List books in category Biographies & Memoirs / Cultural Heritage

  • Mister Satan s Apprentice: A Blues Memoir

    Mister Satan’s Apprentice: A Blues Memoir
    Adam Gussow

    Mister Satan's Apprentice is the history of one of music's most fascinating collaborations, between Adam Gussow, a young graduate school dropout and harmonica player, and Sterling “Mr. Satan” Magee, a guitarist and underground blues legend who had originally made his name as “Five Fingers Magee.”

  • Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School: A Memoir

    Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School: A Memoir
    Charlise Lyles

    A memoir of race and education, this is the story of a girl who grew up and out of the Cleveland projects in the 1960s and '70s. While growing up in Cleveland, young Charlise Lyles experienced turbulent events including race riots and a neighborhood murder. Yet she was inspired to appreciate literature at a young age, and she spent her days reading—and also often searching for the estranged father who taught her that love of learning. Despite starting in the “slow class” at an aging school on Cleveland's east side, Lyles had a thirst for knowledge and drive for success that would open a door to new opportunities. Granted a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in a wealthy suburb, the vibrant teenager finds herself presented with a bewildering set of new challenges—and a new direction in life.

  • Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education

    Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education
    Danielle Allen

    "Don't talk to strangers" is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. In this powerful and eloquent essay, Danielle Allen, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow, takes this maxim back to Little Rock, rooting out the seeds of distrust to replace them with "a citizenship of political friendship." Returning to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1954 and to the famous photograph of Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine, being cursed by fellow "citizen" Hazel Bryan, Allen argues that we have yet to complete the transition to political friendship that this moment offered. By combining brief readings of philosophers and political theorists with personal reflections on race politics in Chicago, Allen proposes strikingly practical techniques of citizenship. These tools of political friendship, Allen contends, can help us become more trustworthy to others and overcome the fossilized distrust among us. Sacrifice is the key concept that bridges citizenship and trust, according to Allen. She uncovers the ordinary, daily sacrifices citizens make to keep democracy working—and offers methods for recognizing and reciprocating those sacrifices. Trenchant, incisive, and ultimately hopeful, Talking to Strangers is nothing less than a manifesto for a revitalized democratic citizenry.

  • The Separate City: Black Communities in the Urban South, 1940-1968

    The Separate City: Black Communities in the Urban South, 1940-1968
    Christopher Silver

  • Andrew Durnford: A Black Sugar Planter in the Antebellum South

    Andrew Durnford: A Black Sugar Planter in the Antebellum South
    David O. Whitten

    Andrew Durnford (born 1800, New Orleans; died 1859, St. Rosalie Plan-tation), Free Man of Color, was born of an English father and a free woman of color. The Louisiana Purchase made him a citizen of the United States. Thomas Durnford, his father, and John McDonogh, a prosperous merchant of New Orleans and Baltimore, were friends and business associates. On Thomas's death Andrew continued the friendship and association (McDonogh was the godfather of Andrew's first son, Thomas McDonogh Durnford). Draw-Ing on McDonogh for credit, Durnford purchased land south of New Orleans In Plaquemines Parish and, with a small cadre of slaves, established a sugar plantation. David O. Whitten's biography of Durnford draws on exten-sive primary materials, including let-ters between the principals, that bespeak not only an active correspon-dence but two extraordinary careers. Reinforced with newspaper ac-counts and court records, the Durnford-McDonogh letters offer an intimate view into the life and work of an antebellum planter and depict the social intercourse of a black man in a society built on black slavery. Facile in English and French, Durnford read widely and commented in letters on works of the day. He journeyed to distant Pennsylvania and Virginia in 1835 to procure slaves and then re-turn with them to his Louisiana plan-tation. Letters between Durnford and McDonogh during the lengthy trip pro-vide a unique travelogue–a black man, in the company of his black bondsmen, traversing the heart of slave country. Had Durnford done no more than build a sugar plantation out of the wilderness with black slave labor, his accounts would be valuable, but he also practiced medicine, recounting his experiences in a journal and in letters to McDonogh. The Durnford volume of-fers singular accounts of American life and labor in the first half of the nine-teenth century. Had he been white, the narrative would be of inestimable value, but because Durnford was black, free, and a medical practitioner, his life stands as a rare example of a man and a culture adjusting to pecu-liar social orders. Noted historian John Hope Franklin sums up this contribution to African American studies: "David Whitten has performed an important service in bringing the life of Andrew Durnford to the attention of students of the an-tebellum South, of the plantation economy, and of race relations–He has placed us all in his debt and he has set an example for others to fol-low."

  • Hotel Kid: A Times Square Childhood

    Hotel Kid: A Times Square Childhood
    Stephen Lewis

    "Funny, poignant, sad and wistful…This is a very fine book—about a person, and a city, growing up."—Philadelphia Inquirer"This delightful yet poignant memoir is highly recommended for both public and academic libraries."—Library Journal (starred review)"The charming Hotel Kid is as luxurious as the lobby in a five-star hotel."—San Francisco ChronicleA Manhattan landmark for fifty years, the Taft in its heyday in the 1930s and '40s was the largest hotel in midtown, famed for the big band in its basement restaurant and the view of Times Square from its towers. As the son of the general manager, Stephen Lewis grew up in this legendary hotel, living with his parents and younger brother in a suite overlooking the Roxy Theater. His engaging memoir of his childhood captures the colorful, bustling atmosphere of the Taft, where his father, the best hotelman in New York, ruled a staff of Damon Runyonesque house dicks, chambermaids, bellmen, and waiters, who made sure that Stephen knew what to do with a swizzle stick by the time he was in the third grade.The star of this memoir is Lewis's fast-talking, opinionated, imperious mother, who adapted so completely to hotel life that she rarely left the Taft. Evelyn Lewis rang the front desk when she wanted to make a telephone call, ordered all the family's meals from room service, and had her dresses sent over from Saks. During the Depression, the tough kids from Hell's Kitchen who went to grade school with Stephen marveled at the lavish spreads his mother offered her friends at lunch every day, and later even his wealthy classmates at Horace Mann-Lincoln were impressed by the limitless hot fudge sundaes available to the Lewis boys.Lewis contrasts the fairy-tale luxury of his life inside the hotel with the gritty carnival spirit of his Times Square neighborhood, filled with the noise of trolleys, the smell of saloons, the dazzle of billboards and neon signs. In Hotel Kid, lovers of New York can visit the nightclubs and movie palaces of a vanished era and thread their way among the sightseers and hucksters, shoeshine boys and chorus girls who crowded the streets when Times Square really was the crossroads of the world."[T]his postcard from a vanished age nicely captures a special childhood rivaling Eloise's"—Kirkus Reviews"A colorful and nostalgic snapshot of a vanished era."—Bloomsbury Review"Chockfull of history and wit, Stephen Lewis' account of his charming yet preposterous childhood spent in a suite at the Taft Hotel ordering from room service and playing games like elevator free fall is a five-star read. Hotel Kid pays tribute to an elegant time long ago that was very elegant and is very gone. It's a book we've been waiting for without realizing it: at long last, an Eloise for grown ups."—Madeleine Blais, author of Uphill Walkers: Portrait of a FamilyStephen Lewis on Hotel Kid: "Raised in a loving cocoon of chambermaids, bellboys, porters, waiters, and housedicks, I led a fairy tale existence as the son of the general manager of the Hotel Taft, just off Times Square and Radio City. During the darkest days of the Depression, my younger brother and I treated our friends to limitless chocolate éclairs and ice cream sodas. Vague longings for a 'real American life' rose only occasionally — as rare as the home-cooked meals my mother attempted once or twice a year. From my privileged vantage point in a four-room suite on the fifteenth floor, overlooking the chorus girls sunbathing on the roof of the Roxy Theater, I grew into adolescence, both street-smart and sheltered by the hundreds of hotel workers who had known me since I was a baby."

  • Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House

    Behind the Scenes: Or, Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House
    Elizabeth Keckley

    ELIZABETH HOBBS KECKLEY (1818-1907), dressmaker to the elite of Washington D.C. on the eve of the Civil War, was, remarkably, a free black woman who'd purchased her emancipation through the fruits of her own hard work. In 1861, she became the personal designer to Mary Todd Lincoln, as well as one of the First Lady's closest confidantes. Only a few years later, however, that relationship was in ruins, when this 1868 book created a scandal. Intended by Keckley to rehabilitate the reputation of the former First Lady-who had run up extensive debts on clothing and other luxuries while in the White House, and found herself unable to repay them after the President's assassination-the book was perceived instead as a betrayal of friendship. Perhaps one of the first examples of celebrity gossip publishing gone awry, Behind the Scenes does, nevertheless, offer an insider perspective on the Lincoln White House that will intrigue armchair historians and fans of biography alike.

  • No Color Is My Kind: The Life of Eldrewey Stearns and the Integration of Houston

    No Color Is My Kind: The Life of Eldrewey Stearns and the Integration of Houston
    Thomas R. Cole

    No Color Is My Kind is an uncommon chronicle of identity, fate, and compassion as two men—one Jewish and one African American—set out to rediscover a life lost to manic depression and alcoholism. In 1984, Thomas Cole discovered Eldrewey Stearns in a Galveston psychiatric hospital. Stearns, a fifty-two-year-old black man, complained that although he felt very important, no one understood him. Over the course of the next decade, Cole and Stearns, in a tumultuous and often painful collaboration, recovered Stearns' life before his slide into madness—as a young boy in Galveston and San Augustine and as a civil rights leader and lawyer who sparked Houston's desegregation movement between 1959 and 1963. While other southern cities rocked with violence, Houston integrated its public accommodations peacefully. In these pages appear figures such as Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Leon Jaworski, and Dan Rather, all of whom—along with Stearns—maneuvered and conspired to integrate the city quickly and calmly. Weaving the tragic story of a charismatic and deeply troubled leader into the record of a major historic event, Cole also explores his emotionally charged collaboration with Stearns. Their poignant relationship sheds powerful and healing light on contemporary race relations in America, and especially on issues of power, authority, and mental illness.

  • The Face: Cartography of the Void

    The Face: Cartography of the Void
    Chris Abani

    In The Face: Cartography of the Void, acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenwriter Chris Abani has given us a brief memoir that is, in the best tradition of the genre, also an exploration of the very nature of identity. Abani meditates on his own face, beginning with his early childhood that was immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa. The Face is a lush work of art that teems with original and profound insights into the role of race, culture, and language in fashioning our sense of self. Abani’s writing is poetic, filled with stories, jokes, and reflections that draw readers into his fold; he invites them to explore their own “faces” and the experiences that have shaped them.As Abani so lovingly puts it, this extended essay contemplates “all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softened by it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life.” The Face is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers. Abani directs his gaze both inward and out toward the world around him, creating a self-portrait in which readers will also see their own faces reflected.Abani’s essay is part of a groundbreaking new series from Restless Books called The Face, in which a diverse group of writers takes readers on a guided tour of that most intimate terrain: their own faces. Visit www.restlessbooks.com/the-face-series for more information.Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, and has resided in the United States since 2001. His fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas, Song For Night, The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail, GraceLand, and Masters of the Board. His poetry collections are Sanctificum, There Are No Names for Red, Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems, Hands Washing Water, Dog Woman, Daphne’s Lot, and Kalakuta Republic.

  • Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas

    Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas
    Donald E. Chipman

    The Spanish colonial era in Texas (1528-1821) continues to emerge from the shadowy past with every new archaeological and historical discovery. In this book, years of archival sleuthing by Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph now reveal the real human beings behind the legendary figures who discovered, explored, and settled Spanish Texas.By combining dramatic, real-life incidents, biographical sketches, and historical background, the authors bring to life these famous (and sometimes infamous) men of Spanish Texas:Alvar Núñez Cabeza de VacaAlonso de LeónFrancisco HidalgoLouis Juchereau de St. DenisAntonio MargilThe Marqués de AguayoPedro de RiveraFelipe de RábagoJosé de EscandónAthanase de MézièresThe Marqués de RubíAntonio Gil IbarvoDomingo CabelloJosé Bernardo Gutiérrez de LaraJoaquín de ArredondoThe authors also devote a chapter to the women of Spanish Texas, drawing on scarce historical clues to tell the stories of both well-known and previously unknown Tejana, Indian, and African women.

  • Malcolm X: A Biography: The life and times of Malcolm X, in one convenient little book.

    Malcolm X: A Biography: The life and times of Malcolm X, in one convenient little book.
    Steven Takamura

    Description ABOUT THE BOOK Malcolm X was a famous African-American human rights activist and spokesperson for Black Nationalism in the United States. As a polarizing figure within the media of mid-20th century America, he attracted massive plaudits from his followers and huge criticisms from his opponents. Departing from the passive practices of his contemporaries, Malcolm advocated a much more aggressive approach in the fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. His speeches electrified his audiences and terrified his enemies. As if in narrative, it was during one of his speeches, doing what he did best, that Malcolm was assassinated by three gunmen set on silencing him. With his family moving several times due to racist incidents as a boy, Malcolm's negative views towards white people and institutionalized racism developed early. Never settling for long and watching his family fall apart, he fell into a young life of crime and was sent to a juvenile detention center at the age of 13. It was that same year that his mother was placed in a mental institution. Leaving school at 15, he became involved with gambling, drug dealing, and racketeering, before eventually being sent to prison for breaking and entering at the age of 20. It was there, through a friend, that he discovered the power of words for the first time. Encouraged by his brothers from the outside, he found religion, became a Muslim and joined the Nation of Islam. Upon his release he became a minister for the Nation of Islam and quickly rose through their ranks.

  • Bishop C.H. Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ

    Bishop C.H. Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ
    Bishop Ithiel C. Clemmons, Ph.D.

    The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the first major denomination to spring from the fires of the Azusa Street revival, profoundly affected the history of the black church. Its tremendous influence can be traced to the dynamic spiritual life of its founder, Charles Harrison Mason. The son of a slave and a leader in the holiness movement of his day, Mason traveled to Azusa Street in 1907 where he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Returning home, he discovered that visions, spontaneous healing and deliverance followed him. A new power accompanied his preaching, and he experienced freedom from former limitations. Mason’s vibrant spiritual life enabled him to lead a fledgling movement from its infancy to a powerful, prophetic community over the next fifty years. Beginning in the rural South in the decades following the Reconstruction Era, the denomination gradually moved into urban areas during the 1900’s. No matter where its ministers, however, the COGIC Church holds in tension the dynamics of holiness, spiritual encounter and prophetic Christian social consciousness. Facing the challenges of our generation, the COGIC Church desires to maintain the legacy of its founder as it prepares for another century of work and witness."Our younger generations need to know the rich legacy bequeathed to them by the pioneers of the Church of God in Christ." Bishop Chandler D. Owens"This valuable book should be in the hands of every member of the Church of God in Christ." Bishop C. L. Anderson"God gave Bishop C. H. Mason an anointing to preach powerfully, to heal the sick, and to sing out in spontaneous worship. May we covet the same anointing that transformed thousands in his day." Bishop J. Neaul Haynes"We are the descendants of a mighty move of God that began at Azusa Street. This book will help us to pass on an equally dynamic spiritual life to our succes­sors, taking the Church of God in Christ into the next century." Bishop P. A. Brooks"Church leaders would do well to emulate the dynamic spiritual life of our founder; Bishop C. H. Mason." Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr."Every pastor in our denomination and beyond should have a worn and well­ read copy of this book." Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr."Bishop Clemmons reminds us that our denomination was forged in the fires of a pentecostal revival that continues to impact our society today." Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson"Our roots establish our legacy and provide the springboard for the future. This documentation is a must for this generation and the generations to come." Mother Emma F. Crouch, Supervisor, Women's Department, Church of God in Christ, President, International Women's Convention"This is must reading for every seminary student preparing to minister in the Church of God in Christ. This will be extremely valuable to students of church history regardless of denomination." Dr. H. Vinson Synan, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Divinity, Regent University"Finally, a documentary written by a black historian/theologian and a lifelong member of the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Clemmons' perspective is in­sightful, informative, and refreshing." Dr. William C. Turner, Ph.D., Professor of Theology, Duke Divinity School, Duke University"Allow Bishop C. H. Mason's vision to grip you, to challenge you, and to change you." Raymond C. Pierce, J.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights

  • Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School

    Do I Dare Disturb the Universe?: From the Projects to Prep School
    Charlise Lyles

    "Lyles paints a detailed, thoughtful picture of race relations in the 1970s . . . Highly recommended." — Small Press ReviewA memoir of race and education, this is the story of a girl who grew up and out of the Cleveland projects in the 1960s and '70s. While growing up in Cleveland, young Charlise Lyles experienced turbulent events including race riots and a neighborhood murder. Yet she was inspired to appreciate literature at a young age, and she spent her days reading–and also often searching for the estranged father who taught her that love of learning. Despite starting in the "slow class" at an aging school on Cleveland's east side, Lyles had a thirst for knowledge and drive for success that would open a door to new opportunities. Granted a scholarship to a prestigious prep school in a wealthy suburb, the vibrant teenager finds herself presented with a bewildering set of new challenges–and a new direction in life.

