New Arrivals · African-American Nonfiction

August 23, 2017
These titles were recently added to the collection of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

The condemnation of blackness : race, crime, and the making of modern urban America

August 22, 2017
Muhammad, Khalil Gibran, 1972-
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011.
ix, 380 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Introduction: The mismeasure of crime -- Saving the nation : the racial data revolution and the negro problem -- Writing crime into race : racial criminalization and the dawn of Jim Crow -- Incriminating culture : the limits of racial liberalism in the progressive era -- Preventing crime : white and black reformers in Philadelphia -- Fighting crime : politics and prejudice in the city of brotherly love -- Policing racism : Jim Crow justice in the urban north -- Conclusion: The conundrum of criminality.
"The Idea of Black Criminality was crucial to the making of modern urban America. Khalil Gibran Muhammad chronicles how, when, and why modern notions of black people as an exceptionally dangerous race of criminals first emerged. Well known are the lynch mobs and racist criminal justice practices in the South that stoked white fears of black crime and shaped the contours of the New South. In this illuminating book, Muhammad shifts our attention to the urban North as a crucial but overlooked site for the production and dissemination of those ideas and practices. Following the 1890 census - the first to measure the generation of African Americans born after slavery - crime statistics, new migration and immigration trends, and symbolic references to America as the promised land were woven into a cautionary tale about the exceptional threat black people posed to modern urban society. Excessive arrest rates and overrepresentation in northern prisons were seen by many whites - liberals and conservatives, northerners and southerners - as indisputable proof of blacks' inferiority. What else but pathology could explain black failure in the land of opportunity? Social scientists and reformers used crime statistics to mask and excuse anti-black racism, violence, and discrimination across the nation, especially in the urban North. The Condemnation of Blackness is the most thorough historical account of the enduring link between blackness and criminality in the making of modern urban America. It is a startling examination of why the echoes of America's Jim Crow past continue to resonate in 'color-blind' crime rhetoric today"--Jacket.

Collapse of the African American family

August 17, 2017
Days, Gregory, author.
Pittsburgh, PA : Dorrance Publishing Co., [2017]
iv, 110 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 23 cm
"This book describes what is viewed as the destruction of the African American family from within. Days has spent his career studying Black families and his book explores themes of self-determination and calls upon readers to look past institutionalized racism, building an understanding of what needs to happen to regain stability in Black culture"--Back cover.

Murder ballads

August 15, 2017
Soria, Gabriel.
New York, NY : Z2 Comics, 2017.
1 volume (unpaged) : chiefly color illustrations ; 26 cm
Issued with download card containing access code for soundtrack music.
"Featuring an original soundtrack by Dan Auerbach and Robert Finley"--Cover.
"Murder Ballads follows the fall and reinvention of Nate Theodore, the dead-broke and deadbeat owner of a failed record label who is on a cross-country drive in the dead of winter with his wife Mary, fleeing the wreckage of their business and heading towards the destruction of their marriage. But Nate is given an unexpected chance to redeem himself when, during an unscheduled detour, he "discovers" Donny and Marvell Fontweathers, two African-American brothers who play a singular version of doom-laden country blues. Convinced that the brothers are the key to his salvation, Nate's desperate to make an album with the brothers before someone else finds out about them--but he needs money. Money he doesn't have and can't get through any conventional means."--Back cover.

A surprised queenhood in the new Black sun : the life & legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks

