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Found 93 Books Published by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. — Book Cover Mosaic

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Click for more detail about Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter Mosley Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

by Walter Mosley
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 01, 1997)
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Three decades ago, the young Socrates had, in a burst of drunken rage, murdered a man and a woman with his huge “rock-breaking hands.” Twenty-seven years of hard time in an Indiana prison followed. Now Socrates lives in a cramped two-room apartment in an abandoned building in Watts, scavenging bottles and delivering groceries for a supermarket. In each of the linked stories that comprise this richly brooding work, Socrates, like his namesake, explores philosophical questions of morality in a world beset with crime, poverty, and racism. He is an unforgettable presence and his perceptions cast a glow of somber lyricism upon an often harsh world.


Click for more detail about American Journal: Poems by Robert Hayden American Journal: Poems

by Robert Hayden
Liveright (Jan 17, 1982)
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Book by Hayden, Robert


Click for more detail about American Smooth: Poems by Rita Dove American Smooth: Poems

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 01, 2004)
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This exciting new collection pays homage to America’s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage: from the glorious shimmer of an operatic soprano to Bessie Smith’s mournful wail; from paradise lost to angel-food cake; from hot-shots at the local shooting range to the Negro jazz band in the First World War, whose music conquered Europe before the Allied advance. Like the ball-room dancing couple of the title poem, smiling and making the difficult seem effortless, Rita Dove explores shifting surfaces between perception and imitation.


Click for more detail about An Illuminated Life: Bella da Costa Greene’s Journey from Prejudice to Privilege by Heidi Ardizzone An Illuminated Life: Bella da Costa Greene’s Journey from Prejudice to Privilege

by Heidi Ardizzone
W. W. Norton & Company (Jun 04, 2007)
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The secret life of the sensational woman behind the Morgan masterpieces, who lit up New York society. What would you give up to achieve your dream? When J. P. Morgan hired Belle da Costa Greene in 1905 to organize his rare book and manuscript collection, she had only her personality and a few years of experience to recommend her. Ten years later, she had shaped the famous Pierpont Morgan Library collection and was a proto-celebrity in New York and the art world, renowned for her self-made expertise, her acerbic wit, and her flirtatious relationships. Born to a family of free people of color, Greene changed her name and invented a Portuguese grandmother to enter white society. In her new world, she dined both at the tables of the highest society and with bohemian artists and activists. She also engaged in a decades-long affair with art critic Bernard Berenson. Greene is pure fascination?the buyer of illuminated manuscripts who attracted others to her like moths to a flame.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Angle Of Ascent: New And Selected Poems by Robert Hayden Angle Of Ascent: New And Selected Poems

by Robert Hayden
Liveright (Nov 17, 1975)
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Nothing superfluous, nothing lacking. William Hazlitt’s highest praise for good prose can justly be applied to the poetry of Robert Hayden. In his new poems, as before, but with a new mixture of modes, Hayden takes up, celebrates, and contends with the history of his people. He is involved with his Black Americanness, without being confined by it. The famous story elements can be found here but above all a renewed delight in the revelatory possibilities of the languages. In addition to the new poems, all the best of Hayden’s earlier work is here, including much that has for too long been unavailable.


Click for more detail about Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

by Neil deGrasse Tyson
W. W. Norton & Company (May 02, 2017)
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The #1 New York Times Bestseller: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist.What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There’s no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day.While you wait for your morning coffee to brew, for the bus, the train, or a plane to arrive, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.


Click for more detail about Beirut: City of Regrets by Eli Reed Beirut: City of Regrets

by Eli Reed
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 28, 1988)
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Beirut, once called the "Paris of the Middle East,' is now half rubble and all killing zone. Even if one has a vivid memory, it is difficult to recall the city as it was or to imagine what it must be like today. This book helps to bridge the inability to visualize war-torn Lebanon. More at bookverdict.com


Click for more detail about Beneath The Lion’s Gaze: A Novel by Maaza Mengiste Beneath The Lion’s Gaze: A Novel

by Maaza Mengiste
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 11, 2010)
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An epic tale of a father and two sons, of betrayals and loyalties, of a family unraveling in the wake of Ethiopia’s revolution. This memorable, heartbreaking story opens in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 1974, on the eve of a revolution. Yonas kneels in his mother’s prayer room, pleading to his god for an end to the violence that has wracked his family and country. His father, Hailu, a prominent doctor, has been ordered to report to jail after helping a victim of state-sanctioned torture to die. And Dawit, Hailu’s youngest son, has joined an underground resistance movement—a choice that will lead to more upheaval and bloodshed across a ravaged Ethiopia.

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze tells a gripping story of family, of the bonds of love and friendship set in a time and place that has rarely been explored in fiction. It is a story about the lengths human beings will go in pursuit of freedom and the human price of a national revolution. Emotionally gripping, poetic, and indelibly tragic, Beneath The Lion’s Gaze is a transcendent and powerful debut.


Click for more detail about Black in America by Eli Reed Black in America

by Eli Reed
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 17, 1997)
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Noted Magnum photographer Eli Reed’s provocative and often poignant portrait of black life in America. Eli Reed has been documenting the black experience in America from the first time he began taking pictures. Now a member of Magnum, the prestigious photojournalist’s cooperative, he is known for his unflinching coverage of events both large and small. Here we see tender moments between parents and children contrasted with the Los Angeles riots. The joy of a wedding follows the sorrow and anger at the funeral of Yusef Hawkins in Brooklyn. The deceptive innocence of rural life balances the tensions of the urban drug scene. And a 104-year-old woman contemplates her life a few pages away from the Million Man March in Washington, D.C. There is truth in Reed’s work, as well as anger, and compassion. These images communicate to us—sometimes as gently as a kiss and sometimes as cruelly as a bullet. They are part of Eli Reed’s America—and ours. 135 duotones


Click for more detail about Black Inventors of America  by McKinley Burt, Jr. Black Inventors of America

by McKinley Burt, Jr.
National Book Company (Jun 01, 1969)
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How many industries vital to America's success have been profoundly influenced by the contributions of African-Americans? Automobiles, railroads, trucking, communication, footwear, agricultural produce, and sugar refining, to name a few. Who are these individuals, and how did they come to make their contributions? Who was the Real McCoy?

This book moves beyond the realm of hearsay and folklore... and tells the truth about the very real and magnificent accomplishments of a talented race of people. Passing on knowledge of these triumphs to children and young adults is especially important.

The following is a partial list of African-Americans whose innovative and technological achievements have influenced and contributed to American Industry, Commerce and Culture in our global society. As referenced in Black Inventors of America:

 

(A)
Air Conditioning Unit F.M. Jones, July 12, 1949
Air Ship J.F. Pickering, Feb. 20, 1900
Almanac Benjamin Banneker, Approx. 1791
Automatic Air Brake Granville T. Woods, June 10, 1902
Automatic gear shift Richard Spikes, February 28, 1932

(B)
Baby buggy W.H. Richardson, June 18, 1899
Bicycle Frame L.R. Johnson, October 10, 1899
Blood plasma bag Charles Drew, Approx. 1945

(C)
Cellular phone Henry T. Sampson, July 6, 1971
Child's Carriage W.H. Richardson, June 18, 1889
Churn A.C. Richardson, Feb. 17, 1891
Clothes Dryer G.T. Sampson, June 6, 1862

(D)
Detachable Car Fender R.Hearness, July 4, 1899
Dough Kneader L. Bell, Dec. 10, 1872
Door knob & stop O. Dorsey, December 10, 1878

(E)
Egg beater Willie Johnson, February 5, 1884
ElectroMechanical Brake Granville T. Woods, Aug. 16, 1887
Elevator Alexander Miles, October 11, 1867
Elevator Device J. Cooper, April 2, 1895
Electric lamp bulb Lewis Latimer, March 21, 1882
Electric Railway System Granville T. Woods, Jan. 13, 1903
Eye Protector P. Johnson, Nov. 2, 1880

(F)
Fire Escape Ladder J.B. Winters, May 7, 1878
Fire Extinguisher T. Marshall, October 26, 1872
Folding Bed L.C. Bailey, July 18, 1899
Folding Chair Purdy & Sadgwar, June 11, 1889
Fountain pen W.B. Purvis, January 7, 1890
Furniture Castor D.A. Fisher, March 14, 1876

(G)
Gas Burner B.F. Jackson, April 4, 1899
Gas Mask Garrett Morgan, October 13, 1914
Golf Tee T. Grant, December 12, 1899
Guitar Robert Fleming, Jr., March 3, 1886

(H)

Hair brush Lydia Newman, November 15, 18-
Heating Apparatus B.F. Jackson, March 1, 1898
Horse shoe J. Ricks, March 30, 1886

(I)
Ice cream scooper A.L. Cralle, February 2, 1897
Invalid Cot B.F.Cargill, July 25, 1899
Ironing board Sarah Boone, December 30, 1887

(J)
Joiner's Clamp D.A. Fisher, Apr. 20, 1875

(K)
Key chain F. J. Loudin, January 9, 1894

(L)
Lantern Michael C. Harve, August 19, 1884
Lawn Mower L. A. Burr, May 19, 1889
Lawn Sprinkler Design Elijah McCoy, Sept. 26, 1899
Lemon Squeezer J.T. White, Dec. 8, 1896
Life Saving Apparatus J. Wormley, May 4, 1881
Life Saving Guards for
Trains & Street Cars J.H. Robinson, Mar. 14 & Apr. 25, 1899
Lubricator Elijah McCoy, May 27, 1893

(M)
Machine for Cleaning
Seed Cotton P. Walker, Feb. 16, 1897
Mailbox Paul L. Downing, October 27, 1891
Mop T.W. Stewart, June 13, 1893
Motor Frederick M. Jones, June 27, 1939

(N)
Nailing Machine J.E. Matzeliger, Feb. 25, 1896

(O)
Oil Stove J. Standard, Oct. 29, 1899

(P)
Peanut Butter George Washington Carver, 1896
Pencil sharpener J. L. Love, November 23, 1897
Planter & Cultivator G.W. Murray, June 5, 1894
Printing Press W.A. Lavalette, Sept. 17, 1878
Propeller for Vessels G. Toliver, April 28, 1891

(R)
Railcar Coupling A.J. Beard, Nov. 23, 1897
Railway Switch W.H. Jackson, March 9, 1897
Railway Telegraphy Granville T. Woods, Nov.15, 1887
Refrigerator J. Standard, June 14, 1891
Refrigration
Control Device F.M. Jones, Jan. 8, 1952
Rotary Dining Table D. Johnson, Jan. 15, 1888
Rotary Engine B.H. Taylor, Apr. 23, 1878

(S)
Scaffold H. Pickett, June 30, 1874
Shoe Lasting Machine J.E. Matzeliger, Sept. 22, 1891
Spark plug Edmond Berger, February 2, 1839
Spring Seat for Chairs A.B. Blackburn, Apr. 3, 1888
Steam Boiler Furnace Granville T. Woods, June 3, 1884
Steam Cylinder Lubricator Elijah McCoy, Feb. 1, 1876
Stethoscope Imhotep, Ancient Egypt
Stove T.A. Carrington, July 25, 1876
Straightening comb Madame C.J. Walker, Approx. 1905
Street Sprinkling Apparatus M.W. Binga, July 22, 1879
Street sweeper Charles B. Brooks, March 17, 1890
Sugar Refinement (The"Rillieux"Process) Norman Rillieux, Dec. 10, 1846
Swinging Chairs P. Johnson, Nov. 15, 1881

(T)
Telephone Transmitter Granville T. Woods, Dec. 2, 1884
Thermostat control Frederick M. Jones, February 23, 1960
Ticket Dispensing Machine Frederick M. Jones, June 27, 1939
Traffic light Garret Morgan, November 20, 1923
Tricycle M. A. Cherry, May 6, 1686
Two-Cycle Gas Engine Frederick M. Jones, March 11, 1947
Typewriter Burridge and Marshman, April 7, 1885

(U)
Umbrella Stand W.C. Carter, Aug. 4th, 1885

(V)
Velocipede M.A. Cherry, May 8, 1888
Ventilated Shoe H. Faulkner, April 29, 1890

(W)
Watch Benjamin Banneker, late 18th Century
Water Closets for Railway Cars Latimer & Brown, Feb. 10, 1874


Click for more detail about Cane by Jean Toomer Cane

by Jean Toomer
Liveright (Aug 17, 1993)
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"[Cane] has been reverberating in me to an astonishing degree.I love it passionately; could not possibly exist without it." ?Alice Walker A literary masterpiece of the Harlem Renaissance, Cane is a powerful work of innovative fiction evoking black life in the South. The sketches, poems, and stories of black rural and urban life that make up Cane are rich in imagery. Visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and flame permeate the Southern landscape: the Northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets. Impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic, the pieces are redolent of nature and Africa, with sensuous appeals to eye and ear.


