History

How to Raise an Antiracist

How to Raise an Antiracist

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The book that every parent, caregiver, and teacher needs to raise the next generation of antiracist thinkers, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of How to Be an Antiracist and recipient of the MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

"Kendi's latest . . . combines his personal experience as a parent with his scholarly expertise in showing how racism affects every step of a child's life. . . . Like all his books, this one is accessible to everyone regardless of race or class."--Los Angeles Times (Book Club Pick)

The tragedies and reckonings around racism that are rocking the country have created a specific crisis for parents, educators, and other caregivers: How do we talk to our children about racism? How do we teach children to be antiracist? How are kids at different ages experiencing race? How are racist structures impacting children? How can we inspire our children to avoid our mistakes, to be better, to make the world better?

These are the questions Ibram X. Kendi found himself avoiding as he anticipated the birth of his first child. Like most parents or parents-to-be, he felt the reflex to not talk to his child about racism, which he feared would stain her innocence and steal away her joy. But research and experience changed his mind, and he realized that raising his child to be antiracist would actually protect his child, and preserve her innocence and joy. He realized that teaching students about the reality of racism and the myth of race provides a protective education in our diverse and unequal world. He realized that building antiracist societies safeguards all children from the harms of racism.

Following the accessible genre of his internationally bestselling How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi combines a century of scientific research with a vulnerable and compelling personal narrative of his own journey as a parent and as a child in school. The chapters follow the stages of child development from pregnancy to toddler to schoolkid to teenager. It is never too early or late to start raising young people to be antiracist.

I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land

I've Been Here All the While: Black Freedom on Native Land

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Perhaps no other symbol has more resonance in African American history than that of 40 acres and a mule--the lost promise of Black reparations for slavery after the Civil War. In I've Been Here All the While, we meet the Black people who actually received this mythic 40 acres, the American settlers who coveted this land, and the Native Americans whose holdings it originated from.

In nineteenth-century Indian Territory (modern-day Oklahoma), a story unfolds that ties African American and Native American history tightly together, revealing a western theatre of Civil War and Reconstruction, in which Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole Indians, their Black slaves, and African Americans and whites from the eastern United States fought military and rhetorical battles to lay claim to land that had been taken from others.

Through chapters that chart cycles of dispossession, land seizure, and settlement in Indian Territory, Alaina E. Roberts draws on archival research and family history to upend the traditional story of Reconstruction. She connects debates about Black freedom and Native American citizenship to westward expansion onto Native land. As Black, white, and Native people constructed ideas of race, belonging, and national identity, this part of the West became, for a short time, the last place where Black people could escape Jim Crow, finding land and exercising political rights, until Oklahoma statehood in 1907.

ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD: WRE

ILLINOIS CENTRAL RAILROAD: WRE

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With roots dating back to 1851, the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) transported millions of passengers and countless tons of freight. Most trips were completed without incident. However, there were occasional mishaps, including derailments and collisions with other trains or highway vehicles. Most accidents were minor, while others made the national news, such as the October 30, 1972, collision of two commuter trains in Chicago that killed 45 passengers. The IC frequently had to deal with flooding, for the railroad ran in close proximity to several major rivers. In January and February 1937, much of the southern half of the railroad was shut down because of flooding on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. This book depicts many of the accidents that have taken place along the Illinois Central through the years. The photographs are drawn from numerous sources, including the railroad's own photographers, amateur photographers, and photography studios.
Independence Lost Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution

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A rising-star historian offers a significant new global perspective on the Revolutionary War with the story of the conflict as seen through the eyes of the outsiders of colonial society

Winner of the Journal of the American Revolution Book of the Year Award - Winner of the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of New Jersey History Prize - Finalist for the George Washington Book Prize

Over the last decade, award-winning historian Kathleen DuVal has revitalized the study of early America's marginalized voices. Now, in Independence Lost, she recounts an untold story as rich and significant as that of the Founding Fathers: the history of the Revolutionary Era as experienced by slaves, American Indians, women, and British loyalists living on Florida's Gulf Coast.

While citizens of the thirteen rebelling colonies came to blows with the British Empire over tariffs and parliamentary representation, the situation on the rest of the continent was even more fraught. In the Gulf of Mexico, Spanish forces clashed with Britain's strained army to carve up the Gulf Coast, as both sides competed for allegiances with the powerful Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek nations who inhabited the region. Meanwhile, African American slaves had little control over their own lives, but some individuals found opportunities to expand their freedoms during the war.

Independence Lost reveals that individual motives counted as much as the ideals of liberty and freedom the Founders espoused: Independence had a personal as well as national meaning, and the choices made by people living outside the colonies were of critical importance to the war's outcome. DuVal introduces us to the Mobile slave Petit Jean, who organized militias to fight the British at sea; the Chickasaw diplomat Payamataha, who worked to keep his people out of war; New Orleans merchant Oliver Pollock and his wife, Margaret O'Brien Pollock, who risked their own wealth to organize funds and garner Spanish support for the American Revolution; the half-Scottish-Creek leader Alexander McGillivray, who fought to protect indigenous interests from European imperial encroachment; the Cajun refugee Amand Broussard, who spent a lifetime in conflict with the British; and Scottish loyalists James and Isabella Bruce, whose work on behalf of the British Empire placed them in grave danger. Their lives illuminate the fateful events that took place along the Gulf of Mexico and, in the process, changed the history of North America itself.

