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Don't Make a Black Woman Take off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life
Tyler Perry
1594489211
April 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
One could say that if the title of this book confuses you, then you probably shouldn't be reading it. But, as Madea helpfully suggests, "If you don't understand something I'm saying here and you're not black, you will have to ask somebody who is." Madea—Southern-speak for "mother dear"—is the fierce alter ego of Tyler Perry, who has paraded the marijuana-smoking, pistol-packing, trash-talking matron through a series of hit gospel plays and films. Although primarily a comic figure based on unapologetically crude behavior coming from a harmless-looking old lady, Madea is envisioned by Perry (who provides his own introduction before turning the reins over to his inner grandma) as a throwback to a time when strong matriarchs ruled the community. The result is a surprisingly fresh compilation of homespun...


Scam
Jesse Lee Peterson
1595550453
Oct 2005
Paperback
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Book Description

In this bold, provocative book, now in paperback, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson-the most outspoken critic of the civil-rights establishment in America today-lays bare the black community's corrupt leadership, calling black Americans to shake off the stranglehold of these "leaders" and take control of a future full of hope and promise. Peterson courageously takes aim at the biggest names-Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Al Sharpton, and Maxine Waters, among others-claiming they are nothing more than scam artists profiting off the hatred and disorder they foster in the black community.



Hattie McDaniel
Jill Watts
0060514906
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
In her imperfect yet fascinating biography, Watts (Mae West) unveils the largely tragic tale of Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Academy Award. Born in 1893, the youngest daughter of freed slaves, McDaniel sang and danced to help provide for her poverty-stricken family. Her early career as a comedian and singer garnered raves. She landed in Hollywood, appearing as an extra in scores of early 1930s films. Soon speaking roles in films like Stella Dallas led to her Oscar-winning performance as Mammy in the 1939 epic Gone with the Wind. This achievement marked the pinnacle of McDaniel's career—and heralded its collapse. Despite the complexity of her portrayal, McDaniel became typecast as the affable, disgruntled or tippling domestic. Although she'd educated herself , dressed elegantly and...


Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America
Nathan McCall
0679740708
January 1995
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
McCall's autobiography?a seven-week PW bestseller?tracks his trajectory from the streets of Portsmouth, Va., to prison, rehabilitation and a job at the Washington Post; features a new introduction by the author. Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
YA-An autobiography that captures the pain, anger, and fierce determination of a black journalist writing today for the Washington Post. McCall's open and honest description of his life as a boy in a black neighborhood in Portsmouth, VA, his participation in violent criminal acts, and his eventual imprisonment for armed robbery seem somehow to be an expression of the rage of so many young people in America's urban areas. While imprisoned, he worked as inmate librarian and was so moved by...


Out of America
Keith B. Richburg
0156005832
July 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
From 1991 to 1994, Keith Richburg was based in Nairobi as the Africa bureau chief for the Washington Post. He traveled throughout Africa, from Rwanda to Zaire, witnessing and reporting on wars, famines, mass murders, and the complexity and corruption of African politics. Unlike many black Americans who romanticize Africa, Richburg looks back on his time there and concludes that he is simply an American, not an African American. This is a powerful, hard-hitting book, filled with anguished soul-searching as Richburg makes his way toward that uncomfortable conclusion. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

The New York Times Book Review, William Finnegan
To his credit, Mr. Richburg lays out his own confusion and guilt about saying some of the things he does . ....


The Souls of Black Folk (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
W. E. B. Du Bois
1593081715
January 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) is the greatest of African American intellectuals--a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation's history from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois penned his epochal masterpiece, The Souls of Black Folk, in 1903. It remains his most studied and popular work; its insights into Negro life at the turn of the 20th century still ring true.

With a dash of the Victorian and Enlightenment influences that peppered his impassioned yet formal prose, the book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the...



Authentically Black
John McWhorter
1592400469
Jan 2004
Paperback
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From Booklist
McWhorter, a linguistics professor, ventures again into his sideline as a black public intellectual as he did in his earlier work, Losing the Race: Self-Sabotage in Black America (2000), this time examining the direction--or misdirection--of black leadership in America. His working assumption is that black leaders--wedded to the political left, the Democratic Party, and affirmative action--are out of step with the times. He argues that the civil rights era is dead, and appropriately so. The new battleground against racism requires individual rather than collective action. McWhorter criticizes the icons and issues of black leadership from Randall Robinson on reparations, to Jesse Jackson's shakedown of lucrative deals for his friends, to Al Sharpton for perpetuating notions of victimhood. McWhorter's criticism of...


