Biography & Autobiography

The Autobiography of Malcolm X | ,

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ONE OF TIME’S TEN MOST IMPORTANT NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY In the searing pages of this classic autobiography, originally published in 1964, Malcolm X, the Muslim leader, firebrand, and anti-integrationist, tells the extraordinary story of his life and the growth of the Black Muslim movement. His fascinating perspective on the lies and limitations of the American Dream, and the inherent racism in a society that denies its nonwhite citizens the opportunity to dream, gives extraordinary insight into the most urgent issues of our own time. The Autobiography of Malcolm X stands as the definitive statement of a movement and a man whose work was never completed but whose message is timeless. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand America. Praise for The Autobiography of Malcolm X “Extraordinary . . . a brilliant, painful, important book.”—The New York Times “This book will have a permanent place in the literature of the Afro-American struggle.”—I. F. Stone.

Social Science

Encyclopedia of African American History [3 volumes] | Leslie M Alexander,Walter C. Rucker Jr.

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A fresh compilation of essays and entries based on the latest research, this work documents African American culture and political activism from the slavery era through the 20th century. • Contributions from over 100 specialists on African America and the African diaspora • A spectacular selection of illustrations and photographs, such as a Kongo cosmogram, the African burial ground in New York City, and maps of the Triangular Trade and the Underground Railroad.

Biography & Autobiography

A Fatherless Child | Tara T. Green

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The impact of absent fathers on sons in the black community has been a subject for cultural critics and sociologists who often deal in anonymous data. Yet many of those sons have themselves addressed the issue in autobiographical works that form the core of African American literature. A Fatherless Child examines the impact of fatherlessness on racial and gender identity formation as seen in black men’s autobiographies and in other constructions of black fatherhood in fiction. Through these works, Tara T. Green investigates what comes of abandonment by a father and loss of a role model by probing a son’s understanding of his father’s struggles to define himself and the role of community in forming the son’s quest for self-definition in his father’s absence. Closely examining four works—Langston Hughes’s The Big Sea, Richard Wright’s Black Boy, Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father—Green portrays the intersecting experiences of generations of black men during the twentieth century both before and after the Civil Rights movement. These four men recall feeling the pressure and responsibility of caring for their mothers, resisting public displays of care, and desiring a loving, noncontentious relationship with their fathers. Feeling vulnerable to forces they may have identified as detrimental to their status as black men, they use autobiography as a tool for healing, a way to confront that vulnerability and to claim a lost power associated with their lost fathers. Through her analysis, Green emphasizes the role of community as a father-substitute in producing successful black men, the impact of fatherlessness on self-perceptions and relationships with women, and black men’s engagement with healing the pain of abandonment. She also looks at why these four men visited Africa to reclaim a cultural history and identity, showing how each developed a clearer understanding of himself as an American man of African descent. A Fatherless Child conveys important lessons relevant to current debates regarding the status of African American families in the twenty-first century. By showing us four black men of different eras, Green asks readers to consider how much any child can heal from fatherlessness to construct a positive self-image—and shows that, contrary to popular perceptions, fatherlessness need not lead to certain failure..

Social Science

The Beast Side | D. Watkins

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A New York Times Best Seller! To many, the past 8 years under President Obama were meant to usher in a new post-racial American political era, dissolving the divisions of the past. However, when seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then Ferguson, Missouri, happened; and then South Carolina hit the headlines; and then Baltimore blew up, it was hard to find any evidence of a new post-racial order. Suddenly the entire country seemed to be awakened to a stark fact: African American men are in danger in America. This has only become clearer as groups like Black Lives Matter continue to draw attention to this reality daily not only online but also in the streets of our nation’s embattled cities. Now one of our country’s quintessential urban war zones is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the “beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland,” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of twenty-five-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets as the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of America. In this new paperback edition, the author has also added new material responding to the rising tide of racial resentment and hate embodied by political figures like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, and the impact this has had on issues of race in America. This book is essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of the chaos of our current political moment..

Social Science

Hispanic Muslims in the United States | Victor Hugo Cuartas

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The empirical case in this study is that of the Hispanic Catholic converts to Islam in the Washington, DC Metropolitan and New Jersey areas of the United States. The central research question is: To what extent do Hispanic Muslim converts play a role in making different choices regarding religious commitment and practice? The argument is that not only do both the more and less active converts play a central role in making choices during the pre-affiliation and post-affiliation stages, but that these choices can often be strategic in nature as they practice the new religion in the United States. These choices are shaped by multiple factors. This contributes to a new understanding of the prevailing debates among Muslims in Europe and the United States on the nature of Muslim minorities in the West—that Muslims here are not merely transplanted but are active participants of diverse expressions of local Islam. The evidence in my research shows that being less active does not mean converts do not play a role or make choices. Both more active and less active converts make choices based on multiple factors. This is especially significant as the main aim of this thesis is to show that the converts make choices and play a role in the post-affiliation stage and that these often have strategic elements..

