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New Books Spotlight : Black Resistance, Part 1

Howe Library Celebrates Black History Month! Check out our New Books Spotlight for books featuring Black Resistance.


No justice, no peace : from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter edited by Devin Allen; with images by Gordon Parks; foreword by Jamel Shabazz

"Devin Allen's generationally-defining protests of the Black Lives Matter movement are juxtapose alongside those of Black activist Gordon Parks' photos of the Civil Rights Movement. These are supplemented by writings from influential authors and poets from throughout history, to create a vision of the past and future of Black activism and leadership in America. Side by side, these photos and essays show where the movements of yesterday and today meet and where they differ, how modern activists continue to build on and expand the ideas set forth by earlier leaders, and create a stern missive about the moral responsibility of Americans to break unjust laws and take direct action. "


Riding Jane Crow : African American women on the American railroad by Miriam Thaggert (eBook)

"Miriam Thaggert illuminates the stories of African American women as passengers and as workers on the nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century railroad. As Jim Crow laws became more prevalent and forced Black Americans to "ride Jim Crow" on the rails, the train compartment became a contested space of leisure and work. Riding Jane Crow examines four instances of Black female railroad travel: the travel narratives of Black female intellectuals such as Anna Julia Cooper and Mary Church Terrell; Black middle-class women who sued to ride in first class "ladies' cars"; Black women railroad food vendors; and Black maids on Pullman trains. Thaggert argues that the railroad represented a technological advancement that was entwined with African American attempts to secure social progress. Black women's experiences on or near the railroad illustrate how American technological progress has often meant their ejection or displacement; thus, it is the Black woman who most fully measures the success of American freedom and privilege, or "progress," through her travel experiences."

Vanguard : how Black women broke barriers, won the vote, and insisted on equality for all by Martha S. Jones

"According to conventional wisdom, American women's campaign for the vote began with the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 and ended with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. The movement was led by storied figures such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. But this women's movement was an overwhelmingly white one, and it secured the constitutional right to vote for white women, not for all women. In Vanguard, acclaimed historian Martha Jones offers a sweeping history of African American women's political lives in America, recounting how they fought for, won, and used the right to the ballot and how they fought against both racism and sexism. From 1830s Boston to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 and beyond to Shirley Chisholm, Stacey Abrams, and Kamala Harris, Jones excavates the lives and work of Black women who, although in many cases suffragists, were never single-issue activists. She recounts the lives of Maria Stewart, the first American woman to speak about politics before a mixed audience of men and women; African Methodist Episcopal preacher Jarena Lee; Reconstruction-era advocate for female suffrage Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Boston abolitionist, religious leader, and women's club organizer Eliza Ann Gardner; and other hidden figures who were pioneers for both gender and racial equality. Revealing the ways Black women remained independent in their ideas and their organization, Jones shows how Black women were again and again the American vanguard of women's rights, setting the pace in the quest for justice and collective liberation. In the twenty-first century, Black women's power at the polls and in politics is evident. Vanguard reveals that this power is not at all new, but is instead the culmination of two centuries of dramatic struggle"


My faith in the Constitution is whole: Barbara Jordan and the politics of scriptures by Robin L. Owens

"This is a critical investigation of the engagements of scriptures in the life and speeches of U.S. Congresswoman Barbara C. Jordan (1936-1996). This study explains how scriptures work and are used by Barbara Jordan as a vehicle for political activism to illustrate an example of a larger phenomenon of scripturalizing and scripturalization outside of the context of institutional religion. In order to give a fuller context to Barbara Jordan's rhetorical strategies as an African American woman, Owens first considers the lives, speeches and use of scriptures of the formidable 19th century African American women orators and political activists, Maria W. Stewart and Anna Julia Cooper, who serve as precursors to Barbara Jordan. The author argues that Barbara Jordan makes American scripture, i.e., the Constitution, function in her speeches as a central component in a discursive rhetorical strategy of indirection, which she refers to as "signifying on scriptures." Jordan uses the Constitution, along with her personal history as an African American woman, to promote advocacy for racial justice and gender equality. The book is proposed for a new series, edited by Terrence Johnson, on Race, Religion, and Politics. Race, Religion, and Politics explores the increasingly creative and critical attention paid by scholars in recent decades to race and racial construction-political, cultural, theological, and philosophical-in the formation of religion and in the relationship between religion and politics. This book series examines the conditions under which religion and politics coexist within varying and competing conceptual schemes of race. The books in the series will engage with new narratives emerging from the study of global capitalism and from public discourse on democracy, social transformation, and democratic theory. Broadly historical and theological, the series showcases work that creatively weaves together methods and critical insights from a range of disciplines and debates. It seeks to uncover, examine, and inform global discussions on the most pressing issues emerging from religion and politics, race and religion, and faith and social transformation"

The 1619 Project : a new origin story edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, Ilena Silverman, and Jake Silverstein (Print ; eBook)

"The animating idea of The 1619 Project is that our national narrative is more accurately told if we begin not on July 4, 1776, but in late August of 1619, when a ship arrived in Jamestown bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival inaugurated a barbaric and unprecedented system of chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country's original sin, but it is more than that: It is the country's very origin. The 1619 Project tells this new origin story, placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are as a country. Orchestrated by the editors of The New York Times Magazine, led by MacArthur "genius" and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, this collection of essays and historical vignettes includes some of the most outstanding journalists, thinkers, and scholars of American history and culture--including Linda Villarosa, Jamelle Bouie, Jeneen Interlandi, Matthew Desmond, Wesley Morris, and Bryan Stevenson. Together, their work shows how the tendrils of 1619--of slavery and resistance to slavery--reach into every part of our contemporary culture, from voting, housing and healthcare, to the way we sing and dance, the way we tell stories, and the way we worship. Interstitial works of flash fiction and poetry bring the history to life through the imaginative interpretations of some of our greatest writers. The 1619 Project ultimately sends a very strong message: We must have a clear vision of this history if we are to understand our present dilemmas. Only by reckoning with this difficult history and trying as hard as we can to understand its powerful influence on our present, can we prepare ourselves for a more just future"

The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

"Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry's master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town--with Brown, who believes he's a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry--whom Brown nicknames Little Onion--conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Little Onion finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859--one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. An absorbing mixture of history and imagination, and told with McBride's meticulous eye for detail and character, The Good Lord Bird is both a rousing adventure and a moving exploration of identity and survival."

Harriet Tubman : the life and the life stories by Jean M. Humez

"Chronicles the life of Harriet Tubman based on the text of stories she told about her life, discussing her childhood in slavery, her religious beliefs, her escape to the North, her role in the Underground Railroad, and other related topics."

The 1619 Project : born on the water by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renée Watson; illustrated by Nikkolas Smith.

"Stymied by her unfinished family tree assignment for school, a young girl seeks Grandma's counsel and learns about her ancestors, the consequences of slavery, and the history of Black resistance in the United States."