4 Books Published by University of South Carolina Press on AALBC — Book Cover Collage

Click for more detail about The Vain Conversation by Anthony Grooms
The Vain Conversation

by Anthony Grooms
University of South Carolina Press (Mar 01, 2018)
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Inspired by true events, The Vain Conversation reflects on the 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia from the perspectives of three characters—Bertrand Johnson, one of the victims; Noland Jacks, a presumed perpetrator; and Lonnie Henson, a witness to the murders as a ten-year-old boy. Lonnie’s inexplicable feelings of culpability drive him in a search for meaning that takes him around the world, and ultimately back to Georgia, where he must confront Jacks and his own demons, with the hopes that doing so will free him from the grip of the past.
In The Vain Conversation, Anthony Grooms seeks to advance the national dialogue on race relations. With complexity, satire, and sometimes levity, he explores what it means to redeem, as well as to be redeemed, on the issues of America’s race violence and speaks to the broader issues of oppression and violence everywhere.
A foreword is provided by American poet, painter, and novelist Clarence Major. An afterward is written by T. Geronimo Johnson, the bestselling author of Welcome to Braggsville and Hold It ’Til It Hurts.

Click for more detail about Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black by James E. Clyburn Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black

by James E. Clyburn
University of South Carolina Press (May 01, 2014)
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From his humble beginnings in Sumter, South Carolina, to his prominence on the Washington, D.C., political scene as the third highest-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, U.S. Congressman James E. Clyburn has led an extraordinary life. In Blessed Experiences, Clyburn tells in his own inspirational words how an African American boy from the Jim Crow-era South was able to beat the odds to achieve great success and become, as President Barack Obama describes him, "one of a handful of people who, when they speak, the entire Congress listens."

Born in 1940 to a civic-minded beautician and a fundamentalist minister, Clyburn began his ascent to leadership at the age of twelve, when he was elected president of his National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) youth chapter. He broke barriers through peaceful protests and steadfast beliefs in equality and justice. Of his success Clyburn says he was "blessed with nurturing parents, a supportive family, and loyal friends." But, he added, "my life was not just about knocking down doors and lowering barriers. I spent some time marching in the streets and occupying the inside of South Carolina jails." As a civil rights leader at South Carolina State College, as human affairs commissioner under John C. West and three subsequent governors, and as South Carolina’s first African American congressman since 1897, Clyburn has established a long and impressive record of public leadership and advocacy for human rights, education, historic preservation, and economic development.

Clyburn was elected to Congress in 1992. Serving as copresident of his freshman class, he rose quickly through the ranks and was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 1999 and House Democratic Caucus vice chair in 2002. Three years later he was unanimously elected chair of the Democratic Caucus. When Democrats regained the House majority in 2006, Clyburn was elected House majority whip. Now as assistant Democratic leader in the 112th Congress, Clyburn, a self-described independent, prides himself on working to overcome barriers and destroy myths without becoming too predictable. "I have worked across party lines to further legislative causes, and on occasion publicly differed with some of my allies in the civil rights community," says Clyburn. "My experiences have not always been pleasant, but I have considered all of them blessings."

Blessed Experiences includes a foreword from Emmy Award-winning actress and the congressman’s longtime friend Alfre Woodard.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Daufuskie Island: 25th Anniversary Edition by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe Daufuskie Island: 25th Anniversary Edition

by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe
University of South Carolina Press (Aug 19, 2009)
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First published in 1982, Daufuskie Island vividly captured life on a South Carolina Sea Island before the arrival of resort culture through the photographs of Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and words of Alex Haley. Located between Hilton Head and Savannah, Daufuskie Island has since become a plush resort destination. Moutoussamy-Ashe’s photographs document what daily life was like for the last inhabitants to occupy the land prior to the onset of tourist developments.When Moutoussamy-Ashe first came to Daufuskie in 1977, about eighty permanent African American residents lived on the island in fewer than fifty homes. Many of the people still spoke their native Gullah dialect. They had only one store, a two-room school, a nursery, and one active church. This represented all that remained of a once-thriving black society which developed after the original plantation owners left and the land was bought by freed slaves. After the boll weevil caused cotton crop failures and pollution ruined oyster beds, more and more residents sold their land to commercial developers. It became clear that Daufuskie would soon be transformed into a coastal resort like neighboring Hilton Head, changing forever the unique island culture that survived largely unchanged for the preceding half-century. Moustoussamy-Ashe’s photographs show family gatherings, crabbing and fishing, children at play, spiritual life, and the toils of everyday existence. With the utmost respect for her notoriously shy subjects, she captured a powerful vision of their rough-hewn but rewarding life independent from many modern conveniences.Redesigned from cover to cover, the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Daufuskie Island includes more than fifty previously unpublished photographs from the original contact sheets, a new preface by Deborah Willis, and a new epilogue by Moutoussamy-Ashe.

Click for more detail about The Humblest May Stand Forth: Rhetoric, Empowerment, and Abolition (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication) by Jacqueline Bacon The Humblest May Stand Forth: Rhetoric, Empowerment, and Abolition (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication)

by Jacqueline Bacon
University of South Carolina Press (Mar 01, 2002)
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Offering an alternative account of the abolitionist movement, The Humblest May Stand Forth analyzes the rhetoric of African Americans and white females involved in the crusade against slavery and examines the particular strategies they chose to advocate despite their positions at the periphery of the movement. Jacqueline Bacon explores how these activists, rather than surrender to a society intent on keeping them quiet, identified and employed rhetorical strategies that would advance their message. Bacon explores the sometimes unconventional methods, organizations, and media they created to fight slavery on their own terms. Drawing on such primary sources as letters, editorials, proslavery and antislavery tracts, and domestic manuals, Bacon probes antebellum notions of race and gender and the ways that these conceptions influenced the abolitionists’ arguments. She suggests that abolitionists marginalized by race and gender developed a diverse, empowering, and theoretically complex array of rhetorical strategies that must be analyzed on their own terms. Examing the words of individual activists, including the well-known figures Frederick Douglass and Angelina Grimke and the less familiar reformers William Whipper, Charles Leuox Remond, Maria Stewart, and Sarah Douglass, Bacon concludes that many marginalized abolitionists achieved a unique kind of agency at the same time they employed, in adapted form, strategies codified by twentieth-century rhetorical analysis.