7 Books Published by University of Massachusetts Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches by W.E.B. Du Bois The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches

by W.E.B. Du Bois
University of Massachusetts Press (Mar 19, 2018)
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Click for more detail about SOSCalling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader by John Bracey Jr., Sonia Sanchez and James Smethurst SOSCalling All Black People: A Black Arts Movement Reader

by John Bracey Jr., Sonia Sanchez and James Smethurst
University of Massachusetts Press (Sep 04, 2014)
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This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists' circles, writers' workshops, drama groups, dance troupes, new publishing ventures, bookstores, and cultural centers and had a presence in practically every community and college campus with an appreciable African American population. Black Arts activists extended its reach even further through magazines such as Ebony and Jet, on television shows such as Soul! and Like It Is, and on radio programs.

Many of the movement's leading artists, including Ed Bullins, Nikki Giovanni, Woodie King, Haki Madhubuti, Sonia Sanchez, Askia Touré, and Val Gray Ward remain artistically productive today. Its influence can also be seen in the work of later artists, from the writers Toni Morrison, John Edgar Wideman, and August Wilson to actors Avery Brooks, Danny Glover, and Samuel L. Jackson, to hip hop artists Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and Chuck D.

SOS―Calling All Black People includes works of fiction, poetry, and drama in addition to critical writings on issues of politics, aesthetics, and gender. It covers topics ranging from the legacy of Malcolm X and the impact of John Coltrane's jazz to the tenets of the Black Panther Party and the music of Motown. The editors have provided a substantial introduction outlining the nature, history, and legacy of the Black Arts Movement as well as the principles by which the anthology was assembled.

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Click for more detail about Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction) by Doreen Baingana Tropical Fish: Stories out of Entebbe (Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction)

by Doreen Baingana
University of Massachusetts Press (Jan 31, 2005)
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Tropical Fish is a collection of linked short stories that explore the coming of age of three African sisters. Introspective and personal, the stories reveal the unexpected ambiguities of the young women’s lives. The setting is the lush beauty of Uganda and the background is the aftermath of Idi Amin’s dictatorship. But even in such trying circumstances, the stories show that people everywhere face the same basic human struggle to understand themselves, their world, and their place in it.

Each story develops the theme of exploration and discovery as the sisters mature and their interior and exterior lives expand. The youngest sister, Christine, becomes aware at an early age of the bittersweet dynamics of family love and later grapples with romantic and erotic, if problematic, love. Her explorations lead her across racial lines, when she has an affair with a British expatriate in the title story. What is initially an act of curiosity brings forth questions of racial and gender identity. Eager to stitch together a new pattern for her life, Christina ventures to another continent, North America, where she attempts to create a new home and a new self.

In another story, Christina’s sister Patti writes in her diary about the vicissitudes of daily experience at a typical Ugandan girls’ boarding school and the impact of class and religion on her relationships with fellow students. Other stories are written in the voice of the oldest sister, Rosa, who as a precocious teenager tries to decipher the mysteries of sex. Unfortunately, her promising future is harshly disrupted.

In the final story, Christine returns to Uganda and finds her perspective irrevocably altered. She is more acutely aware of her home’s natural beauty, but its physical vibrancy is in stark contrast to the social and political conditions she encounters. Her journey of self-discovery comes full circle, but without any tidy resolutions. Ambiguities and uncertainties remain. What is clear, however, is that this book marks the arrival of a remarkably gifted writer.


Click for more detail about The Contemporary African American Novel: Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches by Bernard W. Bell The Contemporary African American Novel: Its Folk Roots and Modern Literary Branches

by Bernard W. Bell
University of Massachusetts Press (Jan 21, 2005)
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In 1987 Bernard W. Bell published The Afro-American Novel and Its Tradition, a comprehensive history of more than 150 novels written by African Americans from 1853 to 1983. The book won the Distinguished Scholarship Award of the College Language Association and was reprinted five times. Now Bell has produced a new volume that serves as a sequel and companion to the earlier work, expanding the coverage to 2001 and examining the writings and traditions of a remarkably wide array of black novelists.


