New Arrivals · African-American Nonfiction

June 22, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

Be free or die : the amazing story of Robert Smalls' escape from slavery to Union hero

June 21, 2017
Lineberry, Cate, author.
New York, NY : St. Martin's Press, 2017.
xiii, 272 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
The escape -- South Carolina's son -- In the service of the Confederacy -- Union hero -- Our country calls -- North and south -- The Keokuk -- Captain Smalls -- The City of Brotherly Love -- Triumph and tragedy -- Retaliation and reward -- Epilogue.
A biographical narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls' journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman.

Blind spot

June 15, 2017
Cole, Teju, author, photographer.
New York : Random House, [2017]
xvi, 332 pages : color illustrations, map ; 23 cm
Includes index.

Black Detroit : a people's history of self-determination

June 14, 2017
Boyd, Herb, 1938- author.
©2017
xii, 416 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Cadillac, "the Black Prince" -- The Blackburn affair -- Black abolitionists -- Faulkner and flames -- Early years of the black church -- Black arts in the gilded age -- The Pelhams and the black elite -- Detroit and World War I -- Dr. Sweet and Mr. Ford -- White bail and the Brown Bomber -- The turbulent thirties -- Boom town -- Breakthroughs -- From Motown to showdown -- A brand-new beat -- Bing and bang -- March to militancy -- The Motor City is burning -- Our thing is DRUM! -- Under duress from STRESS -- Muses and music -- Coleman and Cockrel -- Postindustrial blues -- A mayor and malice -- Emergency, resurgency -- Kwame time! -- A spark of redevelopment -- Dhaka in Detroit -- A looming chimera -- Afterword / by Ron Lockett, executive director of the Northwest Activities Center -- Author's note: A son remembers.

Making rent in Bed-Stuy : a memoir of trying to make it in New York City

June 14, 2017
Harris, Brandon, author.
©2017
307 pages ; 21 cm
2500 Red Bank Road -- 166 Throop Avenue -- 227-341 Taaffe Place -- 551 Kosciuszko Street -- 158 Buffalo Avenue -- 730 DeKalb Avenue -- 75 South Elliott Place -- 200 Gholson Avenue -- 5920 Rhode Island Avenue -- 434 Greene Avenue -- 485 Lexington Avenue.
Humorous memoir by a young filmmaker about his experience living in the historically black neighborhood, Bedford Stuyvesant, while it undergoes 'the serious, life-threatening process' of gentrification and the economic and cultural forces at play.

An underground community : how Blacks settled in the historic village of Glendale

June 14, 2017
Parrish, William M., author.
[United States?] : Xlibris, [2017]
xx, 117 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
The road to Glendale -- Underground Railroad conductor John Van Zandt -- Underground Railroad stations -- Reverend Wallace Shelton: Underground Railroad conductor, community leader, abolitionist & pastor -- Bishop Benjamin W. Arnett: community leader, politician, bishop, educator -- Eleanor & Fredrick Eckstein: an introduction to Eckstein School -- Exceptional black athletes -- Camp Glendale & Mary Emery -- Integration and consolidation -- After Eckstein.
"How did blacks settle in the village of Glendale, Ohio? [In] this book, you'll learn that there were significant dedicated leaders, black and white, living in the historic village of Glendale who gave their lives for freedom of a people. Among these 'unlikely ambassadors' were: an amazing Underground Railroad conductor, two local black pastors, and a teacher so significant to the movement that Eckstein School, a school for black children, was named after her"--Adapted from back cover.

Guidebook to relative strangers : journeys into race, motherhood, and history

June 13, 2017
Dungy, Camille T., 1972- author.
New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2017.
240 pages ; 22 cm.
The conscientious outsider -- Manifest -- Body of evidence -- Inherent risk, or what I know about investement: on balancing a career, a child, and creative writing -- Lap child -- A shade north of ordinary -- Writing home -- Bounds -- Tale from a black girl on fire, or why I hate to walk outside and see things burning -- A good hike -- Differentiation -- A brief history of near and actual losses.