Click for more detail about Cane (New Edition) by Jean Toomer Cane (New Edition)

by Jean Toomer
Liveright (Jun 13, 2011)
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“A breakthrough in prose and poetical writing. . . . This book should be on all readers’ and writers’ desks and in their minds.”?Maya Angelou First published in 1923, Jean Toomer’s Cane is an innovative literary work?part drama, part poetry, part fiction?powerfully evoking black life in the South. Rich in imagery, Toomer’s impressionistic, sometimes surrealistic sketches of Southern rural and urban life are permeated by visions of smoke, sugarcane, dusk, and fire; the northern world is pictured as a harsher reality of asphalt streets. This iconic work of American literature is published with a new afterword by Rudolph Byrd of Emory University and Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, who provide groundbreaking biographical information on Toomer, place his writing within the context of American modernism and the Harlem Renaissance, and examine his shifting claims about his own race and his pioneering critique of race as a scientific or biological concept.


Click for more detail about Coal by Audre Lorde Coal

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1996)
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Of Coal, the poet and critic Hayden Carruth said, “For us these words indeed are jewels in the open light.’ Coal is one of the earliest collections of poems by a woman who, Adrienne Rich writes, “…for the complexity of her vision, for her moral courage and the catalytic passion of her language, has already become, for many, an indispensable poet”.

Marilyn Hacker captures the essence of Lorde and her poetry: “Black, lesbian, mother, urban woman: none of Lorde’s selves has ever silenced the others; the counterpoint among them is often the material of her strongest poems.”

Coal

I
is the total black, being spoken
from the earth's inside.
There are many kinds of open
how a diamond comes into a knot of flame
how sound comes into a words, coloured
by who pays what for speaking.

Some words are open like a diamond
on glass windows
singing out within the crash of sun
Then there are words like stapled wagers
in a perforated book - buy and sign and tear apart -
and come whatever will all chances
the stub remains
an ill-pulled tooth with a ragged edge.
Some words live in my throat
breeding like adders. Other know sun
seeking like gypsies over my tongue
to explode through my lips
like young sparrows bursting from shell.
Some words
bedevil me

Love is word, another kind of open.
As the diamond comes into a knot of flame
I am Black because I come from the earth's inside
Now take my word for jewel in the open light.


Click for more detail about Code Of The Street: Decency, Violence, And The Moral Life Of The Inner City by Elijah Anderson Code Of The Street: Decency, Violence, And The Moral Life Of The Inner City

by Elijah Anderson
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 17, 2000)
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Unsparing and important. . . . An informative, clearheaded and sobering book.?Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post (1999 Critic’s Choice) Inner-city black America is often stereotyped as a place of random violence, but in fact, violence in the inner city is regulated through an informal but well-known code of the street. This unwritten set of rules?based largely on an individual’s ability to command respect?is a powerful and pervasive form of etiquette, governing the way in which people learn to negotiate public spaces. Elijah Anderson’s incisive book delineates the code and examines it as a response to the lack of jobs that pay a living wage, to the stigma of race, to rampant drug use, to alienation and lack of hope.


Click for more detail about Collected Poems by Robert Hayden Collected Poems

by Robert Hayden
Liveright (Feb 17, 1997)
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Robert Hayden (1913-1980) was one of the most important African-American poets of the twentieth century. He left behind an exquisite body of work, collected in this definitive edition, including American Journal, which was nominated for a National Book Award in its first publication. An introduction by Arnold Rampersad provides a biographical portrait of Hayden and a critical context in which to understand his poetry. Robert Hayden was a fellow of the American Academy of Poets, a poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, and a professor of English at the University of Michigan. He received numerous awards for his poetry in his lifetime, among them to Hopwood Awards, the Grand Prize for Poetry at the First World Festival of Negro Arts, and the Russell Loines Award for distinguished poetic achievement from the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Arnold Rampersad is Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University.


Click for more detail about Collected Poems Of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde Collected Poems Of Audre Lorde

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 17, 2000)
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A complete collection?over 300 poems?from one of this country’s most influential poets. "These are poems which blaze and pulse on the page."?Adrienne Rich "The first declaration of a black, lesbian feminist identity took place in these poems, and set the terms?beautifully, forcefully?for contemporary multicultural and pluralist debate."?Publishers Weekly "This is an amazing collection of poetry by . . . one of our best contemporary poets. . . . Her poems are powerful, often political, always lyrical and profoundly moving."?Chuckanut Reader Magazine "What a deep pleasure to encounter Audre Lorde’s most potent genius . . . you will welcome the sheer accessibility and the force and beauty of this volume."?Out Magazine


Click for more detail about Collected Poems: 1974–2004 by Rita Dove Collected Poems: 1974–2004

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 2016)
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Three decades of powerful lyric poetry from a virtuoso of the English language in one unabridged volume.Rita Dove’s Collected Poems 1974–2004 showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal, and a National Medal of Art. Gathering thirty years and seven books, this volume compiles Dove’s fresh reflections on adolescence in The Yellow House on the Corner and her irreverent musings in Museum. She sets the moving love story of Thomas and Beulah against the backdrop of war, industrialization, and the civil right struggles. The multifaceted gems of Grace Notes, the exquisite reinvention of Greek myth in the sonnets of Mother Love, the troubling rapids of recent history in On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and the homage to America’s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage in American Smooth all celebrate Dove’s mastery of narrative context with lyrical finesse. With the “precise, singing lines” for which the Washington Post praised her, Dove “has created fresh configurations of the traditional and the experimental” —Poetry magazine.

In the video below Dove reads the poem “Canary” which is contained in this collection


Click for more detail about Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Issues of Our Time Series) by Kwame Anthony Appiah Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Issues of Our Time Series)

by Kwame Anthony Appiah
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 23, 2006)
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A moral manifesto that forces us to reconsider a world divided between the West and the Rest, Us and Them.

We have grown accustomed in this anxious, post-9/11 era to constructing a world fissured by warring creeds and cultures. Much of humanity now seems separated by chasms of incomprehension. Kwame Anthony Appiah’s landmark new work challenges the separatist doctrines espoused in books such as Samuel P. Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations. Reviving the ancient philosophy of "Cosmopolitanism," a school of thought that dates to the Cynics of the fourth century bce, Appiah traces its influence on the ethical legacies of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, Kant’s dream of a "league of nations," and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In doing so, Appiah shows how Western intellectuals and leaders, on both the left and the right, have wildly exaggerated the power of difference—and neglected the power of one. One world. One species. Challenging years of received wisdom, Cosmopolitanism is a resounding work of philosophy and global culture.

About the series: Issues of Our Time: "Aware of the competition for the attention of readers, W. W. Norton & Company and I have created the "Issues of Our Time" as a lucid series of highly readable books through which some of today’s most thoughtful intellectuals seek to challenge the general reader to reexamine received truths and grapple with powerful trends that are shaping the world in which we live. The series launches with Anthony Appiah, Alan Dershowitz, and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen as the first of an illustrious group who will tackle some of the most plangent and central issues defining our society today through books that deal with such issues as sexual and racial identities, the economics of the developing world, and the concept of citizenship in a truly globalized twenty-first-century world culture. Above all else, these books are designed to be read and enjoyed."—Henry Louis Gates Jr., W. E. B. DuBois Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University


Click for more detail about Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy From Slavery To Hip-Hop by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen Darkest America: Black Minstrelsy From Slavery To Hip-Hop

by Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 27, 2012)
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An exploration and celebration of a controversial tradition that, contrary to popular opinion, is alive and active after more than 150 years. Yuval Taylor and Jake Austen investigate the complex history of black minstrelsy, adopted in the mid-nineteenth century by African American performers who played the grinning blackface fool to entertain black and white audiences. We now consider minstrelsy an embarrassing relic, but once blacks and whites alike saw it as a black art form—and embraced it as such. And, as the authors reveal, black minstrelsy remains deeply relevant to popular black entertainment, particularly in the work of contemporary artists like Dave Chappelle, Flavor Flav, Spike Lee, and Lil Wayne. Darkest America explores the origins, heyday, and present-day manifestations of this tradition, exploding the myth that it was a form of entertainment that whites foisted on blacks, and shining a sure-to-be controversial light on how these incendiary performances can be not only demeaning but also, paradoxically, liberating. 12 illustrations

Book Review

Click for more detail about Death And The King’s Horseman: A Play by Wole Soyinka Death And The King’s Horseman: A Play

by Wole Soyinka
W. W. Norton & Company (Apr 17, 2002)
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A Nobel Prize-winning playwright’s classic tale of tragic decisions in a traditional African culture. Based on events that took place in Oyo, an ancient Yoruba city of Nigeria, in 1946, Wole Soyinka’s powerful play concerns the intertwined lives of Elesin Oba, the king’s chief horseman; his son, Olunde, now studying medicine in England; and Simon Pilkings, the colonial district officer. The king has died and Elesin, his chief horseman, is expected by law and custom to commit suicide and accompany his ruler to heaven. The stage is set for a dramatic climax when Pilkings learns of the ritual and decides to intervene and Elesin’s son arrives home.


Click for more detail about Death By Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson Death By Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

by Neil deGrasse Tyson
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 17, 2007)
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A vibrant collection of essays on the cosmos from the nation’s best-known astrophysicist. “One of today’s best popularizers of science.”?Kirkus Reviews. Loyal readers of the monthly "Universe" essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with clarity and enthusiasm. Bringing together more than forty of Tyson’s favorite essays, ?Death by Black Hole? explores a myriad of cosmic topics, from what it would be like to be inside a black hole to the movie industry’s feeble efforts to get its night skies right. One of America’s best-known astrophysicists, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies the complexities of astrophysics while sharing his infectious fascination for our universe.


Click for more detail about Dread: Poems by Ai Ogawa Dread: Poems

by Ai Ogawa
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 17, 2004)
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A searing collection of poems about America’s loss of innocence from the National Book Award-winning author of Vice. In poems that travel from the horrific flight of a World War II pilot to the World Trade Center attack, from the death of JFK Jr. to the poet’s own bastard birth, Ai conjures purity as a distant memory and the knowledge of evil as an "infinite dark night." "An undoubtedly powerful personae."?Publishers Weekly "Ai’s cleansing soliloquies give voice to pain both personal and communal….[Dread] presents her most masterfully unnerving works to date."?Booklist "Dread has the characteristic moral strength that makes Ai a necessary poet."?The New York Times Book Review


Click for more detail about Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction by Nell Irvin Painter Exodusters: Black Migration to Kansas After Reconstruction

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 1992)
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The first major migration to the North of ex-slaves.


Click for more detail about FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr: From “Solo” to Memphis by David J. Garrow FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr: From “Solo” to Memphis

by David J. Garrow
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 01, 1981)
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FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr: From "Solo" to Memphis by David Garrow.


Click for more detail about Giveadamn Brown: A Novel (Old School Books) by Robert Deane Pharr Giveadamn Brown: A Novel (Old School Books)

by Robert Deane Pharr
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 17, 1997)
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In this surreal dark comedy, Larry "Giveadamn" Brown is transformed from a country bumpkin into a crime kingpin when he inherits the Harlem dope and numbers empire of his Uncle Harry. Unable to match firepower with the competition?Sonny, a coiffed millionaire; Baby Doll, a 300-pound Jesus freak; and Studs, a ruthless lesbian?Giveadamn devises a shrewd scheme. His secret weapon: the Golden Fleece, a fantastical machine that defies all known laws of chemistry and physics. When word of it leaks out, Harlem is never going to be the same . . . .


