24 Books Published by University of Georgia Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion by Eddie S. Glaude Jr. An Uncommon Faith: A Pragmatic Approach to the Study of African American Religion

by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
University of Georgia Press (Nov 15, 2018)
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With An Uncommon Faith Eddie S. Glaude Jr. makes explicit his pragmatic approach to the study of African American religion. He insists that scholars take seriously what he calls black religious attitudes, that is, enduring and deep-seated dispositions tied to a transformative ideal that compel individuals to be otherwise?no matter the risk. This claim emerges as Glaude puts forward a rather idiosyncratic view of what the phrase “African American religion” offers within the context of a critically pragmatic approach to writing African American religious history.Ultimately, An Uncommon Faith reveals how pragmatism has shaped Glaude’s scholarship over the years, as well as his interpretation of black life in the United States. In the end, his analysis turns our attention to those “black souls” who engage in the arduous task of self-creation in a world that clings to the idea that white people matter more than others. It is a task, he argues, that requires an uncommon faith and deserves the close attention of scholars of African American religion.


Click for more detail about Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine by David Chanoff and Louis Sullivan Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine

by David Chanoff and Louis Sullivan
University of Georgia Press (Feb 01, 2016)
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In Breaking Ground, Louis W. Sullivan, M.D. recounts his extraordinary life including his childhood in Jim Crow south Georgia and continuing through his trailblazing endeavors training to become a physician in an almost entirely white environment in the Northeast. He was the founding dean and president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and served as secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in President George H. W. Bush’s administration. Throughout his extraordinary life Sullivan has passionately championed improved access to health care for all Americans and greater diversity among the nation’s health professionals.Sullivan’s life €•from Morehouse to the White House and his ongoing work with medical students in South Africa €•is the embodiment of the hopes and progress that the civil rights movement fought to achieve. His story should inspire future generations €•of all backgrounds €•to aspire to great things.


Click for more detail about Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College by Andrew Feiler Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College

by Andrew Feiler
University of Georgia Press (Oct 01, 2015)
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“I was granted unique access to the hauntingly silent campus of Morris Brown with the intent to illuminate the stories told in its stilled classrooms and hallways. In the resulting body of work, the proud past remains in the extraordinary quality of the facilities, school desks arrayed ready for class, faces of students in photographs from happier days. The challenging present resides starkly in broken stained glass, evidence of havoc wreaked by scrappers, hints of homeless humanity. And the uncertain future weighs heavily in the headlines: bankruptcy proceedings, a forthcoming professional football stadium next door, recycled pronouncements of plans to revitalize the surrounding neighborhood. Mixed with all of these are layers of timeless emotion… wistfulness, pride, angst, loneliness, hope.

Image from Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College by Andrew Feiler

A book of this work has just been published by the University of Georgia Press in association with the Georgia Humanities Council. The publication includes ten historical images, sixty contemporary images and essays by Robert E. James, Pellom McDaniels III, Amalia K. Amaki, and Loretta Parham. An accompanying exhibition opens later this fall [2015] in Atlanta. Opportunities are being sought for subsequent showings.”

This gathering of sixty images, along with the essays that frame them, gives us a new way to think about the too often troubled status of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The bell in the clock tower at Atlanta’s Morris Brown College bears an inscription about the ideal of educational access, that it be “without regard to sex, race, or color.” Yet most of the Morris Brown campus has lain silent for more than a decade. Established in 1881, it was all but shut down in 2002 after years of fiscal hardship were capped by a mismanagement scandal. Pride still runs high among its alumni, however, and its current leadership vows to revive the school. Meanwhile, as Andrew Feiler’s stirring photos show, Morris Brown is literally falling apart.

In the spirit of those photographers who have documented the physical decline of our valued institutions―from small family farms to entire cities―Feiler points his lens at one embattled place and dares us to look away. Aiming to “open minds, trigger emotion, stimulate discussion, and, perhaps, prompt action,” his images project a new layer of meaning onto the Morris Brown story. We see classrooms, dorms, gym facilities, and other spaces no longer alive with students, faculty, and staff but rather mired in a state of uncertainty where hopes of normality’s return mutely battle a host of unwelcome alternate futures. We see how time passes without regard for academic years, regular maintenance cycles, or the other comings and goings that would ordinarily call attention to the leaks, invading animals, acts of vandalism, and other forces working to peel the paint from Morris Brown’s walls, buckle its floors, and molder its furnishings. We see garbage piling up alongside sports trophies, scientific equipment, and other vestiges of the prouder past we would rather remember.