The Souls of Black Folk (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)
W. E. B. Du Bois
159308014X
May 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) is the greatest of African American intellectuals--a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation's history from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois penned his epochal masterpiece, The Souls of Black Folk, in 1903. It remains his most studied and popular work; its insights into Negro life at the turn of the 20th century still ring true.

With a dash of the Victorian and Enlightenment influences that peppered his impassioned yet formal prose, the book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the...



Black Like Me
John Howard Griffin
0451208641
May 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Griffin's (The Devil Rides Outside) mid-century classic on race brilliantly withstands both the test of time and translation to audio format. Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discriminations" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. Griffin imparts the hopelessness and despair he felt while executing his social experiment, and professional narrator Childs renders this...


Black like Me
John Howard Griffin
0451192036
November 1996
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Griffin's (The Devil Rides Outside) mid-century classic on race brilliantly withstands both the test of time and translation to audio format. Concerned by the lack of communication between the races and wondering what "adjustments and discriminations" he would face as a Negro in the Deep South, the late author, a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions. Griffin imparts the hopelessness and despair he felt while executing his social experiment, and professional narrator Childs renders this...


The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother
James McBride
1573225789
February 1997
Paperback
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Book Review
Order this book ... and please don't be put off by its pallid subtitle, A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, which doesn't begin to do justice to the utterly unique and moving story contained within. The Color of Water tells the remarkable story of Ruth McBride Jordan, the two good men she married, and the 12 good children she raised. Jordan, born Rachel Shilsky, a Polish Jew, immigrated to America soon after birth; as an adult she moved to New York City, leaving her family and faith behind in Virginia. Jordan met and married a black man, making her isolation even more profound. The book is a success story, a testament to one woman's true heart, solid values, and indomitable will. Ruth Jordan battled not only racism but also poverty to raise her children and, despite being sorely tested, never wavered. In...


Black Lies, White Lies
Tony Brown
0688151310
Feb 1997
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Like a series of talk shows (the author hosts Tony Brown's Journal on PBS), this somewhat disjointed book raises both interesting and half-baked ideas, with no one topic fully developed. Brown's basic theme on race relations is sound: blacks shouldn't expect whites to rescue them, but whites must also see that their fate is linked to that of all fellow Americans. A prominent black Republican, Brown has harsh and sometimes appropriate criticism of black leaders, but he undermines his case with a broad-brush assessment of the black community (which he divides into four "tribes") and exaggerated references to black leaders' support for (and America's drift to) "socialism." Also, Brown argues that AIDS is misidentified and connected mainly to drug use, sees "cultural diversity" (defined vaguely) as a cure for...


Black Inventors in the Age of Segregation
Rayvon Fouchi
0801873193
Sept 2003
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Fouche takes an interesting and challenging approach to examining the lives of three black inventors: Woods, a mechanical engineer who patented an elevator signaling device, an electric railway conduit, and a steam boiler furnace; Latimer, a corporate consultant who copatented the train car lavatory; and Davidson, a federal employee who refined adding machines. Fouche focuses on the "living reality" of these three men, providing context for how they managed the issues of their day, their American identity, their race, and the technology. He also explores the distortions that have led to the mythology surrounding them as blacks have sought heroes and whites have sought to camouflage the contributions made by blacks. He details their personal lives and how they coped with the hardships of invention and the strictures of...


Destined to Witness: Growing up Black in Nazi Germany
Hans J. Massaquoi
0060959614
February 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In a unique addition to the literature of life under the Third Reich, Massaquoi, a former managing editor of Ebony magazine, chronicles his life as the son of a German nurse and Al-Haj Massaquoi, the son of the Liberian consul general to Germany. Soon after his birth in Hamburg in 1926, the author's father returned to Liberia to bolster his family's failing stature in national politics, leaving his wife and son to grapple with everyday life amid the rise of fascism in Germany. The Reich's racial politics were so steadfastly drummed into German schoolchildren that the young Hans quickly acquired an anti-Semitic outlook only to realize that he was also subject to discrimination as a non-Aryan. He sought intellectual escape from German nationalism through reading books by Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and James...