Click for more detail about God’s Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe, 570-1215 by David Levering Lewis God’s Crucible: Islam And The Making Of Europe, 570-1215

by David Levering Lewis
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 17, 2008)
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"A furiously complex age; a powerful narrative."?New York Times Book Review, Editor’s Choice Hailed by critics as an essential book, God’s Crucible is a bold, new interpretation of Islamic Spain and the birth of Europe from one of our greatest historians. David Levering Lewis’s narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished?a beacon of cooperation and tolerance?while proto-Europe floundered in opposition.At the beginning of the eighth century, the Arabs brought a momentous revolution in power, religion, and culture to Dark Ages Europe. David Levering Lewis’s masterful history begins with the fall of the Persian and Roman empires, followed by the rise of the prophet Muhammad and the creation of Muslim Spain. Five centuries of engagement between the Muslim imperium and an emerging Europe followed, from the Muslim conquest of Visigoth Hispania in 711 to Latin Christendom’s declaration of unconditional warfare on the Caliphate in 1215. Lewis’s narrative, filled with accounts of some of the greatest battles in world history, reveals how cosmopolitan, Muslim al-Andalus flourished?a beacon of cooperation and tolerance between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity?while proto-Europe, defining itself in opposition to Islam, made virtues out of hereditary aristocracy, religious intolerance, perpetual war, and slavery. A cautionary tale, God’s Crucible provides a new interpretation of world-altering events whose influence remains as current as today’s headlines. 8 pages of color illustrations; 4 maps


Click for more detail about Grace Notes: Poems by Rita Dove Grace Notes: Poems

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 17, 1991)
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With this her fourth book of poems, Rita Dove expands her role as a leading voice in contemporary American letters. The title of the collection serves as an umbrella for the intimate concerns expressed in the forty-eight poems; in music, grace notes are those added to the basic melody, the embellishments that?if played or sung at the right moment with just the right touch?can break your heart. Isn’t this what every lyric poem wishes to be, the poet asks as she explored autobiographical events, most from childhood and the cusp of adolescence, and then turns to the shadowy areas of regret and memory. The word as talisman is another of her concerns, and finally, in the section that most typifies the lilt of grace notes, Dove considers the embellishments below the melody of daily life.


Click for more detail about Greed by Ai Ogawa Greed

by Ai Ogawa
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 17, 1994)
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Greed for money, power, sex, and love is the theme of this volume of dramatic monologues by the poet theNew York Times Book Reviewhas called "one of the most singular voices of her generation." Beginning with "Riot Act," a monologue about the Los Angeles uprising in April 1992, Ai explored racial and sexual politics through the voices of diverse characters.


Click for more detail about Here Comes the Sun: A Novel by Nicole Dennis-Benn Here Comes the Sun: A Novel

by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Liveright (Jul 19, 2016)
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In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village. Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school. Taught as a girl to trade her sexuality for survival, Margot is ruthlessly determined to shield Thandi from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also perhaps a chance to admit a shocking secret: her forbidden love for another woman. As they face the impending destruction of their community, each woman?fighting to balance the burdens she shoulders with the freedom she craves?must confront long-hidden scars. From a much-heralded new writer, Here Comes the Sun offers a dramatic glimpse into a vibrant, passionate world most outsiders see simply as paradise.


Click for more detail about Holding Company: Poems by Major Jackson Holding Company: Poems

by Major Jackson
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 06, 2012)
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"A devastatingly beautiful collection of strange and wonderful poems." ?Poetry Daily In these poems of broken unions and acute longing, Major Jackson explores art, literature, and music as seductive forces in our lives.


Click for more detail about Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women’s Humor by Daryl Cumber Dance Honey, Hush!: An Anthology of African American Women’s Humor

by Daryl Cumber Dance
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 17, 1998)
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The vibrant humor of African American women is celebrated in this bold and unique collection that the Miami Herald describes as "breathtakingly broad and deep." In this "dazzling anthology" (Publishers Weekly), Daryl Cumber Dance has collected the often hard-hitting, sometimes risqu, always dramatic humor that arises from the depth of black women’s souls and the breadth of their lives. The eloquent wit and laughter of African American women are presented here in all their written and spoken manifestations: autobiographies, novels, essays, poems, speeches, comic routines, proverbial sayings, cartoons, mimeographed sheets, and folk tales. The chapters proceed thematically, covering the church, love, civil rights, motherly advice, and much more.


Click for more detail about Hoops: Poems by Major Jackson Hoops: Poems

by Major Jackson
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 17, 2007)
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Lush reflections on ordinary lives, displaying “formal talents and [Jackson’s] capacity for expanding the lyric potential of narrative” (Rain Taxi). In Hoops, Major Jackson continues to mine the solemn marvels of ordinary lives: a grandfather gardens in a tenement backyard; a teacher unconsciously renames her black students after French painters. The substance of Jackson’s art is the representation of American citizens whose heroic endurance makes them remarkable and transcendent.


Click for more detail about Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women by Patricia Bell-Scott Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women

by Patricia Bell-Scott
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 17, 1995)
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Life Notes is the first collection devoted exclusively to writings from the journals, diaries, and personal notebooks of contemporary black women.
These intensely personal testimonies illuminate the complexities of black women’s lives, offering unique reflections about self, family, intimacy, work, politics, life transitions, violation, and recovery.


Click for more detail about Macnolia: Poems by A. Van Jordan Macnolia: Poems

by A. Van Jordan
W. W. Norton & Company (Dec 17, 2005)
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"Jordan is a wizard at capturing vernacular in both conventional forms and his own invention." —Black Issues Book Review In 1936, teenager MacNolia Cox became the first African American finalist in the National Spelling Bee Competition. Supposedly prevented from winning, the precocious child who dreamed of becoming a doctor was changed irrevocably. Her story, told in a poignant nonlinear narrative, illustrates the power of a pivotal moment in a life.


Click for more detail about Measuring Time: A Novel by Helon Habila Measuring Time: A Novel

by Helon Habila
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 17, 2007)
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A thrilling, epic story from a major new international talent. Mamo and LaMamo are twin brothers living in the small Nigerian village of Keti, where their domineering father controls their lives. With high hopes the twins attempt to flee from


Click for more detail about Michelle Obama: The First Lady In Photographs by Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard Michelle Obama: The First Lady In Photographs

by Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 04, 2009)
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A stunning, visual biography of Michelle Obama that finally puts her phenomenal fame into a cultural and historical context we can all understand. There has never been a First Lady like her before. While there have been a slew of Obama celebrity books, none contain the message of Deborah Willis and Emily Bernard’s eye-opening book. With nearly 200 compelling photographs, these two noted scholars capture Michelle Obama’s dramatic transformation from working mother to First Lady, from her first tentative steps on the campaign trail to her spontaneous hug of the Queen, to her fairy-tale-like “date night” on Broadway. Not since Jacqueline Kennedy has there been a First Lady who has so enchanted America, but in her down-to-earth dealings with all Americans?schoolchildren, military families, and home gardeners alike?and in her diverse fashion taste, from J. Crew to Jason Wu, Michelle Obama is inexplicably all pearls, all business, all mother. The authors show how Michelle Obama represents the culmination of America’s evolving views on women, race, motherhood, and beauty. Much more than a mere catalog of style, Michelle Obama is a remarkable pictorial story of one woman’s hold on our imagination. 150 full-color photographs


Click for more detail about More Than Just Race: Being Black And Poor In The Inner City (Issues Of Our Time) by William Julius Wilson More Than Just Race: Being Black And Poor In The Inner City (Issues Of Our Time)

by William Julius Wilson
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 09, 2009)
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A preeminent sociologist of race explains a groundbreaking new framework for understanding racial inequality, challenging both conservative and liberal dogma. In this provocative contribution to the American discourse on race, the newest book of the Issues of Our Time series edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr., William Julius Wilson applies an exciting new analytic framework to three politically fraught social problems: the persistence of the inner-city ghetto, the plight of low-skilled black males, and the fragmentation of the African American family. Though the discussion of racial inequality is typically ideologically polarized—conservatives emphasize cultural factors like worldviews and behaviors while liberals emphasize institutional forces—Wilson dares to consider both institutional and cultural factors as causes of the persistence of racial inequality. He reaches the controversial conclusion that, while structural and cultural forces are inextricably linked, public policy can change the racial status quo only by reforming the institutions that reinforce it. This book will dramatically affect policy debates and challenge many of the leaders.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Mother Love: Poems by Rita Dove Mother Love: Poems

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 1996)
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Calling upon the ancient Greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, Mother Love examines the love between mother and daughter, two tumblers locked in an eternal somersault: each mother a daughter, each daughter a potential mother. In settings as various as a patio in Arizona, the bistros and boulevards of Paris, the sun-drenched pyramids of Mexico?and directly from the Greek myth itself?Rita Dove explores this relationship and the dilemma of letting go.


Click for more detail about No Surrender: Poems by Ai Ogawa No Surrender: Poems

by Ai Ogawa
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 27, 2010)
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A searing new collection from a master of the poetic monologue. A disillusioned Irish nun moves to America, meets Elvis, and rediscovers her faith. An amputee goes on a strange journey during a hurricane. Each of the speakers in Ai’s daring new collection has a uniquely American story to tell, and each is told with the poet’s characteristic dark humor and ambition.’

From "Brotherhood"
Now we’re middle aged,
Bearing the curse, not the luck of the Irish,
On our shoulders like crosses.
We know that loss is just the outcome of living,
The dross that’s left after you turn gold back into iron
And end up in Rio with a mulatta, who’s got a habit,
But he doesn’t care. He’s flying blind
And I am right behind him.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Oil on Water: A Novel by Helon Habila Oil on Water: A Novel

by Helon Habila
W. W. Norton & Company (May 16, 2011)
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“The new generation of twenty-first-century African writers have now come of age. Without a doubt Habila is one of the best.”Emmanuel Dongala In the oil-rich and environmentally devastated Nigerian Delta, the wife of a British oil exec


Click for more detail about On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems by Rita Dove On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (Apr 17, 2000)
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A dazzling new collection by the former Poet Laureate of the United States. In these brilliant poems, Rita Dove treats us to a panoply of human endeavor, shot through with the electrifying jazz of her lyric elegance. From the opening sequence, "Cameos", to the civil rights struggle of the final sequence, she explores the intersection of individual fate and history.

Joe
sees his son
flicker. Although
the air is not a glass,
watches as he puts his lips to
the brim-then turns away, bored.
He is not mine, this son
who ripens, quiet
poison on a
shelf.

Other poems range from the playfulness of "The First Book" (Open it/Go ahead, it won't bite./Well_maybe a little.) to the great power of "Black on a Saturday Night":

the wages of living are sin
and the wages of sin are love
and the wages of love are pain
and the wages of pain are philosophy
and that leads definitely to an attitude
and an attitude will get you
nowhere fast so you might as well
keep dancing dancing till
tomorrow gives up with a shout,
'cause there is only
Saturday night, and we are in it-
black as black can,
black as black does,
not a concept
nor a percentage
but a natural law.

The book culminates in "On the Bus with Rosa Parks," a masterful series which brings the reader right into the heart of the civil rights struggle with poems like "Freedom Ride" (but where you sit is where you'll be/when the fire hits.) and "The situation is intolerable". Here are unintentional heroes, who, with simple acts of courage, change the course of history. People like Claudette Colvin and Mary Louise Smith who violated city public transportation  segregation laws by refusing to give their seats to white passengers, and of course, Rosa Parks, whose legacy for her historic refusal to move to the back of the bus defines the spirit of the struggle (How she sat there,/the time right inside a place/so wrong it was ready.).

In these electrifying, brilliant poems, Dove shows how we are all on that bus with Rosa Parks. Ordinary people with dreams for the future, with a desire for respect, with no need for celebrity but a willingness to do what needs to be done. This is how all of us, heroes or not, must reinvent ourselves each morning. Whether parable or meditation, confession or praise, the poems in ON THE BUS WITH ROSA PARKS confirm Rita Dove's place as one of the most important American voices of our time.


Click for more detail about Origins: Fourteen Billion Years Of Cosmic Evolution by Neil Degrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith Origins: Fourteen Billion Years Of Cosmic Evolution

by Neil Degrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 17, 2005)
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"An accessible and extremely well-written exploration of the deep waters of cosmology, astrophysics, and exobiology."??Kirkus Reviews? Our true origins are not just human, or even terrestrial, but in fact cosmic. Drawing on recent scientific breakthroughs and the current cross-pollination among geology, biology, astrophysics, and cosmology, ?Origins? explains the soul-stirring leaps in our understanding of the cosmos. From the first image of a galaxy birth to Spirit Rover’s exploration of Mars, to the discovery of water on one of Jupiter’s moons, coauthors Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith conduct a galvanizing tour of the cosmos with clarity and exuberance. 32 pages of color illustrations.


