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African American Culture - December 7, 2017

African American Culture

African American Culture

Thursday, December 7, 2017


A monthly listing of new and/or significant books highlighting the African American experience.

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African Americans in the West
by Rachel Stuckey


The Wild West became a place of new beginnings and great promise for many people, especially African Americans. As slavery and civil war ravaged the East, many African Americans attempted to start anew on the frontier. This book puts a spotlight on the trials and successes of African Americans in the West, and provides short biographies of famous African American cowboys, such as Nat Love and Bose Ikart. Readers will delight in the information-rich text and corresponding visuals. Fact boxes replace myths of the Wild West with their truths, while sidebars help deepen the reader's understanding of the topic.




The awkward thoughts of W. Kamau Bell : tales of a 6' 4", African American, heterosexual, cisgender, left-leaning, asthmatic, Black and proud blerd, mama's boy, dad, and stand-up comedi
by W. Kamau Bell


The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell is a humorous, well-informed take on the world today, tackling a wide range of issues from topics like fatherhood, the state of law enforcement today, comedians and superheroes, right-wing politics, left-wing politics, failure, his interracial marriage, white men, his early days to his later days struggling to find his comedic voice, why he never seemed to fit in with the Black comedy scene or the white comedy scene, how he was a Black nerd way before that became a thing up to how it took his wife and an East Bay lesbian to teach him that racism and sexism often walk hand in hand, and much, much more.




The cooking gene : a journey through African-American culinary history in the Old South
by Michael Twitty


A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry--both black and white--through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.  As he takes us through, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep--the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.




Dream a world anew : the African American experience and the shaping of America
by Kinshasha Conwill


Dream A World Anew combines informative narratives from leading scholars, curators, and authors with objects from the museum's collection to present a thorough exploration of African American history and culture. The first half of the book bridges a major gap in our national memory by examining a wide arc of African American history. The second half of the book celebrates African American creativity and cultural expressions through art, dance, theater, and literature. Dream a World Anew is a powerful book that provides an opportunity to explore and revel in African American history and culture, as well as the chance to see how central African American history is for all Americans.




The invisibles : the untold story of African American slaves in the White House
by Jesse J. Holland


This is the first book to tell the story of the executive mansion's most unexpected residents, the African American slaves who lived with the U.S. presidents who owned them and chronicles their presence inside the White House from its beginnings in 1782 until 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that granted slaves their freedom.  By reading about these often-intimate relationships, readers will better understand some of the views that various presidents held about class and race in American society, and how these slaves contributed not only to the life and comforts of the presidents they served, but to America as a whole.




MyBrownBaby : on the joys and challenges of raising African American children
by Denene Millner


Full of essays that readers of all backgrounds will find provocative, My Brown Baby acknowledges that there absolutely are issues that African American parents must deal with that white parents never have to confront if they're not raising brown children. This book chronicles these differences with open arms, a lot of love, and the deep belief that though we may come from separate places and have different backgrounds, all parents want the same things for our families, and especially for our children.




National Museum of African American History and Culture : a souvenir book
by National Museum of African American History and Culture (U.S.)


This souvenir book showcases some of the most influential and important treasures of the National Museum of African American History and Culture's collections. These include a hymn book owned by Harriet Tubman; ankle shackles used to restrain enslaved people on ships during the Middle Passage; a dress that Rosa Parks was making shortly before she was arrested; a vintage, open-cockpit Tuskegee Airmen trainer plane; Muhammad Ali's headgear; an 1835 Bill of Sale enslaving a young girl named Polly; and Chuck Berry's Cadillac. This book, like the museum it represents, uses artifacts of African American history and culture as a lens into what it means to be an American.




Official guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 
by Kathleen M. Kendrick


Opened in September 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture welcomes all visitors who seek to understand, remember, and celebrate this history. The guidebook provides a comprehensive tour of the museum, including its magnificent building and grounds and eleven permanent exhibition galleries dedicated to themes of history, community, and culture. Highlights from the museum's collection of artifacts and works of art are presented in full-color photographs, accompanied by evocative stories and voices that illuminate the American experience through the African American lens.




The portable nineteenth-century African American women writers 
by Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.


This is the most comprehensive anthology of its kind: an extraordinary range of voices offering the expressions of African American women in print before, during, and after the Civil War. Edited by Hollis Robbins and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this collection comprises work from forty-nine writers arranged into sections of memoir, poetry, and essays on feminism, education, and the legacy of African American women writers. These incredible works insist that the writing of African American women writers be read, remembered, and addressed.




This African-American life
by Hugh B. Price


From 1994 to 2003, Hugh Price served as president and CEO of the National Urban League.  Price's role at the League was just one aspect of his long and impressive life. In This African-American Life, Price traces his family's forbearers, talks about his protected childhood in the segregated neighborhood near Howard University, his love of baseball, his experiences as one of five brothers in his freshman class at Amherst, his courtship of his wife, and then goes on to detail the varied positions he held during his professional career. Throughout his memoir, Price shows how his background led him to champion education and the creation of opportunity to help others reach the high levels he has been able to achieve during his lifetime.