New Arrivals · African-American Nonfiction

June 27, 2015
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The sisters are alright : changing the broken narrative of black women in America

June 26, 2015
Winfrey Harris, Tamara.
Oakland, California : Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015.
xiii, 147 pages ; 23 cm
Introduction: The trouble with black women -- Beauty : pretty for a black girl -- Sex : bump and grind -- Marriage : witches, thornbacks, and sapphires -- Motherhood : between Mammy and a hard place -- Anger : twist and shout -- Strength : precious mettle -- Health : fat, sick, and crazy -- Epilogue: The sisters are alright.
"Everyone seems to have an opinion about American black women--they need to get married, change their hair, act like 'ladies,' and so on. Celebrated writer Tamara Winfrey Harris writes a searing account of being a black woman in America and explains why it's time for black women to speak for themselves"--Provided by publisher.

Hot music, ragmentation, and the bluing of American literature

June 24, 2015
Tracy, Steven C. (Steven Carl), 1954-
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2015.
xvi, 537 pages ; 24 cm

Black authors & published writers directory.

June 23, 2015
Rochester Hills, Mich. : Grace Co.
v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
At head of title: <2005-2015> Black literary marketplace.

Message from the President of the United States, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate, communicating information relative to the operations of the United States squadron on the west coast of Africa : the condition of the American colonies there, and the commerce of the United States therewith.

June 18, 2015
United States. President (1841-1845 : Tyler)
[Washington, D.C.] : [Government Printing Office], [1845]
414 pages : folded map, tables (some folded) ; 24 cm.
Includes correspondence from M.C. Perry to the Navy Dept and the roll of emigrants that were sent to the colony of Liberia, Western Africa, by the American Colonization Society and its auxiliaries up through September 1843.
"February 26, 1845. Read. February 28, 1845. Ordered to be printed."

Eli Reed : a long walk home

June 16, 2015
Reed, Eli, 1946- photographer.
©2015
xii, 338 pages : illustrations ; 28 x34 cm
"Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home presents the first career retrospective of Reed's work. Consisting of over 250 images that span the full range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, the photographs are a visual summation of the human condition. They include examples of Reed's early work; a broad selection of images of people from New York to California that constitutes a brilliant collective portrait of the social, cultural, and economic experiences of Americans in our time; images of life and conflict in Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, Central America, England, Spain, South America, and China; portraits of women and Hollywood actors; and self-portraits. Reed's artist statement and an introduction by Paul Theroux, whom Reed met while working in Africa, complete the volume." -- Publisher's description.

Alone atop the hill : the autobiography of Alice Dunnigan, pioneer of the national Black press

June 11, 2015
Dunnigan, Alice Allison, 1906-1983, author.
Athens : The University of Georgia Press, [2015]
xvi, 223 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Revision of the author's A Black woman's experience : from school house to White House (1974).
Those early years. No greater thrill -- The family tree and its bittersweet fruit -- Alone atop a hill -- School days -- Where there's a will -- The job hunt -- The ups and downs of my first job -- A plunge into the sea of matrimony -- A rugged voyage ends -- Moving on -- Wading through the depression -- Seeking identity, experience, and recognition -- A great new world. Converging on Washington -- Breaking down race and gender barriers -- A trip with the president -- The civil rights fights of the forties -- Profiles of injustice -- The president proposes; the congress debates -- Almost pushing the panic button -- Freedom fights of the fifties -- Eisenhower's pique.
"Alice Dunnigan (1906-1983) was the first African American woman to break the color and gender barriers of national journalism. During her time as a journalist, she reported for the Louisville Defender and Chicago Defender, and was a member of the Negro Associated Press. Dunnigan has been inducted into the Kentucky Hall of Fame for Journalism (1982) and for Human Rights (2010), and in 2013 was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. [Her] original autobiography was self-published and quite long, thus failing to gain the wide readership it might have; Booker aims to make Dunnigan's story available once more and ... readable for a general audience"-- Provided by publisher.

