Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-07 14:44Z by Steven

Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2016-06-07
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062399793
Ebook ISBN: 9780062399816
6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.09 in (d)

D. L. Hughley

From legendary comedian D.L. Hughley comes a bitingly funny send-up of the Obama years, as “told” by the key political players on both sides of the aisle.

What do the Clintons, Republicans, fellow Democrats, and Obama’s own family really think of President Barack Obama? Finally, the truth is revealed in this raucously funny “oral history” parody.

There is no more astute—and hilarious—critic of politics, entertainment, and race in America than D. L. Hughley, famed comedian, radio star, and original member of the “Kings of Comedy.” In the vein of Jon Stewart’s America: The Book, Black Man, White House is an acerbic and witty take on Obama’s two terms, looking at the president’s accomplishments and foibles through the imagined eyes of those who saw history unfold.

Hughley draws upon satirical interviews with the most notorious public figures of our day: Mitt Romney (“What’s ‘poverty’? Is that some sort of rap jargon?”); Nancy Pelosi (“I play F**k/Marry/Kill, and there’s a lot more kills than fu**ks in Congress, believe me.”); Rod Blagojevich (“You can’t sell political offices on eBay; I discovered that personally.”); Joe Biden (“I like wrestling.”); and other politicians, media pundits, and buffoons. It is sure to be the most irreverent—and perhaps the most honest—look at American politics today.

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Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-12-22 04:19Z by Steven

Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem

HarperCollins
2015-04-14
288 pages
Trimsize: 6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.004 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062331632; ISBN 10: 0062331639
eBook ISBN: 9780062331656; ISBN 10: 0062331655

Paula Williams Madison

Spanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, a powerful memoir that is a universal story of one woman’s search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity.

Thanks to her spiteful, jealous Jamaican mother, Nell Vera Lowe was cut off from her Chinese father, Samuel, when she was just a baby, after he announced he was taking a Chinese bride. By the time Nell was old enough to travel to her father’s shop in St. Anne’s Bay, he’d taken his family back to China, never learning what became of his eldest daughter. Bereft, Nell left Jamaica for New York to start a new life. But her Asian features set her apart from her Harlem neighbors and even her own children—a difference that contributed to her feeling of loneliness and loss which she instilled in her only daughter, Paula.

Years later, with a successful corporate career behind her and the arrival of her only grandchild raising questions about family and legacy, Paula decided to search for Samuel Lowe’s descendants in China. With the support of her brothers and the help of encouraging strangers, Paula eventually pieced together the full story of her grandfather’s life, following his story from China to Jamaica and back, and connecting with 300 surprised relatives who were overjoyed to meet her.

Finding Samuel Lowe is a remarkable journey about one woman’s path to self-discovery. It is a story about love and devotion that transcends time and race, and a beautiful reflection of the power of family and the interconnectedness of our world.

Finding Samuel Lowe includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert and photos in the text.

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The Color of Our Future: Race in the 21st Century

Posted in Books, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-08 17:26Z by Steven

The Color of Our Future: Race in the 21st Century

HarperCollins
1999
288 pages
6.125 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0 (d)
Paperback ISBN: 780688175801

Farai Chideya

Two years ago, Newsweek named Farai Chideya to its “Century Club” of a hundred people to watch as we approached the year 2000. Beautiful, savvy, and wired for sound, she’s an ideal guide to the new, multiracial America that’s emerging as the next generation grows up and begins to shape our society. From coast to coast, from urban ‘hoods to Indian reservations to lily-white small towns, she talks to young men and women about their views on race, painting a vivid portrait of a notion in transition, as America ceases to be defined by the black/white divide and enters a more complex multiethnic era. Most of all, she allows the voices of the next generation — black, while, Latino, Asian, Native American, and multiracial — to ring out with truth and clarity.