Feiler’s photos are accompanied by writings that address the college’s profound impact on one family, history and memory, the documentary and narrative powers of photography, and the place of HBCUs in American public life. Images and text combine powerfully to show us what happens when a place meant to be honored is left to its own.

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Image from Without Regard to Sex, Race, or Color: The Past, Present, and Future of One Historically Black College by Andrew Feiler


Click for more detail about Honest Engine: Poems by Kyle Dargan Honest Engine: Poems

by Kyle Dargan
University of Georgia Press (Apr 01, 2015)
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In this his fourth collection, award-winning poet Kyle Dargan examines the mechanics of the heart and mind as they are weathered by loss. Following a spate of deaths among family and friends, Dargan chooses to present not color-negative elegies but self-portraits that capture what of these departed figures remains within him. Amid this processing of mortality, it becomes clear that he has arrived at a turning point as a writer and a man.As the title suggests, Dargan aspires toward an unflinching honesty. These poems do not purport to possess life’s answers or seek to employ language to mask what they do not know. Dargan confesses as a means of reaching out to the nomadic human soul and inviting it to accompany him on a walk toward the unknown.


Click for more detail about Visible Man: The Life Of Henry Dumas by Jeffrey B. Leak Visible Man: The Life Of Henry Dumas

by Jeffrey B. Leak
University of Georgia Press (Apr 15, 2014)
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Henry Dumas (1934–1968) was a writer who did not live to see most of his fiction and poetry in print. A son of Sweet Home, Arkansas, and Harlem, he devoted himself to the creation of a black literary cosmos, one in which black literature and culture were windows into the human condition. While he certainly should be understood in the context of the cultural and political movements of the 1960s—Black Arts, Black Power, and Civil Rights—his writing, and ultimately his life, were filled with ambiguities and contradictions.Dumas was shot and killed in 1968 in Harlem months before his thirty-fourth birthday by a white transit policeman under circumstances never fully explained. After his death he became a kind of literary legend, but one whose full story was unknown. A devoted cadre of friends and later admirers from the 1970s to the present pushed for the publication of his work. Toni Morrison championed him as “an absolute genius.” Amiri Baraka, a writer not quick to praise others, claimed that Dumas produced “actual art, real, man, and stunning.” Eugene Redmond and Quincy Troupe heralded Dumas’s poetry, short stories, and work as an editor of “little” magazines.With Visible Man, Jeffrey B. Leak offers a full examination of both Dumas’s life and his creative development. Given unprecedented access to the Dumas archival materials and numerous interviews with family, friends, and writers who knew him in various contexts, Leak opens the door to Dumas’s rich and at times frustrating life, giving us a layered portrait of an African American writer and his coming of age during one of the most volatile and transformative decades in American history.


Click for more detail about Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine by David Chanoff and Louis Sullivan Breaking Ground: My Life in Medicine

