or no thought of ever being able to read or spell one word or sentence in any book whatever. My mother discovered my anxiety for books, and strove to encourage my plan; but she, having left her husband behind, was so hard run to make a little shift for herself, that she could give me no assistance in that case. At length I took resolution to learn the alphabet at all events; and lighting by chance at times with some opportunities of being in the presence of school children, I learnt the letters by heart; and fortunately afterwards got hold of some old parts of spelling books abounding with these elements, which I learnt with but little difficulty. And by this time, my brother was deeply excited by the assiduity which he discovered in me, to learn himself; and some of his partial friends strove to put him before me, and I in a stump now, and a sorry instrument to work with at that. But still my brother never could keep time with me. He was indeed an ostentatious youth, and of a far more attractive person than myself, more forward in manly show and early became fond of popularity to an astonishing degree for one of his age and capacity. He strove hard on the wing of ambition to soar above me, and could write a respectable fist before I could form the first letter with a pen, or barely knew the use of a goose-quill. And I must say that he was quite a remarkable youth, as studious as a judge, but much too full of vain lounging among the fair sex.

But to return to the earlier spring of my progress. Though blundering, I became a far better reader than he; but we were indeed both remarkable for boys of color, and hard raising. On well nigh every Sabbath during the year, did I retire away in the summer season to some shady and lonely recess, when I could stammer over the dim and promiscuous syllables in my old black and tattered spelling book, sometimes a piece of one, and then of another; nor would I scarcely spare the time to return to my ordinary meals, being so truly engaged with my book. And by close application to my book at night, my visage became considerally emaciated by extreme perspiration, having no lucubratory aparatus, no candle, no lamp, nor even light-wood, being chiefly raised in oaky woods. Hence I had to sit sweating and smoking over my incompetent bark or brush light, almost exhausted by the heat of the fire, and almost suffocated with smoke; consequently from Monday morning I anticipated with joy the approach of the next Sabbath, that I might again retire to the pleasant umbrage of the woods, whither I was used to dwell or spend the most of the day with ceaseless investigation over my book. A number strove to dissuade me from my plan, and had the presumption to tell me that I was a vain fool to attempt learning to read with as little chance as I had. Playboys importunately insisted on my abandoning my foolish theory, and go with them on streams, desport, and sacrifice the day in athletic folly, or alibatic levity. Nevertheless did I persevere with an indefatigable resolution, at the risk of success. But ah! the oppositions with which I contended are too tedious to relate, but not too formidable to surmount; and I verily believe that those obstacles had an auspicious tendency to waft me, as on pacific gales, above the storms of envy and the calumniating scourge of emulation, from which literary imagination often sinks beneath its dignity, and instruction languishes at the shrine of vanity. I reached the threatening heights of literature, and braved in a manner the clouds of disgust which reared in thunders under my feet. This brings to mind the verse of an author on the adventurous seaman.

"The wandering sailor ploughs the main,
A competence in life to gain;
The threatening waves around him foam,
'Till flattering fancy wafts him home."

For the overthrow and downfal of my scheme had been repeatedly threatened. But with defiance I accomplished the arduous task of spelling (for thus it was with me,) having no facilitating assistance. From this I entered into reading lessons with triumph. I became very fond of reading parts of the New Testament, such as I could pick up as they lay about at random; but I soon became more fond of reading verses, Wesley's old hymns, and other peices of poetry from various authors. I became found of it to that degree, that whenever I chanced to light on a piece of paper, so common to be lying about, I would pick it up in order to examine it whether it was written in that curious style or not. If it was not, unless some remarkable prose, I threw it aside; and if it was, I as carefully preserved it as I would a piece of money. At length I began to wonder whether it was possible that I ever could be so fortunate as to compose in that manner. I fell to work in my head, and composed several undigested pieces, which I retained in my mind, for I knew nothing about writing with a pen, also without the least grammatical knowledge, a few lines of which I yet retain. I will give you the following specimen. On one very calm Sabbath morning, a while before the time of preaching, I undertook to compose a divine hymn, being under some serious impression of mind:

Rise up, my soul and let us go
Up to the gospel feast;
Gird on the garment white as snow,
To join and be a guest.
Dost thou not hear the trumpet call
For thee, my soul, for thee?
Not only thee, my soul, but all,
May rise and enter free.

The entire book may be viewed at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Website


Click for more detail about Capitalism And Slavery by Eric Williams Capitalism And Slavery

by Eric Williams
The University of North Carolina Press (Oct 14, 1994)
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Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide. Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams’s study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies.
In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams’s groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.




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