August 14, 2017
Jackson, Angela, 1951- author.
Boston, Mass. : Beacon Press, [2017]
204 pages : portrait ; 24 cm
"Grant me a voice, and speaking eyes" -- Visionaries -- A light and diplomatic bird -- Hitting her stride -- A Pulitzer is a smile -- Black is beautiful -- A surprised queenhood -- Journeys -- Blacks -- Immortality of a kind.
Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks is one of the great American literary icons of the twentieth century, a protégé of Langston Hughes and mentor to a generation of poets, including Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, and Elizabeth Alexander. Her poetry took inspiration from the complex portraits of black American life she observed growing up on Chicago's South Side, a world of kitchenette apartments and vibrant streets. From the desk in her bedroom, as a child she filled countless notebooks with poetry, encouraged by the likes of Hughes and affirmed by Richard Wright, who later called her work "raw and real." Over the next sixty years, Brooks's poetry served as witness to the stark realities of urban life: the evils of lynching, the murders of Emmett Till and Malcolm X, the revolutionary effects of the civil rights movement, and the burgeoning power of the Black Arts Movement. Critical acclaim and the distinction in 1950 of being the first black person ever awarded a Pulitzer Prize helped solidify Brooks as a unique and powerful voice. Now, fellow Chicagoan and award-winning writer Angela Jackson delves deep into the rich fabric of Brooks's work and world. Granted unprecedented access to Brooks's family, personal papers, and writing community, Jackson traces the literary arc of this artist's long career and gives context for the world in which Brooks wrote and published her work. It is a powerfully intimate look at a once-in-a-lifetime talent, using forty-three of Brooks's most soul-stirring poems as a guide. From trying to fit in at school, to loving her physical self, to marriage and motherhood, to young men on her block, to breaking history, to newfound acceptance from her community and her elevation to a "surprising queenhood", Brooks lived life through her work. Jackson deftly unpacks it all for both longtime admirers of Brooks and newcomers curious about her work and interior life. This book is a commemoration of a writer who negotiated black womanhood and a changing, restless world with incomparable brilliance--an artistic maverick way ahead of her time.--Adapted from jacket.

The cooking gene : a journey through African American culinary history in the Old South

August 8, 2017
Twitty, Michael, 1977- author.
New York, NY : Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
xvii, 443 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Preface: The Old South -- No More Whistling Walk for Me -- Hating My Soul -- Mise en Place -- Mishpocheh -- Missing Pieces -- No Nigger Blood -- "White Man in the Woodpile" -- 0.01 Percent -- Sweet Tooth -- Mothers of Slaves -- Alma Mater -- Chesapeake Gold -- The Queen -- Adam in the Garden -- Shake Dem 'Simmons Down -- All Creatures of Our G-d and King -- The Devil's Half Acre -- "The King's Cuisine" -- Crossroads -- The Old Country -- Sankofa -- Author's Note -- Selected Bibliography.
"A memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces the paths of the author's ancestors (black and white) through the crucible of slavery to show its effects on our food today"-- Provided by publisher.

Chokehold : policing black men

August 1, 2017
Butler, Paul, 1961- author.
304 pages ; 22 cm
"A renegade prosecutor's radical thoughts on how to disrupt the system" --Front cover.
"Cops, politicians, and ordinary people are afraid of black men. The result is the Chokehold: laws and practices that treat every African American man like a thug. In this explosive new book, an African American former federal prosecutor shows that the system is working exactly the way it's supposed to. Black men are always under watch, and police violence is widespread--all with the support of judges and politicians. In his no-holds-barred style, Butler, whose scholarship has been featured on 60 Minutes, uses new data to demonstrate that white men commit the majority of violent crime in the United States. For example, a white woman is ten times more likely to be raped by a white male acquaintance than be the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a black man. Butler also frankly discusses the problem of black on black violence and how to keep communities safer--without relying as much on police. Chokehold powerfully demonstrates why current efforts to reform law enforcement will not create lasting change. Butler's controversial recommendations about how to crash the system, and when it's better for a black man to plead guilty--even if he's innocent--are sure to be game-changers in the national debate about policing, criminal justice, and race relations"-- Provided by publisher.

Invisible no more : police violence against black women and women of color

July 28, 2017
Ritchie, Andrea J., author.
Boston : Beacon Press, [2017]
xv, 232 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm
Introduction -- Enduring legacies -- Policing paradigms and criminalizing webs -- Policing girls -- Policing (dis)ability -- Policing sexual violence -- Policing gender lines -- Policing sex -- Policing motherhood -- Police responses to violence -- Resistance -- Conclusion.

The portable nineteenth-century African American women writers

July 25, 2017
New York : Penguin Books, [2017]
xl, 613 pages ; 20 cm
Personal accounts of abolition and freedom -- Fugitives and emigrants: moving west and north -- Northern women and the post-war South -- Memoirs: looking back -- Poetry, drama, and fiction -- Women addressing women: addresses and essays -- Education and social reform -- Women memorializing women.
"A landmark collection documenting the social, political, and artistic lives of African American women throughout the tumultuous nineteenth century. The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind: an extraordinary range of voices offering the expressions of African American women in print before, during, and after the Civil War."--Provided by publisher.