Since the Civil Rights movement, most Americans have thought of race as a black and white issue. That won’t be the case for long. By the year 2050, there will be more nonwhite than white Americans, and most of the nonwhite population will be Asian and Latino, not black. Increasingly, America is becoming a multiracial society. Americans in their teens and twenties are at the forefront of this cultural revolution. In The Color of Our Future, young journalist Farai Chideya explores how members of the next generation deal with race in their own lives and how the decisions they make determine America’s ethnic future.

From urban hoods to Native American reservations to lily-white small towns, Chideya talks to young men and women about their personal views of race, painting a vivid portrait of a nation in transition. In clear, compelling language, she describes young people dealing with the complexities of diversity in their everyday lives. She writes of a young interracial couple pitted against their community in the South and of the white teens in Indiana, birthplace of the Klan, who get their black, hip-hop aesthetic from MTV. She interviews a Native American who wants to be the next Bill Gates, bringing computer access to his reservation in Montana, and a Mexican-American woman, working for the border patrol in El Paso, who catches the destitute Mexicans who flock into the United States to work for affluent white Texans. All these young people have clear, strong ideas about the impact of race on everything from education to pop culture. They are honest, sometimes brutally so, about their own prejudices. Their moving stories are the blueprint for the future of America. With a discerning ear and sharp insight, Chideya allows the voices of the next generation — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, and multiracial — to ring out with truth and clarity and guide us to the kaleidoscope of our future.

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The Devil that Danced on the Water: A Daughter’s Quest

Posted in Africa, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-06-05 14:33Z by Steven

The Devil that Danced on the Water: A Daughter’s Quest

HarperCollins
2002
416 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 0002570653
Paperback ISBN: 0006531261

Aminatta Forna

An evening in 1974 when she was ten years old, Aminatta Forna opened the door to two men, members of the state secret police, come to take her father. A year later he was killed. The Devil that Danced on the Water is Aminatta’s search for the truth of her father’s fate, moving and terrifying in turns, always compelling, it traces events leading to the moment of his arrest. And what happened after he was taken away.

Aminatta Forna’s luminous memoir is a vivid and passionate account of an African childhood, of an idyll which becomes the stuff of nightmares. As a child she witnessed the upheavals of post-colonial Africa, danger, flight, the bitterness of exile in Britain and the terrible consequences of her dissident father’s stand against tyranny.

Mohamed Forna was a man of unimpeachable integrity and great charisma, who quoted Alexander Pope: ‘Honour and shame from no condition arise: Act well your part for there the honour lies.’ As Sierra Leone faced its future as a fledgling democracy, he was a new star in the political firmament, a man who had been one of the first black students to come to Britain after the war. Already a political firebrand and a stylish dresser, he stole the heart of Aminatta’s mother to the dismay of her Scottish Presbyterian parents and returned home, one of those Wole Soyinka has called the ‘Renaissance generation.’ But as Aminatta Forna shows with compelling clarity, the old Africa was torn apart by the new ways of Western democracy, which gave birth only to dictatorships and corruption of hitherto undreamed of magnitude. It was not long before Mohamed Forna languished in jail as a prisoner of conscience and worse was to follow.

Aminatta’s search for the truth that shaped both her childhood and the nation’s destiny begins among the country’s elite and took her to the heart of rebel territory. Determined to break the silence surrounding her father’s fate, she ultimately uncovered a conspiracy that penetrated the highest reaches of government and forced the nations politicians to confront their guilt.

The Devil that Danced on the Water is a book of pain and anger and sorrow, written with tremendous dignity and beautiful precision: a remarkable story of a father, a family, a country and a continent.

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Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Résumé, Ages 0 to 22

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2013-07-01 01:02Z by Steven

Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Résumé, Ages 0 to 22

HarperCollins
2011-03-15
336 pages
Trimsize: 6 3/4 x 9 1/4
Paperback ISBN: 9780062009234; ISBN10: 0062009230
eBook ISBN: 9780062078650; ISBN10: 0062078658

MariNaomi

From her father and mother’s interracial marriage to her own “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” moments on the playground—from drug experimentation to sexual/identity questions—MariNaomi lays her inner life bare. Kiss & Tell is her funny and frank memoir in graphic form: a fresh and offbeat coming-of-age story unfolding against the colorful backdrop of San Francisco in the ’80s and ’90s. Through deft storytelling and charming illustration, MariNaomi carries us through first love and worst love, through heartbreak and bedroom experimentation, as she grows from misfit teen to young woman.