History

Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour | Peniel E. Joseph

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A gripping narrative that brings to life a legendary moment in American history: the birth, life, and death of the Black Power movement With the rallying cry of "Black Power!" in 1966, a group of black activists, including Stokely Carmichael and Huey P. Newton, turned their backs on Martin Luther King's pacifism and, building on Malcolm X's legacy, pioneered a radical new approach to the fight for equality. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour is a history of the Black Power movement, that storied group of men and women who would become American icons of the struggle for racial equality. Peniel E. Joseph traces the history of the men and women of the movement—many of them famous or infamous, others forgotten. Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour begins in Harlem in the 1950s, where, despite the Cold War's hostile climate, black writers, artists, and activists built a new urban militancy that was the movement's earliest incarnation. In a series of character-driven chapters, we witness the rise of Black Power groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panthers, and with them, on both coasts of the country, a fundamental change in the way Americans understood the unfinished business of racial equality and integration. Drawing on original archival research and more than sixty original oral histories, this narrative history vividly invokes the way in which Black Power redefined black identity and culture and in the process redrew the landscape of American race relations..

Biography & Autobiography

Growing Up X | Ilyasah Shabazz

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“Ilyasah Shabazz has written a compelling and lyrical coming-of-age story as well as a candid and heart-warming tribute to her parents. Growing Up X is destined to become a classic.” –SPIKE LEE February 21, 1965: Malcolm X is assassinated in Harlem’s Audubon Ballroom. June 23, 1997: After surviving for a remarkable twenty-two days, his widow, Betty Shabazz, dies of burns suffered in a fire. In the years between, their six daughters reach adulthood, forged by the memory of their parents’ love, the meaning of their cause, and the power of their faith. Now, at long last, one of them has recorded that tumultuous journey in an unforgettable memoir: Growing Up X. Born in 1962, Ilyasah was the middle child, a rambunctious livewire who fought for–and won–attention in an all-female household. She carried on the legacy of a renowned father and indomitable mother while navigating childhood and, along the way, learning to do the hustle. She was a different color from other kids at camp and yet, years later as a young woman, was not radical enough for her college classmates. Her story is, sbove all else, a tribute to a mother of almost unimaginable forbearance, a woman who, “from that day at the Audubon when she heard the shots and threw her body on [ours, never] stopped shielding her children.”.

Philosophy

Anti-Semitism | F. Schweitzer,M. Perry

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In this provocative book, Marvin Perry and Frederick M. Schweitzer analyze the lies, misperceptions, and myths about Jews and Judaism that anti-semites have propagated throughout the centuries. Beginning with antiquity, and continuing into the present day, the authors explore the irrational fabrications that have led to numerous acts of violence and hatred against Jews. The book examines ancient and medieval myths central to the history of anti-semitism: Jews as 'Christ-killers', instruments of Satan, and ritual murderers of Christian children. It also explores the scapegoating of Jews in the modern world as conspirators bent on world domination; extortionists who manufactured the Holocaust as a hoax designed to gain reparation payments from Germany; and the leaders of the slave trade that put Africa in chains. No other book has focused its attention exclusively on a thematic discussion of historic and contemporary anti-semitic myths, covering such an expansive scope of time, and allowing for such a painstaking level of exemplification. Anti-semitism is an essential book that will serve as a corrective to bigotry, stereotype, and historical distortion..

Religion

Black Religion | W. Hart

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This book explores the spiritual dimensions (political, racial, sexual, and violent) of Malcolm X's journey from Christianity to Islam, Julius Lester's journey from Christianity to Judaism, and Jan Willis's journey from Christianity to Buddhism..

Biography & Autobiography

Revolution or Death | Justin Gifford

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In the 1960s, no black political group stood for grassroots insurgency more than the Black Panther Party. The figure who embodied the militant and controversial spirit of the Black Panther Party more than anyone was Eldridge Cleaver. Charismatic, brilliant, and courageous, Cleaver built a base of power and influence that struck fear deep in the heart of white America. It was therefore shocking to many left-wing radicals when Cleaver turned his back on black revolution, the Nation of Islam, and communism in 1975. While Cleaver seemed sincerely disillusioned with radicalism, his erratic behavior over the next two decades revealed something that had been a latent part of his psyche all along—his narcissistic megalomania. His influence declined significantly through the 1980s until he found himself back on the streets committing petty crimes. By the time he died, in 1998, he was largely viewed as a turncoat who had betrayed the cause of black freedom.How can we make sense of Cleaver's precipitous decline from a position as one of America's most vibrant black writers and activists? And how do his contradictory identities as criminal, party leader, international diplomat, Christian conservative, and Republican politician reveal that he was more than just a traitor to the advancement of civil rights? Revolution or Death answers these questions and many more by providing the first life story of one of the most notorious black revolutionaries in history. It explores the audacious dreams and spiritual transformations of the eccentric radical and places him squarely within the context of his changing times. Author Justin Gifford explores previously unseen materials from Cleaver's extensive archive to create the story of a man far more compelling and complex than anyone has given him credit for. In a country defined by its extreme political positions on the right and left, Cleaver embodied both ideologies in pursuit of his conflicting ideals, and it was his inability to resolve.

