11 Books Published by University of Texas Press on Our Site — Book Cover Mosaic

Click for more detail about Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah Bird by Sarah Bird Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah Bird

by Sarah Bird
University of Texas Press (Apr 02, 2019)
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When Sarah Bird arrived in Austin in 1973 in pursuit of a boyfriend who was "hotter than lava," she found an abundance of inspiration for storytelling (her sweetheart left her for Scientology, but she got to taste a morsel of Lynda Bird Johnson’s poorly preserved wedding cake as a temp worker at the LBJ Library). Sarah Bird went on to write ten acclaimed novels and contribute hundreds of articles to publications coast to coast, developing a signature voice that combines laser-sharp insight with irreverent, wickedly funny prose in the tradition of Molly Ivins and Nora Ephron

Now collecting forty of Bird’s best nonfiction pieces, from publications that range from Texas Monthly to the New York Times and others, Recent Studies Indicate presents some of Bird’s earliest work, including a prescient 1976 profile of a transgender woman, along with recent calls to political action, such as her 2017 speech at a benefit for Annie’s List.

Whether Bird is hanging out with socialites and sanitation workers or paying homage to her army-nurse mom, her collection brings a poignant perspective to the experience of being a woman, a feminist, a mother, and a Texan—and a writer with countless, spectacular true tales to tell us.


Click for more detail about Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest

by Hanif Abdurraqib
University of Texas Press (Feb 01, 2019)
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A New York Times Best Seller

A February IndieNext Pick

Named A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 by Buzzfeed, Nylon, The A. V. Club, CBC Books, and The Rumpus. And a Winter’s Most Anticipated Book by Vanity Fair and The Week

Starred Reviews: Kirkus and Booklist

"Warm, immediate and intensely personal."—New York Times

How does one pay homage to A Tribe Called Quest? The seminal rap group brought jazz into the genre, resurrecting timeless rhythms to create masterpieces such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. Seventeen years after their last album, they resurrected themselves with an intense, socially conscious record, We Got It from Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service, which arrived when fans needed it most, in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Poet and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib digs into the group’s history and draws from his own experience to reflect on how its distinctive sound resonated among fans like himself. The result is as ambitious and genre-bending as the rap group itself.

Abdurraqib traces the Tribe’s creative career, from their early days as part of the Afrocentric rap collective known as the Native Tongues, through their first three classic albums, to their eventual breakup and long hiatus. Their work is placed in the context of the broader rap landscape of the 1990s, one upended by sampling laws that forced a reinvention in production methods, the East Coast-West Coast rivalry that threatened to destroy the genre, and some record labels’ shift from focusing on groups to individual MCs. Throughout the narrative Abdurraqib connects the music and cultural history to their street-level impact. Whether he’s remembering The Source magazine cover announcing the Tribe’s 1998 breakup or writing personal letters to the group after bandmate Phife Dawg’s death, Abdurraqib seeks the deeper truths of A Tribe Called Quest; truths that—like the low end, the bass—are not simply heard in the head, but felt in the chest.


Click for more detail about Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley Beyoncé in Formation: Remixing Black Feminism

by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley
University of Texas Press (Nov 06, 2018)
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Making headlines when it was launched in 2015, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley’s undergraduate course “Beyoncé Feminism, Rihanna Womanism” has inspired students from all walks of life. In Beyoncé in Formation, Tinsley now takes her rich observations beyond the classroom, using the blockbuster album and video Lemonade as a soundtrack for vital next-millennium narratives.Woven with candid observations about her life as a feminist scholar of African studies and a cisgender femme married to a trans spouse, Tinsley’s “Femme-onade” mixtape explores myriad facets of black women’s sexuality and gender. Turning to Beyoncé’s “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” Tinsley assesses black feminist critiques of marriage and then considers the models of motherhood offered in “Daddy Lessons,” interspersing these passages with memories from Tinsley’s multiracial family history. Her chapters on nontraditional bonds culminate in a discussion of contemporary LGBT politics through the lens of the internet-breaking video “Formation,” underscoring why Beyoncé’s black femme-inism isn’t only for ciswomen. From pleasure politics and the struggle for black women’s reproductive justice to the subtext of blues and country music traditions, the landscape in this tour is populated by activists and artists (including Loretta Lynn) and infused with vibrant interpretations of Queen Bey’s provocative, peerless imagery and lyrics.In the tradition of Roxanne Gay’s Bad Feminist and Jill Lepore’s bestselling cultural histories, Beyoncé in Formation is the work of a daring intellectual who is poised to spark a new conversation about freedom and identity in America.