by David Chanoff and Louis Sullivan
University of Georgia Press (Feb 01, 2014)
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While Louis W. Sullivan was a student at Morehouse College, Morehouse president Benjamin Mays said something to the student body that stuck with him for the rest of his life. €śThe tragedy of life is not failing to reach our goals,€ť Mays said. €śIt is not having goals to reach.€ť In Breaking Ground, Sullivan recounts his extraordinary life beginning with his childhood in Jim Crow south Georgia and continuing through his trailblazing endeavors training to become a physician in an almost entirely white environment in the Northeast, founding and then leading the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, and serving as secretary of Health and Human Services in President George H. W. Bush’s administration. Throughout this extraordinary life Sullivan has passionately championed both improved health care and increased access to medical professions for the poor and people of color. At five years old, Louis Sullivan declared to his mother that he wanted to be a doctor. Given the harsh segregation in Blakely, Georgia, and its lack of adequate schools for African Americans at the time, his parents sent Louis and his brother, Walter, to Savannah and later Atlanta, where greater educational opportunities existed for blacks. After attending Booker T. Washington High School and Morehouse College, Sullivan went to medical school at Boston University€•he was the sole African American student in his class. He eventually became the chief of hematology there until Hugh Gloster, the president of Morehouse College, presented him with an opportunity he couldn’t refuse: Would Sullivan be the founding dean of Morehouse’s new medical school? He agreed and went on to create a state-of-the-art institution dedicated to helping poor and minority students become doctors. During this period he established long-lasting relationships with George H. W. and Barbara Bush that would eventually result in his becoming the secretary of Health and Human Services in 1989. Sullivan details his experiences in Washington dealing with the burgeoning AIDS crisis, PETA activists, and antismoking efforts, along with his efforts to push through comprehensive health care reform decades before the Affordable Care Act. Along the way his interactions with a cast of politicos, including Thurgood Marshall, Jack Kemp, Clarence Thomas, Jesse Helms, and the Bushes, capture vividly a particular moment in recent history. Sullivan’s life from Morehouse to the White House and his ongoing work with medical students in South Africa is the embodiment of the hopes and progress that the civil rights movement fought to achieve. His story should inspire future generations€•of all backgrounds€•to aspire to great things.


Click for more detail about Down and Up: Poems by Clarence Major Down and Up: Poems

by Clarence Major
University of Georgia Press (Oct 01, 2013)
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In Down and Up, Clarence Major makes use of American and European public places, their character and voice, to construct poems that explore the physical world juxtaposed sharply with the inner world. Sometimes realistic, sometimes dreamlike, these poems are dynamic, universal in theme, and acknowledge a debt to the great tradition of modern American poetry. Clear eyed and painterly, they explore wherever Major’s fancy takes him. His distinctive voice and compelling spatial and visual approach offer a connection between everyday human occurrences and the physical space they surround.


Click for more detail about Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X. Walker Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers

by Frank X. Walker
University of Georgia Press (May 01, 2013)
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Around the void left by the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963, the poems in this collection speak, unleashing the strong emotions both before and after the moment of assassination. Poems take on the voices of Evers’s widow, Myrlie; his brother, Charles; his assassin, Byron De La Beckwith; and each of De La Beckwith’s two wives. Except for the book’s title,""Turn me loose,"" which were his final words, Evers remains in this collection silent. Yet the poems accumulate facets of the love and hate with which others saw this man, unghosting him in a way that only imagination makes possible.


Click for more detail about At-Risk: Stories by Amina Gautier At-Risk: Stories

by Amina Gautier
University of Georgia Press (Sep 15, 2011)
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In Amina Gautier’s Brooklyn, some kids make it and some kids don’t, but not in simple ways or for stereotypical reasons. Gautier’s stories explore the lives of young African Americans who might all be classified as “at-risk,” yet who encounter different opportunities and dangers in their particular neighborhoods and schools and who see life through the lens of different family experiences.Gautier’s focus is on quiet daily moments, even in extraordinary lives; her characters do not stand as emblems of a subculture but live and breathe as people. In “The Ease of Living,” the young teen Jason is sent down south to spend the summer with his grandfather after witnessing the double murder of his two best friends, and he is not happy about it. A season of sneaking into as many movies as possible on one ticket or dunking girls at the pool promises to turn into a summer of shower chairs and the smell of Ben-Gay in the unimaginably backwoods town of Tallahassee. In “Pan Is Dead,” two half-siblings watch as the heroin-addicted father of the older one works his way back into their mother’s life; in “Dance for Me,” a girl on scholarship at a posh Manhattan school teaches white girls to dance in the bathroom in order to be invited to a party.As teenagers in complicated circumstances, each of Gautier’s characters is pushed in many directions. To succeed may entail unforgiveable compro­mises, and to follow their desires may lead to catastrophe. Yet within these stories they exist and can be seen as they are, in the moment of choosing.


