Special Collections

Noname's Book Club

Description: Chicago rapper Noname has launched her own book club! Noname's selections will highlight progressive work from writers of Color and writers within the LGBTQ community. #bookclub


Showing 1 through 25 of 34 results
 
 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

by Myra Bergman Ramos and Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire has perfected a method for teaching illiterates that has contributed, in an extraordinary way, to that process. In fact, those who, in learning to read and write, come to a new awareness of selfhood and begin to look critically at the social situation in which they find themselves, often take the initiative in acting to transform the society that has denied them this opportunity of participation. Education is once again a subversive force.

Date Added: 07/25/2019


Year: 2019

Month: August

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

by Samantha Irby

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire.

With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form.

Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette—she's "35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something"—detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms—hang in there for the Costco loot—she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 07/25/2019


Year: 2019

Month: August

The Cooking Gene

by Michael W. Twitty

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine. From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia. As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.Illustrations by Stephen Crotts

Date Added: 08/26/2019


Year: 2019

Month: September

Don't Call Us Dead

by Danez Smith

Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power.

Don’t Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth.

Smith turns then to desire, mortality—the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood—and a diagnosis of HIV positive.

Date Added: 08/26/2019


Year: 2019

Month: September

Faces in the Crowd

by Valeria Luiselli and Christina Macsweeney

"An extraordinary new literary talent."-The Daily Telegraph"In part a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this deceptively modest-seeming, astonishingly inventive novel creates an extraordinary intimacy, a sensibility so alive it quietly takes over all your senses, quivering through your nerve endings, opening your eyes and heart. Youth, from unruly student years to early motherhood and a loving marriage-and then, in the book's second half, wilder and something else altogether, the fearless, half-mad imagination of youth, I might as well call it-has rarely been so freshly, charmingly, and unforgettably portrayed. Valeria Luiselli is a masterful, entirely original writer."-Francisco GoldmanIn Mexico City, a young mother is writing a novel of her days as a translator living in New York. In Harlem, a translator is desperate to publish the works of Gilberto Owen, an obscure Mexican poet. And in Philadelphia, Gilberto Owen recalls his friendship with Lorca, and the young woman he saw in the windows of passing trains. Valeria Luiselli's debut signals the arrival of a major international writer and an unexpected and necessary voice in contemporary fiction."Luiselli's haunting debut novel, about a young mother living in Mexico City who writes a novel looking back on her time spent working as a translator of obscure works at a small independent press in Harlem, erodes the concrete borders of everyday life with a beautiful, melancholy contemplation of disappearance. . . . Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition." -Publishers Weekly

Date Added: 09/30/2019


Year: 2019

Month: October

Faces and Masks

by Eduardo Galeano

"A book as fascinating as the history it relates . . . Galeano is a satirist, realist, and historian." --Los Angeles TimesFor centuries, Europe's imperial powers brutally exploited the peoples and resources of the New World. While soldiers of fortune marched across continents in search of El Dorado, white settlers established plantations and trading posts along the coasts, altering the land and bringing disease and slavery with them. In the midst of a bloody collision of civilizations, the West has birthed new societies out of the old.In the second book of his Memory of Fire trilogy, Eduardo Galeano forges a new understanding of the Americas, history retold from a diverse collection of viewpoints. Spanning the end of empire and the age of revolutions, Faces and Masks brilliantly collects the strands of the past into an iridescent work of literature.

Date Added: 09/30/2019


Year: 2019

Month: October

Parable of the Talents

by Octavia E. Butler

As America rebuilds itself, bigotry threatens a peaceful haven. Lauren Olamina was only eighteen when her family was killed, and anarchy encroached on her Southern California home. She fled the war zone for the hope of quiet and safety in the north. There she founded Acorn, a peaceful community based on a religion of her creation, called Earthseed, whose central tenet is that God is change. Five years later, Lauren has married a doctor and given birth to a daughter. Acorn is beginning to thrive. But outside the tranquil group’s walls, America is changing for the worse.

Presidential candidate Andrew Steele Jarret wins national fame by preaching a return to the values of the American golden age. To his marauding followers, who are identified by their crosses and black robes, this is a call to arms to end religious tolerance and racial equality—a brutal doctrine they enforce by machine gun. And as this band of violent extremists sets its deadly sights on Earthseed, Acorn is plunged into a harrowing fight for its very survival.

Nebula Award winner.

