Antiracism and Black Liberation

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Ballots and Bullets

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On July 23, 1968, police in Cleveland battled with black nationalists.The dramatic shootout in the Glenville neighborhood left ten dead and over fifteen wounded. The event sparked days of heavy rioting and raised myriad questions. Were these shootings an ambush by the nationalists? Or were the nationalists defending themselves from an imminent police assault? Mystery still surrounds how the urban warfare started and the role the FBI might have played in its origin.
Cleveland's story intersected with with some of the most important African American figures of the time. Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X both came to Cleveland, shaping the debate over how to address systemic racism. Should it be with nonviolence or armed self-defense? Malcolm X first delivered his iconic "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech in Cleveland. Three years later, in 1967, Carl Stokes, with King's help, became the first black mayor of a major US city. The ballot seemed to have triumphed over the bullet--and then Dr. King was assassinated. In the spring of 1968, while Mayor Stokes kept peace in Cleveland and Bobby Kennedy came to deliver his "Mindless Menace of Violence" speech, nationalists used an antipoverty program Stokes created in King's honor to buy rifles and ammunition.
Ballots and Bullets examines the revolutionary calls for addressing racism through guerrilla warfare in America's streets. It also puts into perspective the political aftermath, as racial violence and rebellions in most American cities led to white backlash and provided lift to the counterrevolution that brought Richard Nixon to power, effectively marking an end to President Johnson's "War on Poverty."
Fifty years later, many politicians still call for "law and order" to combat urban unrest. The Black Lives Matter movement and continued instances of police misconduct and brutality show that the cycle of race-based violence continues. The root causes--racism and poverty--remain largely unaddressed.

Driving While Black

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It's hardly a secret that mobility has always been limited, if not impossible, for African Americans. Before the Civil War, masters confined their slaves to their property, while free black people found themselves regularly stopped, questioned, and even kidnapped. Restrictions on movement before Emancipation carried over, in different forms, into Reconstruction and beyond; for most of the 20th century, many white Americans felt blithely comfortable denying their black countrymen the right to travel freely on trains and buses. Yet it became more difficult to shackle someone who was cruising along a highway at 45 miles per hour.

In Driving While Black, the acclaimed historian Gretchen Sorin reveals how the car--the ultimate symbol of independence and possibility--has always held particular importance for African Americans, allowing black families to evade the many dangers presented by an entrenched racist society and to enjoy, in some measure, the freedom of the open road. She recounts the creation of a parallel, unseen world of black motorists, who relied on travel guides, black only businesses, and informal communications networks to keep them safe. From coast to coast, mom and pop guest houses and tourist homes, beauty parlors, and even large hotels--including New York's Hotel Theresa, the Hampton House in Miami, or the Dunbar Hotel in Los Angeles--as well as night clubs and restaurants like New Orleans' Dooky Chase and Atlanta's Paschal's, fed travelers and provided places to stay the night. At the heart of Sorin's story is Victor and Alma Green's famous Green Book, a travel guide begun in 1936, which helped grant black Americans that most basic American rite, the family vacation.

As Sorin demonstrates, black travel guides and black-only businesses encouraged a new way of resisting oppression. Black Americans could be confident of finding welcoming establishments as they traveled for vacation or for business. Civil Rights workers learned where to stay and where to eat in the South between marches and protests. As Driving While Black reminds us, the Civil Rights Movement was just that--a movement of black people and their allies in defiance of local law and custom. At the same time, she shows that the car, despite the freedoms it offered, brought black people up against new challenges, from segregated ambulance services to unwarranted traffic stops, and the racist violence that too often followed.

Interwoven with Sorin's own family history and enhanced by dozens of little known images, Driving While Black charts how the automobile fundamentally reshaped African American life, and opens up an entirely new view onto one of the most important issues of our time.

From #blacklivesmatter to Black Liberation

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Winner of the 2016 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize for an Especially Notable Book

"Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's searching examination of the social, political and economic dimensions of the prevailing racial order offers important context for understanding the necessity of the emerging movement for black liberation."
--Michelle Alexander

The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.

In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation.

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How Not to Get Shot

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - A GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS FINALIST

"In his hilarious yet soul-shaking truth-telling book, Hughley touches on politics, race, and life as a black American as only he can. --Black Enterprise

200 years ago, white people told black folks, "'I suggest you pick the cotton if you don't like getting whipped." Today, it's "comply with police orders if you don't want to get shot." Now comedian/activist D. L. Hughley-one the Original Kings of Comedy-confronts and remixes white people's "advice" in this "hilarious examination of the current state of race relations in the United States" (Publishers Weekly).

In America, a black man is three times more likely to be killed in encounters with police than a white guy. If only he had complied with the cop, he might be alive today, pundits say in the aftermath of the latest shooting of an unarmed black man. Or, Maybe he shouldn't have worn that hoodie ... or, moved more slowly ... not been out so late ... Wait, why are black people allowed to drive, anyway?

This isn't a new phenomenon. White people have been giving "advice" to black folks for as long as anyone can remember, telling them how to pick cotton, where to sit on a bus, what neighborhood to live in, when they can vote, and how to wear our pants. Despite centuries of whites' advice, it seems black people still aren't listening, and the results are tragic.