Click for more detail about Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor Vibration Cooking: or, The Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl

by Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor
University of Georgia Press (Apr 15, 2011)
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Vibration Cooking was first published in 1970, not long after the term “soul food” gained common use. While critics were quick to categorize her as a proponent of soul food, Smart-Grosvenor wanted to keep the discussion of her cookbook/memoir focused on its message of food as a source of pride and validation of black womanhood and black “consciousness raising.”In 1959, at the age of nineteen, Smart-Grosvenor sailed to Europe, “where the bohemians lived and let live.” Among the cosmopolites of radical Paris, the Gullah girl from the South Carolina low country quickly realized that the most universal lingua franca is a well-cooked meal. As she recounts a cool cat’s nine lives as chanter, dancer, costume designer, and member of the Sun Ra Solar-Myth Arkestra, Smart-Grosvenor introduces us to a rich cast of characters. We meet Estella Smart, Vertamae’s grandmother and connoisseur of mountain oysters; Uncle Costen, who lived to be 112 and knew how to make Harriet Tubman Ragout; and Archie Shepp, responsible for Collard Greens ŕ la Shepp, to name a few. She also tells us how poundcake got her a marriage proposal (she didn’t accept) and how she perfected omelettes in Paris, enchiladas in New Mexico, biscuits in Mississippi, and feijoida in Brazil. “When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything,” writes Smart-Grosvenor. “I cook by vibration.”This edition features a foreword by Psyche Williams-Forson placing the book in historical context and discussing Smart-Grosvenor’s approach to food and culture. A new preface by the author details how she came to write Vibration Cooking.


Click for more detail about Beyond Katrina: A Meditation On The Mississippi Gulf Coast (Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication) by Natasha Trethewey Beyond Katrina: A Meditation On The Mississippi Gulf Coast (Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication)

by Natasha Trethewey
University of Georgia Press (Sep 01, 2010)
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Beyond Katrina is poet Natasha Trethewey’s very personal profile of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and of the people there whose lives were forever changed by hurricane Katrina.Trethewey spent her childhood in Gulfport, where much of her mother’s extended family, including her younger brother, still lives. As she worked to understand the devastation that followed the hurricane, Trethewey found inspiration in Robert Penn Warren’s book Segregation: The Inner Conflict in the South, in which he spoke with southerners about race in the wake of the Brown decision, capturing an event of wide impact from multiple points of view. Weaving her own memories with the experiences of family, friends, and neighbors, Trethewey traces the erosion of local culture and the rising economic dependence on tourism and casinos. She chronicles decades of wetland development that exacerbated the destruction and portrays a Gulf Coast whose citizens—particularly African Americans—were on the margins of American life well before the storm hit. Most poignantly, Trethewey illustrates the destruction of the hurricane through the story of her brother’s efforts to recover what he lost and his subsequent incarceration.Renowned for writing about the idea of home, Trethewey’s attempt to understand and document the damage to Gulfport started as a series of lectures at the University of Virginia that were subsequently published as essays in the Virginia Quarterly Review. For Beyond Katrina, Trethewey has expanded this work into a narrative that incorporates personal letters, poems, and photographs, offering a moving meditation on the love she holds for her childhood home.

A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund Publication.


Click for more detail about Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis (The VQR Poetry Ser.) by Kyle Dargan Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis (The VQR Poetry Ser.)

by Kyle Dargan
University of Georgia Press (Sep 01, 2010)
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Attempting to stitch a quilt of language for the new millennium, Kyle Dargan finds himself in his third collection propelled forward by a mélange of voices?individuals passed on the street, journalists, philosophers, movie and cartoon characters, hip-hop emcees, and fellow poets?all of which build to a self-diagnosed logorrhea dementia. Dargan’s voice channels an America mentally fatigued from a decade of foreign conflict yet cautiously hopeful about the promise of the country’s renewed introspection.In these poems, rife with the anxieties of the aughts, Dargan seeks to destabilize social and cultural landscapes believed to be settled?breaking and clearing ground to lay the foundation for a new American perspective.


