The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Mississippi, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-27 02:23Z by Steven

The Free State of Jones, Movie Edition: Mississippi’s Longest Civil War

University of North Carolina Press
March 2016
352 pages
32 halftones, 10 maps, 4 tables
appends., notes, bibl., index
Paper ISBN 978-1-4696-2705-2

Victoria E. Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History
Texas State University, San Marcos

With a New Afterword by the Author

Between late 1863 and mid-1864, an armed band of Confederate deserters battled Confederate cavalry in the Piney Woods region of Jones County, Mississippi. Calling themselves the Knight Company after their captain, Newton Knight, they set up headquarters in the swamps of the Leaf River, where they declared their loyalty to the U.S. government.

The story of the Jones County rebellion is well known among Mississippians, and debate over whether the county actually seceded from the state during the war has smoldered for more than a century. Adding further controversy to the legend is the story of Newt Knight’s interracial romance with his wartime accomplice, Rachel, a slave. From their relationship there developed a mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended, and the ambiguous racial identity of their descendants confounded the rules of segregated Mississippi well into the twentieth century.

Victoria Bynum traces the origins and legacy of the Jones County uprising from the American Revolution to the modern civil rights movement. In bridging the gap between the legendary and the real Free State of Jones, she shows how the legend–what was told, what was embellished, and what was left out–reveals a great deal about the South’s transition from slavery to segregation; the racial, gender, and class politics of the period; and the contingent nature of history and memory.

In a new afterword, Bynum updates readers on recent scholarship, current issues of race and Southern heritage, and the coming movie that make this Civil War story essential reading.

The Free State of Jones film, starring Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Keri Russell, will be released in May 2016.

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Race, Ethnicity, and Human Appearance

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Chapter, Media Archive, Social Science on 2015-11-27 00:51Z by Steven

Race, Ethnicity, and Human Appearance

Chapter in Encyclopedia of Body Image and Human Appearance
Pages 707–710
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-384925-0.00111-5

S. McClure
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

M. Poole
Emery University, Atlanta, Georgia

E.P. Anderson-Fye
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

This article examines the intersection of race, ethnicity, and the body. Standards of beauty, as they are expressed globally in commodity culture, involve a ‘rhetoric of feminine ugliness’. This rhetoric presents that women’s bodies are always in need of manipulation, alteration, and discipline to attain a beauty ideal. Increasingly, so are men’s. However, racial and, to some extent, ethnic categorizations complicate narratives about the nature of beauty. How do racialized appearance and the rhetoric of ugliness interact in social, economic, and political contexts? Is beauty less a matter of engagement in ‘beauty work’ and more innate and inextricable from race and ethnicity? If beauty is a matter heavily influenced by cultural consensus, are the cultural structures of history and ideology any more mutable with respect to matters of race and ethnicity? This article addresses these questions.


  • Aesthetics The theory of beauty.
  • A priori Derived by reasoning from self-evident propositions; knowing independent of any experience.
  • Culture A complex historical and symbol system, constructed by invention and borrowing, that acts to instill long-lasting orientations, conceptions, motivations, and associated practices.
  • Morphology The form or structure of an organism or any of its parts.
  • Race A social category derived from a folk perception of heredity that corresponds to some degree with genetics, but is not genetically determined.

Read the entire chapter here.

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Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons [Twentieth Anniversary Edition]

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Family/Parenting, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-26 16:03Z by Steven

Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons [Twentieth Anniversary Edition]

Duke University Press
184 pages
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-6147-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-6166-4

Jane Lazarre

In this moving memoir, Jane Lazarre offers a powerful meditation on motherhood and racism in America as she works to understand the experiences of her African-American husband and their two sons. Recounting her education into the realities of African American life, Lazarre shows how although perceptions of racial difference lie at the heart of American history and culture, anyone can fully comprehend the experience of another through understanding, empathy, and learning.

This Twentieth Anniversary Edition features a new preface, in which Lazarre’s elegy for Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, South Carolina, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and so many others, reminds us of the continued resonance of race in American life. As #BlackLivesMatter gains momentum, Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness is more urgent and essential than ever.

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Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600–2000

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Social Science on 2015-11-26 03:39Z by Steven

Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600–2000

Harvard University Press
March 2016
136 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
2 maps, 2 graphs, 4 tables
Hardcover ISBN: 9780674737594

George Reid Andrews, Distinguished Professor of History
University of Pittsburgh

Of the almost 11 million Africans who came to the Americas between 1500 and 1870, two-thirds came to Spanish America and Brazil. Over four centuries, Africans and their descendants—both free and enslaved—participated in the political, social, and cultural movements that indelibly shaped their countries’ colonial and post-independence pasts. Yet until very recently Afro-Latin Americans were conspicuously excluded from narratives of their hemisphere’s history.