Click for more detail about Black Writers Redefine the Struggle: A Tribute to James Baldwin by James Baldwin Black Writers Redefine the Struggle: A Tribute to James Baldwin

by James Baldwin
University of Massachusetts Press (Apr 19, 1989)
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This book is a transcription of the proceedings of the "Black Writers Redefine the Struggle: A Tribute to James Baldwin" Conference held on April 22-23, 1988 at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The Conference was developed by five-college faculty members involved with black literary studies and would revolve around Chinua Achebe and James Baldwin, both outstanding writers and major cultural figures, who were teaching at the University at the same time: one the prototypical writer of Africa?the other the preeminent living embodiment of the literature of the Black Diaspora. Originally, the conference would assess where black writing, black struggle for full articulation, liberation, and recognition stood at its time and what its prospects and priorities might be. Before the Conference, however, Baldwin succumbed to cancer. The Conference still went on and was retitled as a tribute to James Baldwin and focused on his impact on Black writing. Throughout the Conference are extraordinary readings in several genres and voices by Chinua Achebe, Irma McClaurin-Allen, Andrew Salkey, Michael Thelwell, and John Edgar Wideman.


Click for more detail about The Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois, Volume I: Selections, 1877–1934 by W.E.B. Du Bois The Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois, Volume I: Selections, 1877–1934

by W.E.B. Du Bois
University of Massachusetts Press (Oct 15, 1973)
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Scholar, author, editor, teacher, reformer, and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a major figure in American life and one of the earliest proponents of equality for black Americans. He was a founder and leader of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan-African Movement; a progenitor of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance; an advocate of anticolonialism, anti-imperialism, unionism, and equality for women; and a champion of the rights of oppressed people around the world.

The three-volume Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois offers a unique perspective on Du Bois’s experiences and views. In recognition of the significance of the Correspondence, the final volume was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review.

Herbert Aptheker has provided an introduction and notes to each volume, illuminating the circumstances and identifying the personalities involved in the correspondence. A long time friend and colleague of Du Bois, Aptheker is a well-known historian of the African American experience. In 1939 and again in 1969, he won the history award given by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Among his most prominent works are American Negro Slave Revolts and the three-volume Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States.


Click for more detail about Conjure; Selected Poems, 1963-1970 by Ishmael Reed Conjure; Selected Poems, 1963-1970

by Ishmael Reed
University of Massachusetts Press (Jun 01, 1972)
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Conjure includes Ishmael’s “Neo-HooDoo Manifesto,” inspiration for a major visual art exhibit and book, NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, curated by Franklin Sirmans for The Menil Collection in Houston, where it opened June 27, 2008, and, through 2009, subsequently traveled to P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York City, and the Miami Art Museum. The book NeoHooDoo, Art for a Forgotten Faith, edited by Franklin Sirmans and published by The Menil Collection in 2008, is distributed by Yale University Press. It includes Sirmans interview with Ishmael Reed. The four-page manifesto claims:

“Neo-HooDoo believes that every man is an artist and every
artist a priest. You can bring your own creative ideas to
Neo-HooDoo. Charlie ‘Yardbird (Thoth)’ Parker is an exam-
ple of the Neo-HooDoo artist as an innovator and improviser…”

“Neo-HooDoo borrows from Haiti Africa and South America.
Neo-HooDoo comes in all styles and moods…”

“Neo-HooDoo signs are everywhere!
Neo-HooDoo is the Now Locomotive swinging
up the Tracks of the American Soul…”

Conjure also inspired composer/producer Kip Hanrahan to bring together a distinguished group of composer/musicians in 1984, to collaborate on what has become a three volume series of music set to the texts of Ishmael Reed, with all initially released and still available on American Cláve: Conjure: Music for the Texts of Ishmael Reed (I); Conjure: Cab Calloway Stands in for the Moon (II); and Conjure Bad Mouth.




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