Kennedy and King : the president, the pastor, and the battle over civil rights

June 12, 2017
Levingston, Steven, author.
©2017
xi, 511 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
"To teach a president" -- Two men, two worlds -- A call to Coretta -- "Tomorrow may be too late" -- "Pawns in a white man's political game" -- It often helps me to be pushed" -- Epilogue.
An account of the contentious relationship between the thirty-fifth president and Martin Luther King, Jr. throughout the tumultuous early years of the civil rights movement explores their influence on one another and the important decisions that were inspired by their rivalry.

James Baldwin : the FBI file

May 26, 2017
New York, NY : Arcade Publishing, [2017]
430 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Introduction: Baldwin and his file after Black Lives Matter -- James Baldwin's FBI file, sampled and explained.
"Available in book form for the first time, the FBI's secret dossier on the legendary and controversial writer. Decades before Black Lives Matter returned James Baldwin to prominence, J. Edgar Hoover's FBI considered the Harlem-born author the most powerful broker between black art and black power. Baldwin's 1,884-page FBI file, covering the period from 1958 to 1974, was the largest compiled on any African American artist of the Civil Rights era. This collection of once-secret documents, never before published in book form, captures the FBI's anxious tracking of Baldwin's writings, phone conversations, and sexual habits-and Baldwin's defiant efforts to spy back at Hoover and his G-men. James Baldwin: The FBI File reproduces over one hundred original FBI records, selected by the noted literary historian whose award-winning book, F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover's Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature, brought renewed attention to bureau surveillance. William J. Maxwell also provides a substantial introduction and running commentaries that orient the reader and offer historical context, making this book a revealing look at a crucial slice of the American past"-- Provided by publisher.

Iron ambition : my life with Cus D'Amato

May 25, 2017
Tyson, Mike, 1966- author.
New York : Blue Rider Press, [2017]
465 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
"From the former heavyweight champion and New York Times-bestselling memoirist comes an intimate look at the life and leadership lessons of Cus D'Amato, the legendary boxing trainer and Mike Tyson's surrogate father. When Cus D'Amato first saw thirteen-year-old Mike Tyson spar in the ring, he proclaimed, 'That's the heavyweight champion of the world.' D'Amato, who had previously managed the careers of world champions Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres, would go on to train the young Tyson and raise him as a son. D'Amato died a year before Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history. In Tyson's bestselling memoir Undisputed Truth, he recounted the role D'Amato played in his formative years, adopting him at age sixteen after his mother died and shaping him both physically and mentally after Tyson had spent years living in fear and poverty. In Iron Ambition, Tyson elaborates on the life lessons that D'Amato passed down to him, and reflects on how the trainer's words of wisdom continue to resonate with him outside the ring. The book also chronicles Cus's courageous fight against the mobsters who controlled boxing, revealing more than we've ever known about this singular cultural figure"-- Provided by publisher.

The revolt of the Black athlete

May 25, 2017
Edwards, Harry, 1942- author.
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, [2017]
xxx, 186 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
The emergence of the black athlete in America -- Sports and the mass media -- Mounting revolt -- Feeding the flame -- Mexico City, 1968 -- The future direction of the revolt.
"In 1968, Harry Edwards, virtually alone, opposed the U.S. Olympic Committee, the political establishment, and the mass media and made an international issue of the Olympic boycott movement. In this book, he explains why he organized the Olympic boycott, why black athletes revolted, and why they are prepared to do so again."--Provided by publisher.

The song and the silence : a story about family, race, and what was revealed in a small town in the Mississippi Delta while searching for Booker Wright