Click for more detail about Our Dead Behind Us: Poems by Audre Lorde Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1994)
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In this collection, Audre Lorde gives us poems that explore "differences as creative tensions, and the melding of past strength / pain with future hope / fear; the present being the vital catalyst, the motivating force?activism." As Marilyn Hacker has written, "Black, lesbian, mother, cancer survivor, urban woman: none of Lorde’s selves has ever silenced the others; the counterpoint among them is often the material of her strongest poems."


Click for more detail about Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

by Danielle Allen
Liveright (May 04, 2015)
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Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians

“A tour de force. . . . No one has ever written a book on the Declaration quite like this one.”?Gordon Wood, New York Review of Books Featured on the front page of the New York Times, Our Declaration is already regarded as a seminal work that reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text. Combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration with a vivid evocation of the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Allen, a political philosopher renowned for her work on justice and citizenship reveals our nation’s founding text to be an animating force that not only changed the world more than two-hundred years ago, but also still can. Challenging conventional wisdom, she boldly makes the case that the Declaration is a document as much about political equality as about individual liberty. Beautifully illustrated throughout, Our Declaration is an “uncommonly elegant, incisive, and often poetic primer on America’s cardinal text” (David M. Kennedy). 35 illustrations


Click for more detail about Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality by Danielle Allen Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality

by Danielle Allen
Liveright (Jun 23, 2014)
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Winner of the Zcalo Book Prize
Shortlisted for the 2015 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award
Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians

“Danielle Allen lays bare the Declaration’s history and significance, returning it to its true and rightful owners?you and me.”?Junot Daz In just 1,337 words, the Declaration of Independence altered the course of history. Written in 1776, it is the most profound document in the history of government since the Magna Carta, signed nearly 800 years ago in 1215. Yet despite its paramount importance, the Declaration, curiously, is rarely read from start to finish?much less understood. Troubled by the fact that so few Americans actually know what it says, Danielle Allen, a political philosopher renowned for her work on justice and citizenship, set out to explore the arguments of the Declaration, reading it with both adult night students and University of Chicago undergraduates. Keenly aware that the Declaration is riddled with contradictions?liberating some while subjugating slaves and Native Americans?Allen and her students nonetheless came to see that the Declaration makes a coherent and riveting argument about equality. They found not a historical text that required memorization, but an animating force that could and did transform the course of their everyday lives.In an "uncommonly elegant, incisive, and often poetic primer on America’s cardinal text," Our Declaration now brings these insights to the general reader, illuminating the "three great themes of the Declaration: equality, liberty, and the abiding power of language" (David M. Kennedy). Vividly evoking the colonial world between 1774 and 1777, Allen describes the challenges faced by John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston?the "Committee of Five" who had to write a document that reflected the aspirations of a restive population and forge an unprecedented social contract. Although the focus is usually on Jefferson, Allen restores credit not only to John Adams and Richard Henry Lee but also to clerk Timothy Matlack and printer Mary Katherine Goddard.Allen also restores the astonishing text of the Declaration itself. Its list of self-evident truths does not end, as so many think, with our individual right to the "pursuit of happiness" but with the collective right of the people to reform government so that it will "effect their Safety and Happiness." The sentence laying out the self-evident truths leads us from the individual to the community?from our individual rights to what we can achieve only together, as a community constituted by bonds of equality. Challenging so much of our conventional political wisdom, Our Declaration boldly makes the case that we cannot have freedom as individuals without equality among us as a people.With its cogent analysis and passionate advocacy, Our Declaration thrillingly affirms the continuing relevance of America’s founding text, ultimately revealing what democracy actually means and what it asks of us. 35 illlustrations


Click for more detail about Police Brutality: An Anthology by Jill Nelson Police Brutality: An Anthology

by Jill Nelson
W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 2001)
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A landmark work by twelve leading critics and community leaders?essential reading for anyone interested in the history of American race relations. Ignited by the infamous shooting of Amadou Diallo, unarmed and innocent, at the hands of New York City police officers, journalist Jill Nelson was moved to assemble this landmark anthology on the topic of police violence and brutality: an indispensable collection of twelve "groundbreaking" (Ebony) essays by a range of contributors?among them academics, historians, social critics, a congressman, and an ex-New York City police detective. This "important and valuable book" (Emerge) places a centuries-old issue in much-needed historical and intellectual context, and underscores the profound influence police brutality has had in shaping the American identity. "[S]hould be read by anyone concerned about ending brutality, and should be required reading in police academies throughout America!"?Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Harvard Law School "Without hysteria or hyperbole, [Nelson] examines the issue of police abuse in literary form."?Emerge "A memorable and useful contribution to an increasingly volatile national dialogue."?Publishers Weekly "[N]ot only timely, but explores and exposes the sickness of this unbalanced, uncivilized Western pastime thoroughly."?Chuck D of Public Enemy, author of Fight the Power: Rap, Race, and Reality


Click for more detail about Quantum Lyrics: Poems by A. Van Jordan Quantum Lyrics: Poems

by A. Van Jordan
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 04, 2009)
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"Fearless hybridization…. Jordan creates spaces where physics and poetry, comic books and jazz, memory and loss, come together."?American Prospect This ambitious collection explores the intersection of the infinite world of physics with the perplexities of the human condition. Employing both narrative and cinematic structure, Jordan re-creates the lives of Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, and comic book superheroes?the Green Lantern, the Atom?and also reveals himself in poems of recollection and loss.


Click for more detail about Quantum Lyrics: Poems by A. Van Jordan Quantum Lyrics: Poems

by A. Van Jordan
W. W. Norton & Company (Jul 17, 2007)
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This provocative, ambitious collection explores the intersection of the infinite world of physics with the perplexities of the human condition. Employing both narrative and cinematic structure, A. Van Jordan re-creates the lives of his subjects: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, comic-book superheroes (The Green Lantern, The Atom), along with aspects of himself revealed in poems of recollection and loss. With lyric intensity he suggests that contemporary physicists are also metaphysical poets.


Click for more detail about RL’s Dream by Walter Mosley RL’s Dream

by Walter Mosley
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1995)
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When a black musician in New York is evicted for non-payment of rent, a white woman living in the same apartment block takes him in. He is Soupspoon Wise, a gentle jazz guitarist from Mississippi who has cancer. She is Kiki Waters, a drinking, swearing redhead from Arkansas who works on Wall Street. The novel traces their manage. RL’s Dream is a novel about the blues as an expression of black poetry and black tragedy and how they sit in judgment on the American experience. In contemporary New York, aging bluesman Soupspoon Wise is alone, ill, and dying. He has played his music in a thousand bars, clubs, and juke joints, but never so memorably as the time he played with one Robert Johnson in the Mississippi delta. That brief, indelible encounter with the great genius of country blues haunts Soupspoon, much as Johnson himself is said to have been possessed by Satan. And so Soupspoon proceeds to tell his story to Kiki Waters, the young white woman who has taken him in, another refugee from a South she can neither deny nor escape.


Click for more detail about Roll Deep: Poems by Major Jackson Roll Deep: Poems

by Major Jackson
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 28, 2017)
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A whimsical and “devastatingly effective” (Washington Post) collection that captures the spirit of travel and pays homage to heritage.

In his fourth collection, a breakthrough volume, Major Jackson appropriates the vernacular notion of “rolling deep” to capture the spirit of aesthetic travel that defines these forceful new poems and brazenly announces his steady accretion of literary and artistic influences, both formal and experimental―his “crew.” The confident and radiant poems in Roll Deep address a range of topics, most prominently human intimacy and war. And like his best work to date, these poems create new experiences with language owed to Jackson’s willingness to once again seek a rhythmic sound that expresses the unique realities of the twenty-first century with humor and understanding. Whether set in Nairobi, Madrid, or Greece, the poems are sensuously evocative and unapologetically with-it, in their effort to build community across borders of language and style.

From Urban Renewal, “The Dadaab Suite”:

I have come to Dadaab
like an actor on a press release, unprepared for the drained faces
of famine-fleeing refugees, my craft’s glamour
dimmed by hundreds of infant graves, children
whose lolling heads’ final drop landed on their mothers’
backs like soft stones. What beauty can I spell
in this swelter of dust?


Click for more detail about S. R. O. (Old School Books Series) by Robert Deane Pharr S. R. O. (Old School Books Series)

by Robert Deane Pharr
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 01, 1998)
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College-educated writer and waiter Sid Bailey slowly learns to drop his conventional lifestyle and adopt the behavior of the misfits at the Harlem welfare hotel where he lives.


Click for more detail about Saint Monkey: A Novel by Jacinda Townsend Saint Monkey: A Novel

by Jacinda Townsend
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 02, 2015)
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"[A] compelling debut…Townsend’s writing [is] full of fresh turns of phrase and keen insights." ?Anaya Mathis, New York Times Book Review Fourteen-year-old Audrey Martin, with her Poindexter glasses and her head humming the 3/4 meter of gospel music, knows she’ll never get out of Kentucky?but when her fingers touch the piano keys, the whole church trembles. Her best friend, Caroline, daydreams about Hollywood stardom, but both girls feel destined to languish in a slow-moving stopover town in Montgomery County. That is, until chance intervenes and a booking agent offers Audrey a ticket to join the booming jazz scene in Harlem?an offer she can’t resist, not even for Caroline. And in New York City the music never stops. Audrey flirts with love and takes the stage at the Apollo, with its fast-dancing crowds and blinding lights. But fortunes can turn fast in the city?young talent means tough competition, and for Audrey failure is always one step away. Meanwhile, Caroline sinks into the quiet anguish of a Black woman in a backwards country, where her ambitions and desires only slip further out of reach.Jacinda Townsend’s remarkable first novel is a coming-of-age story made at once gripping and poignant by the wild energy of the Jazz Era and the stark realities of segregation. Marrying musical prose with lyric vernacular, Saint Monkey delivers a stirring portrait of American storytelling and marks the appearance of an auspicious new voice in literary fiction.


Click for more detail about Scottsboro: A Novel by Ellen Feldman Scottsboro: A Novel

by Ellen Feldman
W. W. Norton & Company (Apr 17, 2008)
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A powerful novel about race, class, sex, and a lie that refused to die. Alabama, 1931. A posse stops a freight train and arrests nine black youths. Their crime: fighting with white boys. Then two white girls emerge from another freight car, and fast as anyone can say Jim Crow, the cry of rape goes up. One of the girls sticks to her story. The other changes her tune, again and again. A young journalist, whose only connection to the incident is her overheated social conscience, fights to save the nine youths from the electric chair, redeem the girl who repents her lie, and make amends for her own past. Intertwining historical actors and fictional characters, stirring racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism into an explosive brew, Scottsboro is a novel of a shocking injustice that convulsed the nation and reverberated around the world, destroyed lives, forged careers, and brought out the worst and the best in the men and women who fought for the cause.

Book Review

Click for more detail about Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah Shaking the Tree: A Collection of New Fiction and Memoir by Black Women

by Meri Nana-Ama Danquah
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 2004)
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"Not since Breaking Ice has an anthology so freed the spirits of African American women."?Ai Showcasing the newest generation of black women writers, including ZZ Packer, Edwidge Danticat, and Shay Youngblood, Shaking the Tree gathers twenty-three voices that came of age in the wake of the civil rights, black arts, gay rights, and feminist movements. Their literature embodies the tragedies and triumphs of contemporary black women in their struggle to negotiate a sense of individual identity beyond the limited scope of gender and race.

Shaking the Tree offers a panorama of both fiction and memoir, revealing perspectives as diverse as they are dynamic: asha bandele recounts how she fell in love with a prisoner charged with murder; Rebecca Walker explores a childhood split between disparate racial and cultural landscapes; ZZ Packer remembers her near-abduction from summer camp at a time when local black children were being found murdered; Danzy Senna and Carolyn Ferrell tell tales about being young and biracial in a society that sees only in black and white.

This anthology is as urgent as it is historical?these voices are the future of American literature.


Click for more detail about Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter Sojourner Truth: A Life, A Symbol

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 17, 1997)
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A monumental biography of one of the most important black women of the nineteenth century. Sojourner Truth first gained prominence at an 1851 Akron, Ohio, women’s rights conference, saying, "Dat man over dar say dat woman needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches. . . . Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles . . . and ar’n’t I a woman?"