Something must be done about Prince Edward County : a family, a Virginia town, a civil rights battle

June 11, 2015
Green, Kristen (Journalist), author.
©2015
x, 320 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Separate but not equal. A perfectly charming Southern town ; Homecoming in Black and white ; Prince Edward joins "Brown v. Board of Education" ; My family's part ; Locked out -- The Lost Generation. The Segregation Academy ; Waiting and seeing ; Nigger lovers ; "You go where your parents tell you to" ; Elsie's other life ; The hour is late ; A bus ticket and a world away; Then and now ; "Brown" stokes the flames ; Two steps forward, one step back ; Building a life without a foundation -- Integration. "We are all God's children" ; The schools today ; "We all wish it hadn't happened" ; A healing place for the community ; The new normal.
Combining hard-hitting investigative journalism and a sweeping family narrative, this provocative true story reveals a little-known chapter of American history-- the period after the Brown v. Board of Education decision when one Virginia school system refused to integrate.

Make it messy : my perfectly imperfect life

June 8, 2015
Samuelsson, Marcus.
New York : Delacorte Press, [2015]
213 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm

Not a game : the incredible rise and unthinkable fall of Allen Iverson

June 5, 2015
Babb, Kent.
New York : Atria Books, 2015.
viii, 311 pages ; 24 cm
"Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson was once one of America's most famous athletes: a trendsetter who transcended race, celebrity, and pop culture, and emerged from a troubled past to become one of the most successful and highly compensated athletes in the world. Now, his life and career comes vividly to light in this hard-hitting biography that examines what drove his successes and failures. Through extensive research and interviews with those closest to Iverson, acclaimed Washington Post sportswriter Kent Babb gets behind the familiar, sanitized, and heroic version of Iverson--the hard-charging, hard-partying athlete who played every game as if it were his last. Babb brings to life a private, loyal, and often generous Allen Iverson who rarely made the headlines, revealing the back story behind some of Iverson's most memorable moments, such as his infamous "Practice" rant, delving even deeper to discover where Iverson's demons lurked. He drank too much, stayed out too late, spent more money than most people could spend in a dozen lifetimes--blowing more than $150 million of his NBA earnings alone. His then wife Tawanna, seen often as the mild-mannered woman who tamed the bad boy, tried to keep her husband and family on the rails. But she was no match, as so many others learned on basketball courts, for the force of nature that Iverson was--jealousy, meanness, and a restlessness eventually wearing down even his biggest fan, teammate, and, eventually, his most formidable opponent. Over time, Iverson himself had come to believe his own hype: that he lived in a world where celebrity is eternal and riches are everlasting. He was about that life even when he was no longer the fastest man on the court, as endorsement deals and long-term contracts became a thing of the past. Some in his inner circle saw the writing on the wall and encouraged Iverson to embrace life beyond basketball. But instead, he remained in denial. Not a Game is an impeccably researched, sometimes uncomfortable look at the factors that led to the rise and fall of a basketball superstar. In doing so, it illuminates the dark side of our modern day, multi-billion dollar sports and entertainment culture in which talented players are disposable and all too often success and tragedy wear the same number."-- Provided by publisher.

And still we rise : race, culture and visual conversations

May 27, 2015
Mazloomi, Carolyn, author.
©2015
208 pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
"Contemporary quilt artists trace the path of black history in the United States with 97 original works exploring important events, places, people, and ideas over 400 years. Arranged in chronological order, quilt themes include the first enslaved people brought over by Dutch traders in 1619, the brave souls marching for civil rights, the ascendant influence of African American culture on the American cultural landscape, and the election of the first African American president. Other quilts commemorate and celebrate cultural milestones and memories, such as the first African American teacher, the Buffalo Soldier, the first black man to play Othello on Broadway, Muhammed Ali, and Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. The 69 artists who contributed works for this curated collection provide narrative explaining the important stories and histories behind the quilts."--Publisher's description.