Click for more detail about Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas by Michael Hurd Thursday Night Lights: The Story of Black High School Football in Texas

by Michael Hurd
University of Texas Press (Oct 11, 2017)
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At a time when "Friday night lights" shone only on white high school football games, African American teams across Texas burned up the gridiron on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The segregated high schools in the Prairie View Interscholastic League (the African American counterpart of the University Interscholastic League, which excluded black schools from membership until 1967) created an exciting brand of football that produced hundreds of outstanding players, many of whom became college All-Americans, All-Pros, and Pro Football Hall of Famers, including NFL greats such as "Mean" Joe Green (Temple Dunbar), Otis Taylor (Houston Worthing), Dick "Night Train" Lane (Austin Anderson), Ken Houston (Lufkin Dunbar), and Bubba Smith (Beaumont Charlton-Pollard).Thursday Night Lights tells the inspiring, largely unknown story of African American high school football in Texas. Drawing on interviews, newspaper stories, and memorabilia, Michael Hurd introduces the players, coaches, schools, and towns where African Americans built powerhouse football programs under the PVIL leadership. He covers fifty years (1920–1970) of high school football history, including championship seasons and legendary rivalries such as the annual Turkey Day Classic game between Houston schools Jack Yates and Phillis Wheatley, which drew standing-room-only crowds of up to 40,000, making it the largest prep sports event in postwar America. In telling this story, Hurd explains why the PVIL was necessary, traces its development, and shows how football offered a potent source of pride and ambition in the black community, helping black kids succeed both athletically and educationally in a racist society.


Click for more detail about A Love Letter to Texas Women by Sarah Bird A Love Letter to Texas Women

by Sarah Bird
University of Texas Press (Apr 05, 2016)
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What is it that distinguishes Texas women, the famous Yellow Rose and her descendants? Is it that combination of graciousness and grit that we revere in First Ladies Laura Bush and Lady Bird Johnson? The rapier-sharp wit that Ann Richards and Molly Ivins used to skewer the good ole boy establishment? The moral righteousness with which Barbara Jordan defended the US constitution? An unnatural fondness for Dr Pepper and queso?

In her inimitable style, Sarah Bird pays tribute to the Texas Woman in all her glory and all her contradictions. She humorously recalls her own early bewildered attempts to understand Lone Star gals, from the big-haired, perfectly made-up ladies at the Hyde Park Beauty Salon to her intellectual, quinoa-eating roommates at Seneca House Co-op for Graduate Women. After decades of observing Texas women, Bird knows the species as few others do. A Love Letter to Texas Women is a must-have guide for newcomers to the state and the ideal gift to tell any Yellow Rose how special she is.


Click for more detail about The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families by Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma, and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families

by Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman
University of Texas Press (Oct 30, 2015)
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The Color Of Love reveals the power of racial hierarchies to infiltrate our most intimate relationships. Delving far deeper than previous sociologists have into the black Brazilian experience, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman examines the relationship between racialization and the emotional life of a family. Based on interviews and a sixteen-month ethnography of ten working-class Brazilian families, this provocative work sheds light on how families simultaneously resist and reproduce racial hierarchies. Examining race and gender, Hordge-Freeman illustrates the privileges of whiteness by revealing how those with blacker features often experience material and emotional hardships. From parental ties, to sibling interactions, to extended family and romantic relationships, the chapters chart new territory by revealing the connection between proximity to whiteness and the distribution of affection within families.Hordge-Freeman also explores how black Brazilian families, particularly mothers, rely on diverse strategies that reproduce, negotiate, and resist racism. She frames efforts to modify racial features as sometimes reflecting internalized racism, and at other times as responding to material and emotional considerations. Contextualizing their strategies within broader narratives of the African diaspora, she examines how Salvador’s inhabitants perceive the history of the slave trade itself in a city that is referred to as the blackest in Brazil. She argues that racial hierarchies may orchestrate family relationships in ways that reflect and reproduce racial inequality, but black Brazilian families actively negotiate these hierarchies to assert their citizenship and humanity.


Click for more detail about The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks by Toni Tipton-Martin The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks

by Toni Tipton-Martin
University of Texas Press (Sep 15, 2015)
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Eliza's Cook Book (image from book)Women of African descent have contributed to America’s food culture for centuries, but their rich and varied involvement is still overshadowed by the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate “Aunt Jemima” who cooked mostly by natural instinct. To discover the true role of black women in the creation of American, and especially southern, cuisine, Toni Tipton-Martin has spent years amassing one of the world’s largest private collections of cookbooks published by African American authors, looking for evidence of their impact on American food, families, and communities and for ways we might use that knowledge to inspire community wellness of every kind.The Jemima Code presents more than 150 black cookbooks that range from a rare 1827 house servant’s manual, the first book published by an African American in the trade, to modern classics by authors such as Edna Lewis and Vertamae Grosvenor. The books are arranged chronologically and illustrated with photos of their covers; many also display selected interior pages, including recipes. Tipton-Martin provides notes on the authors and their contributions and the significance of each book, while her chapter introductions summarize the cultural history reflected in the books that follow. These cookbooks offer firsthand evidence that African Americans cooked creative masterpieces from meager provisions, educated young chefs, operated food businesses, and nourished the African American community through the long struggle for human rights. The Jemima Code transforms America’s most maligned kitchen servant into an inspirational and powerful model of culinary wisdom and cultural authority.