George Reid Andrews seeks to redress this damaging omission by making visible the past and present lives and labors of black Latin Americans in their New World home. He cogently reconstructs the Afro-Latin heritage from the paper trail of slavery and freedom, from the testimonies of individual black men and women, from the writings of visiting African-Americans, and from the efforts of activists and scholars of the twentieth century to bring the Afro-Latin heritage fully into public view.

While most Latin American countries have acknowledged the legacy of slavery, the story still told throughout the region is one of “racial democracy”—the supposedly successful integration and acceptance of African descendants into society. From the 1970s to today, black civil rights movements have challenged that narrative and demanded that its promises of racial equality be made real. They have also called for fuller acknowledgment of Afro-Latin Americans’ centrality in their countries’ national histories. Afro-Latin America brings that story up to the present, examining debates currently taking place throughout the region on how best to achieve genuine racial equality.

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Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Forthcoming Media, History, Law, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Social Science, United States on 2015-11-26 01:35Z by Steven

Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence

University of Georgia Press
May 2016
336 pages
Trim size: 6 x 9
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8203-4956-5
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8203-4957-2

Edited by:

Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African & Afro-American Studies
Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Kidada E. Williams, Associate Professor of History
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michgan

Keisha N. Blain, Assistant Professor of History
University of Iowa

On June 17, 2015, a white supremacist entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and sat with some of its parishioners during a Wednesday night Bible study session. An hour later, he began expressing his hatred for African Americans, and soon after, he shot nine church members dead, the church’s pastor and South Carolina state senator, Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, among them. The ensuing manhunt for the shooter and investigation of his motives revealed his beliefs in white supremacy and reopened debates about racial conflict, southern identity, systemic racism, civil rights, and the African American church as an institution.

In the aftermath of the massacre, Professors Chad Williams, Kidada Williams, and Keisha N. Blain sought a way to put the murder—and the subsequent debates about it in the media—in the context of America’s tumultuous history of race relations and racial violence on a global scale. They created the Charleston Syllabus on June 19, starting it as a hashtag on Twitter linking to scholarly works on the myriad of issues related to the murder. The syllabus’s popularity exploded and is already being used as a key resource in discussions of the event.

Charleston Syllabus is a reader—a collection of new essays and columns published in the wake of the massacre, along with selected excerpts from key existing scholarly books and general-interest articles. The collection draws from a variety of disciplines—history, sociology, urban studies, law, critical race theory—and includes a selected and annotated bibliography for further reading, drawing from such texts as the Confederate constitution, South Carolina’s secession declaration, songs, poetry, slave narratives, and literacy texts. As timely as it is necessary, the book will be a valuable resource for understanding the roots of American systemic racism, white privilege, the uses and abuses of the Confederate flag and its ideals, the black church as a foundation for civil rights activity and state violence against such activity, and critical whiteness studies.

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The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Louisiana, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-25 02:03Z by Steven

The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

University Press of Mississippi
January 2016
208 pages (approx.)
1 map, bibliography, index
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496804860

Dianne Guenin-Lelle, Professor of French
Albion College, Albion, Michigan

Why New Orleans is considered America’s distinctly French city

What is it about the city of New Orleans History, location, and culture, continue to link it to France while distancing it culturally and symbolically from the United States. This book explores the traces of French language, history, and artistic expression that have been present there over the last three hundred years. This volume focuses on the French, Spanish, and American colonial periods to understand the imprint that French socio-cultural dynamic left on the Crescent City.

The migration of Acadians to New Orleans at the time the city became a Spanish dominion and the arrival of Haitian refugees when the city became an American territory oddly reinforced its Francophone identity. However, in the process of establishing itself as an urban space in the antebellum south, the culture of New Orleans became a liability for New Orleans elite after the Louisiana Purchase.

New Orleans and the Caribbean share numerous historical, cultural, and linguistic connections. The book analyzes these connections and the shared process of creolization occurring in New Orleans and throughout the Caribbean Basin. It suggests “French” New Orleans might be understood as a trope for unscripted “original” Creole social and cultural elements. Since being Creole came to connote African descent, the study suggests that an association with France in the minds of whites allowed for a less racially-bound and contested social order within the United States.