  • The Nashville Way: Racial Etiquette and the Struggle for Social Justice in a Southern City

    The Nashville Way: Racial Etiquette and the Struggle for Social Justice in a Southern City
    Benjamin Houston

    Among Nashville's many slogans, the one that best reflects its emphasis on manners and decorum is the Nashville Way, a phrase coined by boosters to tout what they viewed as the city's amicable race relations. Benjamin Houston offers the first scholarly book on the history of civil rights in Nashville, providing new insights and critiques of this moderate progressivism for which the city has long been credited.Civil rights leaders such as John Lewis, James Bevel, Diane Nash, and James Lawson who came into their own in Nashville were devoted to nonviolent direct action, or what Houston calls the “black Nashville Way.” Through the dramatic story of Nashville's 1960 lunch counter sit-ins, Houston shows how these activists used nonviolence to disrupt the coercive script of day-to-day race relations. Nonviolence brought the threat of its opposite—white violence—into stark contrast, revealing that the Nashville Way was actually built on a complex relationship between etiquette and brute force. Houston goes on to detail how racial etiquette forged in the era of Jim Crow was updated in the civil rights era. Combined with this updated racial etiquette, deeper structural forces of politics and urban renewal dictate racial realities to this day.In The Nashville Way, Houston shows that white power was surprisingly adaptable. But the black Nashville Way also proved resilient as it was embraced by thousands of activists who continued to fight battles over schools, highway construction, and economic justice even after most Americans shifted their focus to southern hotspots like Birmingham and Memphis.

  • The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

    The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
    Frederick Douglass

    I have neither been miserable because of the ill-feeling of those about me, nor indifferent to popular approval, and I think, upon the whole, I have passed a tolerably cheerful and even joyful life. I have never felt myself isolated since I entered the field to plead the cause of the slave, and demand equal rights for all. In every town and city where it has been my lot to speak, there have been raised up for me friends of both colors to cheer and strengthen me in my work. I have always felt, too, that I had on my side all the invisible forces of the moral government of the universe. -from Chapter 17: "Incidents and Events" American icon FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1818-1895)-editor, orator, author, statesman, and reformer-told his life story three times. First, in 1845's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, he felt it necessary to explain how a man born in chains could rise to national prominence and respect. In 1855, with My Bondage and My Freedom, he expanded upon his story with a more in-depth and even more thoughtful exploration of his life as a slave and his journey to escape it. (Both astonishing-and essential-books are also available from Cosimo.) His third autobiography, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass-first published in 1881 and presented here in the thoroughly revised 1892 edition-is his most reflective, offering the perspective of a man at the end of long life well lived. Douglass retells the story of his childhood and escape from slavery, offering details that he could not previously reveal, with friends, family, and other innocents still in the thrall of slavemasters. Now, though, with the Civil War and Emancipation well behind the nation, Douglass can also offer more provocative analyses of his own battle for personal freedom and his fight for the very soul of the nation. This classic of African-American literature and of 19th-century American history is a must-read for anyone wishing to consider himself well-read.

  • Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder

    Barbara Jordan: Speaking the Truth with Eloquent Thunder
    Max Sherman

    Revered by Americans across the political spectrum, Barbara Jordan was "the most outspoken moral voice of the American political system," in the words of former President Bill Clinton, who awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. Throughout her career as a Texas senator, U.S. congresswoman, and distinguished professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Barbara Jordan lived by a simple creed: "Ethical behavior means being honest, telling the truth, and doing what you said you were going to do." Her strong stand for ethics in government, civil liberties, and democratic values still provides a standard around which the nation can unite in the twenty-first century. This volume brings together several major political speeches that articulate Barbara Jordan's most deeply held values. They include: "Erosion of Civil Liberties," a commencement address delivered at Howard University on May 12, 1974, in which Jordan warned that "tyranny in America is possible" "The Constitutional Basis for Impeachment," Jordan's ringing defense of the U.S. Constitution before the House Judiciary Committee investigating the Watergate break-in Keynote addresses to the Democratic National Conventions of 1976 and 1992, in which Jordan set forth her vision of the Democratic Party as an advocate for the common good and a catalyst of change Testimony in the U.S. Congress on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and on immigration reform Meditations on faith and politics from two National Prayer Breakfasts Acceptance speech for the 1995 Sylvanus Thayer Award presented by the Association of Graduates of the United States Military Academy, in which Jordan challenged the military to uphold the values of "duty, honor, country" Accompanying the speeches, some of which readers can also watch on an enclosed DVD, are context-setting introductions by volume editor Max Sherman. The book concludes with the eloquent eulogy that Bill Moyers delivered at Barbara Jordan's memorial service in 1996, in which he summed up Jordan's remarkable life and career by saying, "Just when we despaired of finding a hero, she showed up, to give the sign of democracy…. This is no small thing. This, my friends, this is grace. And for it we are thankful."

  • A Mexican Dream: and Other Compositions

    A Mexican Dream: and Other Compositions
    Barbara Gonzalez Cigarroa

    A Mexican Dream and Other Compositions presents a rare collection of interwoven essays chronicling the fascinating history of the Cigarroa family and their influence on the Texas-Mexico border landscape. Barbara González Cigarroa brings to life stories of her ancestors and other family members, including: Rebecca Iriarte, who raised her five children during the Mexican Revolution of 1910; Judge Manuel J. Raymond, one of the last of the border patrones who expertly navigated contrasting cultures across border lines; Henry B. González, US Congressman and the first Mexican American elected to the Texas Senate during a time of blatant racial discrimination; Dr. Joaquin González Cigarroa Jr., a revered physician and education activist; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, pediatric transplant surgeon and former chancellor of the University of Texas system; Barbara Flores Cigarroa, a mother of ten whose values and resolve inspired her children and many grandchildren to excel in the finest universities and beyond. In presenting richly detailed vignettes with keen observation and grace, Cigarroa offers captivating and original insights not only into her family’s remarkable story, but also into the beauty of the extraordinary traits and enduring spirit of the people of our Texas borderlands.

  • My Bondage and My Freedom

    My Bondage and My Freedom
    Frederick Douglass

    If I ever wavered under the consideration, that the Almighty, in some way, ordained slavery, and willed my enslavement for his own glory, I wavered no longer. I had now penetrated the secret of all slavery and oppression, and had ascertained their true foundation to be in the pride, the power and the avarice of man. -from Chapter XI: "A Change Came O'er the Spirit of My Dream" He is one of the greatest Americans in the history of the nation: editor, orator, author, statesman, and reformer FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1818-1895) arrived on the national scene in 1841 to such universal acclaim that it seemed impossible for his admirers to conceive that he had been born and raised within chains. The first of his three autobiographies, 1845's Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (also available from Cosimo), was written mainly to explain how he accomplished this astonishing feat. This, the second of his life stories, was published in 1855, and offers a more in-depth and-though seemingly impossible-even more thoughtful exploration of his life as a slave and his journey to escape it than his first book had. Douglass also discusses the challenges of life not only as a free man but as a famous one much in demand, as a public speaker in the Northern States and in Great Britain as well. This edition also includes the original publication's appendix, which features letters and speeches by the great man. A foundational work of African-American literature and a vital document of 19th-century American history, this is the extraordinary tale of a personal battle for freedom that became a fight for the very soul of a nation.

  • Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz

    Remedios: The Healing Life of Eva Castellanoz
    Joanne B. Mulcahy

    Former President Ronald Reagan called Eva Castellanoz a "national treasure" when he awarded her an NEA National Heritage Fellowship in 1987. Featured in National Geographic, National Public Radio, and numerous other publications, Castellanoz is celebrated as a folk artist, community activist and a curandera, a traditional Mexican healer who uses a mind-body-spirit approach. During her 16 year friendship with Joanne Mulcahy, Castellanoz has revealed her life story as well as her remedios — her remedies, both medicinal and metaphoric — for life's maladies. Using her own observations and Castellanoz’s stories, Mulcahy employs creative nonfiction and oral accounts to portray the life, beliefs, and practices of this remarkable woman. Anyone who has been healed by Eva Castellanoz has felt her power and wisdom. Anyone who reads this vivid portrait will come away feeling wiser and empowered by the story of this courageous and loving healer.

  • Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young

    Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young
    Brian Shellum

    An unheralded military hero, Charles Young (18641922) was the third black graduate of West Point, the first African American national park superintendent, the first black U.S. military attach_, the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death. Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment tells the story of the man who-willingly or not-served as a standard-bearer for his race in the officer corps for nearly thirty years, and who, if not for racial prejudice, would have become the first African American general.

  • Building Atlanta: How I Broke Through Segregation to Launch a Business Empire

    Building Atlanta: How I Broke Through Segregation to Launch a Business Empire
    Herman Russell

    Born into a blue-collar family in the Jim Crow South, Herman J. Russell built a shoeshine business when he was twelve years old—and used the profits to buy a vacant lot where he built a duplex while he was still a teen. Over the next fifty years, he continued to build businesses, amassing one of the nation’s most profitable minority-owned conglomerates.In Building Atlanta, Russell shares his inspiring life story and reveals how he overcame racism, poverty, and a debilitating speech impediment to become one of the most successful African American entrepreneurs, Atlanta civic leaders, and unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. Not just a typical rags-to-riches story, Russell achieved his success through focus, planning, and humility, and he shares his winning advice throughout. As a millionaire builder before the civil rights movement took hold and a friend of Dr. King, Ralph Abernathy, and Andrew Young, he quietly helped finance the civil rights crusade, putting up bond for protestors and providing the funds that kept King’s dream alive. He provides a wonderful behind-the-scenes look at the role the business community, both black and white working together, played in Atlanta’s peaceful progression from the capital of the racially divided Old South to the financial center of the New South.

  • Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989

    Black Print with a White Carnation: Mildred Brown and the Omaha Star Newspaper, 1938-1989
    Amy Helene Forss

    Mildred Dee Brown (1905_89) was the cofounder of Nebraskaês Omaha Star, the longest running black newspaper founded by an African American woman in the United States. Known for her trademark white carnation corsage, Brown was the matriarch of Omahaês Near North Sideãa historically black part of townãand an iconic city leader. Her remarkable life, a product of the Reconstruction era and Jim Crow, reflects a larger American history that includes the Great Migration, the Red Scare of the post_World War era, civil rights and black power movements, desegregation, and urban renewal.Within the context of African American and womenês history studies, Amy Helene Forssês Black Print with a White Carnation examines the impact of the black press through the narrative of Brownês life and work. Forss draws on more than 150 oral histories, numerous black newspapers, and government documents to illuminate African American history during the political and social upheaval of the twentieth century. During Brownês fifty-one-year tenure, the Omaha Star became a channel of communication between black and white residents of the city, as well as an arena for positive weekly news in the black community. Brown and her newspaper led successful challenges to racial discrimination, unfair employment practices, restrictive housing covenants, and a segregated public school system, placing the woman with the white carnation at the center of Americaês changing racial landscape. ¾

  • From Berlin to Jerusalem: Memories of My Youth

    From Berlin to Jerusalem: Memories of My Youth
    Gershom Scholem

    "A serene, lucid and stylish essay in intellectual autobiography that at the same time commemorates a vanished world."—Times Literary Supplement"An extraordinary life—one that itself takes on symbolic, if not mystical, significance." —Robert ColesFrom Berlin to Jerusalem portrays the dual dramas of the author's total break from his middle-class German Jewish family and his ever-increasing dedication to the study of Jewish thought. Played out during the momentous years just before, during, and after World War I, these experiences eventually led Scholem to immigrate to Palestine in 1923."Gershom Scholem is historian who has remade the world…He is coming to be seen as one of the greatest shapers of contemporary thought, possibly the boldest mind-adventurer of our generation."—Cynthia Ozick, New York Times Book Review"A remarkable book."—Harold Bloom"[Scholem] vividly describes the spiritual and intellectual odyssey that drew him…to a rigorous immersion in the texts of Jewish tradition."—Library Journal

  • The Life of Mao

    The Life of Mao
    Ross Terrill

    "Indispensable to understanding the inseparable relationship between Mao and events in China over the last century. What's more, it's fascinating reading."- Chicago Sun-Times"Journalistic yet authoritative . . . lively and readable . . . insightful in . . . unraveling Mao's contradictions."– The New York Times"An illuminating full-length portrait . . ."– Los Angeles Times"Ross Terrill, probably this country's preeminent writer on China, has . . . given us a whole man to replace the two-dimensional representation . . ."- Boston GlobeEveryone who came into close contact with Chinese dictator Mao Zedong was surprised at his personal habits. He would stay up much of the night, sleep during the day, and would sometimes remain awake for thirty-six hours or more, until he finally collapsed. Yet many who met Mao were impressed by his intellectual reach, originality, and kindness. It would seem difficult to reconcile these two views of Mao. But there was no divide between Mao the man and Mao the leader. This insightful biography by China scholar Ross Terrill provides a comprehensive account of this powerful and polarizing figure.

  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

    Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave
    Frederick Douglass

    "Now," said he, "if you teach that nigger (speaking of myself) how to read, there would be no keeping him. It would forever unfit him to be a slave. He would at once become unmanageable, and of no value to his master. As to himself, it would do him no good, but a great deal of harm. It would make him discontented and unhappy." These words sank deep into my heart, stirred up sentiments within that lay slumbering, and called into existence an entirely new train of thought. It was a new and special revelation… -from Chapter VI It may be a measure of how far we have come, as a nation and as human beings, to feel shock to realize that one of the greatest Americans ever to have graced the cultural stage-editor, orator, author, statesman, and reformer FREDERICK DOUGLASS (1818-1895)-was born into bondage, merely by dint of the color of his skin. Taught to read and write by the wife of his owner, however, he escaped into an intellectual world that would become his extraordinary battleground for the freedom of those enslaved and, indeed, for the future of the United States. This work, first published in 1845, is the first of three autobiographies Douglass penned, and it became one of the most influential documents of a life in slavery ever written, as well as a powerful spur to the then-burgeoning abolitionist movement. From his childhood of abuse, neglect, and separation from family to his dramatic escape to the North, this is a stunning work of both literature and politics. An absolute classic not only of African-American history but of the history of the advance of human civilization, this is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the turbulent story of the United States in the 19th century.

  • Where the Bird Sings Best

    Where the Bird Sings Best
    Alejandro Jodorowsky

    The magnum opus from Alejandro Jodorowsky—director of The Holy Mountain, star of Jodorowsky’s Dune, spiritual guru behind Psychomagic and The Way of Tarot, innovator behind classic comics The Incal and Metabarons, and legend of Latin American literature.There has never been an artist like the polymathic Chilean director, author, and mystic Alejandro Jodorowsky. For eight decades, he has blazed new trails across a dazzling variety of creative fields. While his psychedelic, visionary films have been celebrated by the likes of John Lennon, Marina Abramovic, and Kanye West, his novels—praised throughout Latin America in the same breath as those of Gabriel García Márquez—have remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world. Until now.Where the Bird Sings Best tells the fantastic story of the Jodorowskys’ emigration from Ukraine to Chile amidst the political and cultural upheavals of the 19th and 20th centuries. Like One Hundred Years of Solitude, Jodorowsky’s book transforms family history into heroic legend: incestuous beekeepers hide their crime with a living cloak of bees, a czar fakes his own death to live as a hermit amongst the animals, a devout grandfather confides only in the ghost of a wise rabbi, a transgender ballerina with a voracious sexual appetite holds a would-be saint in thrall. Kaleidoscopic, exhilarating, and erotic, Where the Bird Sings Best expands the classic immigration story to mythic proportions.Praise“This epic family saga, reminiscent of Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude in structure and breadth, reads at a breakneck pace. Though ostensibly a novelization of the author's own family history, it is a raucous carnival of the surreal, mystical, and grotesque.”—Publishers Weekly"A man whose life has been defined by cosmic ambitions."—The New York Times Magazine"A great eccentric original….A legendary man of many trades.”—Roger EbertFor more information on Alejandro Jodorowsky, please visit www.restlessbooks.com/alejandro-jodorowsky

  • Martin Luther: A Life

    Martin Luther: A Life
    James Arne Nestingen

    Martin Luther: A Life tells the dramatic story of the renegade monk whose heroic personal struggle ignited a revolution and shook Christendom to its foundations. Through vivid anecdotes and lively historical descriptions, Martin Luther: A Life captures the turbulent times and historic events through which Luther lived as well as his profound vision of God. A fast-moving narrative, it shows how his stinging criticisms of the Christian church struck a deep and liberating chord in the German people and led to the momentous change we know as the Reformation. For all who wish to understand Luther the man, the rebel, and the visionary, James Nestingen's account also offers insight into Luther's momentous contributions to the Western world and his personal encounter with God, the Christian scriptures, and the relentless demands of his own conscience.