After the dance : my life with Marvin Gaye

May 20, 2015
Gaye, Jan, author.
©2015
viii, 290 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
A "cautionary tale about the ecstasy and dangers of loving Marvin Gaye, a performer passionately pursued by all--and a searing memoir of drugs, sex, and old school R&B from the wife of [the] legendary soul icon"--Amazon.com.

Child, please : how Mama's old-school lessons helped me check myself before I wrecked myself

May 12, 2015
Caviness, Ylonda Gault, author.
©2015
xv, 300 pages : illustration ; 22 cm
Introduction Child, Please -- Get Ready, You Mutha, for teh Big Payback -- Ain't It Funky Now? -- Don't Start Smelling Yourself -- Check Yourself before You Wreck Yourself --Let's Take It to the Bridge -- Gotta Fight the Power That Be -- Some Try to Fool You; Some Try to School You -- Oops! Upside the Head -- Three the Hard Way -- Talking Loud and Saying Nothing -- Don't Let the Mother-Suckers Get You Down -- Feeling Froggy? -- Did I Stutter? -- They Call It Stormy Monday (...but Tuesday's Just as Bad) -- A Brand-New Bag -- Go 'Head on--Wit'cha Bad Self -- What We 'Bout to Do Right Here Is Go Back -- Act Like You Got Some Sense -- Reunited 'Cause We Understood -- One Nation under a Groove -- Sho' You Right -- Acknowledgments.
"In this wise and funny memoir, Ylonda Gault Caviness describes her journey to the realization that all the parenting advice she was obsessively devouring as a new parent didn't mean scratch compared to her mama's old school wisdom as a strong black woman and mother"-- Provided by publisher.

We could not fail : the first African Americans in the space program

May 5, 2015
Paul, Richard, 1959- author.
Austin : University of Texas Press, [2015]
x, 300 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
A man of firsts: Julius Montgomery -- "There was a lot of history there": Theodis Ray -- Stronger than steel: Frank Crossley -- Dixie's role in the Space Age -- First of race in space: Ed Dwight -- The view from space: George Carruthers -- "Huntsville, it has always been unique": Delano Hyder and Richard Hall -- The country spartacus: Clyde Foster -- Water walkers: Morgan Watson and George Bourda.

Finding Samuel Lowe : China, Jamaica, Harlem

April 22, 2015
Madison, Paula Williams, author.
©2015
x, 275 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Dreams of my grandfather -- Mothers and daughters -- Where love begins -- Growing up Williams -- Searching for Samuel Lowe -- Prosperity, family, education -- Samuel Lowe's twentieth century -- My three-thousand-year-old family : reunited at last -- Dreams of my grandfather.
"This powerful debut tells the story of Paula Williams Madison's Chinese grandfather, Samuel Lowe. He became romantically involved with a Jamaican woman, Paula's grandmother, and they lived together modestly with their daughter in his Kingston dry goods store, Chiney Shop. In 1920 his Chinese soon-to-be wife arrived to set up a "proper" family. When he requested to take his three-year-old daughter with him, Paula's jealous grandmother made sure that Lowe never saw his child again. That began an almost one-hundred-year break in their family."--publsher.

How I shed my skin : unlearning the racist lessons of a Southern childhood

April 22, 2015
Grimsley, Jim, 1955- author.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015.
xii, 275 pages ; 22 cm
Freedom of choice/black bitch -- An awkward fight -- Tiger beat, Teen, Ebony, and Jet -- Black and proud -- The sign on the wheelchair -- The kiss -- The hierarchy of place -- The learning -- The fight in the yard -- White nigger -- Divinely white -- Good old boy -- Johnny Shiloh -- The shoe man -- The uncomfortable dark -- The maid in the weeds -- Integration -- The J.W. Willie School/bag lunch -- The drowning -- Robert -- No longer separate, not really equal -- Cheap -- The mighty Trojans -- Some of us dancing -- The human relations committee -- Protests -- God gave me a song -- The smoking patio -- Horizons -- Mercy -- Commencement -- Reunion.
"In August of 1966, Jim Grimsley entered the sixth grade in the same public school he had attended for the five previous years in his small eastern North Carolina hometown. But he knew that the first day of this school year was going to be different: for the first time he'd be in a classroom with black children ... Now, over forty years later, Grimsley ... revisits that school and those times, remembering his personal reaction to his first real exposure to black children and to their culture, and his growing awareness of his own mostly unrecognized racist attitudes"-- Provided by publisher.