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She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2015-11-23 21:35Z by Steven

She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Oxford University Press
240 Pages
53 images
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199968169
Paperback ISBN: 9780199968176

Melissa Blanco Borelli, Senior Lecturer in Dance
Royal Holloway University of London

  • Weaves together historical method, auto-ethnographic, and performative writing
  • Sits at the precipice of scholarly and public interest in Cuban cultural history

She is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body traces the history of the Cuban mulata and her association with hips, sensuality and popular dance. It examines how the mulata choreographs her racialised identity through her hips and enacts an embodied theory called hip(g)nosis. By focusing on her living and dancing body in order to flesh out the process of identity formation, this book makes a claim for how subaltern bodies negotiate a cultural identity that continues to mark their bodies on a daily basis. Combining literary and personal narratives with historical and theoretical accounts of Cuban popular dance history, religiosity and culture, this work investigates the power of embodied exchanges: bodies watching, looking, touching and dancing with one another. It sets up a genealogy of how the representations and venerations of the dancing mulata continue to circulate and participate in the volatile political and social economy of contemporary Cuba.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue, Entre Familia/Between Family
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Historicizing Hip(g)nosis
  • Interlude 1: Echando Cuentos/Telling Stories
  • Chapter 2: Hip(g)nosis at Work: Rumors, Social Dance and Cuba’s Academias de Baile
  • Interlude 2: A Marriage Proposal
  • Chapter 3: Hip(g)nosis as Pleasure: The Mulata in Film
  • Interlude 3: Lost Baggage
  • Chapter 4: Hip(g)nosis as Brand: Despelote, Tourism and Mulata Citizenship
  • Conclusion or Rear Endings
  • Index
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Brown: The Last Discovery of America

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-19 02:28Z by Steven

Brown: The Last Discovery of America

Penguin Books
256 Pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780142000793
eBook ISBN: 9781101161500

Richard Rodriguez

In his dazzling new memoir, Richard Rodriguez reflects on the color brown and the meaning of Hispanics to the life of America today. Rodriguez argues that America has been brown since its inception-since the moment the African and the European met within the Indian eye. But more than simply a book about race, Brown is about America in the broadest sense—a look at what our country is, full of surprising observations by a writer who is a marvelous stylist as well as a trenchant observer and thinker.

Table of Contents

  • Brown – Richard Rodriguez Preface
  • One: The Triad of Alexis de Tocqueville
  • Two: In the Brown Study
  • Three: The Prince and I
  • Four: Poor Richard
  • Five: Hispanic
  • Six: The Third Man
  • Seven: Dreams of a Temperate People
  • Eight: Gone West
  • Nine: Peter’s Avocado
  • Acknowledgments
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The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-11-19 02:04Z by Steven

The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Lee & Low Books
28 pages
11.1 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781600603631

Christy Hale, Author, Illustrator

Isamu was a boy of the East and the West. Born in the United States to a Japanese father and Scotch-Irish American mother, Isamu grew up in Japan. From his earliest years he felt the tug of his biracial heritage, never quite fitting in or thinking he belonged. Pleasure came, however, from the natural world. Color, light, and shadow. Earth, wood, and stone. Working with these forms of nature, Isamu found a way to blend his cultural divide. It was an exploration that became the cornerstone and spirit of his lifelong creative journey.

With lyrical text and luminous artwork, Christy Hale tells the story of the boy who grew up to be the multifaceted artist Isamu Noguchi. Guided by his desire to enrich everyday life with art while bringing together Eastern and Western influences, Noguchi created a vast array of innovative sculptures, stage sets, furniture, and public spaces. The East-West House is a tribute to the artistic beginnings of this pioneering modern sculptor and designer.

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Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Philosophy on 2015-11-19 01:29Z by Steven

Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription

Lexington Books
May 2012
142 pages
Size: 6 x 9
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-7391-7190-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7391-9057-9
eBook ISBN: 978-0-7391-7191-2

Andrew J. Pierce, Lecturer
Department of Philosophy
Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

Collective Identity, Oppression, and the Right to Self-Ascription argues that groups have an irreducibly collective right to determine the meaning of their shared group identity, and that such a right is especially important for historically oppressed groups. The author specifies this right by way of a modified discourse ethic, demonstrating that it can provide the foundation for a conception of identity politics that avoids many of its usual pitfalls. The focus throughout is on racial identity, which provides a test case for the theory. That is, it investigates what it would mean for racial identities to be self-ascribed rather than imposed, establishing the possible role racial identity might play in a just society. The book thus makes a unique contribution to both the field of critical theory, which has been woefully silent on issues of race, and to race theory, which often either presumes that a just society would be a raceless society, or focuses primarily on understanding existing racial inequalities, in the manner typical of so-called “non-ideal theory.”

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Minority Cultures and Oppressed Groups: Competing Explanatory Frameworks
  • Chapter 2: Collective Identity, Group Rights, and the Liberal Tradition of Law
  • Chapter 3: Identity Politics Within the Limits of Deliberative Democracy
  • Chapter 4: The Future of Racial Identity: A Test Case
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