Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Notes of a Native Son by
Call Number: E185.61 .B2 2012
Publication Date: 2012-11-20
#26 on The Guardian's list of 100 best nonfiction books of all time, the essays explore what it means to be Black in America In an age of Black Lives Matter, James Baldwin's essays on life in Harlem, the protest novel, movies, and African Americans abroad are as powerful today as when they were first written. With films like I Am Not Your Negro and the forthcoming If Beale Street Could Talk bringing renewed interest to Baldwin's life and work, Notes of a Native Son serves as a valuable introduction. Written during the 1940s and early 1950s, when Baldwin was only in his twenties, the essays collected in Notes of a Native Son capture a view of black life and black thought at the dawn of the civil rights movement and as the movement slowly gained strength through the words of one of the most captivating essayists and foremost intellectuals of that era. Writing as an artist, activist, and social critic, Baldwin probes the complex condition of being black in America. With a keen eye, he examines everything from the significance of the protest novel to the motives and circumstances of the many black expatriates of the time, from his home in "The Harlem Ghetto" to a sobering "Journey to Atlanta." Notes of a Native Son inaugurated Baldwin as one of the leading interpreters of the dramatic social changes erupting in the United States in the twentieth century, and many of his observations have proven almost prophetic. His criticism on topics such as the paternalism of white progressives or on his own friend Richard Wright's work is pointed and unabashed. He was also one of the few writing on race at the time who addressed the issue with a powerful mixture of outrage at the gross physical and political violence against black citizens and measured understanding of their oppressors, which helped awaken a white audience to the injustices under their noses. Naturally, this combination of brazen criticism and unconventional empathy for white readers won Baldwin as much condemnation as praise. Notes is the book that established Baldwin's voice as a social critic, and it remains one of his most admired works. The essays collected here create a cohesive sketch of black America and reveal an intimate portrait of Baldwin's own search for identity as an artist, as a black man, and as an American.
The Fire Next Time by
Call Number: E185.61 .B195 1993
Publication Date: 1992-12-01
A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement--and still lights the way to understanding race in America today. "Basically the finest essay I've ever read. . . . Baldwin refused to hold anyone's hand. He was both direct and beautiful all at once. He did not seem to write to convince you. He wrote beyond you." --Ta-Nehisi Coates At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin's early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document from the iconic author of If Beale Street Could Talk and Go Tell It on the Mountain. It consists of two "letters," written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism. Described by The New York Times Book Review as "sermon, ultimatum, confession, deposition, testament, and chronicle...all presented in searing, brilliant prose," The Fire Next Time stands as a classic of literature.
Nobody Knows My Name by
Call Number: E185.61 .B197 1993
Publication Date: 1992-12-01
Told with Baldwin's characteristically unflinching honesty, this collection of illuminating, deeply felt essays -- "passionate, probing, controversial" (The Atlantic) -- examines topics ranging from race relations in the United States to the role of the writer in society, and offers personal accounts of Richard Wright, Norman Mailer and other writers.
Why We Can't Wait by
Call Number: E185.61 .K54 2000
Publication Date: 2000-01-01
Martin Luther King's classic exploration of the events and forces behind the Civil Rights Movement--including his Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963. "There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair." In 1963, Birmingham, Alabama, was perhaps the most racially segregated city in the United States. The campaign launched by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Civil Rights movement on the segregated streets of Birmingham demonstrated to the world the power of nonviolent direct action. In this remarkable book--winner of the Nobel Peace Prize--Dr. King recounts the story of Birmingham in vivid detail, tracing the history of the struggle for civil rights back to its beginnings three centuries ago and looking to the future, assessing the work to be done beyond Birmingham to bring about full equality for African Americans. Above all, Dr. King offers an eloquent and penetrating analysis of the events and pressures that propelled the Civil Rights movement from lunch counter sit-ins and prayer marches to the forefront of American consciousness. Since its publication in the 1960s, Why We Can't Wait has become an indisputable classic. Now, more than ever, it is an enduring testament to the wise and courageous vision of Martin Luther King, Jr. Includes photographs and an Afterword by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.