Date Added: 10/24/2019


Year: 2019

Month: November

The Wretched of the Earth

by Richard Philcox and Frantz Fanon

A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanon's masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Said's Orientalism or The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. Fanon's analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as a landmark book of the 20th century. Show more Show less

Date Added: 12/03/2019


Year: 2019

Month: December

Die Nigger Die!

by H. Rap Brown

More than any other black leader, H. Rap Brown, chairman of the radical Black Power organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), came to symbolize the ideology of black revolution. This autobiography--which was first published in 1969, went through seven printings and has long been unavailable--chronicles the making of a revolutionary. It is much more than a personal history, however; it is a call to arms, an urgent message to the black community to be the vanguard force in the struggle of oppressed people. Forthright, sardonic, and shocking, this book is not only illuminating and dynamic but also a vitally important document that is essential to understanding the upheavals of the late 1960s. University of Massachusetts professor Ekwueme Michael Thelwell has updated this edition, covering Brown's decades of harassment by law enforcement agencies, his extraordinary transformation into an important Muslim leader, and his sensational trial.

Date Added: 01/07/2020


Year: 2020

Month: January

Sabrina & Corina

by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. “Here are stories that blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart.”—Sandra Cisneros Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado—a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite—these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force. In “Sugar Babies,” ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. “Any Further West” follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In “Tomi,” a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, “Sabrina & Corina,” a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual. Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.Advance praise for Sabrina & Corina “Sabrina & Corina isn’t just good, it’s masterful storytelling. Fajardo-Anstine is a fearless writer: her women are strong and scarred witnesses of the violations of their homelands, their culture, their bodies; her plots turn and surprise, unerring and organic in their comprehensiveness; her characters break your heart, but you keep on going because you know you are in the hands of a master. Her stories move through the heart of darkness and illuminate it with the soul of truth.”—Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents “A terrific collection of stories—fiercely and beautifully made.” —Joy Williams “Fajardo-Anstine’s prose blossoms on the page; her scenes and characters develop so vividly that they’re likely to leave an impression lasting long after you stop reading.”—BuzzFeed News

Date Added: 01/07/2020


Year: 2020

Month: January

Magical Negro

by Morgan Parker

From the breakout author of There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé comes a profound and deceptively funny exploration of Black American womanhood. "Morgan Parker's latest collection is a riveting testimony to everyday blackness . . . It is wry and atmospheric, an epic work of aural pleasures and personifications that demands to be read—both as an account of a private life and as searing political protest." —TIME Magazine A Most Anticipated Book of 2019 at Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, NYLON, BuzzFeed, Publishers Weekly, and more. Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics—of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present—timeless black melancholies and triumphs.

Date Added: 02/03/2020


Year: 2020

Month: February

Sister Outsider

by Audre Lorde and Cheryl Clarke

Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, SISTER OUTSIDER celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to "never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is. ..."

Reviews: "...it's been almost a quarter of a century since Audre Lorde's essays and speeches in Sister Outsider made an indelible mark on 20th-century literature. But the words of the black lesbian feminist poet seem as lyrical and unforgettable, and, sadly, as relevant today as when she first tackled everything from racism and homophobia to ageism and class dichotomies. A must-have book that every lesbian should read."--Curve Editor's Pick. "Lorde was a brilliant feminist poet and intellectual whose theories on the power of embracing our internal contradictions as well as the differences between people and groups is the way to powerful coalition building and social progress." --New York Post, Sunday. "Poet and librarian Lorde collected 15 of her finest essays and speeches in this 1984 volume. With her poet's command of language, she addresses sexism, racism, black women, black lesbians, eroticism, and more. Still powerful."--Library Journal, Starred Review. "Audre Lorde is a passionate sage. I say 'is' and not 'was' because her keen insights continue to provoke and sustain us and give us courage. The reissue of this book is a gift to longtime admirers and to new readers who have yet to discover the power and grace and splendid audacity of Audre Lorde."--Valerie Miner, author of After Eden and professor of feminist studies at Stanford University. "[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware."--New York Times.

Date Added: 02/03/2020


Year: 2020

Month: February

War Against All Puerto Ricans

by Nelson A. Denis

In 1950, after over fifty years of military occupation and colonial rule, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico staged an unsuccessful armed insurrection against the United States. Violence swept through the island: assassins were sent to kill President Harry Truman, gunfights roared in eight towns, police stations and post offices were burned down. In order to suppress this uprising, the US Army deployed thousands of troops and bombarded two towns, marking the first time in history that the US government bombed its own citizens. Nelson A. Denis tells this powerful story through the controversial life of Pedro Albizu Campos, who served as the president of the Nationalist Party. A lawyer, chemical engineer, and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard Law School, Albizu Campos was imprisoned for twenty-five years and died under mysterious circumstances. By tracing his life and death, Denis shows how the journey of Albizu Campos is part of a larger story of Puerto Rico and US colonialism. Through oral histories, personal interviews, eyewitness accounts, congressional testimony, and recently declassified FBI files, War Against All Puerto Ricans tells the story of a forgotten revolution and its context in Puerto Rico’s history, from the US invasion in 1898 to the modern-day struggle for self-determination. Denis provides an unflinching account of the gunfights, prison riots, political intrigue, FBI and CIA covert activity, and mass hysteria that accompanied this tumultuous period in Puerto Rican history.

