19 Books Published by University of Chicago Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side by Eve L. Ewing Ghosts in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side

by Eve L. Ewing
University of Chicago Press (Oct 05, 2018)
Read Detailed Book Description

“Failing schools. Underprivileged schools. Just plain bad schools.”

That&squo;s how Eve L. Ewing opens Ghosts in the Schoolyard describing Chicago Public Schools from the outside. The way politicians and pundits and parents of kids who attend other schools talk about them, with a mix of pity and contempt.

But Ewing knows Chicago Public Schools from the inside: as a student, then a teacher, and now a scholar who studies them. And that perspective has shown her that public schools are not buildings full of failures — they&squo;re an integral part of their neighborhoods, at the heart of their communities, storehouses of history and memory that bring people together.

Never was that role more apparent than in 2013 when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an unprecedented wave of school closings. Pitched simultaneously as a solution to a budget problem, a response to declining enrollments, and a chance to purge bad schools that were dragging down the whole system, the plan was met with a roar of protest from parents, students, and teachers. But if these schools were so bad, why did people care so much about keeping them open, to the point that some would even go on a hunger strike?

Ewing&squo;s answer begins with a story of systemic racism, inequality, bad faith, and distrust that stretches deep into Chicago history. Rooting her exploration in the historic African American neighborhood of Bronzeville, Ewing reveals that this issue is about much more than just schools. Black communities see the closing of their schools--schools that are certainly less than perfect but that are theirs--as one more in a long line of racist policies. The fight to keep them open is yet another front in the ongoing struggle of black people in America to build successful lives and achieve true self-determination.


Click for more detail about In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America

by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
University of Chicago Press (May 14, 2014)
Read Detailed Book Description


In this provocative book, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., one of our nation’s rising young Afircan American intellectuals, makes an impassioned plea for black America to address its social problems by recourse to experience and with an eye set on the promise and potential of the future, rather than the fixed ideas and categories of the past. Central to Glaude’s mission is a rehabilitation of philosopher John Dewey, whose ideas, he argues, can be fruitfully applied to a renewal of African American politics According to Glaude, Dewey’s pragmatism, when attentive to the darker dimensions of life - or what we often speak of as the blues - can address many of the conceptual problems that plague contemporary African American discourse. How blacks think about themselves, how they imagine their own history, and how they conceive of their own actions can be rendered in ways that escape bad ways of thinking that assume a tendentious political unity among African Americans simply because they are black. Drawing deeply on black religious thought and literature, In a Shade of Blue seeks to dislodge such crude and simplistic thinking and replace it with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for black life in all its variety and intricacy. Glaude argues that only when black political leaders acknowledge such complexity can the real-life sufferings of many African Americans be remedied, an argument echoed in the recent rhetoric and optimism of the Barack Obama presidential campaign. In a Shade of Blue is a remarkable work of political commentary and to follow its trajectory is to learn how African Americans arrived at this critical moment in their cultural and political history and to envision where they might head in the twenty-first century.


Click for more detail about And Bid Him Sing: A Biography Of Countee Cullen by Charles Molesworth And Bid Him Sing: A Biography Of Countee Cullen

by Charles Molesworth
University of Chicago Press (Oct 01, 2012)
Read Detailed Book Description


While competing with Langston Hughes for the title of “Poet Laureate of Harlem,” Countée Cullen (1903–46) crafted poems that became touchstones for American readers, both black and white. Inspired by classic themes and working within traditional forms, Cullen shaped his poetry to address universal questions like love, death, longing, and loss while also dealing with the issues of race and idealism that permeated the national conversation. Drawing on the poet’s unpublished correspondence with contemporaries and friends like Hughes, Claude McKay, Carl Van Vechten, Dorothy West, Charles S. Johnson and Alain Locke, and presenting a unique interpretation of his poetic gifts, And Bid Him Sing is the first full-length critical biography of this famous American writer. Despite his untimely death at the age of forty-two, Cullen left behind an extensive body of work. In addition to five books of poetry, he authored two much-loved children’s books and translated Euripides’ Medea, the first translation by an African American of a Greek tragedy. In these pages, Charles Molesworth explores the many ways that race, religion, and Cullen’s sexuality informed the work of one of the unquestioned stars of the Harlem Renaissance. An authoritative work of biography that brings to life one of the chief voices of his generation, And Bid Him Sing returns to us one of America’s finest lyric poets in all of his complexity and musicality.