  • Reginald F. Lewis Before TLC Beatrice: The Young Man Before the Billion-Dollar Empire

    Reginald F. Lewis Before TLC Beatrice: The Young Man Before the Billion-Dollar Empire
    Lin Hart

    2018 REVISED EDITION: This inspirational book, written by Lin Hart, combines the best attributes of a rousing memoir with the direct imperative of a self-help book, holding up the life of Reg Lewis as a model for success.

  • Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893

    Woman of Color, Daughter of Privilege: Amanda America Dickson, 1849-1893
    Kent Anderson Leslie

    This fascinating story of Amanda America Dickson, born the privileged daughter of a white planter and an unconsenting slave in antebellum Georgia, shows how strong-willed individuals defied racial strictures for the sake of family. Kent Anderson Leslie uses the events of Dickson's life to explore the forces driving southern race and gender relations from the days of King Cotton through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and New South eras. Although legally a slave herself well into her adolescence, Dickson was much favored by her father and lived comfortably in his house, receiving a genteel upbringing and education. After her father died in 1885 Dickson inherited most of his half-million dollar estate, sparking off two years of legal battles with white relatives. When the Georgia Supreme Court upheld the will, Dickson became the largest landowner in Hancock County, Georgia, and the wealthiest black woman in the post-Civil War South. Kent Anderson Leslie's portrayal of Dickson is enhanced by a wealth of details about plantation life; the elaborate codes of behavior for men and women, blacks and whites in the South; and the equally complicated circumstances under which racial transgressions were sometimes ignored, tolerated, or even accepted.

  • Born to Rebel: An Autobiography

    Born to Rebel: An Autobiography
    Benjamin E. Mays

    Born the son of a sharecropper in 1894 near Ninety Six, South Carolina, Benjamin E. Mays went on to serve as president of Morehouse College for twenty-seven years and as the first president of the Atlanta School Board. His earliest memory, of a lynching party storming through his county, taunting but not killing his father, became for Mays an enduring image of black-white relations in the South. Born to Rebel is the moving chronicle of his life, a story that interlaces achievement with the rebuke he continually confronted.

  • Twilight on the Range: Recollections of a Latterday Cowboy

    Twilight on the Range: Recollections of a Latterday Cowboy
    William Timmons

    Billie Timmons was fourteen when he met Charles Goodnight—over a wagonload of manure that had been jammed on a gatepost—and he went to work on the Goodnight Cross J Ranch shortly thereafter. The spirit of helpfulness that led Mr. Goodnight to strip off his coat and lift the wagon free for a lad in need sets the tone of this book, in which the author unwinds a spool of recollections of range-riding in Texas and North Dakota over an eighteen-year period. When Billie Timmons went to work for Mr. Goodnight in 1892, Texas was undergoing a rapid transition from open range to fences. But around Texas campfires he heard tales about the northern range, told by cowboys who had ridden there and who had seen the northern lights, the tall free grass, swollen streams, and stampeding cattle. A longing to see that exciting country took hold of young Timmons. His chance came when four buffaloes from the Goodnight ranch needed a nursemaid for their freight car trip to Yellowstone Park. Once in the northern country, Timmons stayed, casting his lot with the cowmen of North Dakota. He became the protégé of an extraordinary man, William Ray; he was foreman, friend, and confidant of banker-rancher Wilse Richards, a member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame. But even during his days in North Dakota he never lost touch with Charles Goodnight, a lifelong friend, and his portrayal of Goodnight provides much insight into the character of the man whose name belongs to the West. In this book you experience the terror of being lost in the dead-white expanse of a North Dakota snowstorm; the gaiety of cowboy dances, for which there were never enough women available; the excitement of a near-riot in a Hebron, North Dakota, saloon, where cowboys from the 75 Ranch drank up or poured out all the liquor, then smashed all the glasses and bottles—one day before the state became bone-dry; and the loneliness of work on the range, where a flickering lantern on the side of a chuck wagon on a stormy night meant home for many a cowboy. Running like a bright thread through the narrative is Billie Timmons's love of horses, from whom he learned the wisdom that some horses and some men are to be handled with great care and others are not to be handled at all. His chapter on Buck, his best-loved horse, is memorable. In North Dakota, as in Texas, fences brought the end of the big herds and the end of cowboying for a man who enjoyed it to the hilt.

  • In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

    In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom
    Qanta Ahmed,

    "In this stunningly written book, a Western trained Muslim doctor brings alive what it means for a woman to live in the Saudi Kingdom. I've rarely experienced so vividly the shunning and shaming, racism and anti-Semitism, but the surprise is how Dr. Ahmed also finds tenderness at the tattered edges of extremism, and a life-changing pilgrimage back to her Muslim faith." – Gail SheehyThe decisions that change your life are often the most impulsive ones.Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong. What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparralled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her, but also humor, honesty, loyalty and love. And for Qanta, more than anything, it is a land of opportunity. A place where she discovers what it takes for one woman to recreate herself in the land of invisible women.

  • Black Like Me: The Definitive Griffin Estate Edition, Edition 2

    Black Like Me: The Definitive Griffin Estate Edition, Edition 2
    John Howard Griffin

    This American classic has been corrected from the original manuscripts and indexed, featuring historic photographs and an extensive biographical afterword.

  • The Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson, John Quincy Adams, and the Making of America s Greatest Museum

    The Stranger and the Statesman: James Smithson, John Quincy Adams, and the Making of America’s Greatest Museum
    Nina Burleigh

    In her illuminating and dramatic biography The Stranger and the Statesman, New York Times bestselling author Nina Burleigh reveals a little-known slice of history in the life and times of the man responsible for the creation of the United States' principal cultural institution, the Smithsonian.It was one of the nineteenth century's greatest philanthropic gifts – and one of its most puzzling mysteries. In 1829, a wealthy English naturalist named James Smithson left his library, mineral collection, and entire fortune to the "United States of America, to found… an establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men" – even though he had never visited the United States or known any Americans. In this fascinating book, Burleigh pieces together the reclusive benefactor's life, beginning with his origins as the Paris-born illegitimate son of the first Duke of Northumberland and a wild adventuress who preserved for her son a fortune through gall and determination.The book follows Smithson through his university years and his passionate study of minerals across Europe during the chaos of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Detailed are his imprisonment – simply for being an Englishman in the wrong place – his experiences in the gambling dens of France, and his lonely and painstaking scientific pursuits.After Smithson's death, nineteenth-century American politicians were given the task of securing his half-million dollars – the equivalent today of $50 million – and then trying to determine how to increase and diffuse knowledge from the muddy, brawling new city of Washington. Burleigh discloses how Smithson's bequest was nearly lost due to fierce battles among many clashing Americans – Southern slavers, states' rights advocates, nation-builders, corrupt frontiersmen, and Anglophobes who argued over whether a gift from an Englishman should even be accepted. She also reveals the efforts of the unsung heroes, mainly former president John Quincy Adams, whose tireless efforts finally saw Smithson's curious notion realized in 1846, with a castle housing the United States' first and greatest cultural and scientific establishment.

  • Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young

    Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment: The Military Career of Charles Young
    Brian G. Shellum

    An unheralded military hero, Charles Young (1864_1922) was the third black graduate of West Point, the first African American national park superintendent, the first black U.S. military attach?, the first African American officer to command a Regular Army regiment, and the highest-ranking black officer in the Regular Army until his death. Black Officer in a Buffalo Soldier Regiment tells the story of the man whoãwillingly or notãserved as a standard-bearer for his race in the officer corps for nearly thirty years, and who, if not for racial prejudice, would have become the first African American general. ¾ Brian G. Shellum describes how, during his remarkable army career, Young was shuffled among the few assignments deemed suitable for a black officer in a white manês armyãthe Buffalo Soldier regiments, an African American college, and diplomatic posts in black republics such as Liberia. Nonetheless, he used his experience to establish himself as an exceptional cavalry officer. He was a colonel on the eve of the United Statesê entry into World War I, when serious medical problems and racial intolerance denied him command and ended his career. Shellumês book seeks to restore a hero to the ranks of military history; at the same time, it informs our understanding of the role of race in the history of the American military.

  • The Life of Olaudah Equiano

    The Life of Olaudah Equiano
    Olaudah Equiano

    Published in 1789, Equiano's autobiography was the first of its kind to influence a wide audience. He told the story of his life and suffering as a slave. He describes scenes of outrageous torture and made it clear to his readers how the institution of slavery dehumanized both owner and slave. Equiano's work became an important part of the abolitionist cause, because he was able to portray Africans with a humanity that many slave traders tried to deny. Anyone with an interest in the slave trade or the abolitionist movement will find this book essential reading. Nigerian slave and abolitionist OLAUDAH EQUIANO (1745-1797) was sold to white slavers when he was eleven and renamed Gustavas Vassa. He worked on a naval ship and fought during the Seven Years' War, which he felt earned him a right to freedom. Eventually, he was able to purchase his freedom and move to England, where he was safe from being captured back into slavery. There, he was an outspoken advocate of the abolitionist movement.

  • Pimps: The Raw Truth: Grand Inquisitor Level Pimpnological Conclusions

    Pimps: The Raw Truth: Grand Inquisitor Level Pimpnological Conclusions
    Eric Culpepper

    A woman ultimately has only two dimensions, anxiety and maternal instinct, and if intensified one dimension has the power to completely neutralize the other, and given this, a woman is either a totally loving and devoted wife and mother or an indefatigably demoralizing whore. Whores are precisely counter-reactionary extremists who have extremely warped concepts of strength, masculinity and self-determination who view men as monsters, life as victimization and have a religious conviction that relationships just don't work and given these facts, at its core, pimping is ultimately not about getting a piece of the action, but a piece of the counter-reaction.Pimps: The Raw Truth Grand Inquisitor Level Pimpnological Conclusions is a highly informative work that is about total comprehension of the totally incomprehensible.Pimps: The Raw Truth is not another run of the mill collection of hustler's tales that ultimately tell you absolutely nothing, Pimps is in fact an unimaginable wealth of insight into the behavioral profiles and environmental factors that drive individuals to live the self-detrimental lifestyle that is relentlessly pursued by panderers and prostitutes complete with the real world functions of all of their auxiliaries, omen and morbid appendages that is the absolute closest that a literary source can legally come to total comprehension of this ancient clandestine culture.Pimps very clearly and precisely explains how, as opposed to being a form of Alpha Masculinity, pimping is in fact at its core a highly feminine form of sexual militancy that both employs and deploys the vagina as a weapons system as opposed to a human reproductive system.Pimps are merely master victims who are the Kings of minuscule Kingdoms that are built on the mess that other people have created and as such pimps are masters of isolating women and causing them to fly backward by turning them into multi-state in-flight felons.Pimps: The Raw Truth peers deep into the murkiest depths of the psyche of pimps and prostitutes and completely exposes precisely what lies behind the perms, manicures, jewelry, flashy clothing, drugs, threats, relentless abuse and total obsession with tearing down, breaking and attempting to completely demoralize and control women.Pimps: The Raw Truth explains why whores are the bipolar opposites of ladies, how to very clearly and precisely distinguish the difference between whores and ladies, why whores in fact do not choose pimps, why runaways are drawn to pimps, why cops act like thugs with government resources, why men pay prostitutes, why women get involved in serial abusive and exploitive relationships, why homosexuals and feminists are constantly at odds with whores and bisexuals, why players are not and absolutely do not succeed as pimps, why criminal organizations ultimately fail, the mysterious parallels between priests and pimps and the reasons why prostitution centers worldwide are invariably likewise religious centers.

  • Thomas Timmons of Ireland and Northumberland Virginia: His descendants from about 1650 to present

    Thomas Timmons of Ireland and Northumberland Virginia: His descendants from about 1650 to present
    David Elsworth Mason

  • Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves

    Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves
    Art T. Burton

    Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves appears as one of ?eight notable Oklahomans,? the ?most feared U.S. marshal in the Indian country.? That Reeves was also an African American who had spent his early life as a slave in Arkansas and Texas makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable. Bucking the odds (?I?m sorry, we didn?t keep black people?s history,? a clerk at one of Oklahoma?s local historical societies answered a query), Art T. Burton sifts through fact and legend to discover the truth about one of the most outstanding peace officers in late nineteenth-century America?and perhaps the greatest lawman of the Wild West era. ø Fluent in Creek and other southern Native languages, physically powerful, skilled with firearms, and a master of disguise, Reeves was exceptionally adept at apprehending fugitives and outlaws, and his exploits were legendary in Oklahoma and Arkansas. A finalist for the 2007 Spur Award, sponsored by the Western Writers of America, Black Gun, Silver Star tells Bass Reeves?s story for the first time and restores this remarkable figure to his rightful place in the history of the American West.

  • Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter s Civil Rights Journey

    Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus: A Daughter’s Civil Rights Journey
    Ana Maria Spagna

    Test Ride on the Sunnyland Bus chronicles the story of an American family against the backdrop of one of the civil rights movement's lesser-known stories. In January 1957, Joseph Spagna and five other young men waited to board a city bus called the Sunnyland in Tallahassee, Florida. Their plan was simple but dangerous: ride the bus together-three blacks and three whites-get arrested, and take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Fifty years later Ana Maria Spagna sets off on a journey to understand what happened and why.

  • Coretta: The Story of Coretta Scott King

    Coretta: The Story of Coretta Scott King
    Octavia B. Vivian

    In this first biography of Coretta Scott King, written by her friend Octavia Vivian, the reader meets a determined young girl who grew up in Alabama and worked her way through Antioch College only to discover that she was not allowed to teach in the white schools in Ohio. She pursued a musical career in Boston, where she met Martin Luther King, Jr.The Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 brought Dr. King and his wife into national prominence. Since then the nation has seen the beauty and composure of Coretta Scott King as she has continued to speak and act on behalf of civil rights.First published in 1970 by Fortress Press, this commemorative edition has been thoroughly updated, includes a black and white photo gallery, and is full of warmth and human interest, telling the story of Coretta Scott King from her childhood to her death in February 2006.

  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

    Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
    Frederick Douglass

    The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass was Douglass' third autobiography. In it he was able to go into greater detail about his life as a slave and his escape from slavery, as he and his family were no longer in any danger from the reception of his work. It is also the only of Douglass' autobiographies to discuss his life during and after the Civil War, including his encounters with American Presidents such as Lincoln, Grant, and Garfield

  • The Master Showmen of King Ranch: The Story of Beto and Librado Maldonado

    The Master Showmen of King Ranch: The Story of Beto and Librado Maldonado
    Betty Bailey Colley

    Texas's King Ranch has become legendary for a long list of innovations, the most enduring of which is the development of the first official cattle breed in the Americas, the Santa Gertrudis. Among those who played a crucial role in the breed's success were Librado and Alberto "Beto" Maldonado, master showmen of the King Ranch. A true "bull whisperer," Librado Maldonado developed a method for gentling and training cattle that allowed him and his son Beto to show the Santa Gertrudis to their best advantage at venues ranging from the famous King Ranch auctions to a Chicago television studio to the Dallas–Fort Worth airport. They even boarded a plane with the cattle en route to the International Fair in Casablanca, Morocco, where they introduced the Santa Gertrudis to the African continent.In The Master Showmen of King Ranch, Beto Maldonado recalls an eventful life of training and showing King Ranch Santa Gertrudis. He engagingly describes the process of teaching two-thousand-pound bulls to behave "like gentlemen" in the show ring, as well as the significant logistical challenges of transporting them to various high-profile venues around the world. His reminiscences, which span more than seventy years of King Ranch history, combine with quotes from other Maldonado family members, co-workers, and ranch owners to shed light on many aspects of ranch life, including day-to-day work routines, family relations, women's roles, annual celebrations, and the enduring ties between King Ranch owners and the vaquero families who worked on the ranch through several generations.

  • Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker

    Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker
    Julian Voloj

    An engrossing and counter view of one of the most dangerous elements of American urban history, this graphic novel tells the true story of Benjy Melendez, a Bronx legend who founded, at the end of the 1960s, the formidable Ghetto Brothers gang. From the seemingly bombed-out ravages of his neighborhood, wracked by drugs, poverty, and violence, he managed to extract an incredibly positive energy from this riot ridden era: his multiracial gang promoted peace rather than violence. Among its many accomplishments, the gang held weekly concerts on the streets or in abandoned buildings, which fostered the emergence of hip-hop.

  • Alex Haley s Roots: An Author s Odyssey

    Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey
    Adam Henig

    In 1977, following the airing of the mega hit television mini-series Roots, its author, Alex Haley, became America’s newest “folk hero. ” His book was on the Times' Best Seller's list for months, and won the Pulitzer Prize. His story had captivated a nation and then the world. From Idaho to Israel, it seemed everyone was caught-up in “Rootsmania.” Alex Haley, the ghostwriter behind The Autobiography of Malcolm X, was on his way to becoming the most successful African American author in the history of publishing until it all fell apart. What happened? Based on interviews of Haley's contemporaries, personal correspondence, legal documents, newspaper accounts, Adam Henig investigates the unraveling of one of America’s most successful yet enigmatic authors. PRAISE"Henig recounts the highs and lows of Haley’s life with sympathy, addressing the critiques honestly." Publishers Weekly's Booklife "While this 52 page book may be his first, it represents a major literary achievement. This book may renew scholar and the general public’s interest in Roots once again." – Nvasekie Konneh, Black Star News and author of The Land of My Father’s Birth "Adam Henig has created a gem… A must read for anyone interested in the interplay of politics, race and mixed blessings of fame and fortune that produced the contradictory legacy of a onetime icon." – Terry P. Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Ethnic Studies, UC Berkeley

  • Dido Elizabeth Belle: A Biography

    Dido Elizabeth Belle: A Biography
    Fergus Mason

    Dido Elizabeth Belle was born in 1761. It would be nearly 100 years before slavery was abolished. The date would be of little importance if not for one important factor: Belle's father was white, but her mother was African. It was an unthinkable act for the time, and Belle's life was destined for only bad things. But remarkably bad things did not happen. Belle was sent to live with her uncle, the Earl of Mansfield; here she was raised as a free woman and given the same privileged upbringing as her cousins. This book tells the inspiring true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, and how the life of a woman most people have never heard helped pave the way for future change.

  • Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American

    Restavec: From Haitian Slave Child to Middle-Class American
    Jean-Robert Cadet

    African slaves in Haiti emancipated themselves from French rule in 1804 and created the first independent black republic in the Western Hemisphere. But they reinstituted slavery for the most vulnerable members of Haitian society—the children of the poor—by using them as unpaid servants to the wealthy. These children were—and still are—restavecs, a French term whose literal meaning of "staying with" disguises the unremitting labor, abuse, and denial of education that characterizes the children's lives.In this memoir, Jean-Robert Cadet recounts the harrowing story of his youth as a restavec, as well as his inspiring climb to middle-class American life. He vividly describes what it was like to be an unwanted illegitimate child "staying with" a well-to-do family whose physical and emotional abuse was sanctioned by Haitian society. He also details his subsequent life in the United States, where, despite American racism, he put himself through college and found success in the Army, in business, and finally in teaching.

  • Militant Mediator: Whitney M. Young Jr.

    Militant Mediator: Whitney M. Young Jr.
    Dennis C. Dickerson

    During the turbulent 1960s, civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr. devised a new and effective strategy to achieve equality for African Americans. Young blended interracial mediation with direct protest, demonstrating that these methods pursued together were the best tactics for achieving social, economic, and political change. Militant Mediator is a powerful reassessment of this key and controversial figure in the civil rights movement. It is the first biography to explore in depth the influence Young's father, a civil rights leader in Kentucky, had on his son. Dickerson traces Young's swift rise to national prominence as a leader who could bridge the concerns of deprived blacks and powerful whites and mobilize the resources of the white America to battle the poverty and discrimination at the core of racial inequality. Alone among his civil rights colleagues—Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, John Lewis, and James Forman—Young built support from black and white constituencies. As a National Urban League official in the Midwest and as a dean of the School of Social Work at Atlanta University during the 1940s and 1950s, Young developed a strategy of mediation and put it to work on a national level upon becoming the executive director of the League in 1961. Though he worked with powerful whites, Young also drew support from middle-and working-class blacks from religious, fraternal, civil rights, and educational organizations. As he navigated this middle ground, though, Young came under fire from both black nationalists and white conservatives.

  • The Narrative of Sojourner Truth

    The Narrative of Sojourner Truth
    Sojourner Truth

    Written in 1850, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth is the autobiography of American abolitionist and women's rights activist SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797-1883).Born into slavery, Truth begins with her earliest recollections as a child living with other slaves in the lower floor of her master's home. She details her living conditions, her family, and the trials of her life that began at the age of nine, when she was sold to a family in Ulster county New York.From an early age, Truth had developed a strong faith in God, and she returns constantly to this faith throughout her narrative. All she has to turn to during the many sufferings discussed throughout this book is that faith. Despite the fact that she never learned to read, she engaged in religious study whenever possible, having scripture read to her by children who would not offer their own interpretations.As a freedom fighter after the New York State Emancipation Act, Truth was accomplished enough to have published this work a year before she delivered her famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech at the 1851 Ohio Women's Rights Convention, which cemented her legend.

  • Martin Luther King, the Inconvenient Hero

    Martin Luther King, the Inconvenient Hero
    Vincent Harding

    In these eloquent essays, the noted scholar and activist Vincent Harding reflects on the forgotten legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the meaning of his life today. Many of these reflections are inspired by the ambiguous message surrounding the official celebration of King's birthday. Harding sees a tendency to freeze an image of King from the period of his early leadership of the Civil Rights movement, the period culminating with his famous "I Have a Dream Speech". Harding writes passionately of King's later years, when his message and witness became more radical and challenging to the status quo at every level. In those final years before his assassination King took up the struggle against racism in the urban ghettos of the North; he became an eloquent critic of the Vietnam war; he laid the foundations for the Poor People's Campaign. This widening of his message and his tactics entailed controversy even within his own movement. But they point to a consistent expansion of his critique of American injustice and his solidarity with the oppressed. It was this spirit that brought him to Memphis in 1968 to lend his support to striking sanitation workers. It was there that he paid the final price for his prophetic witness.

  • George Santayana (Ppr)

    George Santayana (Ppr)
    Leonard Harris

    Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his famous 1925 anthology TheNew Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro world has begun to beat in Harlem.” Often called the father of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke had his finger directly on that pulse, promoting, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William Grant Still, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and writer, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold story of his profound impact on twentieth-century America’s cultural and intellectual life. Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth trace this story through Locke’s Philadelphia upbringing, his undergraduate years at Harvard—where William James helped spark his influential engagement with pragmatism—and his tenure as the first African American Rhodes Scholar. The heart of their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in 1920s New York City and his forty-year career at Howard University, where he helped spearhead the adult education movement of the 1930s and wrote on topics ranging from the philosophy of value to the theory of democracy. Harris and Molesworth show that throughout this illustrious career—despite a formal manner that many observers interpreted as elitist or distant—Locke remained a warm and effective teacher and mentor, as well as a fierce champion of literature and art as means of breaking down barriers between communities. The multifaceted portrait that emerges from this engaging account effectively reclaims Locke’s rightful place in the pantheon of America’s most important minds.