May 25, 2017
Johnson, Yvette, author.
©2017
xx, 315 pages ; 24 cm
Part I. Places in time: Where he was king; Scattered; A yellow gal -- Part II. Family: Black is beautiful; Coming to terms; Get off this place -- Part III. Surface of the deep: Colorless; A catalyst -- Part IV. Some sort of charm: A place for the planter class; A magical town; A not-so magical town; A testing ground fro Democracy -- Part V. The delta:From the cotton fields to the football fields; Fever; Town on fire; A force to be reconed with; A self-portrait; A moralist -- Part VI. Mothers: A crack in the world; A specific kind of pain; A history lesson -- Part VII. The river's Eden: A place to descend t0; Descendants of master and slave; Booker's place; Deconstructing a racist -- Part VIII. A twisted strand: Harmony; A murder story; Greenwood -- Part IX. Inheritance: Booker's song; Remembering.
"In this...memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover the true story of her later grandfather, whose extraordinary act of courage changed both their lives. "Have to keep that smile," Booker Wright said in the 1966 NBC documentary Mississippi: A Self-Portrait. At the time, Wright spent his evenings waiting tables for whites at a local restaurant and his mornings running his own business. The ripple effect from his remarks would cement Booker as a civil rights icon because he did the unthinkable: before a national audience, Wright described what life truly was like for the black people of Greenwood, Mississippi"--Dust jacket.

The psychology of hate crimes as domestic terrorism : U.S. and global issues

May 23, 2017
Santa Barbara, California : Praeger, An Imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2017-
3 volumes : illustrations ; 24 cm
volume 1. Theoretical, legal, and cultural factors -- volume 2. Assessment issues with victims and offenders -- volume 3. Interventions, treatment, and management.

Urban contemporary history month : poems

May 23, 2017
Woods, Scott E., author.
©2015
111 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Includes index.
"In his second full length collection, Scott Woods further interrogates the intersection of identity and society, exposing the frequently imposed and false duality of twenty-first century Black life by a world that prefers its art and people in neat boxes. The poems of Urban Contemporary History Month navigate multiple sides of the issues it raises - police abuse, idol worship, the definition of Black culture, and the importance of the blues chief among them - chipping away at our understanding and acceptance of American life as we know it. The collection includes extended meditations on juke joint culture, art as a communal projection, and a cento comprised entirely of the first lines of Stephen King stories. Both personal and quietly polemic, Urban Contemporary History Month is a sly, knowing collection told with the trademark humor and intellectual nuance Woods is frequently praised for" --Publisher's website.

Sam Middleton.

May 22, 2017
Middleton, Samuel M., 1927-2015.
©2017
55 pages : color illustrations, portrait ; 21 x26 cm
Contains essay by Julie L. McGee.
Catalog of the exhibition held February 1-25, 2017, in New York City at Gerald Peters Contemporary.

Becoming Ms. Burton : from prison to recovery to leading the fight for incarcerated women

May 19, 2017
Burton, Susan, author.
New York ; London : New Press, 2017.
xxiii, 304 pages ; 22 cm
Foreword / Michelle Alexander -- Part I: Sue -- Now what? -- Land of opportunity -- Daddy's girl -- Hit the road -- The sacrifice -- Things you don't talk about -- The life -- From the skillet to the frying pan -- No justice, no peace -- A new drug -- Incarceration nation -- Collateral damage -- The revolving door -- The vicious cycle -- Hurt people -- A tale of two systems -- A way out -- Finding purpose -- Part II: Ms. Burton -- A new way of life -- The wall of no -- Who's profiting from our pain? -- Women and prison -- A kindred spirit -- Taking food off the table -- Broke leg house -- From trash to treasure -- All of us or none -- Treating the symptoms and the disease -- The meaning of life -- The women from Orange County -- Being beholden -- Living an impossible life -- The house that discrimination built -- Women organizing for justice and opportunity -- What would Ms. Sybil Brand think? -- Without representation -- Prop 47 -- The movement -- The arc bends toward justice.
"Susan Burton's world changed in an instant when her five-year-old son was killed by a van driving down their street. Consumed by grief and without access to professional help, Susan self-medicated, becoming addicted first to cocaine, then crack. As a resident of South Los Angeles, a black community under siege in the War on Drugs, it was but a matter of time before Susan was arrested. She cycled in and out of prison for over fifteen years; never was she offered therapy or treatment for addiction. On her own, she eventually found a private drug rehabilitation facility. Once clean, Susan dedicated her life to supporting women facing similar struggles. Her organization, A New Way of Life, operates five safe homes in Los Angeles that supply a lifeline to hundreds of formerly incarcerated women and their children--setting them on the track to education and employment rather than returns to prison. Becoming Ms. Burton not only humanizes the deleterious impact of mass incarceration, it also points the way to the kind of structural and policy changes that will offer formerly incarcerated people the possibility of a life of meaning and dignity.