Now, at last, activist, comedian, and New York Times bestselling author D. L. Hughley offers How Not to Get Shot, an illustrated how-to guide for black people, full of insight from white people, translated by one of the funniest black dudes on the planet. In these pages you will learn how to act, dress, speak, walk, and drive in the safest manner possible. You also will finally understand the white mind. It is a book that can save lives. Or at least laugh through the pain.

Black people: Are you ready to not get shot! White people: Do you want to learn how to help the cause? Let's go!

I Am Not Your Negro

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National Bestseller

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary

To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin's published and unpublished oeuvre, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck's film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin's private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America.

This edition contains more than 40 black-and-white images from the film.

In Our Terribleness (Some Elements and Meaning in Black Style)

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Amiri Baraka was a poet and co-founder of the Black Arts Movement in the 1960's. He collaborated with photographer Fundi (Billy Abernathy) to create In Our Terribleness, a poetic-photographic essay that "both re-creates and defines black life for the black reader" (New York Times, February 14, 1971). This unique book combines elements of poetry, photography, and art. As Ron Welborn wrote in the New York Times, "Couched in the language of the streets and intoned with the rhythms of jazz, it is both an expression and evocation of the rudiments of blackness."

Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1970. Imamu Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Fundi (Billy Abernathy). 1st printing. Dust jacket in protective mylar cover; creased with several tears, some repaired with scotch tape; 1/2" at head of spine missing; corners worn; black cloth with silver lettering on spine; bottom corners bumped; gift inscription facing page 5; all elements intact, including mirror on page 5; text clean and bright. Scarce. G+/G-

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Separate

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Separate is a myth-shattering narrative of one of the most consequential Supreme Court cases of the nineteenth century, Plessy v. Ferguson. The 1896 ruling embraced racial segregation, and its reverberations are still felt today. Drawing on letters, diaries, and archival collections, Steve Luxenberg reveals the origins of racial separation and its pernicious grip on American life. He tells the story through the lives of the people caught up in the case: Louis Martinet, who led the resisters from the mixed-race community of French New Orleans; Albion Tourgée, a best-selling author and the country's best-known white advocate for civil rights; Justice Henry Billings Brown, from antislavery New England, whose majority ruling sanctioned separation; Justice John Harlan, the Southerner from a slaveholding family whose singular dissent cemented his reputation as a steadfast voice for justice. Sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed, Separate is an urgently needed exploration of our nation's most devastating divide.

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Sister Citizen

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This groundbreaking book brings to light derogatory stereotypes that shape the experiences of African American women, then assesses the emotional and political costs of the struggle to counteract such negative assumptions.
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Sister Outsider

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The leader of contemporary feminist theory discusses such issues as racism, self-acceptance, and mother- and woman-hood.

The Fire This Time

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A surprise New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race--collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation--are "thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify" (USA TODAY).

In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. "An absolutely indispensable anthology" (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future.

Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin's groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We've made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a "post-racial society"--a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time "seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward" (Vogue).

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The Marrow of Tradition

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On November 10, 1898, a mob of 400 rampages through the streets of Wilmington, North Carolina, killing as many as 60 citizens, burning down the newspaper office, overthrowing the newly elected leaders, and installing a new white supremacist government. The Wilmington Race Riots--also known as the Wilmington Insurrection and the Wilmington Massacre, is the only coup d'etat on American soil. The violence was prompted by the increasing political powers African Americans in the town were gaining during Reconstruction. The Marrow of Tradition is a fictionalized account of this important, under-studied event. Charles W. Chesnutt, an African American writer from North Carolina who lived in Cleveland as an adult and was the first black professional writer in the nation, narrates the story of "Wellington" North Carolina through William Miller, a black doctor, and his wife, Janet, who is both black and the unclaimed daughter of a prominent white businessman. Along with dozens of other characters, including a black domestic servant whose speech is rendered in vernacular dialect, they create a composite of Reconstruction and the violent racial politics created in backlash. The novel is also a masterful work of art that stands on its own: gripping, nuanced, and wholly original.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker

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A Finalist for the NAACP Image Award

Longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

An NPR Best Book of the Year

A Washington Independent Review of Books Favorite of the Year

From the cofounder of VerySmartBrothas.com, and one of the most read writers on race and culture at work today, a provocative and humorous memoir-in-essays that explores the ever-shifting definitions of what it means to be Black (and male) in America

For Damon Young, existing while Black is an extreme sport. The act of possessing black skin while searching for space to breathe in America is enough to induce a ceaseless state of angst where questions such as "How should I react here, as a professional black person?" and "Will this white person's potato salad kill me?" are forever relevant.

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker chronicles Young's efforts to survive while battling and making sense of the various neuroses his country has given him.

It's a condition that's sometimes stretched to absurd limits, provoking the angst that made him question if he was any good at the "being straight" thing, as if his sexual orientation was something he could practice and get better at, like a crossover dribble move or knitting; creating the farce where, as a teen, he wished for a white person to call him a racial slur just so he could fight him and have a great story about it; and generating the surreality of watching gentrification transform his Pittsburgh neighborhood from predominantly Black to "Portlandia . . . but with Pierogies."

And, at its most devastating, it provides him reason to believe that his mother would be alive today if she were white.

From one of our most respected cultural observers, What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker is a hilarious and honest debut that is both a celebration of the idiosyncrasies and distinctions of Blackness and a critique of white supremacy and how we define masculinity.