Click for more detail about My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War by Lawrence P. Jackson My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family After the Civil War

by Lawrence P. Jackson
University of Chicago Press (May 15, 2012)
Read Detailed Book Description

Armed with only early boyhood memories, Lawrence P. Jackson begins his quest by setting out from his home in Baltimore for Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to try to find his late grandfather’s old home by the railroad tracks in Blairs. My Father’s Name tells the tale of the ensuing journey, at once a detective story and a moving historical memoir, uncovering the mixture of anguish and fulfillment that accompanies a venture into the ancestral past, specifically one tied to the history of slavery.After asking around in Pittsylvania County and carefully putting the pieces together, Jackson finds himself in the house of distant relations. In the pages that follow, he becomes increasingly absorbed by the search for his ancestors and increasingly aware of how few generations an African American needs to map back in order to arrive at slavery, "a door of no return." Ultimately, Jackson’s dogged research in libraries, census records, and courthouse registries enables him to trace his family to his grandfather’s grandfather, a man who was born or sold into slavery but who, when Federal troops abandoned the South in 1877, was able to buy forty acres of land. In this intimate study of a black Virginia family and neighborhood, Jackson vividly reconstructs moments in the lives of his father’s grandfather, Edward Jackson, and great-grandfather, Granville Hundley, and gives life to revealing narratives of Pittsylvania County, recalling both the horror of slavery and the later struggles of postbellum freedom.
My Father’s Name is a family story full of twists and turns—and one of haunting familiarity to many Americans, who may question whether the promises of emancipation have ever truly been fulfilled. It is also a resolute look at the duties that come with reclaiming and honoring Americans who survived slavery and a thoughtful meditation on its painful and enduring history.


Click for more detail about Alain L. Locke: The Biography Of A Philosopher by Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth Alain L. Locke: The Biography Of A Philosopher

by Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth
University of Chicago Press (Dec 15, 2008)
Read Detailed Book Description


Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his famous 1925 anthology TheNew Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro world has begun to beat in Harlem.” Often called the father of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke had his finger directly on that pulse, promoting, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William Grant Still, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and writer, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold story of his profound impact on twentieth-century America’s cultural and intellectual life. Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth trace this story through Locke’s Philadelphia upbringing, his undergraduate years at Harvard—where William James helped spark his influential engagement with pragmatism—and his tenure as the first African American Rhodes Scholar. The heart of their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in 1920s New York City and his forty-year career at Howard University, where he helped spearhead the adult education movement of the 1930s and wrote on topics ranging from the philosophy of value to the theory of democracy. Harris and Molesworth show that throughout this illustrious career—despite a formal manner that many observers interpreted as elitist or distant—Locke remained a warm and effective teacher and mentor, as well as a fierce champion of literature and art as means of breaking down barriers between communities. The multifaceted portrait that emerges from this engaging account effectively reclaims Locke’s rightful place in the pantheon of America’s most important minds.


Click for more detail about Richard Wright: The Life and Times by Hazel Rowley Richard Wright: The Life and Times

by Hazel Rowley
University of Chicago Press (Feb 15, 2008)
Read Detailed Book Description


Consistently an outsider—a child of the fundamentalist South with an eighth-grade education, a self-taught intellectual, a black man married to a white woman—Richard Wright nonetheless became the unparalleled voice of his time. The first full-scale biography of the author best known for his searing novels Black Boy and Native Son, Richard Wright: The Life and Times brings the man and his work—in all their complexity and distinction—to vibrant life. Acclaimed biographer Hazel Rowley chronicles Wright’s unprecedented journey from a sharecropper’s shack in Mississippi to Chicago’s South Side to international renown as a writer and outspoken critic of racism.
            Drawing on journals, letters, and eyewitness accounts, Richard Wright probes the author’s relationships with Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison, his attraction to Communism, and his so-called exile in France. Skillfully interweaving quotes from Wright’s own writings, Rowley deftly portrays a passionate, courageous, and flawed man who would become one of our most enduring literary figures.
 