Click for more detail about John Oliver Killens: A Life Of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard John Oliver Killens: A Life Of Black Literary Activism

by Keith Gilyard
University of Georgia Press (May 15, 2010)
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John Oliver Killens’s politically charged novels And Then We Heard the Thunder and The Cotillion; or One Good Bull Is Half the Herd, were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His works of fiction and nonfiction, the most famous of which is his novel Youngblood, have been translated into more than a dozen languages. An influential novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and teacher, he was the founding chair of the Harlem Writers Guild and mentored a generation of black writers at Fisk, Howard, Columbia, and elsewhere. Killens is recognized as the spiritual father of the Black Arts Movement. In this first major biography of Killens, Keith Gilyard examines the life and career of the man who was perhaps the premier African American writer-activist from the 1950s to the 1980s.Gilyard extends his focus to the broad boundaries of Killens’s times and literary achievement—from the Old Left to the Black Arts Movement and beyond. Figuring prominently in these pages are the many important African American artists and political figures connected to the author from the 1930s to the 1980s—W. E. B. Du Bois, Paul Robeson, Alphaeus Hunton, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Harry Belafonte, and Maya Angelou, among others.

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Click for more detail about Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry by Camille T. Dungy Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry

by Camille T. Dungy
University of Georgia Press (Dec 01, 2009)
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Black Nature is the first anthology to focus on nature writing by African American poets, a genre that until now has not commonly been counted as one in which African American poets have participated.Black poets have a long tradition of incorporating treatments of the natural world into their work, but it is often read as political, historical, or protest poetry?anything but nature poetry. This is particularly true when the definition of what constitutes nature writing is limited to work about the pastoral or the wild.Camille T. Dungy has selected 180 poems from 93 poets that provide unique perspectives on American social and literary history to broaden our concept of nature poetry and African American poetics. This collection features major writers such as Phillis Wheatley, Rita Dove, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sterling Brown, Robert Hayden, Wanda Coleman, Natasha Trethewey, and Melvin B. Tolson as well as newer talents such as Douglas Kearney, Major Jackson, and Janice Harrington. Included are poets writing out of slavery, Reconstruction, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, and late twentieth- and early twenty-first-century African American poetic movements.Black Nature brings to the fore a neglected and vital means of considering poetry by African Americans and nature-related poetry as a whole.A Friends Fund Publication.


Click for more detail about Bouquet of Hungers: Poems by Kyle Dargan Bouquet of Hungers: Poems

by Kyle Dargan
University of Georgia Press (Oct 25, 2007)
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Kyle Dargan’s new collection of poetry reflects his many passions as a poet, his deep engagament with what it means to work in the African American literary tradition, and his lively voice, infused with hip-hop sensibility and idiom. Skillfully blending vernacular and elegant diction, his clipped and reflective phrasings create animated poems that take on a myriad of concerns. Moving through such subjects as a midnight wait in the Washington, D.C., bus station, men on exhibit at the 1904 World’s Fair, the sights and sounds of an Indiana karaoke bar, and an imagined escaped slave turned to stone, Dargan’s work continually shifts lenses to examine an America increasingly stifled by dogmas and inept social categories. At the core of the book is compassion for the individuals who populate it, and from that compassion grows a hunger for the old identities, in which we encase ourselves, to come undone.From "Palinode, Once Removed": The day we pursue metaphor, I will / teach them about the brain?how there is a center / to catch discrepancy between the expected / and the perceived. Stimulate the mechanism. / you are working in metaphor. / Though surprising / I am not a metaphor. This is: I am a period, / small and dark. If you read me correctly, / you are to stop. Pause. Breathe.


Click for more detail about The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (Cave Canem Anthology) by Nikky Finney The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South (Cave Canem Anthology)

by Nikky Finney
University of Georgia Press (Mar 25, 2007)
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The South: to render all that it means to an African American takes someone with acutely tuned senses, someone with a patience, a passion even, for the region’s history and contradictions. It takes a poet. In this new anthology, the first of its kind, more than one hundred contemporary black poets laugh at and cry about, pray for and curse, flee and return to—the South.
Voices new to the scene appear in The Ringing Ear alongside some of the leading names in American literature today, including Sonia Sanchez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Harryette Mullen, Nikki Giovanni, Kevin Young, Cornelius Eady, and Al Young. The southern worlds opened up by these poets are echoed in how their poems are grouped, under headings like "Music, Food, and Work: Heeding the Lamentation and Roar of Things Made by Hand," or "Religion and Nature: The Lord Looks Out for Babies and Fools," or "Love, Flesh, and Family: The Hush and Holler Portraits."
"Not all of us on these pages have come to or from the South by the same dirt road," says anthology editor Nikky Finney. "We have not chosen our dark olive words from the same patch of earth. Some have come by way of birth and others have followed street musicians and urban corner preachers, dream and myth, to stand before its pine and iron gates."


