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Book Review Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Ta-Nehisi Coates

An Ongoing Battle. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s narratives of freedom.

By Editors' Choice

History has always been a weapon in the hands of Ta-Nehisi Coates. Now, in his debut novel, the social critic and essayist sets out to recover those struggles for emancipation that have been lost to the past. By Elias Rodriques, The Nation — American history has always been a weapon in the hands of Ta-Nehisi Coates. As a blogger and columnist for The Atlantic, he wielded it to chronicle the long…

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American Slave Auction

An Early Case For Reparations

By Reparations

Two new books tell the stories of people kidnapped and sold into slavery. One of them sued successfully. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — When we think about slavery, we tend to imagine freedom as its natural opposite. But this makes it difficult to comprehend the actual conditions under which un-enslaved African Americans actually lived before and even long after the Civil War. For the 12 percent of African…

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The Freedman. Artist: John Quincy Adams Ward. 1863

The Sexual Assault and Exploitation of Enslaved Men in America

By Reparations

By Thomas A. Foster, History News Network — Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Rethinking Rufus: Sexual Violations of Enslaved Men by Thomas A. Foster. Reprinted with permission from The University of Georgia Press. The promise of freedom may also have been used to entice enslaved men into sexual contact with white women. In eighteenth-century Pennsylvania, one court record of punishment meted out to a white woman and an enslaved man for…

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Dr. Lonnie Bunch III and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.

Dr. Lonnie Bunch’s African American Museum Dream Fulfilled

By News & Current Affairs

Smithsonian Secretary Goes One-on-One with NNPA President about New Book By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA — Dr. Lonnie Bunch III, the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, sat down for an exclusive interview with National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) President and CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The two discussed Bunch’s timely new book, “A Fool’s Errand: Creating the…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

“The Water Dancer” comes out of a powerful examination of the legacies of slavery today. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — Eight years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in The Atlantic asking why so few black people studied the Civil War. Coates noted that he himself had only recently become an avid reader of Civil War history, and along with it, a student of the larger system that propelled it into…

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Ibram X. Kendi

How to Be an Anti-Racist, according to Ibram X Kendi

By Editors' Choice

In his new book, Kendi noted that “racial inequity is a problem of bad policy, not bad people.” By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire — Ibram X. Kendi admittedly once trivialized racism. The American University professor placed some of the blame for race relations in America on blacks. In a speech delivered in 2000, while he was still in high school, Kendi suggested African Americans were too busy blaming their…

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Hitler

Leading Civil Rights Lawyer Shows 20 Ways Trump Is Copying Hitler’s Early Rhetoric and Policies

By Editors' Choice

The author, Burt Neuborne, is one of America’s top civil liberties lawyers, and questions whether federal government can contain Trump and GOP power grabs. By Steven Rosenfeld — A new book by one of the nation’s foremost civil liberties lawyers powerfully describes how America’s constitutional checks and balances are being pushed to the brink by a president who is consciously following Adolf Hitler’s extremist propaganda and policy template from the…

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Skin tone band-aids

The Fight to Redefine Racism

By Editors' Choice

In “How to Be an Antiracist,” Ibram X. Kendi argues that we should think of “racist” not as a pejorative but as a simple, widely encompassing term of description. By Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker — Sixteen years ago, in 2003, the student newspaper at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, a historically black institution in Tallahassee, published a lively column about white people. “I don’t hate whites,” the author, a…

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Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison Made Words Burn and Cry: Marlon James on His Biggest Hero

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Marlon James, Time — I don’t remember much else about the day I finished Song of Solomon. The Trinidadian novelist Elizabeth Nunez mentioned her in a manuscript-saving mission—mine being the script needing saving—because I didn’t have a clue about women. Nunez said so, and she was right of course, not just about my clueness-ness, but also that this clueness-ness stemmed from a problem universal among male writers: not reading women….

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The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City after a truck bomb explosion, April, 1995

White Power: At Home and Abroad

By Commentaries/Opinions

Two differently themed books complement each other; one on the rise of white power at home and the other on anti-communist adventures abroad show the domestic scourge nurtured by foreign experiences even as the global Right employed its services. By Thomas Meany, London Review of Books — In the spring of 1975, as America’s war in Vietnam drew to its grim conclusion, a new magazine targeted readers who did not…

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