“Splendid. . . . Richard Wright is well written, prodigiously researched, and nicely paced, a compelling evocation of the man, his craft, and the different worlds through which he moved.”—Michael J. Ybarra, Wall Street Journal
 
“A welcome and illuminating work . . . [Rowley] does an outstanding job. . . . Rich and revealing.”—Megan Harlan, San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A magnificent biography, subtle and insightful. . . . Rowley writes with style and grace, and her research on Wright is prodigious.”—Howard Zinn, The Week


Click for more detail about A Place On The Corner, Second Edition (Fieldwork Encounters And Discoveries) by Elijah Anderson A Place On The Corner, Second Edition (Fieldwork Encounters And Discoveries)

by Elijah Anderson
University of Chicago Press (Oct 16, 2003)
Read Detailed Book Description


This paperback edition of A Place on the Corner marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elijah Anderson’s sociological classic, a study of street corner life at a local barroom/liquor store located in the ghetto on Chicago’s South Side. Anderson returned night after night, month after month, to gain a deeper understanding of the people he met, vividly depicting how they created—and recreated—their local stratification system. In addition, Anderson introduces key sociological concepts, including "the extended primary group" and "being down." The new preface and appendix in this edition expand on Anderson’s original work, telling the intriguing story of how he went about his field work among the men who frequented Jelly’s corner.


Click for more detail about Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture by Hortense J. Spillers Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture

by Hortense J. Spillers
University of Chicago Press (Apr 01, 2003)
Read Detailed Book Description


Black, White, and in Color offers a long-awaited collection of major essays by Hortense Spillers, one of the most influential and inspiring black critics of the past twenty years. Spanning her work from the early 1980s, in which she pioneered a broadly poststructuralist approach to African American literature, and extending through her turn to cultural studies in the 1990s, these essays display her passionate commitment to reading as a fundamentally political act-one pivotal to rewriting the humanist project.

Spillers is best known for her race-centered revision of psychoanalytic theory and for her subtle account of the relationships between race and gender. She has also given literary criticism some of its most powerful readings of individual authors, represented here in seminal essays on Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, and William Faulkner. Ultimately, the essays collected in Black, White, and in Color all share Spillers’s signature style: heady, eclectic, and astonishingly productive of new ideas. Anyone interested in African American culture and literature will want to read them.


Click for more detail about The Bloodworth Orphans (Phoenix Fiction) by Leon Forrest The Bloodworth Orphans (Phoenix Fiction)

by Leon Forrest
University of Chicago Press (Dec 01, 2001)
Read Detailed Book Description


Leon Forrest, acclaimed author of Divine Days, uses a remarkable verbal intensity to evoke human tragedy, injustice, and spirituality in his writing. As Toni Morrison has said, "All of Forrest’s novels explore the complex legacy of Afro-Americans. Like an insistent tide this history . . . swells and recalls America’s past. . . . Brooding, hilarious, acerbic and profoundly valued life has no more astute observer than Leon Forrest." All of that is on display here in a novel that give readers a breathtaking view of the human experience, filled with humor and pathos.


Click for more detail about There Is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden (Phoenix Fiction) by Leon Forrest There Is a Tree More Ancient Than Eden (Phoenix Fiction)

by Leon Forrest
University of Chicago Press (Nov 01, 2001)
Read Detailed Book Description


Leon Forrest, acclaimed author of Divine Days, uses a remarkable verbal intensity to evoke human tragedy, injustice, and spirituality in his writing. As Toni Morrison has said, "All of Forrest’s novels explore the complex legacy of Afro-Americans. Like an insistent tide this history . . . swells and recalls America’s past. . . . Brooding, hilarious, acerbic and profoundly valued life has no more astute observer than Leon Forrest." All of that is on display here in two novels that give readers a breathtaking view of the human experience, filled with humor and pathos.


