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African American Studies


The Collected Essays of Josephine J. Turpin Washington
A Black Reformer in the Post-Reconstruction South

Josephine Turpin Washington. Edited by Rita B. Dandridge

Newspaper journalist, teacher, and social reformer, Josephine J. Turpin Washington led a life of intense engagement with the issues facing African American society in the post-Reconstruction era. This volume recovers numerous essays, many of them unavailable to the general public until now, and... More


We Face the Dawn
Oliver Hill, Spottswood Robinson, and the Legal Team That Dismantled Jim Crow

Margaret Edds

The decisive victories in the fight for racial equality in America were not easily won, much less inevitable; they were achieved through carefully conceived strategy and the work of tireless individuals dedicated to this most urgent struggle. In We Face the Dawn, Margaret Edds tells the gripping... More


Charlottesville 2017
The Legacy of Race and Inequity

Louis P. Nelson and Claudrena N. Harold.

When hate groups descended on Charlottesville, Virginia, triggering an eruption of racist violence, the tragic conflict reverberated throughout the world. It also had a profound effect on the University of Virginia’s expansive community, many of whose members are involved in teaching issues of... More


Richard Potter
America's First Black Celebrity

John A. Hodgson

Apart from a handful of exotic--and almost completely unreliable--tales surrounding his life, Richard Potter is almost unknown today. Two hundred years ago, however, he was the most popular entertainer in America--the first showman, in fact, to win truly nationwide fame. Working as a magician and... More


Trans-Atlantic Sojourners
The Story of an Americo-Liberian Family

M. Neely Young

Unique in its formation and in a citizenry made up largely of repatriated ex-slaves, Liberia has been the scene of a fascinating intercontinental history. Trans-Atlantic Sojourners enters this history through the experiences of one Americo-Liberian family. M. Neely Young introduces us to two... More


Facing Freedom
An African American Community in Virginia from Reconstruction to Jim Crow

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
Experiences of Early African American Students at the University of Virginia

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
An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility

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
Black Politics in the Post–Civil War South

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
Slavery and Emancipation in Delaware, 1638–1865

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
The Fight for Atlanta's Booker T. Washington High School and the Roots of Black Protest Politics

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
New Approaches to Race and Incarceration

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
Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama, and Race in America

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
Recollections of Bondage in Antebellum Virginia

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
The Life and Death of Thami Mnyele, South African Artist

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
Politics, Youth, and Memory in Contemporary Africa

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
Black Social Scientists and the Creation of Black Labor Studies, 1890–1950

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
Faith, Mystery, and Tragedy on an African Mission

Tim Couzens

Just before Christmas in 1920, six people sat down to a meal at Morija, headquarters of the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society in Basutoland (Lesotho). All six were taken violently ill, and one of them died. They had been poisoned. The dead man was Édouard Jacottet, an eminent scholar and... More


From Morning To Night
Domestic Service at Maymont and the Gilded-Age South

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
Black Images and Their Influence on Culture

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
Claiming Family and Freedom in the New South

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
The Rise and Fall of the "Fighting Editor," John Mitchell Jr

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
A Documentary Narrative

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


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