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Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2013-02-05 23:00Z by Steven

Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond

HarperCollins
2005
240 pages
Trimsize: 6 x 9
Trade Paperback ISBN: 9780060761424; ISBN10: 0060761423

Essie Mae Washington-Williams and William Stadiem

Breaking nearly eight decades of silence, Essie Mae Washington-Williams comes forward with a story of unique historical magnitude and incredible human drama. Her father, the late Strom Thurmond, was once the nation’s leading voice for racial segregation (one of his signature political achievements was his 24-hour filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1957, done in the name of saving the South from “mongrelization”). Her mother, however, was a black teenager named Carrie Butler who worked as a maid on the Thurmond family’s South Carolina plantation.

Set against the explosively changing times of the civil rights movement, this poignant memoir recalls how she struggled with the discrepancy between the father she knew—one who was financially generous, supportive of her education, even affectionate—and the Old Southern politician, railing against greater racial equality, who refused to acknowledge her publicly. From her richly told narrative, as well as the letters she and Thurmond wrote to each other over the years, emerges a nuanced, fascinating portrait of a father who counseled his daughter about her dreams and goals, and supported her in reaching them–but who was unwilling to break with the values of his Dixiecrat constituents.

With elegance, dignity, and candor, Washington-Williams gives us a chapter of American history as it has never been written before—told in a voice that will be heard and cherished by future generations.

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Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Europe, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs on 2011-05-27 21:41Z by Steven

Destined to Witness: Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany

HarperCollins
480 pages
2001
ISBN: 9780060959616

Hans J. Massaquoi (1926-2013)

This is a story of the unexpected. In Destined to Witness, Hans Massaquoi has crafted a beautifully rendered memoir—an astonishing true tale of how he came of age as a black child in Nazi Germany. The son of a prominent African and a German nurse, Hans remained behind with his mother when Hitler came to power, due to concerns about his fragile health, after his father returned to Liberia. Like other German boys, Hans went to school; like other German boys, he swiftly fell under the Fuhrer’s spell. So he was crushed to learn that, as a black child, he was ineligible for the Hitler Youth. His path to a secondary education and an eventual profession was blocked. He now lived in fear that, at any moment, he might hear the Gestapo banging on the door—or Allied bombs falling on his home. Ironic, moving, and deeply human, Massaquoi’s account of this lonely struggle for survival brims with courage and intelligence.

Prologue

To write of ones self, in such a manner as not to incur the imputation of weakness, vanity, and egotism, is a work within the ability of hut few; and I have little reason to believe that I belong to that fortunate few.
—Frederick Douglass

I could not agree more wich the above sentiments, expressed so eloquently over a century ago by the great abolitionist in the preface to his autobiography, My Bondage, My Freedom. If, like Mr. Douglass, I nonetheless decided to risk being thought of as weak, vain, and egocentric by making public the story of my life, it was mainly because of the persistent urging of persons whose literary judgment I felt was above reproach, such as my longtime friends Alex Haley, the author of Roots; Ralph Giordano, of Cologne, Germany, author of Die Bertinis; and my former employer and mentor. Ebony publisher John H. Johnson. Each convinced me that my experiences as a black youngster growing into manhood and surviving in Nazi Germany—an eyewitness to, and frequent victim of, both Nazi racial madness and Allied bombings—followed by my years in Africa were so unique that it was my duty as a journalist to share this rather different perspective on the Holocaust. Alex felt that because I was both an insider in Nazi Germany and, paradoxically, an endangered outsider, I had a rare perspective on some of the Third Reich’s major catastrophic events. He also urged me to record my equally unique experience of finding my own African roots.