Some of the books covered include:


Click for more detail about Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home by Eli Reed Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home

by Eli Reed
University of Texas Press (May 15, 2015)
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Award-winning documentary photographer Eli Reed’'s “long walk” has been a journey that has taken him from a low-income housing project in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to Harvard University and to membership in the elite international photojournalists’ collective, Magnum Photos. Reed’s quest to understand “what it means to be a human being” has given him an extraordinary empathy with the people he photographs, whether they are Lost Boys in Sudan, the poor in America, or actors in Hollywood. In a photographic career spanning five decades, Reed has been the recipient of a World Understanding Award from POYi (Pictures of the Year International), Lucie Award for Achievement in Documentary, World Press Award, Leica Medal of Excellence, Overseas Press Club Award, and a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, as well as a runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize.

Still from Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home

Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home presents the first career retrospective of Reed’work. Consisting of over 250 images that span the full range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, the photographs are a visual summation of the human condition. They include examples of Reed’s early work; a broad selection of images of people from New York to California that constitutes a brilliant collective portrait of the social, cultural, and economic experiences of Americans in our time; images of life and conflict in Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, Central America, England, Spain, South America, and China; portraits of women and Hollywood actors; and self-portraits. Reed's artist statement and an introduction by Paul Theroux, whom Reed met while working in Africa, complete the volume.

Still from Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home


Click for more detail about Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait Of The Presidency Of George W. Bush (Focus On American History Series) by Eric Draper Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait Of The Presidency Of George W. Bush (Focus On American History Series)

by Eric Draper
University of Texas Press (Apr 01, 2013)
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America’s forty-third president, George W. Bush, presided over eight of the most dramatic years in recent history, from the 9/11 attacks early in his administration to the worldwide economic crisis of 2008. By his side, recording every event from the momentous to the intimate, was his personal White House photographer, Eric Draper. From a collection of nearly one million photographs, Draper has selected more than one hundred images of President Bush that portray both the public figure and the private man.Front Row Seat presents a compelling, behind-the-scenes view of the presidency of George W. Bush. Through Draper’s lens, we follow Bush through moments of crisis that called for strong leadership, such as 9/11; emotional meetings with troops in war zones, wounded soldiers at home, and Katrina survivors; and happy, relaxed times with his wife Laura, daughters Barbara and Jenna, and parents President George H. W. and Barbara Bush. We also see Bush at work within his inner circle of trusted advisors, including Vice President Richard Cheney, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.Capturing moments that reveal the essence of the man, Front Row Seat is an irreplaceable portrait of George W. Bush.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes by Adilifu Nama Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes

by Adilifu Nama
University of Texas Press (Oct 01, 2011)
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Winner, American Book Award, Before Columbus Foundation, 2012 places the appearance of black superheroes alongside broad and sweeping cultural trends in American politics and pop culture, which reveals how black superheroes are not disposable pop products, but rather a fascinating racial phenomenon through which futuristic expressions and fantastic visions of black racial identity and symbolic political meaning are presented. Adilifu Nama sees the value—and finds new avenues for exploring racial identity—in black superheroes who are often dismissed as sidekicks, imitators of established white heroes, or are accused of having no role outside of blaxploitation film contexts.Nama examines seminal black comic book superheroes such as Black Panther, Black Lightning, Storm, Luke Cage, Blade, the Falcon, Nubia, and others, some of whom also appear on the small and large screens, as well as how the imaginary black superhero has come to life in the image of President Barack Obama. Super Black explores how black superheroes are a powerful source of racial meaning, narrative, and imagination in American society that express a myriad of racial assumptions, political perspectives, and fantastic (re)imaginings of black identity. The book also demonstrates how these figures overtly represent or implicitly signify social discourse and accepted wisdom concerning notions of racial reciprocity, equality, forgiveness, and ultimately, racial justice.


Click for more detail about Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950: Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds, and Trade Unionists by Gerald Horne Class Struggle in Hollywood, 1930-1950: Moguls, Mobsters, Stars, Reds, and Trade Unionists

by Gerald Horne
University of Texas Press (Feb 01, 2001)
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As World War II wound down in 1945 and the cold war heated up, the skilled trades that made up the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) began a tumultuous strike at the major Hollywood studios. This turmoil escalated further when the studios retaliated by locking out CSU in 1946. This labor unrest unleashed a fury of Red-baiting that allowed studio moguls to crush the union and seize control of the production process, with far-reaching consequences.This engrossing book probes the motives and actions of all the players to reveal the full story of the CSU strike and the resulting lockout of 1946. Gerald Horne draws extensively on primary materials and oral histories to document how limited a "threat" the Communist party actually posed in Hollywood, even as studio moguls successfully used the Red scare to undermine union clout, prevent film stars from supporting labor, and prove the moguls’ own patriotism.Horne also discloses that, unnoticed amid the turmoil, organized crime entrenched itself in management and labor, gaining considerable control over both the "product" and the profits of Hollywood. This research demonstrates that the CSU strike and lockout were a pivotal moment in Hollywood history, with consequences for everything from production values, to the kinds of stories told in films, to permanent shifts in the centers of power.