Date Added: 04/14/2020


Year: 2020

Month: April

Mean

by Myriam Gurba

“A painfully timely story . . . an artful memoir . . . a powerful, vital book about damage and the ghostly afterlives of abuse.” —Los Angeles Review of Books True crime, memoir, and ghost story, Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba’s coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously. We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would chop off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being rude to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being a bitch is more exhilarating . . . “Mean calls for a fat, fluorescent trigger warning start to finish—and I say this admiringly. Gurba likes the feel of radioactive substances on her bare hands.” —The New York Times “Gurba uses the tragedies, both small and large, she sees around her to illuminate the realities of systemic racism and misogyny, and the ways in which we can try to escape what society would like to tell us is our fate.” —Nylon “With its icy wit, edgy wedding of lyricism and prose, and unflinching look at personal and public demons, Gurba’s introspective memoir is brave and significant.” —Kirkus Reviews “Mean will make you LOL and break your heart.” —The Millions

Date Added: 04/14/2020


Year: 2020

Month: April

Assata

by Angela Y. Davis and Assata Shakur and Lennox S. Hinds

On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.

Date Added: 06/02/2020


Year: 2020

Month: May

Are Prisons Obsolete?

by Angela Y. Davis

With her characteristic brilliance, grace and radical audacity, Angela Y. Davis has put the case for the latest abolition movement in American life: the abolition of the prison. As she quite correctly notes, American life is replete with abolition movements, and when they were engaged in these struggles, their chances of success seemed almost unthinkable. For generations of Americans, the abolition of slavery was sheerest illusion. Similarly,the entrenched system of racial segregation seemed to last forever, and generations lived in the midst of the practice, with few predicting its passage from custom. The brutal, exploitative (dare one say lucrative?) convict-lease system that succeeded formal slavery reaped millions to southern jurisdictions (and untold miseries for tens of thousands of men, and women). Few predicted its passing from the American penal landscape. Davis expertly argues how social movements transformed these social, political and cultural institutions, and made such practices untenable.In Are Prisons Obsolete?, Professor Davis seeks to illustrate that the time for the prison is approaching an end. She argues forthrightly for "decarceration", and argues for the transformation of the society as a whole.

Date Added: 07/06/2020


Year: 2020

Month: July

Captive Genders

by Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith

The intersection of transgender, gender variant, and queer identity with the crushing force of the Prison Industrial Complex.

Date Added: 07/06/2020


Year: 2020

Month: July

Playing in the Dark

by Toni Morrison

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beloved and Jazz now gives us a learned, stylish, and immensely persuasive work of literary criticism that promises to change the way we read American literature even as it opens a new chapter in the American dialogue on race.

Toni Morrison's brilliant discussions of the "Africanist" presence in the fiction of Poe, Melville, Cather, and Hemingway leads to a dramatic reappraisal of the essential characteristics of our literary tradition. She shows how much the themes of freedom and individualism, manhood and innocence, depended on the existence of a black population that was manifestly unfree--and that came to serve white authors as embodiments of their own fears and desires.

Written with the artistic vision that has earned Toni Morrison a pre-eminent place in modern letters, Playing in the Dark will be avidly read by Morrison admirers as well as by students, critics, and scholars of American literature.

Date Added: 08/04/2020


Year: 2020

Month: August

The Vanishing Half

by Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins. As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 08/04/2020


Year: 2020

Month: August

Disability Visibility

by Alice Wong

One in five people in the United States lives with a disability. Some disabilities are visible, others less apparent—but all are underrepresented in media and popular culture. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, activist Alice Wong brings together this urgent, galvanizing collection of contemporary essays by disabled people.

From Harriet McBryde Johnson’s account of her debate with Peter Singer over her own personhood to original pieces by authors like Keah Brown and Haben Girma; from blog posts, manifestos, and eulogies to Congressional testimonies, and beyond: this anthology gives a glimpse into the rich complexity of the disabled experience, highlighting the passions, talents, and everyday lives of this community. It invites readers to question their own understandings. It celebrates and documents disability culture in the now. It looks to the future and the past with hope and love.