Click for more detail about New Studies in the History of American Slavery by Edward E. Baptist and Stephanie Camp New Studies in the History of American Slavery

by Edward E. Baptist and Stephanie Camp
University of Georgia Press (Feb 06, 2006)
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These essays, by some of the most prominent young historians writing about slavery, fill gaps in our understanding of such subjects as enslaved women, the Atlantic and internal slave trades, the relationships between Indians and enslaved people, and enslavement in Latin America. Inventive and stimulating, the essays model the blending of methods and styles that characterizes the new cultural history of slavery’s social, political, and economic systems.Several common themes emerge from the volume, among them the correlation between race and identity; the meanings contained in family and community relationships, gender, and life’s commonplaces; and the literary and legal representations that legitimated and codified enslavement and difference. Such themes signal methodological and pedagogical shifts in the field away from master/slave or white/black race relations models toward perspectives that give us deeper access to the mental universe of slavery.Topics of the essays range widely, including European ideas about the reproductive capacities of African women and the process of making race in the Atlantic world, the contradictions of the assimilation of enslaved African American runaways into Creek communities, the consequences and meanings of death to Jamaican slaves and slave owners, and the tensions between midwifery as a black cultural and spiritual institution and slave midwives as health workers in a plantation economy.Opening our eyes to the personal, the contentious, and even the intimate, these essays call for a history in which both enslaved and enslavers acted in a vast human drama of bondage and freedom, salvation and damnation, wealth and exploitation.


Click for more detail about The Listening: Poems by Kyle Dargan The Listening: Poems

by Kyle Dargan
University of Georgia Press (Sep 20, 2004)
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Kyle Dargan’s debut collection of poetry, The Listening, searches through the cluttered surface of contemporary life to tune into the elemental sounds within the marrow of living/life. Throughout the collection, Dargan interweaves elements of his heritage with the present day?jazz influences blend with hip-hop; neoslave narratives run parallel with the intimate tale of civil rights leaders; post-9/11 America is juxtaposed with family portraits of the sixties and seventies?to reveal the continuous, though ever changing, music of the world around us. Whether capturing the famous Ali-Frazier fight in Manila or a trip to the local barbershop, Muddy Waters or boyhood blacktop games, Dargan gives voice to the most poignant and fleeting aspects of our everyday existence. With singular incisiveness and vigor, these poems act simultaneously as psalms and elegies, praising life at the same time they lament its inevitable passing.


Click for more detail about The Herndons: An Atlanta Family by Carole Merritt The Herndons: An Atlanta Family

by Carole Merritt
University of Georgia Press (Jun 14, 2002)
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Born a slave and reared a sharecropper, Alonzo Herndon (1858-1927) was destined to drudgery in the red clay fields of Georgia. Within forty years of Emancipation, however, he had amassed a fortune that far surpassed that of his White slave-master father.Through his barbering, real estate, and life insurance ventures, Herndon would become one of the wealthiest and most respected African American business figures of his era. This richly illustrated book chronicles Alonzo Herndon’s ascent and his remarkable family’s achievements in Jim Crow Atlanta.In this first biography of the Herndons, Carole Merritt narrates how Herndon nurtured the Atlanta Life Insurance Company from a faltering enterprise he bought for $140 into one of the largest Black financial institutions in America; how he acquired the most substantial Black property holdings in Atlanta; and how he developed his barbering business from a one-chair shop into the nation’s largest and most elegant parlor, the resplendent, twenty-three chair "Crystal Palace" in the heart of White Atlanta.The Herndons’ world was the educational and business elite of Atlanta. But as Blacks, they were intimately bound to the course of Black life. The Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 and its impact on the Herndons demonstrated that all Blacks, regardless of class, were the victims of racial terrorism.Through the Herndons, issues of race, class, and color in turn-of-the-century Atlanta come into sharp focus. Their story is one of by-the-bootstraps resolve, tough compromises in the face of racism, and lasting contributions to their city and nation.