Sting like a bee : Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971

May 18, 2017
Montville, Leigh, author.
New York : Doubleday, [2017]
354 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
"An insightful portrait of Muhammed Ali from the New York Times bestselling author of At the Altar of Speed and The Big Bam. It centers on the cultural and political implications of Ali's refusal of service in the military--and the key moments in a life that was as high profile and transformative as any in the twentieth century. With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired--but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name--Cassius Clay--as being his 'slave name,' and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book"-- Provided by publisher.

Live, labor, love : the history of a Northern family, 1700-1900

May 17, 2017
Smith, Alene Jackson, 1937-
Westminster, Md. : Willow Bend Books, 2005.
84 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

Coach Wooden and me : our 50-year friendship on and off the court

May 17, 2017
Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, 1947- author.
New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
290 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes index.
Prologue: Why it took fifty years to write this book -- When worlds collide: midwestern hick meets Harlem hoopster -- The game is afoot: It's never about winning and other courtside lessons -- Color bind: the unbearable darkness of being black -- What would Wooden do: religion, politics, and keeping the faith -- We've got trouble, right here in Pauley Pavilion: getting lost on Wooden Way -- "Time can bend your knees": the hours of friendship in the days of grief -- Our long day's journey into night.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar explores his 50-year friendship with Coach John Wooden, one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.

He calls me by lightning : the life of Caliph Washington and the forgotten saga of Jim Crow, southern justice, and the death penalty

May 16, 2017
Bass, S. Jonathan, author.
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, [2017]
xvi, 413 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Steal away -- A hell of a place -- "These white folks will kill you" -- "In Bessemer, anything can happen" -- A "well bound book" -- "Because it was self-defense" -- A violent and accidental death -- "There are lots of ways to fight" -- "I just say I am innocent" -- "You belong to the state of Alabama" -- "please spare my life" -- Called by lightning -- A thunderous arrival -- Whereabouts unknown -- Sinners to convert -- Segregation's last stand -- "Sojourn in the shadow of death" -- "In a wasted land of no want" -- "He still ain't dead" -- "Set me free dear Jesus" -- Conclusion: the Salvation Club.
"Caliph Washington didn’t pull the trigger but, as Officer James 'Cowboy' Clark lay dying, he had no choice but to turn on his heel and run. The year was 1957; Cowboy Clark was white, Caliph Washington was black, and this was the Jim Crow South. Washington, then a seventeen-year-old simply returning home after a double date, was swiftly arrested, put on trial, and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. The young man endured the horrors of a hellish prison system for thirteen years, a term that included various stints on death row fearing the 'lightning' of the electric chair. Twentieth-century legal history is tragically littered with thousands of stories of such judicial cruelty, but S. Jonathan Bass’s account is remarkable in that he has been able to meticulously re-create Washington’s saga, animating a life that was not supposed to matter. Given the familiar paradigm of an African American man being falsely accused of killing a white policeman, it would be all too easy to apply a reductionist view to the story. What makes He Calls Me by Lightning so unusual are a spate of unknown variables ―most prominently the fact that Governor George Wallace, nationally infamous for his active advocacy of segregation, did, in fact, save this death row inmate’s life. As we discover, Wallace stayed Washington’s execution not once but more than a dozen times, reflecting a philosophy about the death penalty that has not been perpetuated by his successors. Other details make Washington's story significant to legal history, not the least of which is that the defendant endured three separate trials and then was held in a county jail for five more years before being convicted of second-degree murder in 1970; this decision was overturned as well, although the charges were never dismissed. Bass's account is also particularly noteworthy for his evocation of Washington’s native Bessemer, a gritty, industrial city lying only thirteen miles to the east of Birmingham, Alabama, whose singularly fascinating story is frequently overlooked by historians. By rescuing Washington’s unknown life trajectory―along with the stories of his intrepid lawyers, David Hood Jr. and Orzell Billingsley, and Christine Luna, an Italian-American teacher and activist who would become Washington's bride upon his release ―Bass brings to multidimensional life many different strands of the civil rights movement" --Adapted from dust jacket.