History

We Are an African People | Russell Rickford

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During the height of the Black Power movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, dozens of Pan African nationalist private schools, from preschools to post-secondary ventures, appeared in urban settings across the United States. The small, independent enterprises were often accused of teaching hate and were routinely harassed by authorities. Yet these institutions served as critical mechanisms for transmitting black consciousness. Founded by activist-intellectuals and other radicalized veterans of the civil rights movement, the schools strove not simply to bolster the academic skills and self-esteem of inner-city African-American youth but also to decolonize minds and foster a vigorous and regenerative sense of African identity. In We Are An African People, historian Russell Rickford traces the intellectual lives of these autonomous black institutions, established dedicated to pursuing the self-determination that the integrationist civil rights movement had failed to provide. Influenced by Third World theorists and anticolonial campaigns, organizers of the schools saw formal education as a means of creating a vanguard of young activists devoted to the struggle for black political sovereignty throughout the world. Most of the institutions were short-lived, and they offered only modest numbers of children a genuine alternative to substandard, inner-city public schools. Yet their stories reveal much about Pan Africanism as a social and intellectual movement and as a key part of an indigenous black nationalism. Rickford uses this largely forgotten movement to explore a particularly fertile period of political, cultural, and social revitalization that strove to revolutionize African American life and envision an alternate society. Reframing the post-civil rights era as a period of innovative organizing, he depicts the prelude to the modern Afrocentric movement and contributes to the ongoing conversation about urban educational reform, race, and identity..

History

Malcolm X | Clayborne Carson

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The FBI has made possible a reassembling of the history of Malcolm X that goes beyond any previous research. From the opening of his file in March of 1953 to his assassination in 1965, the story of Malcolm X’s political life is a gripping one. Shortly after he was released from a Boston prison in 1953, the FBI watched every move Malcolm X made. Their files on him totaled more than 3,600 pages, covering every facet of his life. Viewing the file as a source of information about the ideological development and political significance of Malcolm X, historian Clayborne Carson examines Malcolm’s relationship to other African-American leaders and institutions in order to define more clearly Malcolm’s place in modern history. With its sobering scrutiny of the FBI and the national policing strategies of the 1950s and 1960s, Malcolm X: The FBI File is one of a kind: never before has there been so much material on the assassination of Malcolm X in one conclusive volume..

Biography & Autobiography

The Sword and the Shield | Peniel E. Joseph

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This dual biography of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King upends longstanding preconceptions to transform our understanding of the twentieth century's most iconic African American leaders. To most Americans, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. represent contrasting ideals: self-defense vs. nonviolence, black power vs. civil rights, the sword vs. the shield. The struggle for black freedom is wrought with the same contrasts. While nonviolent direct action is remembered as an unassailable part of American democracy, the movement's militancy is either vilified or erased outright. In The Sword and the Shield, Peniel E. Joseph upends these misconceptions and reveals a nuanced portrait of two men who, despite markedly different backgrounds, inspired and pushed each other throughout their adult lives. This is a strikingly revisionist biography, not only of Malcolm and Martin, but also of the movement and era they came to define..

History

A History of Hope | NA NA

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This book chronicles American history through the stories of the individuals and movements that dreamed of a better future and then took action to make that dream a reality, arguing that the much heralded American spirit was not born as a gift of our founding, but was forged through our adversity and triumphs. From colonial revolutionaries to abolitionists, labor organizers to suffragists, progressives to civil rights activists, it was individuals and movements who dared to go against the American majority that both guarded and created our best national self..

Sports & Recreation

Ali | Jonathan Eig

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Winner of the 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing Winner of The Times Sports Biography of the Year “As Muhammad Ali’s life was an epic of a life so Ali: A Life is an epic of a biography . . . pages in succession its narrative reads like a novel—a suspenseful novel with a cast of vivid characters.” – Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times Book Review Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Clay in racially segregated Louisville, Kentucky, the son of a sign painter and a housekeeper. He went on to become a heavyweight boxer with a dazzling mix of power and speed, a warrior for racial pride, a comedian, a preacher, a poet, a draft resister, an actor, and a lover. Millions hated him when he changed his religion, changed his name, and refused to fight in the Vietnam War. He fought his way back, winning hearts, but at great cost. Jonathan Eig, hailed by Ken Burns as one of America’s master storytellers, sheds important new light on Ali’s politics, religion, personal life, and neurological condition through unprecedented access to all the key people in Ali’s life, more than 500 interviews and thousands of pages of previously unreleased FBI and Justice Department files and audiotaped interviews from the 1960s. Ali: A Life is a story about America, about race, about a brutal sport, and about a courageous man who shook up the world..