Sojourner Truth: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist, figure of imposing physique, riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Straight-talking and unsentimental, Truth became a national symbol for strong black women—indeed, for all strong women. Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, she is regarded as a radical of immense and enduring influence; yet, unlike them, what is remembered of her consists more of myth than of personality.

Now, in a masterful blend of scholarship and sympathetic understanding, eminent black historian Nell Irvin Painter goes beyond the myths, words, and photographs to uncover the life of a complex woman who was born into slavery and died a legend. Inspired by religion, Truth transformed herself from a domestic servant named Isabella into an itinerant pentecostal preacher; her words of empowerment have inspired black women and poor people the world over to this day. As an abolitionist and a feminist, Truth defied the notion that slaves were male and women were white, expounding a fact that still bears repeating: among blacks there are women; among women, there are blacks.

No one who heard her speak ever forgot Sojourner Truth, the power and pathos of her voice, and the intelligence of her message. No one who reads Painter’s groundbreaking biography will forget this landmark figure and the story of her courageous life. Photographs


Click for more detail about Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol by Nell Irvin Painter Sojourner Truth: A Life, a Symbol

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 01, 1996)
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Sojourner Truth: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist, figure of imposing physique, riveting preacher and spellbinding singer who dazzled listeners with her wit and originality. Straight talking and unsentimental, Truth became a national symbol for strong black women - indeed, for all strong women. Like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, she is regarded as a radical of immense and enduring influence; yet unlike them, what is remembered of her consists more of myth than of historical fact. Now, in a masterful blend of scholarship and sympathetic understanding, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter goes beyond the myths, words, and photographs to uncover the life of a complex woman who was born into slavery and died a legend. Inspired by religion, Truth transformed herself from a domestic servant named Isabella into an itinerant Pentecostal preacher; her words of empowerment have inspired black women and poor people the world over to this day. As an abolitionist and a feminist, Truth defied the stereotype of "the slave" as male and "the woman" as white - expounding a fact that still bears repeating: among blacks there are women; among women, there are blacks.


Click for more detail about Someone Knows My Name: A Novel by Lawrence Hill Someone Knows My Name: A Novel

by Lawrence Hill
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 17, 2007)
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"You feel you are turning the pages of history, the pages of truth."?Austin Clarke, author of The Polished Hoe Abducted from Africa as a child and enslaved in South Carolina, Aminata Diallo thinks only of freedom?and of the knowledge she needs to get home. Sold to an indigo trader who recognizes her intelligence, Aminata is torn from her husband and child and thrown into the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, Aminata helps pen the Book of Negroes, a list of blacks rewarded for service to the king with safe passage to Nova Scotia. There Aminata finds a life of hardship and stinging prejudice. When the British abolitionists come looking for "adventurers" to create a new colony in Sierra Leone, Aminata assists in moving 1,200 Nova Scotians to Africa and aiding the abolitionist cause by revealing the realities of slavery to the British public. This captivating story of one woman’s remarkable experience spans six decades and three continents and brings to life a crucial chapter in world history.


Click for more detail about Sonata Mulattica: Poems by Rita Dove Sonata Mulattica: Poems

by Rita Dove
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 27, 2010)
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Detailing the volatile relationship between the black violinist George Bridgetower and Beethoven, this is a "masterful collection" (Los Angeles Times). The son of a white woman and an “African Prince,” George Polgreen Bridgetower (17801860) travels to Vienna to meet “bad-boy” genius Ludwig van Beethoven. The great composer’s subsequent sonata is originally dedicated to the young mulatto, but George, exuberant with acclaim, offends Beethoven over a woman. From this crucial encounter evolves a grandiose yet melancholy poetic tale. A New Yorker’s A Year’s Reading; Booklist Editors Choice Award.


Click for more detail about Space Chronicles: Facing The Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson Space Chronicles: Facing The Ultimate Frontier

by Neil deGrasse Tyson
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 27, 2012)
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A thought-provoking and humorous collection on NASA and the future of space travel. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a rare breed of astrophysicist, one who can speak as easily and brilliantly with popular audiences as with professional scientists. Now that NASA has put human space flight effectively on hold?with a five- or possibly ten-year delay until the next launch of astronauts from U.S. soil?Tyson’s views on the future of space travel and America’s role in that future are especially timely and urgent. This book represents the best of Tyson’s commentary, including a candid new introductory essay on NASA and partisan politics, giving us an eye-opening manifesto on the importance of space exploration for America’s economy, security, and morale. Thanks to Tyson’s fresh voice and trademark humor, his insights are as delightful as they are provocative, on topics that range from the missteps that shaped our recent history of space travel to how aliens, if they existed, might go about finding us.


Click for more detail about Spike Lee: That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It by Spike Lee Spike Lee: That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It

by Spike Lee
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 17, 2006)
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A candid account of one of America’s most provocative filmmakers that belongs on the shelf of any serious movie lover. Spike Lee tells the cinematic story of the preeminent director, whose pioneering films?from Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, and Malcolm X to 25th Hour , Bamboozled, and The Inside Man?helped transform the face of late twentieth-century America. With unprecedented access to the Lee family and new interviews with stars and celebrities?including Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Rosie Perez, Adrien Brody, John Turturro, and many others?film critic Kaleem Aftab chronicles Spike Lee’s explosive rise to stardom, exploring such important issues as Black Nationalism, Hollywood stereotyping, and the rise of a powerful black middle class. Lee’s prominence in American culture continues in 2006 with the release of The Inside Man and a forthcoming documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Spike Lee tells us as much about the last two decades of American social history as it does about the life of this fascinating director.


Click for more detail about Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919 by Nell Irvin Painter Standing at Armageddon: The United States, 1877-1919

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (Apr 17, 1989)
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Winner of the Letitia Brown Memorial Publication Prize.


Click for more detail about Still I Rise: A Cartoon History Of African Americans by Roland Owen Laird, Taneshia Nash Laird and Elihu Bey Still I Rise: A Cartoon History Of African Americans

by Roland Owen Laird, Taneshia Nash Laird and Elihu Bey
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 01, 1997)
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A complete documentary history of African Americans in one cartoon narrative. As National Book Award winner Charles Johnson points out in his Introduction, the history of African American cartooning is itself a vibrant one, and almost unknown. STILL I RISE is a great contribution that not only recounts history, but also makes history.


Click for more detail about The Angry Ones by John A. Williams The Angry Ones

by John A. Williams
W. W. Norton & Company (Jul 01, 1996)
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The Angry Ones is a powerful story of the hidden and (unacknowledged) racism that faces an educated black man in the professional world and the painful truths that warp interracial sex. Steve Hill, a young black army officer, travels east from California to New York in search of a simple dream: a secure job with a future. He lands a position as a publicity director for a vanity press, and his experiences soon rip the facade of hypocrisy and condescension from a liberal and superficially hip society with its own peculiar political and sexual agendas. Based on the author's own experiences, The Angry Ones is a searing look at the hidden conflicts and compromises underlying black-white relations.


Click for more detail about The Annotated African American Folktales (The Annotated Books) by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The Annotated African American Folktales (The Annotated Books)

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Liveright (Nov 14, 2017)
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These nearly 150 African American folktales animate our past and reclaim a lost cultural legacy to redefine American literature.Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before,The Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. Following in the traditionof such classics asArthurHuff Fauset’s“Negro Folk Tales from the South”(1927),ZoraNeale Hurston’s Mules and Men(1935), andVirginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly (1985),acclaimed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths, and legends that revitalizes a vibrant African American past to produce the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of African American folktales ever published in American literary history. Arguing for the value of these deceptively simple stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these remarkable stories deserve a placealongside the classic works of African American literature, and American literature more broadly.Opening with two introductory essays and twenty seminal African tales as historical background, Gates and Tatar present nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” as well as out-of-print tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman. Beginning with the figure of Anansi, the African trickster, master of improvisation?a spider who plots and weaves in scandalous ways?The Annotated African American Folktales then goes on to draw Caribbean and Creole tales into the orbit of the folkloric canon. It retrievesstories not seen sincethe Harlem Renaissanceandbrings backarchival tales of“Negro folklore” that Booker T. Washington proclaimedhademanated from a “grapevine” that existed evenbefore the American Revolution,stories brought over by slaves who had survived the Middle Passage. Furthermore, Gates and Tatar’s volume not only defines a new canon but reveals how these folktales were hijacked and misappropriated in previous incarnations, egregiously by Joel Chandler Harris, a Southern newspaperman, as well as by Walt Disney, who cannibalized and capitalized on Harris’s volumes by creating cartoon characters drawn from this African American lore.Presenting these tales with illuminating annotations and hundreds of revelatory illustrations,The Annotated African American Folktalesreminds us that stories not only move, entertain, and instruct but, more fundamentally, inspire and keep hope alive.The Annotated African American Folktales includes:Introductory essays, nearly 150 African American stories, and 20 seminal African tales as historical backgroundThe familiar Brer Rabbit classics, as well as news-making vernacular tales from the 1890s’ Southern WorkmanAn entire section of Caribbean and Latin American folktales that finally become incorporated into the canonApproximately 200 full-color, museum-quality images color throughout; 160 illustrations


Click for more detail about The Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology by Ishmael Reed The Before Columbus Foundation Fiction Anthology

by Ishmael Reed
W. W. Norton & Company (Dec 17, 1991)
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This anthology includes 30 selections from a decade of award-winning fiction. Since 1976 the Before Columbus Foundation has been devoted to the task of redefining our notion of "mainstream" American literature to reflect this country’s multicultural, multi-ethnic richness and diversity. Since 1980 it has sponsored the American Book Awards.


Click for more detail about The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey by Toi Derricotte The Black Notebooks: An Interior Journey

by Toi Derricotte
W. W. Norton & Company (Jun 17, 1999)
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The Black Notebooks is the most profound document I have read on racism in America today… [It] is not just one of the best books on race I have ever read but just simply one of the best books I have ever read. The Black Notebooks is one of the most extraordinary and courageous accounts of race in this country, seen through the eyes of a light-skinned black woman and a respected American poet. It challenges all our preconceived notions of what it means to be black or white, and what it means to be human.


Click for more detail about The Black Unicorn: Poems (Norton Paperback) by Audre Lorde The Black Unicorn: Poems (Norton Paperback)

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1995)
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The Black Unicorn is a collection of poems by a woman who, Adrienne Rich writes, "for the complexity of her vision, for her moral courage and the catalytic passion of her language, has already become, for many, an indispensable poet." Rich continues: "Refusing to be circumscribed by any simple identity, Audre Lorde writes as a Black woman, a mother, a daughter, a Lesbian, a feminist, a visionary; poems of elemental wildness and healing, nightmare and lucidity. Her rhythms and accents have the timelessness of a poetry which extends beyond white Western politics, beyond the anger and wisdom of Black America, beyond the North American earth, to Abomey and the Dahomeyan Amazons. These are poems nourished in an oral tradition, which also blaze and pulse on the page, beneath the reader’s eye."


Click for more detail about The Book Of Negroes: A Novel (Movie Tie-In Edition)  (Movie Tie-In Editions) by Lawrence Hill The Book Of Negroes: A Novel (Movie Tie-In Edition) (Movie Tie-In Editions)

by Lawrence Hill
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 12, 2015)
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Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel is a major television miniseries airing on BET Networks.The Book of Negroes (based on the novel Someone Knows My Name) will be BET’s first miniseries. The star-studded production includes lead actress Aunjanue Ellis (Ray, The Help), Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire, A Few Good Men), Oscar and Emmy winner Louis Gossett Jr. (A Raisin in the Sun, Boardwalk Empire), and features Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue), Jane Alexander (The Cider House Rules), and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line). Director and co-writer Clement Virgo is a feature film and television director (The Wire) who also serves as producer with executive producer Damon D’Oliveira (What We Have).In this “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “heart-stopping” (Washington Post) work, Aminata Diallo, one of the strongest women characters in contemporary fiction, is kidnapped from Africa as a child and sold as a slave in South Carolina. Fleeing to Canada after the Revolutionary War, she escapes to attempt a new life in freedom.