Click for more detail about Leaving Saturn: Poems by Major Jackson Leaving Saturn: Poems

by Major Jackson
University of Georgia Press (Feb 08, 2002)
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Leaving Saturn, chosen by Al Young as the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, is an ambitious and honest collection. Major Jackson, through both formal and free verse poems, renders visible the spirit of resilience, courage, and creativity he witnessed among his family, neighbors, and friends while growing up in Philadelphia. His poems hauntingly reflect urban decay and violence, yet at the same time they rejoice in the sustaining power of music and the potency of community. Jackson also honors artists who have served as models of resistance and maintained their own faith in the belief of the imagination to alter lives. The title poem, a dramatic monologue in the voice of the American jazz composer and bandleader Sun Ra, details such a humane program and serves as an admirable tribute to the tradition of African American art. Throughout, Jackson unflinchingly portrays our most devastated landscapes, yet with a vividness and compassion that expose the depth of his imaginative powers.


Click for more detail about Youngblood (Brown Thrasher Books) by John O. Killens Youngblood (Brown Thrasher Books)

by John O. Killens
University of Georgia Press (Apr 06, 2000)
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John Oliver Killens’s landmark novel of social protest chronicles the lives of the Youngblood family and their friends in Crossroads, Georgia, from the turn of the century to the Great Depression. Its large cast of powerfully affecting characters includes Joe Youngblood, a tragic figure of heroic physical strength; Laurie Lee, his beautiful and strong-willed wife; Richard Myles, a young high school teacher from New York; and Robby, the Youngbloods’ son, who takes the large risk of becoming involved in the labor movement.


Click for more detail about Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom by William Craft and Ellen Craft Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom

by William Craft and Ellen Craft
University of Georgia Press (Apr 01, 1999)
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An Important Contribution to the Birth of African American Literature

In 1848 William and Ellen Craft made one of the most daring and remarkable escapes in the history of slavery in America. With fair-skinned Ellen in the guise of a white male planter and William posing as her servant, the Crafts traveled by rail and ship — in plain sight and relative luxury — from bondage in Macon, Georgia, to freedom first in Philadelphia, then Boston, and ultimately England.

This edition of their thrilling story is newly typeset from the original 1860 text. Eleven annotated supplementary readings, drawn from a variety of contemporary sources, help to place the Crafts’ story within the complex cultural currents of transatlantic abolitionism.


Click for more detail about Generations In Black And White: Photographs From The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection by Carl Van Vechten Generations In Black And White: Photographs From The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection

by Carl Van Vechten
University of Georgia Press (Dec 01, 1993)
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What makes this book so fascinating is the number of photographs it contains of the most important personalities of the Harlem Renaissance.  This treasure of a book contains photographs of many of the AA authors highlighted on this web site; including W. E. B. Du Bois, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps, Countee Cullen, Richard Wright, Ann Petry, John O. Killens, and James Baldwin. -- AALBC.com 

This portfolio of eighty-three photographs constitutes a stunning celebration of African American achievement in the twentieth century. Carl Van Vechten, a longtime patron of black writers and artists, took these photographs over the course of three decades—primarily as gifts to his subjects, such luminaries as W. E. B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Joe Louis, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ruby Dee, Lena Horne, and James Earl Jones.The photographs Rudolph P. Byrd has selected for this volume come from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts and Letters, which Van Vechten established at Yale University. Byrd has arranged the images chronologically, according to the time at which each subject emerged as a vital presence in African American tradition.Complementing the photographs are a substantial introduction by Byrd, biographical sketches of each subject, and poems by the noted writer Michael S. Harper. The result is a volume of beauty and power, a record of black excellence that will engage and inform new generations.


Click for more detail about Somewhat More Independent: The End of Slavery in New York City, 1770-1810 by Shane White Somewhat More Independent: The End of Slavery in New York City, 1770-1810

by Shane White
University of Georgia Press (Mar 01, 1991)
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"White’s exact, well-written, and modulated monograph is the finest study to date of an important subject. . . . His book is an eloquent, unromantic account of the creativity and stamina of thousands of American slaves and ex-slaves whom historians have ignored for far too long."--"Journal of Interdisciplinary History"