Biography & Autobiography

The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X | Les Payne,Tamara Payne

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WINNER — 2020 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR NONFICTION • TIME Magazine — 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2020 • A New York Times Notable Book of 2020 and Editors' Choice Selection • Best Books of 2020: NPR, Washington Post, Library Journal, Chicago Public Library • Excerpted in The New Yorker • Longlisted — Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Best Books of Fall 2020 — O, the Oprah Magazine, The Week, St. Louis Post-Dispatch An epic biography of Malcolm X finally emerges, drawing on hundreds of hours of the author’s interviews, rewriting much of the known narrative. Les Payne, the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist, embarked in 1990 on a nearly thirty-year-long quest to interview anyone he could find who had actually known Malcolm X—all living siblings of the Malcolm Little family, classmates, street friends, cellmates, Nation of Islam figures, FBI moles and cops, and political leaders around the world. His goal was ambitious: to transform what would become over a hundred hours of interviews into an unprecedented portrait of Malcolm X, one that would separate fact from fiction. The result is this historic biography that conjures a never-before-seen world of its protagonist, a work whose title is inspired by a phrase Malcolm X used when he saw his Hartford followers stir with purpose, as if the dead were truly arising, to overcome the obstacles of racism. Setting Malcolm’s life not only within the Nation of Islam but against the larger backdrop of American history, the book traces the life of one of the twentieth century’s most politically relevant figures “from street criminal to devoted moralist and revolutionary.” In tracing Malcolm X’s life from his Nebraska birth in 1925 to his Harlem assassination in 1965, Payne provides searing vignettes culled from Malcolm’s Depression-era youth, describing the influence of his Garveyite parents: his father, Earl, a circuit-riding preacher who was run over by a street car in Lansing, Michigan, in 1929, and his mother, Louise, who continued to instill black pride in her children after Earl’s death. Filling each chapter with resonant drama, Payne follows Malcolm’s exploits as a petty criminal in Boston and Harlem in the 1930s and early 1940s to his religious awakening and conversion to the Nation of Islam in a Massachusetts penitentiary. With a biographer’s unwavering determination, Payne corrects the historical record and delivers extraordinary revelations—from the unmasking of the mysterious NOI founder “Fard Muhammad,” who preceded Elijah Muhammad; to a hair-rising scene, conveyed in cinematic detail, of Malcolm and Minister Jeremiah X Shabazz’s 1961 clandestine meeting with the KKK; to a minute-by-minute account of Malcolm X’s murder at the Audubon Ballroom. Introduced by Payne’s daughter and primary researcher, Tamara Payne, who, following her father’s death, heroically completed the biography, The Dead Are Arising is a penetrating and riveting work that affirms the centrality of Malcolm X to the African American freedom struggle..

History

Stamped from the Beginning | Ibram X. Kendi

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The National Book Award winning history of how racist ideas were created, spread, and deeply rooted in American society. Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America -- it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis. As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities. In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope..

History

American Uprising | Daniel Rasmussen

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A gripping and deeply revealing history of an infamous slave rebellion that nearly toppled New Orleans and changed the course of American history In January 1811, five hundred slaves, dressed in military uniforms and armed with guns, cane knives, and axes, rose up from the plantations around New Orleans and set out to conquer the city. Ethnically diverse, politically astute, and highly organized, this self-made army challenged not only the economic system of plantation agriculture but also American expansion. Their march represented the largest act of armed resistance against slavery in the history of the United States. American Uprising is the riveting and long-neglected story of this elaborate plot, the rebel army's dramatic march on the city, and its shocking conclusion. No North American slave uprising—not Gabriel Prosser's, not Denmark Vesey's, not Nat Turner's—has rivaled the scale of this rebellion either in terms of the number of the slaves involved or the number who were killed. More than one hundred slaves were slaughtered by federal troops and French planters, who then sought to write the event out of history and prevent the spread of the slaves' revolutionary philosophy. With the Haitian revolution a recent memory and the War of 1812 looming on the horizon, the revolt had epic consequences for America. Through groundbreaking original research, Daniel Rasmussen offers a window into the young, expansionist country, illuminating the early history of New Orleans and providing new insight into the path to the Civil War and the slave revolutionaries who fought and died for justice and the hope of freedom..