The End of White World Supremacy by
Call Number: E185.61 .X2 2020
Publication Date: 2020-02-11
The classic collection of major speeches, now bundled with an audio download of Malcolm X delivering two of them. Malcolm X remains a touchstone figure for black America and in American culture at large. He gave African Americans not only their consciousness but their history, dignity, and a new pride. No single individual can claim more important responsibility for a social and historical leap forward such as the one sparked in America in the sixties. When, in 1965, Malcolm X was gunned down on the stage of a Harlem theater, America lost one of its most dynamic political thinkers. Yet, as Michael Eric Dyson has observed, "he remains relevant because he spoke presciently to the issues that matter today: black identity, the politics of black rage, the expression of black dissent, the politics of black power, and the importance of consolidating varieties of expressions within black communities--different ideologies and politics--and bringing them together under a banner of functional solidarity." The End of White World Supremacy contains four major speeches by Malcolm X, including: "Black Man's History," "The Black Revolution," "The Old Negro and the New Negro," and the famous "The Chickens Are Coming Home to Roost" speech ("God's Judgment of White America"), delivered after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Several of the speeches include a discussion with the moderator, among whom Adam Clayton Powell, or a question-and-answer with the audience. This new edition bundles with the book an audio download of Malcolm's stirring delivery of "Black Man's History" in Harlem's Temple No.7 and "The Black Revolution" in the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Call Number: E185.97.K47 A3 2018
Publication Date: 2018-02-20
The True Story of Coretta Scott King Told Fully for the First Time Named a Washington Post Book to Read * A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * A USA Today "New and Noteworthy" Pick * A Read It Forward Favorite Read * A Parade Magazine Pick * A Publishers Weekly "Notable African-American Titles" [Coretta: My Life, My Love, My Legacy] "reveals never-before-told aspects of Mrs. King's life....We learn of the brilliant mind and courageous spirit behind the enigmatic figure" (Essence). Born in 1927 to daringly enterprising parents in the Deep South, Coretta Scott had always felt called to a special purpose. While enrolled as one of the first black scholarship students recruited to Antioch College, she became politically and socially active and committed to the peace movement. As a graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, determined to pursue her own career as a concert singer, she met Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister insistent that his wife stay home with the children. But, in love and devoted to shared Christian beliefs as well as shared racial and economic justice goals, she married Dr. King, and events promptly thrust her into a maelstrom of history throughout which she was a strategic partner, a standard-bearer, and so much more. As a widow and single mother of four, she worked tirelessly to found and develop the King Center as a citadel for world peace; lobbied for fifteen years for a U.S. national holiday in honor of her husband; championed women's, workers', and gay rights; and was a powerful international voice for nonviolence, freedom, and human dignity. "Distinctly...particularly absorbing" (Patricia J. Williams, The New York Times Book Review), Coretta's is a love story, a family saga, and the memoir of an extraordinary black woman in twentieth-century America--a brave leader who, in the face of terrorism and violent hatred, stood committed, proud, forgiving, nonviolent, and hopeful every day of her life.
Call Number: E185.97.H24 A33 2014
Publication Date: 2016-05-03
Based off of the bestselling author's family history, this novel tells the story of Kunta Kinte, who is sold into slavery in the United States where he and his descendants live through major historic events. When Roots was first published forty years ago, the book electrified the nation: it received a Pulitzer Prize and was a #1 New York Times bestseller for 22 weeks. The celebrated miniseries that followed a year later was a coast-to-coast event-over 130 million Americans watched some or all of the broadcast. In the four decades since then, the story of the young African slave Kunta Kinte and his descendants has lost none of its power to enthrall and provoke. Now, Roots once again bursts onto the national scene, and at a time when the race conversation has never been more charged. It is a book for the legions of earlier readers to revisit and for a new generation to discover. To quote from the introduction by Michael Eric Dyson: "Alex Haley's Roots is unquestionably one of the nation's seminal texts. It affected events far beyond its pages and was a literary North Star.... Each generation must make up its own mind about how it will navigate the treacherous waters of our nation's racial sin. And each generation must overcome our social ills through greater knowledge and decisive action. Roots is a stirring reminder that we can achieve these goals only if we look history squarely in the face." The star- studded cast in this new event series includes Academy Award-winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin, Laurence Fishburne, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Derek Luke, Grammy Award-winner Tip "T.I." Harris, and Mekhi Phifer. Questlove of The Roots is the executive music producer for the miniseries's stirring soundtrack.
The Fire This Time by
Call Number: E185.615 .F526 2016
Publication Date: 2017-06-20
The New York Times bestseller, these groundbreaking essays and poems about race--collected by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and written by the most important voices of her generation--are "thoughtful, searing, and at times, hopeful. The Fire This Time is vivid proof that words are important, because of their power to both cleanse and to clarify" (USA TODAY). In this bestselling, widely lauded collection, Jesmyn Ward gathers our most original thinkers and writers to speak on contemporary racism and race, including Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Kevin Young, Claudia Rankine, and Honoree Jeffers. "An absolutely indispensable anthology" (Booklist, starred review), The Fire This Time shines a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestles with our current predicament, and imagines a better future. Envisioned as a response to The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin's groundbreaking 1963 essay collection, these contemporary writers reflect on the past, present, and future of race in America. We've made significant progress in the fifty-odd years since Baldwin's essays were published, but America is a long and painful distance away from a "post-racial society"--a truth we must confront if we are to continue to work towards change. Baldwin's "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about; The Fire This Time "seeks to place the shock of our own times into historical context and, most importantly, to move these times forward" (Vogue).
This Is the Fire by
Call Number: E185.615 .L46 2021
Publication Date: 2021-03-16
In this "vital book for these times" (Kirkus Reviews), Don Lemon brings his vast audience and experience as a reporter and a Black man to today's most urgent question: How can we end racism in America in our lifetimes? The host of CNN Tonight with Don Lemon is more popular than ever. As America's only Black prime-time anchor, Lemon and his daily monologues on racism and antiracism, on the failures of the Trump administration and of so many of our leaders, and on America's systemic flaws speak for his millions of fans. Now, in an urgent, deeply personal, riveting plea, he shows us all how deep our problems lie, and what we can do to begin to fix them. Beginning with a letter to one of his Black nephews, he proceeds with reporting and reflections on his slave ancestors, his upbringing in the shadows of segregation, and his adult confrontations with politicians, activists, and scholars. In doing so, Lemon offers a searing and poetic ultimatum to America. He visits the slave port where a direct ancestor was shackled and shipped to America. He recalls a slave uprising in Louisiana, just a few miles from his birthplace. And he takes us to the heart of the 2020 protests in New York City. As he writes to his young nephew: We must resist racism every single day. We must resist it with love.
A Promised Land by
Call Number: E908 .A3 2020
Publication Date: 2020-11-17
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making--from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAACP IMAGE AWARD NOMINEE * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post * Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times * NPR * The Guardian * Marie Claire In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency--a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil. Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office. Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden. A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective--the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible. This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.