Recent Books of Interest to African American Scholars

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education regularly publishes a list of new books that may be of interest to our readers. The books included are on a wide variety of subjects and present many different points of view. The opinions expressed in these books do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial board of JBHE. Click on any of the titles for more information or to purchase through Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, JBHE will earn a fraction of revenue from qualifying purchases.

Here are the latest selections:

Black Resettlement and the American Civil War
by Sebastian N. Page
(Cambridge University Press)

Economy Hall:
The Hidden History of a Free Black Brotherhood

by Fatima Shaik
(Historic New Orleans Collection)

It’s in the Action:
Memories of a Nonviolent Warrior

by C.T. Vivian with Steve Fiffer
(NewSouth Books)

Just as I Am:
A Memoir

by Cicely Tyson

Oscar Dunn and His Radical Fight in Reconstruction Louisiana

by Brian K. Mitchell
(Historic New Orleans Collections)

Slave Trade and Abolition:
Gender, Commerce, and Economic Transition in Luanda

by Vanessa S. Oliveira
(University of Wisconsin Press)

The Black Butterfly:
The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America

by Lawrence T. Brown
(Johns Hopkins University Press)

The Devil You Know:
A Black Power Manifesto

by Charles M. Blow

The Bloomsbury Handbook to Edwidge Danticat
edited by Jana Evans Braziel and Nadege T. Clitandre
(Bloomsbury Academic)

The Movement:
The African American Struggle for Civil Rights

by Thomas C. Holt
(Oxford University Press)

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  1. Here’s a book that you might want to let your subscribers know about.
    It was written in collaboration with Keith Plessy, whose great-grandfather was a first cousin of Homer Plessy. Half the royalties for this book go to support the work of the foundation Keith started in 2009: The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation. This book tells the story of how Keith Plessy learned he was related to his famous ancestor, and how Phoebe Ferguson discovered her great-great-grandfather was the judge who ruled against Homer Plessy in 1892. Childhood experiences with segregation troubled both Keith and Phoebe, both born in 1957 in New Orleans but never met until 2004, at which point they were both ready to change the ending of the story that links them in history. The took intertwines their personal stories with a compact presentation of the history of the Plessy v. Ferguson case and the impact that case still has on life today. The book’s Afterword lists other groups that are also trying to bring people together, including the EJI, in hopes that all these groups might inspire the book’s readers to think about ways they could work against systemic racism in their own communities. The book is:
    TOGETHER: An Inspiring Response to the “Separate-But-Equal” Supreme Court Decision that Divided America
    By Amy Nathan / Coming February 2021 / Paul Dry Books ISBN 978-1-58988-148-8
    PRAISE for the book:
    –“Amy Nathan’s well-researched and beautifully written book makes clear the history of racism that has kept Black people separate and unequal in U.S. society for so long—and how we today can work to chart a new future. The friendship between Keith Plessy and Phoebe Ferguson, descendants of the antagonists in the infamous Supreme Court decision that cemented racial inequality, Plessy v. Ferguson, demonstrates that ancestry need not be destiny—if we are willing to do the hard work of repair. In Amy Nathan’s capable hands, their intertwined histories come alive, demonstrating one of many paths we can purposefully take towards a more equitable society.”—Leslie M. Harris, Professor of History, Northwestern University
    –“I found Together simultaneously fascinating and moving. It is a prime example of how best to engage young people in the study of history—particularly Black history—and of the law. A true story of real people, how the tragedy of the Supreme Court’s ‘separate-but-equal’ decision (1896) affected them, and how their descendants came together to document the struggle for civil rights in their city and state.”—Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg, Senior Circuit Judge, U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University
    –“An ambitious account of the legacies of Plessy and Ferguson . . .Undeniably timely and representative of the necessary work ahead.” —Kirkus Reviews
    –“An accessible multigenerational story that shows the importance of acknowledging the complicated past when building a stronger future.” —Foreword Reviews
    –“As a high school teacher and education professor, I’ve always despised history textbooks. They either ignore racial inequities or simplify struggles to change them. They disconnect past from present, leaving youth to ask, ‘Why does this matter?’ This question will never be asked of Nathan’s Together. In this storied rendering of the fight against segregation, readers come to know the people and places, the dreams, and conflicts that not only shaped past freedom movements, but the actions of descendants who demand justice today. From oral testimony to artistic murals, from family trees to historic markers, Black Lives Matter in these pages. Together is a literary lightning bolt, an anti-racist curriculum that will shake the ground in New Orleans and beyond.” —Kristen Buras, Associate Professor, Georgia State University
    –“Some of the things I loved about Together are its connections of critical big historic moments to individual personal understandings; its readable summary of Reconstruction; and its theme of ‘inspiring others,’ both the whole concept of descendants coming together to make change, and the way readers can see specific examples of what has been and can be done.”—Dr. Mary Battenfeld, American and New England Studies, Boston University

    Amy Nathan is an award-winning author of nonfiction books for adults and young people, including Round and Round Together: Taking a Merry-go-Round Ride into the Civil Rights Movement (2011); Abrams Books brought out a picture book version of that volume, co-authored with Sharon Langley, A Ride to Remember (2020). A graduate of Harvard with master’s degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Columbia’s Teachers College, Nathan’s other books for young people include two on women’s history for National Geographic, two on music and dance for Holt, books on homework and allowances, and on civil rights hero Sarah Keys Evans: Take a Seat—Make a Stand. She has also written three music books for adults and young people for Oxford University Press.

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