Click for more detail about The Chitlin’ Circuit: And The Road To Rock &rsquoN&rsquo Roll by Preston Lauterbach The Chitlin’ Circuit: And The Road To Rock &rsquoN&rsquo Roll

by Preston Lauterbach
W. W. Norton & Company (Jul 18, 2011)
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Chosen by The Wall Street Journal as one of the Top Ten Non-Fiction books of 2011
Chosen by The Boston Globe as one of Top Non-Fiction books of 2011
An NPR Best Music Book of 2011
An Onion AV Club Best Book of 2011

The first history of the network of black juke joints that spawned rock ’n’ roll through an unholy alliance between vice and entertainment. A definitive account of the birth of rock ’n’ roll in black America, this book establishes the Chitlin’ Circuit as a major force in American musical history. Combining terrific firsthand reporting with deep historical research, Preston Lauterbach uncovers characters like Chicago Defender columnist Walter Barnes, who pioneered the circuit in the 1930s, and larger-than-life promoters such as Denver Ferguson, the Indianapolis gambling chieftain who consolidated it in the 1940s. Charging from Memphis to Houston and now-obscure points in between, The Chitlin’ Circuit brings us into the sweaty back rooms where such stars as James Brown, B. B. King, and Little Richard got their start. With his unforgettable portraits of unsung heroes including King Kolax, Sax Kari, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Lauterbach writes of a world of clubs and con men that has managed to avoid much examination despite its wealth of brash characters, intriguing plotlines, and vulgar glory, and gives us an excavation of an underground musical America. 34 black-and-white illustrations

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Cineaste: Poems by A. Van Jordan The Cineaste: Poems

by A. Van Jordan
W. W. Norton & Company (Apr 01, 2013)
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A remarkable montage of poems that explore film, poetry, and the elusiveness of reverie. A. Van Jordan, an acclaimed American poet and the author of three previous volumes, “demonstrates poetry’s power to be at once intimate and wide-ranging” (Robert Pinsky, Washington Post Book World). In this penetrating new work he takes us with him to the movies, where history reverberates and characters are larger than life. The Cineaste is an entrancing montage of poems, wherein film serves as the setting for contemplative trances, memoir, and pure fantasy. At its center is a sonnet sequence that imagines the struggle of pioneer filmmaker Oscar Micheaux against D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, which Micheaux saw not only as racist but also as the start of a powerful new art form. “Sharpen the focus in your lens, and you / Sharpen your view of the world; you can see / How people inhabit space in their lives, / How the skin of Negroes and whites both play / With light.” Scenes and characters from films such as Metropolis, Stranger than Paradise, Last Year at Marienbad, The Red Shoes, and The Great Train Robbery also come to luminous life in this vibrant new collection. The Cineaste is an extended riff on Jordan’s life as a moviegoer and a brilliant exploration of film, poetry, race, and the elusiveness of reverie. from “Last Year at Marienbad”

A place, though visible, is like a ghost
of memories. Even memories one forgets
linger in the space in which they occurred.
Here within the expanse of vaulted ceilings,
doorways leading to more doors, hallways

leading to more halls, the faintest recollections absorb over time; no act will wholly evanesce.


Click for more detail about The Collected Poems of Ai by Ai Ogawa The Collected Poems of Ai

by Ai Ogawa
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 04, 2013)
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“Ai is a truthteller picking her way through the burning rocks of racial and sexual lies.”?Joy Harjo Before her untimely death in 2010, Ai, known for her searing dramatic monologues, was hailed as “one of the most singular voices of her generation” (New York Times Book Review). Now for the first time, all eight books by this essential and uniquely American poet have been gathered in one volume.from “The Cockfighter’s Daughter” I found my father, face down, in his homemade chili and had to hit the bowl with a hammer to get it off, then scrape the pinto beans and chunks of ground beef off his face with a knife.


Click for more detail about The Conjure Stories (Norton Critical Editions) by Charles W. Chesnutt The Conjure Stories (Norton Critical Editions)

by Charles W. Chesnutt
W. W. Norton & Company (Dec 01, 2011)
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Fourteen conjure tales by one of America’s most influential African American fiction writers. This Norton Critical Edition of The Conjure Stories arranges the tales chronologically by composition date, allowing readers to discern how Chesnutt experimented with plots and characters and with the idea of the conjure story over time. With one exception, the text of each tale is that of the original publication. (The text of “The Dumb Witness” was established from two typescripts held at the archives of Fisk University.) The stories are accompanied by a thorough and thought-provoking introduction, detailed explanatory annotations, and illustrative materials.

“Contexts” presents a wealth of materials chosen by the editors to enrich the reader’s understanding of these canonical stories, including a map of the landscape of the conjure tales, Chesnutt’s journal entry as he began writing fiction of the South, as well as writings by Chesnutt, William Wells Brown, and Paul Laurence Dunbar, among others, on the stories’ central motifs?folklore, superstition, voodoo, race, and social identity in the South following the Civil War.

“Criticism” is divided into two parts. “Early Criticism” collects critical notices for The Conjure Woman that suggest the volume’s initial reception, assessments by William Dean Howells and Benjamin Brawley, and a biographical excerpt by the author’s daughter, Helen Chesnutt. “Modern Criticism” demonstrates rich and enduring interest in The Conjure Stories with ten important essays by Robert Hemenway, William L. Andrews, Robert B. Stepto, John Edgar Wideman, Werner Sollors, Houston A. Baker, Eric J. Sundquist, Richard H. Brodhead, Candace J. Waid, and Glenda Carpio.

A Chronology of Chesnutt’s life and work and a Selected Bibliography are also included.


Click for more detail about The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race And Civility In Everyday Life by Elijah Anderson The Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race And Civility In Everyday Life

by Elijah Anderson
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 28, 2011)
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An acclaimed sociologist illuminates the public life of an American city, offering a major reinterpretation of the racial dynamics in America. Following his award-winning work on inner-city violence, Code of the Street, sociologist Elijah Anderson introduces the concept of the “cosmopolitan canopy”—the urban island of civility that exists amidst the ghettos, suburbs, and ethnic enclaves where segregation is the norm. Under the cosmopolitan canopy, diverse peoples come together, and for the most part practice getting along. Anderson’s path-breaking study of this setting provides a new understanding of the complexities of present-day race relations and reveals the unique opportunities here for cross-cultural interaction.

Anderson walks us through Center City Philadelphia, revealing and illustrating through his ethnographic fieldwork how city dwellers often interact across racial, ethnic, and social borders. People engage in a distinctive folk ethnography. Canopies operating in close proximity create a synergy that becomes a cosmopolitan zone. In the vibrant atmosphere of these public spaces, civility is the order of the day. However, incidents can arise that threaten and rend the canopy, including scenes of tension involving borders of race, class, sexual preference, and gender. But when they do—assisted by gloss—the resilience of the canopy most often prevails. In this space all kinds of city dwellers—from gentrifiers to the homeless, cabdrivers to doormen—manage to co-exist in the urban environment, gaining local knowledge as they do, which then helps reinforce and spread tolerance through contact and mutual understanding.

With compelling, meticulous descriptions of public spaces such as 30th Street Station, Reading Terminal Market, and Rittenhouse Square, and quasi-public places like the modern-day workplace, Anderson provides a rich narrative account of how blacks and whites relate and redefine the color line in everyday public life. He reveals how eating, shopping, and people-watching under the canopy can ease racial tensions, but also how the spaces in and between canopies can reinforce boundaries. Weaving colorful observations with keen social insight, Anderson shows how the canopy—and its lessons—contributes to the civility of our increasingly diverse cities.


Click for more detail about The Hemingses Of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed The Hemingses Of Monticello: An American Family

by Annette Gordon-Reed
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 08, 2009)
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Winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: “[A] commanding and important book.”?Jill Lepore, The New Yorker This epic work?named a best book of the year by the Washington Post, Time, the Los Angeles Times, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a notable book by the New York Times?tells the story of the Hemingses, whose close blood ties to our third president had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. Now, historian and legal scholar Annette Gordon-Reed traces the Hemings family from its origins in Virginia in the 1700s to the family’s dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826. 37 illustrations


Click for more detail about The History Of White People by Nell Irvin Painter The History Of White People

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 15, 2010)
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A mind-expanding and myth-destroying exploration of notions of white race?not merely a skin color but also a signal of power, prestige, and beauty to be withheld and granted selectively Ever since the Enlightenment, race theory and its inevitable partner, racism, have followed a crooked road, constructed by dominant peoples to justify their domination of others. Filling a huge gap in historical literature that long focused on the non-white, eminent historian Nell Irvin Painter guides us through more than two thousand years of Western civilization, tracing not only the invention of the idea of race but also the frequent worship of “whiteness” for economic, social, scientific, and political ends.

Our story begins in Greek and Roman antiquity, where the concept of race did not exist, only geography and the opportunity to conquer and enslave others. Not until the eighteenth century did an obsession with whiteness flourish, with the German invention of the notion of Caucasian beauty. This theory made northern Europeans into “Saxons,” “Anglo-Saxons,” and “Teutons,” envisioned as uniquely handsome natural rulers.

Here was a worldview congenial to northern Europeans bent on empire. There followed an explosion of theories of race, now focusing on racial temperament as well as skin color. Spread by such intellectuals as Madame de Stael and Thomas Carlyle, white race theory soon reached North America with a vengeance. Its chief spokesman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, did the most to label Anglo-Saxons?icons of beauty and virtue?as the only true Americans. It was an ideal that excluded not only blacks but also all ethnic groups not of Protestant, northern European background. The Irish and Native Americans were out and, later, so were the Chinese, Jews, Italians, Slavs, and Greeks?all deemed racially alien. Did immigrations threaten the very existence of America? Americans were assumed to be white, but who among poor immigrants could become truly American? A tortured and convoluted series of scientific explorations developed?theories intended to keep Anglo-Saxons at the top: the ever-popular measurement of skulls, the powerful eugenics movement, and highly biased intelligence tests?all designed to keep working people out and down.

As Painter reveals, power?supported by economics, science, and politics?continued to drive exclusionary notions of whiteness until, deep into the twentieth century, political realities enlarged the category of truly American.

A story filled with towering historical figures, The History of White People forcefully reminds us that the concept of one white race is a recent invention. The meaning, importance, and realty of this all-too-human thesis of race have buckled under the weight of a long and rich unfolding of events. 70 illustrations

Book Review

Click for more detail about The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen

by Kwame Anthony Appiah
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 13, 2010)
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In this landmark work, a leading philosopher demonstrates the revolutionary power of honor in ending human suffering. Long neglected as an engine of reform, honor strikingly emerges at the center of our modern world in Kwame Anthony Appiah’s The Honor Code. Over the last few centuries, new democratic movements have led to the emancipation of women, slaves, and the oppressed. But what drove these modern changes, Appiah argues, was not imposing legislation from above, but harnessing the ancient power of honor from within. In gripping detail, he explores the end of the duel in aristocratic England, the tumultuous struggles over footbinding in nineteenth-century China, and the uprising of ordinary people against Atlantic slavery. Finally, he confronts the horrors of "honor killing" in contemporary Pakistan, where rape victims are murdered by their relatives. He argues that honor, used to justify the practice, can also be the most effective weapon against it. Intertwining philosophy and historical narrative, Appiah has created a remarkably dramatic work, which demonstrates that honor is the driving force in the struggle against man’s inhumanity to man.


Click for more detail about The Illegal: A Novel by Lawrence Hill The Illegal: A Novel

by Lawrence Hill
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 25, 2016)
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Internationally best-selling author Lawrence Hill returns with an extraordinary, resonant novel about a man on the run.Lawrence Hill spellbound readers with Someone Knows My Name (made into the television mini-series, The Book of Negroes), hailed as “transporting” (Entertainment Weekly) and “completely engrossing” (Washington Post). The Illegal is the gripping story of Keita Ali, a refugee?like the many in today’s headlines?compelled to leave his homeland.All Keita has ever wanted to do is to run. Running means respect and wealth at home. His native Zantoroland, a fictionalized country whose tyrants are eerily familiar, turns out the fastest marathoners on earth. But after his journalist father is killed for his outspoken political views, Keita must flee to the wealthy nation of Freedom State?a country engaged in a crackdown on all undocumented people.There, Keita becomes a part of the new underground. He learns what it means to live as an illegal: surfacing to earn cash prizes by running local races and assessing whether the people he meets will be kind or turn him in. As the authorities seek to arrest Keita, he strives to elude capture and ransom his sister, who has been kidnapped.Set in an imagined country bearing a striking resemblance to our own, this tension-filled novel casts its eye on race, human potential, and what it means to belong.