Billie Holiday : the musician and the myth

April 10, 2015
Szwed, John F., 1936- author.
New York, New York : Viking, 2015.
230 pages ; 24 cm
The book I : Lady sings the blues -- The book II : the rest of the story -- The image : film, television, photography -- The prehistory of a singer -- The singer I -- The singer II -- The songs I -- The songs II.
"Drawing on a vast amount of new material that has surfaced in the last decade, ... jazz writer John Szwed considers how [Holiday's] life inflected her art, her influences, her uncanny voice and rhythmic genius, a number of her signature songs, and her legacy"--Amazon.com.

Got proof! : my genealogical journey through the use of documentation

April 7, 2015
Henderson, Michael Nolden, 1956-
Suwanee, GA : The Write Image, 2013.
ix, 182 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

My journey with Maya

April 3, 2015
Smiley, Tavis, 1964- author.
New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2015.
viii, 214 pages ; 22 cm
Tavis Smiley recounts the story of his friendship with Maya Angelou. Tavis Smiley and Maya Angelou met in 1986, when he was twenty-one and she was fifty-eight. For the next twenty-eight years, Angelou was a teacher and a maternal figure to Smiley, and they talked often of art, politics, history, music, religion, and race. In My Journey with Maya, Smiley beautifully recounts a friendship filled with conversation that began when he, a recent college graduate and a poor kid from a big family in the Midwest, accompanied the revered writer on a sojourn to Ghana.--Publisher's description.

Michelle Obama : a life

April 3, 2015
Slevin, Peter B.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
418 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (chiefly color) ; 25 cm
Chicago's promise -- South Side -- Destiny not yet written -- Orange and blackness -- Progress in everything and nothing -- Finding the right thing -- Assets and deficits -- A little tension with that -- Just don't screw it up -- I'm pretty convincing -- Veil of impossibility -- Nothing would have predicted -- Between politics and sanity -- Simple gifts -- I am no different from you.
With disciplined reporting and a storyteller's eye for revealing detail, Peter Slevin follows Michelle to the White House from her working-class childhood on Chicago's largely segregated South Side.

A New Orleans voudou priestess : the legend and reality of Marie Laveau

March 30, 2015
Long, Carolyn Morrow.
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2007.
xxxvii, 294 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Prologue. The "Laveau legend" in print and performance -- 1. The colonial past -- 2. The antebellum city -- 3. Domestic life -- 4. Slaves -- 5. Hard times -- 6. Voudou -- 7. St. John's Eve -- 8. Doctor John -- 9. Prison ministry -- 10. Final years -- 11. Descendants -- 12. The second Marie Laveau -- Conclusion -- Appendix. Louisiana Writers' Project informants.
Legendary for an unusual combination of spiritual power, beauty, charisma, showmanship, intimidation, and shrewd business sense, Marie Laveau also was known for her kindness and charity, nursing yellow fever victims and ministering to condemned prisoners, and her devotion to the Roman Catholic Church. In separating verifiable fact from semi-truths and complete fabrication, Carolyn Morrow Long explores the unique social, political, and legal setting in which the lives of Laveau's African and European ancestors became intertwined in nineteenth-century New Orleans.

