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African American Studies


Facing Freedom

Daniel B. Thorp

The history of African Americans in southern Appalachia after the Civil War has largely escaped the attention of scholars of both African Americans and the region. In Facing Freedom, Daniel Thorp relates the complex experience of an African American community in southern Appalachia as it negotiated... More


Black Aesthetics and the Interior Life

Christopher Freeburg

Christopher Freeburg’s  Black Aesthetics and the Interior Life offers a crucial new reading of a neglected aspect of African American literature and art across the long twentieth century. Rejecting the idea that the most dehumanizing of black experiences, such as lynching or other racial violence,... More


The Key to the Door

Edited by Maurice Apprey and Shelli M. Poe

The Key to the Door frames and highlights the stories of some of the first black students at the University of Virginia. This inspiring account of resilience and transformation offers a diversity of experiences and perspectives through first-person narratives of black students during the... More


Trustbuilding

Rob Corcoran. foreword by Tim Kaine

"Trustbuilding, using personal narrative and exhaustive reporting by Rob Corcoran, chronicles how Hope in the Cities has moved what looked like an immoveable barricade. The job is not done, but Hope in the Cities has provided a map for the future."—from the foreword by Governor Tim KaineThe... More


The Risen Phoenix

Luis-Alejandro Dinnella-Borrego

The Risen Phoenix charts the changing landscape of black politics and political culture in the postwar South by focusing on the careers of six black congressmen who served between the Civil War and the turn of the nineteenth century: John Mercer Langston of Virginia, James Thomas Rapier of Alabama... More


A House Divided

Patience Essah

Delaware stood outside the primary streams of New World emancipation. Despite slavery's virtual demise in that state during the antebellum years and Delaware's staunch Unionism during the Civil War itself, the state failed to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery, until 1901.... More


Schooling Jim Crow

Jay Winston Driskell Jr.

In 1919 the NAACP organized a voting bloc powerful enough to compel the city of Atlanta to budget $1.5 million for the construction of schools for black students. This victory would have been remarkable in any era, but in the context of the Jim Crow South it was revolutionary. Schooling Jim Crow... More


The Punitive Turn

Edited by Deborah E. McDowell, Claudrena N. Harold, and Juan Battle

The Punitive Turn explores the historical, political, economic, and sociocultural roots of mass incarceration, as well as its collateral costs and consequences. Giving significant attention to the exacting toll that incarceration takes on inmates, their families, their communities, and society at... More


Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery

Henry Goings. Edited by Calvin Schermerhorn, Michael Plunkett, and Edward Gaynor

Rambles of a Runaway from Southern Slavery tells of an extraordinary life in and out of slavery in the United States and Canada. Born Elijah Turner in the Virginia Tidewater, circa 1810, the author eventually procured freedom papers from a man he resembled and took the man’s name, Henry Goings.... More


The Preacher and the Politician

Clarence E. Walker and Gregory D. Smithers

Barack Obama’s inauguration as the first African American president of the United States has caused many commentators to conclude that America has entered a postracial age. The Preacher and the Politician argues otherwise, reminding us that, far from inevitable, Obama’s nomination was nearly... More


Strategies for Survival

William Dusinberre

Strategies for Survival conveys the experience of bondage through the words of former slaves themselves. The interviews—conducted in Virginia in 1937 by WPA interviewers—are considered among the most valuable of the WPA interviews because in Virginia the interviewers were almost all African... More


Art and Revolution

Diana Wylie

Thami Mnyele's life spanned the era of apartheid. He was born the same year the National Party won office and came of age in a time (the 1960s) and a place (Johannesburg) that offered a sensitive young black artist little encouragement. In 1985, in the waning days of apartheid, he was killed by... More


States of Violence

Edna G. Bay and Donald L. Donham, eds.

The essayists whose work is collected here -- historians, anthropologists, and political scientists -- bring their diverse disciplinary perspectives to bear on various forms of violence that have plagued recent African history. Exploring violence as part of political economy and rejecting... More


The Segregated Scholars

Francille Rusan Wilson

In Segregated Scholars Francille Rusan Wilson explores the lives and work of fifteen black labor historians and social scientists as seen through the prisms of gender, class, and time. This collective biography offers complex and vital portraits of these seminal figures, many of whom knew and... More


Murder at Morija

Tim Couzens

[Book description not available]


From Morning To Night

Elizabeth O'Leary

Step off the lush carpet and push through the swinging door of the butler’s pantry to enter the bustling realm of domestic workers at Maymont House from 1893 to 1925. In From Morning to Night, Elizabeth O’Leary takes the reader behind the scenes in the opulent mansion of the Richmond... More


Ceramic Uncles and Celluloid Mammies

Patricia A. Turner

Exploring white American popular culture of the past century and a half, Turner details subtle and not-so-subtle negative tropes and images of black people, from Uncle Tom and Aunt Jemima to jokes about Michael Jackson and Jesse Jackson. She feels that far too little has changed in terms of white... More


A Way Out of No Way

Dianne Swann-Wright

An African American folk saying declares, "Our God can make a way out of no way.... He can do anything but fail." When Dianne Swann-Wright set out to capture and relate the history of her ancestors—African Americans in central Virginia after the Civil War—she had to find that way, just as her... More


Race Man

Ann Field Alexander

Although he has largely receded from the public consciousness, John Mitchell Jr., the editor and publisher of the Richmond Planet, was well known to many black, and not a few white, Americans in his day. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, Mitchell contrasted sharply with Washington in... More


The Lynching of Emmett Till

Christopher Metress

At 2:00 A.M. on August 28, 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was abducted from his great-uncle’s cabin in Money, Mississippi, and never seen alive again. When his battered and bloated corpse floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie River three days later and two local... More


Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction

Midori Takagi

RICHMOND WAS NOT only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy; it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population.... More


The Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy

Melvin Patrick Ely

Forty million Americans indulged in a national obsession in 1930: they eagerly tuned in Amos 'n' Andy, the nightly radio comedy in which a pair of white actors portrayed the adventures of two black men making a new life in the big city. Meanwhile, some angry African Americans demanded that Amos 'n... More


Forgotten Time

John C. Willis

Although it came to epitomize the Cotton South in the twentieth century, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta emerged as a distinct entity in the decades following the Civil War. As other southerners confronted the need to rebuild, the Delta remained mostly wilderness in 1865. Elsewhere, planters struggled... More


Leading the Race

Jacqueline M. Moore

Historians of the African American experience after Reconstruction have tended to imply that the black elite served only their own interests, that their exclusive control of black institutions precluded efforts to improve the status of African Americans in general. In Leading the Race, Jacqueline M... More


Rituals of Race

Alessandra Lorini

In this sophisticated study of the struggle for African American human rights in America, Alessandra Lorini examines public events in New York City from the end of the Civil War through World War I, demonstrating how ritualized elements of black processions, parades, riots, and festivals made... More


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