Click for more detail about The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights by William P. Jones The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights

by William P. Jones
W. W. Norton & Company (Jul 29, 2013)
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A brilliant history that goes beyond the dazzling “I Have a Dream” speech to explore the real significance of the massive march and the movement it inspired. It was the final speech of a long day, August 28, 1963, when hundreds of thousands gathered on the Mall for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In a resounding cadence, Martin Luther King Jr. lifted the crowd when he told of his dream that all Americans would join together to realize the founding ideal of equality. The power of the speech created an enduring symbol of the march and the larger civil rights movement. King’s speech still inspires us fifty years later, but its very power has also narrowed our understanding of the march. In this insightful history, William P. Jones restores the march to its full significance. The opening speech of the day was delivered by the leader of the march, the great trade unionist A. Philip Randolph, who first called for a march on Washington in 1941 to press for equal opportunity in employment and the armed forces. To the crowd that stretched more than a mile before him, Randolph called for an end to segregation and a living wage for every American. Equal access to accommodations and services would mean little to people, white and black, who could not afford them. Randolph’s egalitarian vision of economic and social citizenship is the strong thread running through the full history of the March on Washington Movement. It was a movement of sustained grassroots organizing, linked locally to women’s groups, unions, and churches across the country. Jones’s fresh, compelling history delivers a new understanding of this emblematic event and the broader civil rights movement it propelled. 8 pages of photographs


Click for more detail about The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992 by Audre Lorde The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance: Poems, 1987-1992

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1994)
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“This volume resonates with some of the finest poems Audre Lorde ever wrote: sinewy, lyrical, celebratory even in the face of death, and always political in the best sense. Now the poet is gone?but the work lives, and sings.” —Robin Morgan

This collection, 39 poems written between 1987 and 1992, is the final volume written by Lorde, ”a major American poet whose concerns are international, and whose words have left their mark on many lives,” in the words of Adrienne Rich. Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was the author of ten volumes of poetry and five works of prose. She was named New York State Poet in 1991; her other honors include the Manhattan Borough President’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994.


Click for more detail about The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: The Life and Times of a Black Radical by Nell Irvin Painter The Narrative of Hosea Hudson: The Life and Times of a Black Radical

by Nell Irvin Painter
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 17, 1993)
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“Among the many exemplary qualities of this narrative and its hero is their lack of sentimentality. For Hosea Hudson, there is no romance of American Communism; instead, his relationship with the Communist Party is a model of mutual exploitation. . . . [A] marvelous book. Moving, fearful, and funny, Hudson and Painter’s Narrative is as valuable an American life as has ever been wrested from anonymity.” ?Benita Eisler, The Nation Born into a Georgia sharecropper family in 1898, Hosea Hudson moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to work in the steel mills in the turbulent 1930s and 1940s and became a member of the Communist Party as well as president of a CIO union local. It was a hard, dangerous life, to be black and communist and pro-union, and Hudson talked about that life to Nell painter, who brilliantly recreates it in this collaborative oral autobiography.


Click for more detail about The Norton Anthology of African American Literature by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay The Norton Anthology of African American Literature

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Nellie Y. McKay
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 01, 1996)
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This landmark anthology includes the work of 120 writers over two centuries, from the earliest known work by an African American, Lucy Terry's poem "Bars Fight, " to the fiction of the Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and the poems of the U.S. Poet Laureate, Rita Dove.

"If Norton anthologies define the canon, then, with the publication of this volume, African American literature is now assured inclusion. . . . With a star lineup of coeditors, each section is introduced and edited by leading scholars who provide thoughtful overviews and analyses. Any anthology fights against space limitation, and although this one omits some significant works by Zora Neale Hurston and includes nothing by Gayl Jones, it fortunately publishes many longer texts in their entirety--e.g., Frederick Douglass's Narrative of the Life, W.E.B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, Jean Toomer's Cane, Toni Morrison's Sula, August Wilson's Fences, and Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun. "
�D.J. Rosenthal, Choice

All collections. Copyright 1983 The H.W. Wilson Company. All rights reserved.

The Editors:

Henry Louis Gates Jr
General Editor
W. E. B. Du Bois Professor of Humanities, Chair of the Afro-American Studies Department, Harvard University
University of Cambridge Ph.D.
Nellie Y. McKay
General Editor
Professor of American and Afro-American Literature, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Harvard Ph.D.
William Andrews
E. Maynard Adams Professor of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ph.D.
Houston A. Baker Jr.
Albert M Greenfield Professor of Human Relations, Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Study of Black Literature abd Culture, University of Pennsylvania

UCLA Ph.D.
Barbara T. Christian
Professor of African American Literature, University of California, Berkeley

Columbia University Ph.D.
Frances Smith Foster
Professor of English and Women's Studies, Emory University

University of California, San Diego Ph.D.
Deborah E. McDowell
Professor of English, University of Virginia

Purdue University Ph.D.
Robert G. O'Meally
Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Columbia University

Harvard Ph.D.
Arnold Rampersad
Wood Wilson Professor of Literature and Director of the Program in African-American Studies, Princeton University

Harvard Ph.D.
Hortense Spillers
Professor of English, Cornell University

Brandeis Ph.D.
Richard Yarborough
Associate Professor of English and Afro-American Studies, UCLA

Stanford Ph.D.
 


Book Description

Welcomed on publication as "brilliant, definitive, and a joy to teach from," (Russ Castronovo, University of Miami) The Norton Anthology of African American Literature was adopted at more than 1,275 colleges and universities worldwide. Now, the new Second Edition offers these highlights:

Nine new writers The Second Edition includes nine new writers spanning three centuries: Jupiter Hammon, Venture Smith, Martin Delany, Elizabeth Keckley, Gayl Jones, Caryl Phillips, Edwidge Danticat, Colson Whitehead, and Harryette Mullen.

Strengthened Vernacular Tradition Building on the editors' view that vernacular expression lives in performance, the original Audio Companion CD has been expanded to a two-CD set; Disc 1, Music, includes vocal and instrumental pieces-from ragtime to Motown. Disc 2, Spoken Word, offers 24 speeches, readings, and performances, from Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois to Amiri Baraka and Rita Dove.

11 complete longer works Venture Smith, A Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, A Native of Africa: But Resident Above Sixty Years in the United States of America (new); Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave; James Weldon Johnson, Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Nella Larsen, Quicksand (new); Richard Wright, The Man Who Lived Underground; Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha; Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun; Amiri Baraka, Dutchman; Ed Bullins, Goin'a Buffalo: A Tragifantasy; Adrienne Kennedy, A Movie Star Has to Star in Black and White; August Wilson, Joe Turner's Come and Gone (new).

Strengthened Apparatus and a More Readable Format

An extensive, new Selected General Bibliography

Revised’some entirely rewritten�period introductions, headnotes, footnotes, and updated author bibliographies

Updated timeline

A new trim size and bolder typeface for easier reading

Thoroughly Revised "Literature Since 1975" Succeeding the late Barbara Christian, new editor Cheryl A. Wall has included 5 new writers-poet Harryette Mullen and fiction writers Gayl Jones, Caryl Phillips, Edwidge Danticat, and Colson Whitehead. In addition, Wall has rewritten the period introduction and many headnotes in their entirety and updated all apparatus.

Course Guide by Joycelyn A. Moody, University of Washington Thoroughly revised, the Course Guide is now a more helpful resource. It provides a wealth of thematic approaches to teaching with The Norton Anthology of African American Literature, teaching suggestions for individual works, questions and research projects, bibliographic resources for all authors, and a special section on teaching the vernacular traditions. Throughout, the Guide suggests ways to integrate the content of the Audio Companion CDs with the printed texts. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Click for more detail about The Norton Anthology of African American Literature Third Edition Vol. 1 by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Valerie A. Smith The Norton Anthology of African American Literature Third Edition Vol. 1

by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Valerie A. Smith
W. W. Norton & Company (Nov 01, 1996)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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An exciting revision of the best-selling anthology for African American literary survey courses.

The much-anticipated Third Edition brings together the work of 140 writers from 1746 to the present writing in all genres, as well as performers of vernacular forms―from spirituals and sermons to jazz and hip hop. Fresh scholarship, new visuals and media, and new selections―with an emphasis on contemporary writers―combine to make The Norton Anthology of African American Literature an even better teaching tool for instructors and an unmatched value for students.

About the Editors:

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Ph.D.Cambridge), is Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research, Harvard University. He is the author of Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513–2008; Black in Latin America; Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Critical Theory in the African Diaspora; Faces of America; Figures in Black: Words, Signs, and the Racial Self; The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of Afro-American Criticism; Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars; Colored People: A Memoir; The Future of Race with Cornel West; Wonders of the African World; Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man; and The Trials of Phillis Wheatley. His is also the writer, producer, and narrator of PBS documentaries Finding Your Roots; Black in Latin America; Faces of America; African American Lives 1 and 2; Looking for Lincoln; America Beyond the Color Line; and Wonders of the African World. He is the editor of African American National Biography with Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and The Dictionary of African Biography with Anthony Appiah; Encyclopedia Africana with Anthony Appiah; and The Bondwoman’s Narrative by Hannah Crafts, as well as editor-in-chief of TheRoot.com.

Valerie Smith (Ph.D. University of Virginia), General Editor. Dean of the College, Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature, professor of English and African American Studies, and founding director of the Center for African American Studies, Princeton University. Author of Self-Discovery and Authority in Afro-American Narrative; Not Just Race, Not Just Gender: Black Feminist Readings; and Toni Morrison: Writing the Moral Imagination. Editor of several works, including Representing Blackness: Issues in Film and Video; African-American Writers; and New Essays on Song of Solomon.

William L. Andrews (Ph.D. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is the editor of The Literature of Slavery and Freedom; co-editor of The Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance. He is E. Maynard Adams Professor of English, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is general editor of Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography and The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology, and co-editor of The Oxford Companion to African American Literature. Other works include The Literary Career of Charles W. Chesnutt; To Tell a Free Story: The First Century of Afro-American Autobiography, 1760–1865; Sisters of the Spirit; The Curse of Caste by Julia C. Collins; Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave; and Slave Narratives after Slavery.

Kimberly Benston (Ph.D. Yale University), Editor, The Black Arts Era. Francis B. Gummere Professor of English, former provost and director of the Hurford Center for Arts and Humanities, Haverford College. Author of Performing Blackness: Enacting African-American Modernism and Baraka: The Renegade and the Mask. Editor of several works, including Speaking for You: Ralph Ellison’s Cultural Vision; Larry Neal: A Callaloo Anthology; Baraka: A Collection of Essays; and the forthcoming books Malcolm X: A Critical Casebook; Who Blew Up America?: African-American Culture and the Crisis of ‘Terrorism’; and the Norton Critical Edition of H. G. Wells’s The Island of Doctor Moreau.

Brent Hayes Edwards (Ph.D. Columbia University), Editor, The Harlem Renaissance. Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University. Author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism, awarded the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association, the Gilbert Chinard Prize of the Society for French Historical Studies, and runner-up for the James Russell Lowell Prize of the Modern Language Association; and the forthcoming Epistrophies: Jazz and the Literary Imagination. Co-editor of Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies and the journal Social Text.

Frances Smith Foster (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego), Editor, The Literature of the Reconstruction to the New Negro Renaissance; Co-Editor, The Literature of Slavery and Freedom. Charles Howard Candler Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Emory University. Author of “Til Death or Distance Do Us Part”: Love and Marriage in African America; Written by Herself: Literary Production by African American Women, 1746–1892; and Witnessing Slavery: The Development of the Antebellum Slave Narrative. Co-editor of the Oxford Companion to African American Literature and Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Editor of several works, including Love and Marriage in Early African America; Minnie’s Sacrifice, Sowing and Reaping, Trial and Triumph: Three Rediscovered Novels by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Elizabeth Keckley’s Behind the Scenes; and the Norton Critical Edition of Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

Deborah E. McDowell (Ph.D. Purdue), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism. Alice Griffin Professor of English, University of Virginia. Founding editor of the Beacon Black Women Writers series; co-editor with Arnold Rampersad of Slavery of the Literary Imagination; author of "The Changing Same”: Studies in Fiction by Black Women; Leaving the Pipe Shop: Memories of Kin; editor of Nella Larsen's Quicksand and Passing, Jessie Redmon Fauset's Plum Bun, Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood, and numerous articles and essays.

Robert G. O'Meally (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, The Vernacular Tradition. Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English and Comparative Literature and founder of the Center for Jazz Studies, Columbia University. Author of The Jazz Singers; The Craft of Ralph Ellison; Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday; and Romare Bearden; A Black Odyssey. Editor of the essay collections History and Memory in African American Culture; New Essays on Invisible Man: Tales of the Congaree; The Jazz Cadence of American Culture; co-editor of History and Memory in African American Culture and Uptown Conversation: The New Jazz Studies.

