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Books Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Bakari Sellers' new memoir, "My Vanishing Country," traces his life from growing up in rural Denmark, South Carolina, to his career in electoral politics and as a political analyst.

Bakari Sellers on a life shaped by the rural South’s civil rights movement

By Editors' Choice

By Olivia Paschal, Facing South — Born in 1984, former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers was raised in rural Denmark, South Carolina, to a family deeply involved in the civil rights movement. His father, educator Cleveland Sellers, was an activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who was incarcerated on specious charges for which he was later pardoned following the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University in 1968. State troopers shot…

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African Americans and Africa: A New Book about Black America’s Relationship with the Continent

African Americans and Africa: A New Book about Black America’s Relationship with the Continent

By News & Current Affairs

By AAIHS — What is an “African American” and how does this identity relate to the African continent? Rising immigration levels, globalization, and the United States’ first African American president have all sparked new dialogue around the question. This book provides an introduction to the relationship between African Americans and Africa from the era of slavery to the present, mapping several overlapping diasporas. The diversity of African American identities through…

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Toni Morrison

A Tribute for Toni Morrison

By Editors' Choice

By Herb Boyd — An ensemble of luminaries, mainly writers and musicians, shared their memories and reflections of the esteemed author Toni Morrison on Thursday at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. The church was packed to the rafters for the tribute to Morrison who made her transition on August 5. She was 88. This collection of voices and impressions in their separate ways provided a loving profile…

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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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A circa 1830 illustration of a slave auction in America.

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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Slave Patrol

Slavery and the Origins of the American Police State

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

From the beginning, some Americans have been able to move more freely than others. By Ben Fountain, Medium — They were called patrollers or, variously, “paterollers,” “paddyrollers,” or “patterolls,” and they were meant to be part of the solution to Colonial America’s biggest problem, labor. Unlike Great Britain, which had a large, basically immobile peasant class that could be forced to work for subsistence wages, there weren’t enough cheap bodies…

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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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