Adding new depth and moral complexity, Kathleen DuVal reinvigorates the story of the American Revolution. Independence Lost is a bold work that fully establishes the reputation of a historian who is already regarded as one of her generation's best.

Praise for Independence Lost

"[An] astonishing story . . . Independence Lost will knock your socks off. To read [this book] is to see that the task of recovering the entire American Revolution has barely begun."--The New York Times Book Review

"A richly documented and compelling account."--The Wall Street Journal

"A remarkable, necessary--and entirely new--book about the American Revolution."--The Daily Beast

"A completely new take on the American Revolution, rife with pathos, double-dealing, and intrigue."--Elizabeth A. Fenn, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Encounters at the Heart of the World

Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration

Juneteenth: The Story Behind the Celebration

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Juneteenth has been touted as a national day celebrating the end of slavery. Observances from coast to coast have turned this event into part of the national conversation about race, slavery, and how Americans understand, acknowledge, and explain what has been called the national "original sin."
But, why Juneteenth? Where did this celebration--which promises to become a national holiday--come from? What is the origin story? What are the facts, and myths, around this important day in the nation's history?
This is the first scholarly book to delve into the history behind Juneteenth. Using decades of research in archives around the nation, this book helps separate myth from reality and tells the story behind the celebration in a way that provides new understanding and appreciation for the event.
As the United States continues to have a national conversation about race relations and the meaning of full equality, Juneteenth promises to become an important expression of equality--an Independence Day celebration in its own right, a couple of weeks in advance of the traditional July 4th Holiday. This book will be a welcome addition to classrooms, book clubs and general readers interested in this once obscure regional event now destined for the national spotlight.
LAST SLAVE SHIP: THE TRUE STOR

LAST SLAVE SHIP: THE TRUE STOR

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The incredible true story of the last ship to carry enslaved people to America, the remarkable town its survivors founded after emancipation, and the complicated legacy their descendants carry with them to this day--by the journalist who discovered the ship's remains.

Fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed, the Clotilda became the last ship in history to bring enslaved Africans to the United States. The ship was scuttled and burned on arrival to hide evidence of the crime, allowing the wealthy perpetrators to escape prosecution. Despite numerous efforts to find the sunken wreck, Clotilda remained hidden for the next 160 years. But in 2019, journalist Ben Raines made international news when he successfully concluded his obsessive quest through the swamps of Alabama to uncover one of our nation's most important historical artifacts.

Traveling from Alabama to the ancient African kingdom of Dahomey in modern-day Benin, Raines recounts the ship's perilous journey, the story of its rediscovery, and its complex legacy. Against all odds, Africatown, the Alabama community founded by the captives of the Clotilda, prospered in the Jim Crow South. Zora Neale Hurston visited in 1927 to interview Cudjo Lewis, telling the story of his enslavement in the New York Times bestseller Barracoon. And yet the haunting memory of bondage has been passed on through generations. Clotilda is a ghost haunting three communities--the descendants of those transported into slavery, the descendants of their fellow Africans who sold them, and the descendants of their American enslavers. This connection binds these groups together to this day. At the turn of the century, descendants of the captain who financed the Clotilda's journey lived nearby--where, as significant players in the local real estate market, they disenfranchised and impoverished residents of Africatown.

From these parallel stories emerges a profound depiction of America as it struggles to grapple with the traumatic past of slavery and the ways in which racial oppression continue to this day. And yet, at its heart, The Last Slave Ship remains optimistic--an epic tale of one community's triumphs over great adversity and a celebration of the power of human curiosity to uncover the truth about our past and heal its wounds.

Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till

Let the People See: The Story of Emmett Till

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The world knows the story of young Emmett Till. In August 1955, the fourteen-year-old Chicago boy supposedly flirted with a white woman named Carolyn Bryant, who worked behind the counter of a country store, while visiting family in Mississippi. Three days later, his mangled body was recovered in the Tallahatchie River, weighed down by a cotton-gin fan. Till's killers, Bryant's husband and his half-brother, were eventually acquitted on technicalities by an all-white jury despite overwhelming evidence. It seemed another case of Southern justice.

Then details of what had happened to Till became public, which they did in part because Emmett's mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, insisted that his casket remain open during his funeral. The world saw the horror, and Till's story gripped the country and sparked outrage. Black journalists drove down to Mississippi and risked their lives interviewing townsfolk, encouraging witnesses, spiriting those in danger out of the region, and above all keeping the news cycle turning. It continues to turn. In 2005, fifty years after the murder, the FBI reopened the case. New papers and testimony have come to light, and several participants, including Till's mother, have published autobiographies. Using this new evidence and a broadened historical context, Elliott J. Gorn delves more fully than anyone has into how and why the story of Emmett Till still resonates, and always will. Till's murder marked a turning point, Gorn shows, and yet also reveals how old patterns of thought and behavior endure, and why we must look hard at them.