Hortense Spillers (Ph.D. Brandeis), Co-Editor, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of English, Vanderbilt University. Author of the essay collection Black, White, and in Color. Editor of the collection Comparative American Identities: Race, Sex, and Nationality in the Modern Text; co-editor with Marjorie Pryse of Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction and the Literary Tradition, and an editor of The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Director of Issues in Critical Investigation (ICI), an initiative to stimulate new scholarship in African diasporic studies, which she founded in 2007; founding editor of The A-Line Journal, A Journal of Progressive Commentary, which she launched in 2013. Recent work has appeared in Callaloo and boundary 2.

Cheryl A. Wall (Ph.D. Harvard), Editor, Literature Since 1975. Board of Governors Zora Neale Hurston Professor of English, Rutgers University. Author of Worrying the Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, and Literary Tradition and Women of the Harlem Renaissance. Editor of Zora Neale Hurston: Novels and Stories and Zora Neale Hurston: Folklore, Memoirs & Other Writings; two volumes of criticism on Hurston’s fiction, “Sweat”: Texts and Contexts and Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Casebook; and Changing Our Own Words: Essays on Criticism, Theory, and Writing by Black Women. Co-editor with Linda J. Holmes of Savoring the Salt: The Legacy of Toni Cade Bambara.


Click for more detail about The School on 103rd Street: A Novel (Old School Books) by Roland S. Jefferson The School on 103rd Street: A Novel (Old School Books)

by Roland S. Jefferson
W. W. Norton & Company (Aug 17, 1997)
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When Dr. Elwin Carter is confronted in his Watts clinic by two boys terrified by the brutal murder of their friend, his investigations lead him far beyond the usual suspicions of drugs or gang violence. This 1976 first and only novel (potentially an upcoming movie) of forensic psychiatrist Roland Jefferson presents a frighteningly prophetic picture of the subterranean war between the races in America.


Click for more detail about The Skin Between Us: A Memoir of Race, Beauty, and Belonging by Kym Ragusa The Skin Between Us: A Memoir of Race, Beauty, and Belonging

by Kym Ragusa
W. W. Norton & Company (May 17, 2006)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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A memoir of astonishing delicacy and strength about race and physical beauty. Kym Ragusa’s stunningly beautiful, brilliant black mother constantly turned heads as she strolled the streets of West Harlem. Ragusa’s working-class white father, who grew up only a few streets (and an entire world) away in Italian East Harlem, had never seen anyone like her. At home their families despaired at the match, while in the streets the couple faced taunting threats from a city still racially divided?but they were mesmerized by the differences between them.

From their volatile, short-lived pairing came a sensitive child with a filmmaker’s observant eye. Her two powerful grandmothers gave her the love and stability to grow into her own skin. Eventually, their shared care for their granddaughter forced them to overcome their prejudices. Rent parties and religious feste, baked yams and baked ziti?Ragusa’s sensuous memories are a reader’s delight, as they bring to life the joy, pain, and inexhaustible richness of a racially and culturally mixed heritage.


Click for more detail about The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire by Karl Jacoby The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire

by Karl Jacoby
W. W. Norton & Company (Jun 14, 2016)
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A prize-winning historian tells a new story of the black experience in America through the life of a mysterious entrepreneur.To his contemporaries in Gilded Age Manhattan, Guillermo Eliseo was a fantastically wealthy Mexican, the proud owner of a luxury apartment overlooking Central Park, a busy Wall Street office, and scores of mines and haciendas in Mexico. But for all his obvious riches and his elegant appearance, Eliseo was also the possessor of a devastating secret: he was not, in fact, from Mexico at all. Rather, he had begun life as a slave named William Ellis, born on a cotton plantation in southern Texas during the waning years of King Cotton.After emancipation, Ellis, capitalizing on the Spanish he learned during his childhood along the Mexican border and his ambivalent appearance, engaged in a virtuoso act of reinvention. He crafted an alter ego, the Mexican Guillermo Eliseo, who was able to access many of the privileges denied to African Americans at the time: traveling in first-class train berths, staying in upscale hotels, and eating in the finest restaurants.Eliseo’s success in crossing the color line, however, brought heightened scrutiny in its wake as he became the intimate of political and business leaders on both sides of the US-Mexico border. Ellis, unlike many passers, maintained a connection to his family and to black politics that also raised awkward questions about his racial status. Yet such was Ellis’s skill in manipulating his era’s racial codes, most of the whites he encountered continued to insist that he must be Hispanic even as Ellis became embroiled in scandals that hinted the man known as Guillermo Eliseo was not quite who he claimed to be.The Strange Career of William Ellis reads like a novel but offers fresh insights on the history of the Reconstruction era, the US-Mexico border, and the abiding riddle of race. At a moment when the United States is deepening its connections with Latin America and recognizing that race is more than simply black or white, Ellis’s story could not be more timely or important. 1 map; 8 pages of illustrations


Click for more detail about Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History by Fawn M. Brodie Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History

by Fawn M. Brodie
W. W. Norton & Company (Sep 06, 2010)
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A seminal biography of Thomas Jefferson and a fascinating exploration of his relationship with Sally Hemings. With a novelist’s skill and a scholar’s meticulous detail, Fawn M. Brodie portrays Thomas Jefferson as he wrestled with the great issues of his time: revolution, religion, power, race, and love?ambivalences that exerted a subtle but powerful influence on his political ideas and his presidency. Far advanced for its time, Brodie’s biography was the first to set forth a convincing case that Thomas Jefferson was the father of children by his slave Sally Hemings. In a new introduction, Annette Gordon-Reed, the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of The Hemingses of Monticello, explores the impact of Brodie’s groundbreaking book and explains why it is still such a powerful account of one of our greatest and most elusive presidents. 16 pages of illustrations


Click for more detail about Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New by Audre Lorde Undersong: Chosen Poems Old and New

by Audre Lorde
W. W. Norton & Company (Oct 17, 1992)
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"Undersong is a remarkable poetic document…."—Adrienne Rich


Click for more detail about Vice: New and Selected Poems by Ai Ogawa Vice: New and Selected Poems

by Ai Ogawa
W. W. Norton & Company (Jun 17, 2000)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Collected here are poems from Ai's previous five books'Cruelty, Killing Floor, Sin, Fate, and Greed'along with seventeen new poems. Employing her trademark ferocity, these new dramatic monologues continue to mine this award-winning poet's "often brilliant" (Chicago Tribune) vision.

An excerpt from Vice.

Rapture
A Fiction

Memory is a highway,
where a car is speeding into the sunset.
The man inside that car has a gun.
He says he'll shoot himself
and be done with it, be dead,
but in the end, he doesn't do it.
If he had, the path to the truth
would have led straight from the gate
outside his ex-wife's house,
not end run around it,
leaving a trail of blood
the prosecution says is proof
that he used his power, his juice
to seduce death
by handing her two sacrifices,
but she promised what she would never deliver.
She left him a pair of loaded dice
and severed their connection
with one well-practiced slice.

Now in his cell,
he reads fan letters.
He doesn't dwell on the past.
If he did, he'd tell you to always go for broke,
because a man who can't do the distance is a joke,
is a failure.
"You can quote me on that," he says aloud,
then shocked by the sound of his own voice,
chokes back a cry.
When he looks himself in the eye,
he jsut sees a regular guy.
He sees a parade going by.
On the largest float,
the homecoming queen waves to the crowd.
She's a statuesque blond.
He's a football hero.
He's also a black man,
but that is no obstacle.
It's a license to do the impossible.
He waves back.
Maybe that isn't really what happened,
but it's close and he makes the most of it,
when he can see through the smoke
of his desire and rage.
In a flash
he feels the diamonds of hope,
cutting the smooth glass of his mind
into halfs and quarters,
as he runs backward in time,
a football tucked under his arm,
as he crosses the goal line,
only to find the stands are empty
and he is alone in the field.
Concealed in the ball is a bomb.
All he has to do to explode it is throw.
He listens to the silence inhaling,
then he lets go.
That's when the crowd appears
and over the loudspeaker
he hears his coach, saying, "Buddy, come on home,"
but home is the scene of the crime,
shown on TV so many times
that the murderer and victims cease to exist,
except in peripheral vision
and in the void between goalposts,
thirty-two bits and pieces of his life.
are all that survive of the knife.

(c) 1999 by Ai. All rights reserved.


Click for more detail about Waiting for An Angel: A Novel by Helon Habila Waiting for An Angel: A Novel

by Helon Habila
W. W. Norton & Company (Jan 17, 2004)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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Habila’s fictionalization…reveals the true casualties of oppression better than any news or history.—Library Journal Lomba is a young journalist living under military rule in Lagos, Nigeria, the most dangerous city in the world. His min


Click for more detail about Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde by Alexis De Veaux Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde

by Alexis De Veaux
W. W. Norton & Company (May 01, 2004)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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Audre Lorde (1934-1992) was the author of The Cancer Journals, and an icon of American womanhood, poetry, African American arts and survival. She created a mythic identity for herself that retains its vitality to this day. Alexis De Veaux demystifies Lorde’s iconic status, charting her childhood; her marriage to a white, gay man with whom she had two children; her emergence as an outspoken black feminist lesbian poet; and her canonisation as a seminal poet of American literature. Lorde’s restless search for a spiritual home finally brought her to the island of St Croix in 1986. This long-awaited first biography draws on the private archives of the poet’s estate, personal journals, and interviews with members of Lorde’s family, friends and lovers. Assessing the cultural legacy of a woman who personified the civil rights struggles of the twentieth century, De Veaux pays homage to one of the most courageous, singular voices of American letters.


Click for more detail about Where a Nickel Costs a Dime: Poems by Willie Perdomo Where a Nickel Costs a Dime: Poems

by Willie Perdomo
W. W. Norton & Company (Mar 17, 1996)
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A first book of poems by one of the best new voices to emerge from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe.Where a Nickel Costs a Dime captures the hip-hop rhythms and in-your-face intensity of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, a downtown Manhattan club where the hottest young poets are finding their fame.

Willie Perdomo’s poems, in the tradition of Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, and Ntozake Shange, meet at the intersection of the street and the academy.

The world in these piercing and heartbreaking poems is Spanish Harlem, "where night turns to day without sleep," where "Puerto Rico stays on our minds when the fresh breeze of cafe con leche y pan con mantequilla comes through half-opened windows and under our doors," where "babies fall asleep to the bark of a German shepherd," where "Independence Day is celebrated everyday," where "the police come into your house without knocking. They throw us off rooftops and say we slipped. They shoot my father and say he was crazy. They put a bullet in my head and say they found me that way."

Blending images of street life, drugs, and AIDS against hope and determination, Willie Perdomo is a cutting-edge bard who speaks to the soul of his generation.


Click for more detail about Yesterday Will Make You Cry [a Novel] by Chester Himes Yesterday Will Make You Cry [a Novel]

by Chester Himes
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 17, 1999)
Format: Paperback, Age Range: 
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“There could not be a fitter time or place for the publication of this great prison novel than today’s United States.” ?H. Bruce Franklin, The Nation A classic restored-the complete and unexpurgated text of a great African-American writer’s brutal and lyrical novel of prison life. First published in reduced and bowdlerized form in 1952 as Cast the First Stone, Yesterday Will Make You Cry was Chester Himes’s first, most powerful, and autobiographical novel. This Old School Books edition presents it for the first time precisely as Himes wrote it, a sardonic masterpiece of debasement and transfiguration in an American penitentiary and one of his most enduring literary achievements.


Click for more detail about You May Plow Here - the Narrative of Sara Brooks by Sara Brooks You May Plow Here - the Narrative of Sara Brooks

by Sara Brooks
W. W. Norton & Company (Feb 12, 1986)
Format: Hardcover, Age Range: 
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“A wonderful book•funny, sad, packed with action and information about life in black Alabama in the decades before World War II. . . . A welcome addition to the growing of books by and about black women.” •Dorothy Sterling, author of We Are Your Sisters: Black Women in the Nineteenth Century The daughter of a freeholder, Sara Brooks was born in 1911 on her parents’ subsistence farm in west Alabama. Here in her own words, she makes us understand what it felt like to be young, black, innocent, and steeped in the ways of a black rural world that has largely been lost to us.






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