My soul looks back : a memoir

May 15, 2017
Harris, Jessica B., author.
New York : Scribner, 2017.
xi, 257 pages ; 22 cm
Club 81-Sammy and Jimmy -- And the baby made three -- Bantam Sam was the man -- Oh, the people you'll meet! -- Oh, the places you'll go! West side rambles -- Wanderlust: Sonoma, Haiti, and Paris -- Titine and Tabasco -- Soul-full -- Aftermath -- It ain't over 'til it's over.

Rising star : the making of Barack Obama

May 15, 2017
Garrow, David J., 1953- author.
©2017
1460 pages : map ; 25 cm
The end of the world as they knew it: Chicago's far South Side, March 1980 -- July 1985 -- A place in the world: Honolulu, Seattle, Honolulu, Jakarta, and Honolulu, August 1961 -- September 1979 -- Searching for home: Eagle Rock, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Hermitage, PA, September 1979 -- July 1985 -- Transformation and identity: Roseland, Hyde Park, and Kenya: August 1985 -- August 1988 -- Emergence and achievement: Harvard Law School, September 1988 -- May 1991 -- Building a future: Chicago, June 1991 -- August 1995 -- Into the Arena: Chicago and Springfield, September 1995 -- September 1999 -- Failure and recovery: Chicago and Springfield, October 1999 -- January 2003 -- Calculation, coincidence, coronation: Illinois and Boston, January 2003 -- November 2004 -- Disappointment and destiny: the U.S. Senate, November 2004 -- February 2007 -- Epilogue: the President did not attend, as he was golfing.
"Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama captivatingly describes Barack Obama's tumultuous upbringing as a young black man attending an almost-all-white, elite private school in Honolulu while being raised almost exclusively by his white grandparents. After recounting Obama's college years in California and New York, Garrow charts Obama's time as a Chicago community organizer, working in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods; his years at the top of his Harvard Law School class; and his return to Chicago, where Obama honed his skills as a hard-knuckled politician, first in the state legislature and then as a candidate for the United States Senate. Detailing a scintillating, behind-the-scenes account of Obama's 2004 speech, a moment that labeled him the Democratic Party's 'rising star,' Garrow also chronicles Obama's four years in the Senate, weighing his stands on various issues against positions he had taken years earlier, and recounts his thrilling run for the White House in 2008" --Inside jacket.

Black and blue : inside the divide between the police and Black America

May 12, 2017
Pegues, Jeff, 1970- author.
Amherst, New York : Prometheus Books, 2017.
ii, 279 pages ; 24 cm
"The recent killings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Ferguson, and elsewhere are just the latest examples of the longstanding rift between law enforcement and people of color. In this revealing journey to the heart of a growing crisis, CBS News Justice and Homeland Security Correspondent Jeff Pegues provides unbiased facts, statistics, and perspectives from both sides of the community-police divide. Pegues has rare access to top law enforcement officials throughout the country, including FBI Director James Comey and police chiefs in major cities. He has also interviewed police union leaders, community activists, and others at the heart of this crisis--people on both sides who are trying to push American law enforcement in a new direction. How do police officers perceive the people of color who live in high-crime areas? How are they viewed by the communities that they police? Pegues explores these questions and more through interviews not only with police chiefs, but also officers on the ground, both black and white. In addition, he goes to the front lines of the debate as crime spikes in some of the nation's major cities. What he found will surprise you as police give a candid look at how their jobs have changed and become more dangerous. Turning to possible solutions, the author summarizes the best recommendations from police chiefs, politicians, and activists. Readers will not only be informed but learn what they can do about tensions with police in their communities" --Dust jacket.

Who we are : Blacks

May 12, 2017
©2016
xvi, 328 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Attitudes -- Education -- Health -- Housing -- Income -- Labor force -- Living arraingements -- Population -- Spending -- Time use -- Wealth.