Click for more detail about Miles Davis and American Culture by Gerald L. Early Miles Davis and American Culture

by Gerald L. Early
Missouri History Museum Press (Jun 01, 2001)
Read Detailed Book Description


Miles Davis and American Culture examines Davis in cultural context. In this new collection of a dozen essays, William Kenney explores the St. Louis jazz scene of Davis’s youth; Eugene B. Redmond looks at East St. Louis’s cultural history; Ingrid Monson examines Davis and civil rights; and Waldo Martin discusses Davis and his relation to the black avant-garde of the 1960s.Original interviews and classic photographs round out the volume, published to coincide with the 2001 Miles Davis Festival, celebrating what would have been Davis’s seventy-fifth birthday.


Click for more detail about Edison: Inventing the Century by Neil Baldwin Edison: Inventing the Century

by Neil Baldwin
University of Chicago Press (Apr 28, 2001)
Read Detailed Book Description


The genius of America’s most prolific inventor, Thomas Edison, is widely acknowledged, and Edison himself has become an almost mythic figure. But how much do we really know about the man who considered deriving rubber from a goldenrod plant as opposed to the genius who gave us electric light? Neil Baldwin gives us a complex portrait of the inventor himself—both myth and man—and a multifaceted account of the intellectual climate of the country he worked in and irrevocably changed.


Click for more detail about Black Picket Fences : Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class by Mary Pattillo-McCoy Black Picket Fences : Privilege and Peril Among the Black Middle Class

by Mary Pattillo-McCoy
University of Chicago Press (Nov 01, 2000)
Read Detailed Book Description


Black Picket Fences is a stark, moving, and candid look at a section of America that is too often ignored by both scholars and the media: the black middle class. The result of living for three years in "Groveland," a black middle-class neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, sociologist Mary Pattillo-McCoy has written a book that explores both the advantages and the boundaries that exist for members of the black middle class. Despite arguments that race no longer matters, Pattillo-McCoy shows a different reality, one where black and white middle classes remain separate and unequal.


Click for more detail about Exodus!: Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. Exodus!: Religion, Race, and Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Black America

by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
University of Chicago Press (Mar 15, 2000)
Read Detailed Book Description


No other story in the Bible has fired the imaginations of African Americans quite like that of Exodus. Its tale of suffering and the journey to redemption offered hope and a sense of possibility to people facing seemingly insurmountable evil.

Exodus! shows how this biblical story inspired a pragmatic tradition of racial advocacy among African Americans in the early nineteenth century—a tradition based not on race but on a moral politics of respectability. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., begins by comparing the historical uses of Exodus by black and white Americans and the concepts of "nation" it generated. He then traces the roles that Exodus played in the National Negro Convention movement, from its first meeting in 1830 to 1843, when the convention decided—by one vote—against supporting Henry Highland Garnet’s call for slave insurrection.

Exodus! reveals the deep historical roots of debates over African-American national identity that continue to rage today. It will engage anyone interested in the story of black nationalism and the promise of African-American religious culture.


Click for more detail about The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience by Ali Mazrui The Power of Babel: Language and Governance in the African Experience

by Ali Mazrui
University of Chicago Press (Aug 03, 1998)
Read Detailed Book Description


Linguists estimate that there are currently nearly 2,000 languages in Africa, a staggering figure that is belied by the relatively few national languages. While African national politics, economics and law are all conducted primarily in the colonial languages, the cultural life of the majority of citizens is conducted in a bewildering babel of regional vernaculars and local dialects. In The Power of Babel, Ali Mazrui and Alamin Mazrui explore the cultural and political implications of this linguistic diversity, including the role of language in nationalism and expansionist policies, gender roles, and social theory, to provide one of the most comprehensive studies of the complex linguistic constellations of Africa.

The Power of Babel draws on Ali Mazrui’s earlier work in its examination of the "triple heritage" of African culture, in which indigenous, Islamic, and Western traditions compete for influence. In bringing the idea of the triple heritage to language, the Mazruis unravel issues of power, culture, and modernity as they are embedded in African linguistic life. The first section of the book takes a global perspective, exploring such issues as the Eurocentrism of much linguistic scholarship on Africa; part two takes an African perspective on a variety of topics from the linguistically disadvantaged position of women in Africa to the relation of language policy and democratic development; the third section presents a set of regional studies, centering on the Swahili language’s exemplification of the triple heritage. The Power of Babel unites empirical information with theories of nationalism and pluralism — among others — to consider the future of a linguistically pluralisticAfrica and to offer the richest contextual account of African languages to date.