Not free, not for all : public libraries in the age of Jim Crow

July 21, 2017
Knott, Cheryl, 1954- author.
Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, [2015]
x, 312 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
The culture of print in a context of racism -- Carnegie public libraries for African Americans -- Solidifying segregation -- Faltering systems -- Change and continuity -- Erecting libraries, constructing race -- Books for black readers -- Reading the race-based library -- Opening access.

Chester B. Himes : a biography

July 19, 2017
Jackson, Lawrence Patrick, author.
xv, 606 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

Policing the Black man : arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment

July 18, 2017
New York : Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, [2017]
xxiv, 321 pages ; 22 cm
A presumption of guilt : the legacy of America's history of racial injustice / Bryan Stevenson -- The endurance of racial disparity in the criminal justice system / Marc Mauer -- Boys to men : the role of policing in the socialization of black boys / Kristin Henning -- Racial profiling : the law, the policy, and the practice / Renée McDonald Hutchins -- Making implicit bias explicit : black men and the police / Katheryn Russell-Brown -- Policing : a model for the twenty-first century / Tracey Meares and Tom Tyler -- The prosecution of black men / Angela J. Davis -- The grand jury and police violence against black men / Roger A. Fairfax, Jr. -- Elected prosecutors and police accountability / Ronald F. Wright -- Do black lives matter to the courts? / Jin Hee Lee and Sherrilyn A. Ifill -- Poverty, violence, and black incarceration / Jeremy Travis and Bruce Western.
"A comprehensive, readable analysis of the key issues of the Black Lives Matter movement, this thought-provoking and compelling anthology features essays by some of the nation's most influential and respected criminal justice experts and legal scholars. Policing the Black Man explores and critiques the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an explication of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The contributors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court's failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. Policing the Black Man is an enlightening must-read for anyone interested in the critical issues of race and justice in America."--Jacket.

Queen of bebop : the musical lives of Sarah Vaughan

July 13, 2017
Hayes, Elaine M., author.
x, 419 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Part I: An artist is born, 1924-1947. "There was no sign of any kind of voice" ; "Ah mon vieux, this chick is groovy!" ; "I'm not singing other people's ideas" ; "The most talked about voice in America" -- Part II: A star is born, 1948-1958. "The girl with the magic voice" ; "She's vaughanderful. She's marvelous" ; "Sarah Vaughan and her Pygmalion" ; "Sarah Vaughan is finally on the way to the pot of gold" ; "The high priestess of jazz" -- Part III: A career is reborn, 1959-1990. "They say you can't teach new tricks to old dogs--so get new dogs!" ; "The no. 1 singer of a decade ago" ; "I'm not a jazz singer. I'm a singer" ; "Here I go again" ; "The Marian Anderson of modern jazz" ; "I'm just coming into my prime" -- Epilogue: "The greatest vocal artist of our century"
An account of the life of the influential jazz singer and civil rights advocate shares insights into her contributions as an African-American artist, drawing on inside sources to discuss her creative process and challenge misperceptions about her character.

Josephine Baker

July 13, 2017
Bocquet, José-Louis, author.
568 pages : chiefly illustrations ; 24 cm
Originally published in French by Casterman in 2016.
Josephine Baker (1906--1975) was nineteen years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier, and Simenon. In the liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French Resistance, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered personally. She led by example, and over the course of the 1950s adopted twelve orphans of different ethnic backgrounds: a veritable Rainbow Tribe. A victim of racism throughout her life, Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she died.

A stone of hope : a memoir

July 7, 2017
St. Germain, Jim, author.
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2017.
x, 292 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
A searing memoir by a young black man who was a lost cause—until he landed in a rehabilitation program that saved his life and gave him purpose.

Have Black lives ever mattered?