Library: A Fragile History

Library: A Fragile History

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Perfect for book lovers, this is a fascinating exploration of the history of libraries and the people who built them, from the ancient world to the digital age.

Famed across the known world, jealously guarded by private collectors, built up over centuries, destroyed in a single day, ornamented with gold leaf and frescoes, or filled with bean bags and children's drawings--the history of the library is rich, varied, and stuffed full of incident. In The Library, historians Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen introduce us to the antiquarians and philanthropists who shaped the world's great collections, trace the rise and fall of literary tastes, and reveal the high crimes and misdemeanors committed in pursuit of rare manuscripts. In doing so, they reveal that while collections themselves are fragile, often falling into ruin within a few decades, the idea of the library has been remarkably resilient as each generation makes--and remakes--the institution anew.

Beautifully written and deeply researched, The Library is essential reading for booklovers, collectors, and anyone who has ever gotten blissfully lost in the stacks.

Life in Roman London

Life in Roman London

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Seven years after the Roman invasion of Britain in ad 43, Londinium was created. It would rise to become one of the most important Roman cities in Northern Europe.Life in Roman London approaches the history of Roman London in an entirely new way. Rather than focusing upon a handful of important figures such as procurators and statesmen, this book explores the lives and concerns of the ordinary citizens. Unlike many books about Roman history which are preoccupied with the basilicas, palaces, grand houses, statues and mosaics, Life in Roman London looks instead at the shops, houses and streets in which the majority of the fifty thousand or so inhabitants of the city spent their lives. In doing so, it reveals a city very different from the clean, white, classical metropolis familiar from the books of our childhood.
The history of Roman London approached in an entirely new way, focusing on the geography of daily life
The rise and fall of one of the most important Roman cities in northern Europe is charted graphically by the use of maps and diagrams, showing at a glance the various stages in its development. Rather than focusing upon a handful of important figures such as procurators and statesmen, this book explores the lives and concerns of the ordinary citizens. Many books about Roman history seem to be preoccupied with basilicas, palaces, grand houses, statues, and mosaics; this book looks instead at the shops, houses, and streets in which the majority of the 60,000 inhabitants of the city spent their lives. In doing so, it reveals a city very different from the familiar images of a clean, white, classical metropolis.
LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: NOTES

LITTLE DEVIL IN AMERICA: NOTES

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NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST - A sweeping, genre-bending "masterpiece" (Minneapolis Star Tribune) exploring Black art, music, and culture in all their glory and complexity--from Soul Train, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Whitney Houston, and Beyoncé

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Chicago Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Dallas Morning News, Publishers Weekly

"Gorgeous essays that reveal the resilience, heartbreak, and joy within Black performance."--Brit Bennett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Half

"I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too." Inspired by these few words, spoken by Josephine Baker at the 1963 March on Washington, MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow and bestselling author Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines--whether it's the twenty-seven seconds in "Gimme Shelter" in which Merry Clayton wails the words "rape, murder," a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt--has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib's own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Touching on Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Billy Dee Williams, the Wu-Tan Clan, Dave Chappelle, and more, Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space--from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.

WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL AND THE GORDON BURN PRIZE - FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD AND THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, Time, The Boston Globe, NPR, Rolling Stone, Esquire, BuzzFeed, Thrillist, She Reads, BookRiot, BookPage, Electric Lit, The Rumpus, LitHub, Library Journal, Booklist

At the March on Washington in 1963, Josephine Baker was fifty-seven years old, well beyond her most prolific days. But in her speech she was in a mood to consider her life, her legacy, her departure from the country she was now triumphantly returning to. “I was a devil in other countries, and I was a little devil in America, too,” she told the crowd. Inspired by these few words, Hanif Abdurraqib has written a profound and lasting reflection on how Black performance is inextricably woven into the fabric of American culture. Each moment in every performance he examines—whether it’s the twenty-seven seconds in “Gimme Shelter” in which Merry Clayton wails the words “rape, murder,” a schoolyard fistfight, a dance marathon, or the instant in a game of spades right after the cards are dealt—has layers of resonance in Black and white cultures, the politics of American empire, and Abdurraqib’s own personal history of love, grief, and performance.

Abdurraqib writes prose brimming with jubilation and pain, infused with the lyricism and rhythm of the musicians he loves. With care and generosity, he explains the poignancy of performances big and small, each one feeling intensely familiar and vital, both timeless and desperately urgent. Filled with sharp insight, humor, and heart, A Little Devil in America exalts the Black performance that unfolds in specific moments in time and space—from midcentury Paris to the moon, and back down again to a cramped living room in Columbus, Ohio.