Date Added: 09/01/2020


Year: 2020

Month: September

The Assassination of Fred Hampton

by Jeffrey Haas

Uncovering a cold-blooded execution at the hands of a conspiring police force, this engaging account relentlessly pursues the murderers of Black Panther Fred Hampton. Documenting the entire 14-year process of bringing the killers to justice, this chronicle also depicts the 18-month court trial in detail. Revealing Hampton himself in a new light, this examination presents him as a dynamic community leader whose dedication to his people and to the truth inspired the young lawyers of the People's Law Office, solidifying their lifelong commitment to fighting corruption. Contending with FBI stonewalling and unlimited government resources bent on hiding a darker plot, this reconstruction relates an inspiring narrative of upholding morality in one man's memory.

Date Added: 01/05/2021


Year: 2020

Month: December

Here I Stand

by Paul Robeson

Robeson's international achievements as a singer and actor in starring roles on stage and screen made him the most celebrated black American of his day, but his outspoken criticism of racism in the United States, his strong support of African independence, and his fascination with the Soviet Union placed him under the debilitating scrutiny of McCarthyism. Blacklisted, his famed voice silenced, Here I Stand offered a bold answer to his accusers. It remains today a defiant challenge to the prevailing fear and racism that continues to characterize American society.

Date Added: 02/02/2021


Year: 2021

Month: February

How We Get Free

by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Black feminists remind us “that America’s destiny is inseparable from how it treats [black women] and the nation ignores this truth at its peril” (The New York Review of Books).

Winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction

“If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free.” —Combahee River Collective Statement

The Combahee River Collective, a path-breaking group of radical black feminists, was one of the most important organizations to develop out of the antiracist and women’s liberation movements of the 1960s and 70s. In this collection of essays and interviews edited by activist-scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, founding members of the organization and contemporary activists reflect on the legacy of its contributions to Black feminism and its impact on today’s struggles.

“A striking collection that should be immediately added to the Black feminist canon.” —Bitch Media “An essential book for any feminist library.” —Library Journal “As white feminism has gained an increasing amount of coverage, there are still questions as to how black and brown women’s needs are being addressed. This book, through a collection of interviews with prominent black feminists, provides some answers.” —The Independent “For feminists of all kinds, astute scholars, or anyone with a passion for social justice, How We Get Free is an invaluable work.” —Ethnic and Racial Studies Journal

Date Added: 03/02/2021


Year: 2021

Month: March

Facing the Rising Sun

by Gerald Horne

The surprising alliance between Japan and pro-Tokyo African Americans during World War II In November 1942 in East St. Louis, Illinois a group of African Americans engaged in military drills were eagerly awaiting a Japanese invasion of the U.S.— an invasion that they planned to join. Since the rise of Japan as a superpower less than a century earlier, African Americans across class and ideological lines had saluted the Asian nation, not least because they thought its very existence undermined the pervasive notion of “white supremacy.” The list of supporters included Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and particularly W.E.B. Du Bois. Facing the Rising Sun tells the story of the widespread pro-Tokyo sentiment among African Americans during World War II, arguing that the solidarity between the two groups was significantly corrosive to the U.S. war effort. Gerald Horne demonstrates that Black Nationalists of various stripes were the vanguard of this trend—including followers of Garvey and the precursor of the Nation of Islam. Indeed, many of them called themselves “Asiatic”, not African. Following World War II, Japanese-influenced “Afro-Asian” solidarity did not die, but rather foreshadowed Dr. Martin Luther King’s tie to Gandhi’s India and Black Nationalists’ post-1970s fascination with Maoist China and Ho’s Vietnam. Based upon exhaustive research, including the trial transcripts of the pro-Tokyo African Americans who were tried during the war, congressional archives and records of the Negro press, this book also provides essential background for what many analysts consider the coming “Asian Century.” An insightful glimpse into the Black Nationalists’ struggle for global leverage and new allies, Facing the Rising Sun provides a complex, holistic perspective on a painful period in African American history, and a unique glimpse into the meaning of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Date Added: 05/07/2021


Year: 2021

Month: May

The End of Policing

by Alex S. Vitale

How the police endanger us and why we need to find an alternativeRecent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression—most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. “Broken windows” practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police’s role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back. This book attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice—even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve. In contrast, there are places where the robust implementation of policing alternatives—such as legalization, restorative justice, and harm reduction—has led to reductions in crime, spending, and injustice. The best solution to bad policing may be an end to policing.

Date Added: 05/07/2021


Year: 2021

Month: May


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