  • Vibration Cooking: Or, the Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl

    Vibration Cooking: Or, the Travel Notes of a Geechee Girl
    Vertamae Smart-Grosvenor

    Vibration Cooking was first published in 1970, not long after the term “soul food” gained common use. While critics were quick to categorize her as a proponent of soul food, Smart-Grosvenor wanted to keep the discussion of her cookbook/memoir focused on its message of food as a source of pride and validation of black womanhood and black “consciousness raising.” In 1959, at the age of nineteen, Smart-Grosvenor sailed to Europe, “where the bohemians lived and let live.” Among the cosmopolites of radical Paris, the Gullah girl from the South Carolina low country quickly realized that the most universal lingua franca is a well-cooked meal. As she recounts a cool cat’s nine lives as chanter, dancer, costume designer, and member of the Sun Ra Solar-Myth Arkestra, Smart-Grosvenor introduces us to a rich cast of characters. We meet Estella Smart, Vertamae’s grandmother and connoisseur of mountain oysters; Uncle Costen, who lived to be 112 and knew how to make Harriet Tubman Ragout; and Archie Shepp, responsible for Collard Greens à la Shepp, to name a few. She also tells us how poundcake got her a marriage proposal (she didn’t accept) and how she perfected omelettes in Paris, enchiladas in New Mexico, biscuits in Mississippi, and feijoida in Brazil. “When I cook, I never measure or weigh anything,” writes Smart-Grosvenor. “I cook by vibration.” This edition features a foreword by Psyche Williams-Forson placing the book in historical context and discussing Smart-Grosvenor’s approach to food and culture. A new preface by the author details how she came to write Vibration Cooking.

  • William Wells Brown: A Reader

    William Wells Brown: A Reader
    William Wells Brown

    Born into slavery in Kentucky, William Wells Brown (1814-1884) was kept functionally illiterate until after his escape at the age of nineteen. Remarkably, he became the most widely published and versatile African American writer of the nineteenth century as well as an important leader in the abolitionist and temperance movements. Brown wrote extensively as a journalist but was also a pioneer in other literary genres. His many groundbreaking works include Clotel, the first African American novel; The Escape: or, A Leap for Freedom, the first published African American play; Three Years in Europe, the first African American European travelogue; and The Negro in the American Rebellion, the first history of African American military service in the Civil War. Brown also wrote one of the most important fugitive slave narratives and a striking array of subsequent self-narratives so inventively shifting in content, form, and textual presentation as to place him second only to Frederick Douglass among nineteenth-century African American autobiographers. Ezra Greenspan has selected the best of Brown's work in a range of fields including fiction, drama, history, politics, autobiography, and travel. The volume opens with an introductory essay that places Brown and his work in a cultural and political context. Each chapter begins with a detailed introductory headnote, and the contents are closely annotated; there is also a selected bibliography. This reader offers an introduction to the work of a major African American writer who was engaged in many of the important debates of his time.

  • Up from Slavery

    Up from Slavery
    Booker T. Washington

    First published in 1901, Up From Slavery is one of the classic books from the era of American slavery. In it, Booker T. Washington details his rise from a child born into slavery to a free man with a college education. He offers readers his views on the future of blacks in America, charting a course for their development that starts with an education in practical trades. By proving themselves to be important parts of society, he believed they would be granted civil rights without a bloody struggle. Students of history will find this an essential read from the dawning of the civil rights struggle in America. American author BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (1856-1915) was born to a white father and black slave mother in Virginia. His Atlanta Address of 1895 brought him great acclaim, and for the rest of his life he remained a respected figure in the African American community. Among his most influential writings is an article for Atlantic Monthly called "The Awakening of the Negro" (1896).

  • The Story of My Life and Work

    The Story of My Life and Work
    Booker T. Washington

    He is one of the great voices in African-American history: Booker T. Washington rose from a boyhood in shackles in West Virginia-he was eight when the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution freed all slaves in 1865-to the status of national hero. In this autobiography of his career, Washington details his struggles as head of the school in Alabama that eventually became Tuskegee University, the honors he received from Harvard University, his many public speeches, and his other professional endeavors. A replica of the 1901 edition, this volume is complete with the original photos and illustrations, and remains an invaluable firsthand document of 19th-century America. American author BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (1856-1915) was born to a white father and black slave mother in Virginia. His Atlanta Address of 1895 brought him great acclaim, and for the rest of his life he remained a respected figure in the African American community. Among his most influential writings is an article for Atlantic Monthly called "The Awakening of the Negro" (1896).

  • Crazy Loco Love

    Crazy Loco Love
    Victor Villaseñor

    From America's most beloved Mexican-American writer comes this compelling memoir of his adolescent search for meaning and identity. When Victor Villasenor turned sixteen, his father's gift of a brand-new, turquoise pick-up truck was accompanied by another gift: words of wisdom that would guide him on his path to manhood. "You are a man now," he said, "and to be an hombre, a man must not only know right from wrong, he must also know who he is and who he isn't." In the weeks to come, however, Victor disregards his father's advice. Swayed by his friends' ridicule, he has his new truck painted white to cover the vibrant turquoise, once his favorite color. Soon, he realizes his mistake. "I'd done exactly what my dad had told me not to. I'd listened to other people's opinions instead of listening to what I'd felt inside." So begins this poignant and moving account of Villasenor's coming of age. Growing up on his parents' ranch in North San Diego County, Victor Villasenor's teenage years were marked by a painful quest to find a place for himself in a world he didn't fit into. During his search, Victor wrangles with the usual questions of adolescence: Is it normal to think about sex all the time? Do good girls like sex? Is sex before marriage a sin? But Victor struggles with more than just his burgeoning sexual awareness. The son of a self-made, successful man, he is different from his peers because of his Mexican heritage, and the experiences both subtle and outright discrimination because of this. Raised in a tight-knit, Catholic family, he questions the tenets of his Catholic faith and the restrictions it places on his own developing spirituality. After high school, Victor's quest for "whohe is and who he isn't" takes him to Mexico, where he is shocked to learn that Mexicans–aside from his father–are successful. They are architects, professors, and artists. This incredible revelation allows him to appreciate his own potential and realize his dreams of making a difference in the world through writing. A powerful portrait of a young boy on the path to manhood in the shadow of his influential father, Crazy Loco Love adds a new chapter to the grand tradition of coming-of-age books. Destined to become a classic, this new installment in Villasenor's body of work confirms his place as a leading American writer. Crazy Loco Love will enthrall his many fans and surely win him new ones.

  • The Life of Olaudah Equiano

    The Life of Olaudah Equiano
    Olaudah Equiano

    Published in 1789, Equiano's autobiography was the first of its kind to influence a wide audience. He told the story of his life and suffering as a slave. He describes scenes of outrageous torture and made it clear to his readers how the institution of slavery dehumanized both owner and slave. Equiano's work became an important part of the abolitionist cause, because he was able to portray Africans with a humanity that many slave traders tried to deny. Anyone with an interest in the slave trade or the abolitionist movement will find this book essential reading. Nigerian slave and abolitionist OLAUDAH EQUIANO (1745-1797) was sold to white slavers when he was eleven and renamed Gustavas Vassa. He worked on a naval ship and fought during the Seven Years' War, which he felt earned him a right to freedom. Eventually, he was able to purchase his freedom and move to England, where he was safe from being captured back into slavery. There, he was an outspoken advocate of the abolitionist movement.

  • Chicago s Polish Downtown

    Chicago’s Polish Downtown
    Victoria Granacki

    Polish Downtown is Chicago's oldest Polish settlement and was the capital of American Polonia from the 1870s through the first half of the 20th century. Nearly all Polish undertakings of any consequence in the U.S. during that time either started or were directed from this part of Chicago's near northwest side. This book illustrates the first 75 years of this influential Polish neighborhood. Featured are some of the most beautiful churches in Chicago-St. Stanislaus Kostka, Holy Trinity, and St. John Cantius-stunning examples of Renaissance and Baroque Revival architecture that form part of the largest concentration of Polish parishes in Chicago. The headquarters for almost every major Polish organization in America were clustered within blocks of each other, and four Polish-language daily newspapers were published here. The heart of the photographic collection in this book is from the extensive library and archives of the Polish Museum of America, still located in the neighborhood.