July 5, 2017
Abu-Jamal, Mumia, author.
San Francisco, CA : City Lights Books, [2017]
xiii, 206 pages ; 19 cm.
"'This collection of short meditations, written from a prison cell, captures the past two decades of police violence that gave rise to Black Lives Matter while digging deeply into the history of the United States. This is the book we need right now to find our bearings in the chaos'--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States; 'Mumia's writings are a wake-up call. He is a voice from our prophetic tradition, speaking to us here, now, lovingly, urgently'--Cornel West; 'He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them'--Angela Y. Davis; In December 1981, Mumia Abu Jamal was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness. In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered? Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the country's Black population. Applying a personal, historical, and political lens, Mumia provides a righteously angry and calmly principled radical Black perspective on how racist violence is tearing our country apart and what must be done to turn things around. Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Death Blossoms, Live from Death Row, All Things Censored, and Writing on the Wall"--Provided by publisher.

Maya Angelou : the iconic self

June 30, 2017
Lupton, Mary Jane, author.
x, 202 pages ; 24 cm
First edition published as Maya Angelou: a critical companion.
Acknowledgments -- 1. The Life and Works of Maya Angelou -- 2. The Genre of Autobiography -- 3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) -- 4. Gather together in My Name (1974) -- 5. Singin' and Swingin' and Gettin' Merry Like Christmas (1976) -- 6. The Heart of a Woman (1981) -- 7. All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986) -- 8. A Song Flung Up to Heaven (2002) -- 9. In Memoriam -- Bibliography -- Index.
"Maya Angelou: the iconic self examines this iconic artist's work as an autobiographer, offering an up-to-date assessment of Angelou's contributions to American literature and to American and international culture. This is the only book to interpret Angelou's autobiographies as unique experiments in the history of black narrative. It attests to Angelou's creativity in transforming the typical single-volume autobiography into a six-volume personal and cultural adventure that tells the truth but reads like fiction. The narratives cover the years from the Great Depression (1941) to the days following the assassinations of Malcolm X (1965) and Martin Luther King (1968), emphasizing Angelou's roles as mother, daughter, granddaughter, wife, and friend. This revised edition also presents information about Maya Angelou's funeral and her continuing legacy since her death in 2014. The depth and scope of the book's observations regarding Angelou's autobiographies will be of great interest to readers seeking an analysis of the interconnections among Angelou's writings as well as serve students taking courses in women's studies or black culture studies"--Publisher's website.

The Harlem Renaissance : a historical exploration of literature

June 27, 2017
Domina, Lynn, author.
Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, [2015]
xx, 243 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Includes chronology, discussion questions, suggested readings, and index.
I. Introduction and background to the Harlem Renaissance -- II. Chronology -- III. The poetry of Claude McKay and Langston Hughes -- IV. Cane -- V. Passing and Quicksand -- VI. Their eyes were watching God.
"A perfect guide for use in high school classes, this book explores the fascinating literature of the Harlem Renaissance, reviewing classic works in the context of the history, society, and culture of its time"-- Provided by publisher.

History of African Americans : exploring diverse roots

June 27, 2017
Davis, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph), author.
Santa Barbara, California : Greenwood, an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC, [2016]
xxxiii, 271 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Chronology of key dates in African American history -- Voyage to these shores -- Coming to America -- A people in the making -- Strike a blow and steal away -- Keep on keeping on -- Under the lash -- Lift that bale -- The way they do my life -- There's a change coming -- Actual freedom -- A dream deferred -- A new Negro -- A Great Depression -- Conquer hate -- Keep on pushing -- The revolution was televised -- Fight the power -- Challenges, dreams, and hopes.
"Over the centuries Black peoples in America have nurtured distinctive attitudes, beliefs, characters, folkways, and manners. They have shared common circumstances and conditions that have distinguished them in America beyond reference to the continent of their ancestral origins or their physical appearance. Yet African Americans have never been singular in experience or outlook. They have ever been diverse peoples. Time, temperament, talents, opportunities, place, and interpersonal relations, among myriad elements of life, have invariably set Blacks apart from one another as individuals and as groups, even as pronounced racial distinction and discrimination have invariably set Blacks as a group apart from others in America. African American history is thus not singular or simple; it has many facets and layers; it spreads across time and place and personalities."--Provided by publisher.

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.
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.
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.
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.


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