Click for more detail about Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City by St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City

by St. Clair Drake and Horace R. Cayton
University of Chicago Press (Aug 01, 1993)
Read Detailed Book Description


Ground-breaking when first published in 1945, Black Metropolis remains a landmark study of race and urban life. Based on a mass of research conducted by Works Progress Administration field workers in the late 1930s, it is a historical and sociological account of the people of Chicago’s South Side, the classic urban ghetto. Drake and Cayton’s findings not only offer a generalized analysis of black migration, settlement, community structure, and black-white race relations in the early part of the twentieth century, but also tell us what has changed in the last hundred years and what has not. This edition includes the original Introduction by Richard Wright and a new Foreword by William Julius Wilson.

"Black Metropolis is a rare combination of research and synthesis, a book to be deeply pondered. . . . No one who reads it intelligently can ever believe again that our racial dilemma can be solved by pushing buttons, or by gradual processes which may reach four or five hundred years into the future."—Bucklin Moon, The Nation

"This volume makes a great contribution to the building of the future American and the free world."—Louis Wirth, New York Times

"By virtue of its range, its labor and its insight, the book seems certain to become a landmark not only in race studies but in the broader field of social anthropology."—Thomas Sancton, New Republic


Click for more detail about Streetwise: Race, Class, And Change In An Urban Community by Elijah Anderson Streetwise: Race, Class, And Change In An Urban Community

by Elijah Anderson
University of Chicago Press (Nov 15, 1992)
Read Detailed Book Description


In a powerful, revealing portrait of city life, Anderson explores the dilemma of both blacks and whites, the underclass and the middle class, caught up in the new struggle not only for common ground—prime real estate in a racially changing neighborhood—but for shared moral community. Blacks and whites from a variety of backgrounds speak candidly about their lives, their differences, and their battle for viable communities.

"The sharpness of his observations and the simple clarity of his prose recommend his book far beyond an academic audience. Vivid, unflinching, finely observed, Streetwise is a powerful and intensely frightening picture of the inner city."—Tamar Jacoby, New York Times Book Review

"The book is without peer in the urban sociology literature. . . . A first-rate piece of social science, and a very good read."—Glenn C. Loury, Washington Times


Click for more detail about Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography Of Ida B. Wells by Ida B. Wells Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography Of Ida B. Wells

by Ida B. Wells
University of Chicago Press (Jul 23, 1991)
Read Detailed Book Description


Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was one of the foremost crusaders against black oppression. This engaging memoir tells of her private life as mother of a growing family as well as her public activities as teacher, lecturer, and journalist in her fight against attitudes and laws oppressing blacks.

"No student of black history should overlook Crusade for Justice."—William M. Tuttle, Jr., Journal of American History

"Besides being the story of an incredibly courageous and outspoken black woman in the face of innumerable odds, the book is a valuable contribution to the social history of the United States and to the literature of the women’s movement as well."—Elizabeth Kolmer, American Quarterly

"[Wells was] a sophisticated fighter whose prose was as thorough as her intellect."—Walter Goodman, New York Times

"An illuminating narrative of a zealous, race-conscious, civic- and church-minded black woman reformer, whose life story is a significant chapter in the history of Negro-White relations."—Thelma D. Perry, Negro History Bulletin


Click for more detail about Reconstruction after the Civil War by John Hope Franklin Reconstruction after the Civil War

by John Hope Franklin
University of Chicago Press (Jan 01, 1961)
Read Detailed Book Description


Ever since its original publication in 1961, Reconstruction after the Civil War has been praised for cutting through the controversial scholarship and popular myths of the time to provide an accurate account of the role of former slaves during this period in American history.

Now Franklin has updated his work to acknowledge the enormous body of research and scholarship that followed in the wake of the first edition. New are Franklin’s references to important, later texts that enrich the original narrative. In addition, the extensive bibliography has been thoroughly revised.

What has not changed, however, is the foundation Franklin has laid. Still compelling are his arguments concerning the brevity of the North’s military occupation of the South, the limited amount of power wielded by former slaves, the influence of moderate southerners, the flaws of the constitutions drawn up by the Radical state governments, and the reasons for the downfall of Reconstruction.




Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.