Black Boy
Richard Wright
0060929782
September 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
With an introduction by Jerry W. Ward, Jr. Black Boy is a classic of American autobiography, a subtly crafted narrative of Richard Wright's journey from innocence to experience in the Jim Crow South. An enduring story of one young man's coming off age during a particular time and place, Black Boy remains a seminal text in our history about what it means to be a man, black, and Southern in America. "Superb...The Library of America has insured that most of Wright's major texts are now available as he wanted them to be tread...Most important of all is the opportunity we now have to hear a great American writer speak with his own voice about matters that still resonate at the center of our lives."--Alfred Kazin, New York Time Book Review "The publication of this new edition is not just an editorial...


A Stranger and a Sojourner
Billy D. Higgins
1557287775
Sept 2004
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Higgins presents a more complex and nuanced picture of life for blacks in the antebellum South in this portrait of a black frontiersman who lived and thrived in the Arkansas Territory. He traces Caulder's military service as a young man in the War of 1812, his membership in the South Carolina militia, and his eventual settlement in the Arkansas Territory among whites who accepted him as an equal citizen. Supporting a wife and many children, he lived peacefully for more than three decades until the tensions leading to the Civil War. Using numerous historical resources, Higgins reconstructs Caulder's life as an independent, though engaged, citizen of the territory. He also portrays the number of other free blacks who lived in tentative peace and self-sufficiency among white neighbors until the murder of a local white man,...


Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man
Charles Barkley
1594200424
March 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
"Racism," Charles Barkley says, "is the biggest cancer of my lifetime. And I know I can't cure the cancer, but doesn't somebody have to attack it?" Barkley's means of attack in Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?--not surprising from one of the most outspoken athletes of our time--is to break past the taboo of race by talking about it in the open. What might be surprising is that Barkley steps aside and lets other people talk, too. While in his previous bestseller, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, the former NBA MVP and current TNT commentator held forth on a wide variety of subjects, for his new book he sought out a baker's dozen of leading figures in entertainment, business, and government (and yes, one athlete) and sat down with each for a frank conversation about race. Of course race is not a simple topic,...


Speak, So You Can Speak Again
Lucy Hurston
0385493754
Oct 2004
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
This photo- and facsimile-filled volume offers a marvelous multi-media introduction to one of the most celebrated American writers of the 20th century. Readers can follow Zora Neale Hurston’s life journey, from Eatonville, Fla., (map of the town included) where she was born in 1891, to her years as a student at Howard University (read her first published story, "John Redding Goes to Sea," reproduced from the campus literary magazine), and then to New York City and Barnard College, where she was the only black student at the time. Copies of typescripts of poems (some never before published) are included, and her success as part of the Harlem Renaissance is touched upon, as well (read her notes for various works and see the cover of the Saturday Review featuring Hurston). But perhaps the item that most brings...


Naked: Black Women Bare All about Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips, and Other Parts
Ayana Byrd (Editor)
0399531637
August 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
"These bodies are for ourselves," says Sonia Sanchez in the introduction to this candid and provocative set of essays, all centered squarely on black women's bodies-and the myths and misogynies located therein. Byrd has written for Vibe and Rolling Stone; Solomon is a former senior editor at the Source and current health editor for Essence. Together, they have gathered black women from a variety of walks of life, from hip hop icon Melyssa Ford and superstar singer Kelis to an AIDS-afflicted feminist activist, and a former prostitute serving twenty-five years for murdering "a john... who became the unintended victim of my rage and depression and self-hatred." In between are notes on "My Tush" ("Butt, ass, bum, booty, rump, onion, junk in the trunk, ba-dunck-ka-dunk, rear, backside"), "Ho Gear," "The Curl," "Femme...


Souls of My Brothers
Dawn Marie Daniels
0452284600
Aug 2003
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In their follow-up to the Essence bestseller Souls of My Sisters, Daniels and Sandy gather contributions from black men-from actors, community organizers, party planners and ministers, from Coolio to Busta Rhymes to Mayor Willie Brown-to explore the challenges and triumphs of the African-American male experience. Like the previous book, this volume organizes first-person narratives into themed chapters (e.g. "Power and Respect"; "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine") introduced by brief editorial commentary, but primarily lets the men speak for themselves. Kevin Greene, the founder of an eponymous film production company, writes about the problem of absentee fathers, which he calls "a cancer eating away an entire culture"; singer Kenny Lattimore eulogizes his mother, who was "my biggest cheerleader, business partner, and...

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