Four fundamental aspects set the private hell I endured under the Nazis apart from both the pogroms suffered by my Jewish compatriots in Germany and from the racial persecution inflicted on my African-American brothers and sisters in the United States.

As a black person in white Nazi Germany, I was highly visible and thus could neither run nor hide, to paraphrase my childhood idol Joe Louis. Unlike African-Americans, I did not have the benefit of inherited survival techniques created and perfected by countless ancestors and passed down from generation to generation of oppressed people. Instead, I was forced to traverse a minefield of potential disasters and to develop my own instincts to tell me how best to survive physically and psychologically in a country consumed by racial arrogance and racial hatred and openly committed to the destruction of all “non-Aryans.”

Nazi racists, unlike their white American counterparts, did not commit their atrocities anonymously, disguised in white sheets and under the protection of night. Nor did they operate like some contemporary American politicians who advance their racist agendas by dividing black and white Americans with cleverly disguised code words about “unfair quotas,” “reverse discrimination,” and “states’ rights.” Racists in Nazi Germany did their dirty work openly and brazenly with the full protection, cooperation, and encouragement of the government, which had declared the pollution of Aryan blood with “inferior” non-Aryan blood the nation’s cardinal sin. For all practical purposes—except for the courageous and unflagging support I received from my German mother, who taught me to believe in myself by believing in me and my potential—I faced the constant threat that Nazi ethnic-cleansing policies posed to my safety alone. I faced this threat without the sense of security and reeling of belonging that humans derive from being members of a group, even an embattled one. Because of the absence of black females and the government-imposed taboo of race mixing, I had no legal social outlet when I reached puberty. Unlike the thousands of Africans and so-called “brown babies”—children of black GI fathers and German mothers—who reside in the Federal Republic of Germany today, there simply was no black population to speak of in Germany during the Hitler years, certainly none that I encountered. Not until long after the war did I learn that a small number of black Germans—the tragic so-called “Rhineland bastards” fathered by World War I French and Belgian colonial occupation troops—were exterminated in Hitler’s death camps.

Because Germans of my generation were expected to be fair skinned and of Aryan stock, it became my lot in life to explain ad nauseam why someone who had a brown complexion and black, kinky hair spoke accent-free German and claimed Germany as his place of birth. So let me state here once again, for the record, that I was born in 1926 in Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, because my grandfather, then consul general of Liberia to Hamburg, had brought with him his sizable family. His oldest son became my father after an intense courtship with my mother, a German nurse. Shortly before Hitler’s rise to power, my grandfather and father returned to Liberia, leaving my mother and me to fend for ourselves in an increasingly hostile racist environment…

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The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South

Posted in Books, Family/Parenting, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2009-10-21 19:43Z by Steven

The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South

HarperCollins
Imprint: Smithsonian
2009-05-19
224 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780061375736; ISBN10: 006137573X
On Sale: 2009-05-19

W. Ralph Eubanks, Bernard Schwartz Fellow
New America Foundation

In 1914, in defiance of his middle-class landowning family, a young white man named James Morgan Richardson married a light-skinned black woman named Edna Howell. Over more than twenty years of marriage, they formed a strong family and built a house at the end of a winding sandy road in South Alabama, a place where their safety from the hostile world around them was assured, and where they developed a unique racial and cultural identity. Jim and Edna Richardson were Ralph Eubanks’s grandparents.

Part personal journey, part cultural biography, The House at the End of the Road examines a little-known piece of this country’s past: interracial families that survived and prevailed despite Jim Crow laws, including those prohibiting mixed-race marriage. As he did in his acclaimed 2003 memoir, Ever Is a Long Time, Eubanks uses interviews, oral history, and archival research to tell a story about race in American life that few readers have experienced. Using the Richardson family as a microcosm of American views on race and identity, The House at the End of the Road examines why ideas about racial identity rooted in the eighteenth century persist today. In lyrical, evocative prose, this extraordinary book pierces the heart of issues of race and racial identity, leaving us ultimately hopeful about the world as our children might see it.

Browse the contents of the book here.

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