Ordinary light : a memoir

March 25, 2015
Smith, Tracy K.
New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015.
349 pages ; 22 cm.
Prologue: The Miracle -- I. My Book House -- Wild Kingdom -- Spirits and Demons -- Kin -- Leroy -- A Home in the World -- II. MGM -- Little Feats of Daring -- Total Adventure -- Book a Big Band -- A Necessary Rite -- Humor -- III. Uninvisible -- The Night Stalker -- Hot & Fast -- Shame -- Mother -- Epistolary -- Positive -- IV. Kathleen -- Something Better -- The Woman at the Well -- A Strange Thing to Do -- I, Too -- Testimony -- V. Another Dialect of the Soul -- Something Powerful at Her Side -- A Strange After -- Abide -- Clearances -- Epilogue: Dear God.
"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: a deeply moving memoir that explores coming-of-age and the meaning of home against a complex backdrop of race, faith, and the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter. Tracy K. Smith had a fairly typical upbringing in suburban California: the youngest in a family of five children raised with limitless affection and a firm belief in God by a stay-at-home mother and an engineer father. But after spending a summer in Alabama at her grandmother's home, she returns to California with a new sense of what it means for her to be black: from her mother's memories of picking cotton as a girl in her father's field for pennies a bushel, to her parents' involvement in the Civil Rights movement. These dizzying juxtapositions--between her family's past, her own comfortable present, and the promise of her future--will eventually compel her to act on her passions for love and 'ecstatic possibility,' and her desire to become a writer. But when her mother is diagnosed with cancer, which she says is part of God's plan, Tracy must learn a new way to love and look after someone whose beliefs she has outgrown. Written with a poet's precision and economy, this gorgeous, probing kaleidoscope of self and family offers us a universal story of belonging and becoming, and the ways we find and lose ourselves amid the places we call home"-- Provided by publisher.

Our Auntie Rosa : the family of Rosa Parks remembers her life and lessons

March 25, 2015
Keys, Sheila McCauley.
New York : Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA), [2015]
xvi, 189 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
The woman we knew -- Preface: pleased to meet you, Mrs. Parks -- Family -- Forgiveness -- Strength -- Encouragement -- Vision.
In Our Auntie Rosa the family of Rosa Parks presents a collection of personal remembrances, reflections, and never-before-seen photos and letters that pay tribute to Rosa Parks's incredible strength and determination. Parks's brave act on a bus in Alabama on December 1, 1955, was just one moment in a life lived with great humility and decency. Our Auntie Rosa is a life's instruction manual from one of the most famous figures in American history that will inspire generations to come.--Publisher's description.

African American life in Franklin, Ohio

March 17, 2015
Polley, Eva Louise.
[S.I.] : [s.n.], c2014.
160 p. : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Maps on inside covers.
Military. Civil War ; World War I ; World War II ; Korean conflict ; American Legion -- Education. Franklin High School graduates ; Extracurricular activities ; The teaching tradition -- Talk about bygones. Essays ; Families -- Timeline. African Americans in Franklin, Ohio 1868-2012 -- Documents. Assesors records, etc. -- Picture show. Snapshots ; The Polley children ; Polley women in their crowns of glory ; FHS alumni -- Trivia quiz. Questions and answers.

Losing the race : self-sabotage in Black America

March 16, 2015
McWhorter, John H.
New York : Perennial, 2001.
xv, 299 pages ; 21 cm
Originally published: New York : The Free Press, 2000.
Cult of victimology -- Cult of separatism -- Cult of anti-intellectualism -- Roots of the cult of anti-intellectualism -- African-American self-sabotage in action: Affirmative-action debate -- African-American self-sabotage in action: Ebonics controversy -- How can we save the African-American race? -- Afterword -- Notes -- Acknowledgments -- Index.
A professor of linguistics paints a controversial portrait of defeatism and pessimism in black America that threatens to hold young African Americans back.

My brother Marvin : a memoir

March 16, 2015
Gaye, Zeola.
Las Vegas, Nev. : ZKM Publishing, 2011.
vi, 261 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Includes index.

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