Down the up staircase : three generations of a Harlem family

May 11, 2017
Haynes, Bruce D., 1960- author.
New York : Columbia University Press, [2017]
xvii, 200 pages, 13 unnumbered pages of plates ; 23 cm
Mad money -- Not alms but opportunity -- New negroes -- Soul dollars -- Stepping out -- Do for yourself -- Free fall -- Moving on down -- Keep on keepin' on.
"Down the Up Staircase tells the history of three generations of a black middle-class family against the backdrop of the three-story brownstone at 411 Convent Avenue in the Sugar Hill section of Harlem. The home once belonged to its patriarch, George Edmund Haynes, a migrant from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who went on to become the first African American to earn a PhD at Columbia University and found the National Urban League. He was the first prominent black economist in the country, the first to predict the great sweeping migration of blacks from the rural South to the urban North, a power broker of the Harlem Renaissance, and the first black to serve in a federal sub-cabinet post, where he mobilized the new Black migrants for the war effort. His wife, Elizabeth Ross Haynes, was a noted children's author of the period and a prominent social scientist. Yet these early advances and gains provided little anchor to the succeeding generations. Their son had dreamed of becoming an engineer but spent his entire career as a parole officer in the Bronx. Their eldest grandson graduated from the prestigious Horace Mann High School but spent much of his adult life in and out of drug rehabilitation clinics, psychiatric hospitals, and the streets. Their second grandson was slain on the streets of the Bronx during his last semester of college, at age twenty-three. Only the youngest grandson--the book's author, Bruce Haynes--was able to build on the gains of his forefathers. Haynes brings sociological insight to a familiar American tale, one where the notion of social mobility and black middle class is a tenuous term"--Provided by publisher.

Women in the world of Frederick Douglass

May 11, 2017
Fought, Leigh, 1967- author.
New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 2017.
xiv, 401 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
"A true mother's heart" -- Anna Murray, Mrs. Frederick Douglass, 1810-1848 -- "The cause of the slave has been peculiarly woman's cause," 1841-1847 -- "The pecuniary burdens," 1847-1853 -- "I wont have her in my house," 1848-1858 -- The Woman's Rights Man and his daughter, 1848-1861 -- Principle and expediency, 1861-1870 -- "Her true worth," 1866-1883 -- Helen Pitts, Mrs. Frederick Douglass, 1837-1890 -- Legacies, 1891-1895 -- Epilogue: Afterlife, 1895-1903.
"In his extensive writings--editorials, speeches, autobiographies--Frederick Douglass revealed little about the private side of his life. His famous autobiographies were very much in the service of presenting and advocating for himself. But Douglass had a very complicated array of relationships with women: white and black, wives and lovers, mistresses-owners, and sisters and daughters. And this great man deeply needed them all at various turns in a turbulent life that was never so linear and self-made as he often wished to portray it. In this book, Leigh Fought aims to reveal more about the life of the famed abolitionist off the public stage. She begins with the women he knew during his life as a slave--his mother, whom he barely knew; his grandmother, who raised him; and his slave mistresses, including the one who taught him how to read. She shows how his relationships with white women seemed to fill more of a maternal role for Douglass than his relationships with his black kin. Readers will learn about Douglass's two wives--Anna Murray, a free woman who helped him escape to freedom and become a famous speaker herself, and later Helen Pitts, a white woman who was politically engaged and played the public role of the wife of a celebrity. Also central to Douglass's story were women involved in the abolitionist and other reform movements, including two white women, Julia Griffiths and Ottilia Assing, whom he invited to live in his household and whose presence there made him vulnerable to sexual slander and alienated his wife. These women were critical to the success of his abolitionist newspaper, The North Star, and to promoting his work, including his Narrative and My Bondage and My Freedom nationally and internationally. At the same time, white female abolitionists would be among Douglass's chief critics when he supported the 15th amendment that denied the vote to women, and black women, such as Ida B. Wells-Barnett, would become some of his new political collaborators. Fought also looks at the next generation, specifically through Douglass's daughter Rosetta, who was the focus of her father's campaign to desegregate Rochester's schools and who literally acted as a go-between for her parents, since her mother, Anna Murray, had limited literacy. This biography of the circle of women around Frederick Douglass promises to show the connections between his public and private life, as well as reveal connections among enslaved women, free black women, abolitionist circles, and nineteenth-century politics and culture in the North and South before and after the Civil War."-- Provided by publisher.

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