A winner of the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Award and the Lillian Smith Prize, Colored People is a pungent and poignant masterpiece of recollection, a work that extends and deepens our sense of African American history even as it entrances us with its bravura storytelling
James Baldwin, Colin Powell, Harry Belafonte, Bill T. Jones, Louis Farrakhan, Anatole Broyard, Albert Murray -- all these men came from modest circumstances and all achieved preeminence. They are people, Gates writes, "who have shaped the world as much as they were shaped by it, who gave as good as they got." Three are writers -- James Baldwin, who was once regarded as the intellectual spokesman for the black community; Anatole Broyard, who chose to hide his black heritage so as to be seen as a writer on his own terms; and Albert Murray, who rose to the pinnacle of literary criticism. There is the general-turned-political-figure Colin Powell, who discusses his interactions with three United States presidents; there is Harry Belafonte, the entertainer whose career has been distinct from his fervent activism; there is Bill T. Jones, dancer and choreographer, whose fierce courage and creativity have continued in the shadow of AIDS; and there is Louis Farrakhan, the controversial religious leader.
These men and others speak of their lives with candor and intimacy, and what emerges from this portfolio of influential men is a strikingly varied and profound set of ideas about what it means to be a black man in America today.
From the Hardcover edition.
For Oprah, the path back to the past was emotion-filled and profoundly illuminating, connecting the narrative of her family to the larger American narrative and “anchoring” her in a way not previously possible. For the reader, Finding Oprah’s Roots offers the possibility of an equally rewarding experience.
From the Hardcover edition.
With élan and erudition—and with winning enthusiasm—Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Roger’s work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African, diasporic, and African-American history in question-and-answer format. Among the one hundred questions: Who were Africa’s first ambassadors to Europe? Who was the first black president in North America? Did Lincoln really free the slaves? Who was history’s wealthiest person? What percentage of white Americans have recent African ancestry? Why did free black people living in the South before the end of the Civil War stay there? Who was the first black head of state in modern Western history? Where was the first Underground Railroad? Who was the first black American woman to be a self-made millionaire? Which black man made many of our favorite household products better?
Here is a surprising, inspiring, sometimes boldly mischievous—all the while highly instructive and entertaining—compendium of historical curiosities intended to illuminate the sheer complexity and diversity of being “Negro” in the world.
(With full-color illustrations throughout.)
In The Trials of Phillis Wheatley, Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the pivotal roles that Wheatley and Jefferson played in shaping the black literary tradition. Writing with all the lyricism and critical skill that place him at the forefront of American letters, Gates brings to life the characters, debates, and controversy that surrounded Wheatley in her day and ours.
From his earliest work of literary-historical excavation in 1982, through his current writings on the history and science of African American genealogy, the essays collected here follow his path as historian, theorist, canon-builder, and cultural critic, revealing a thinker of uncommon breadth whose work is uniformly guided by the drive to uncover and restore a history that has for too long been buried and denied.
An invaluable reference, The Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Reader will be a singular reflection of one of our most gifted minds.
For too long, African Americans’ family trees have been barren of branches, but, very recently, advanced genetic testing techniques, combined with archival research, have begun to fill in the gaps. Here, scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., backed by an elite team of geneticists and researchers, takes nineteen extraordinary African Americans on a once unimaginable journey, tracing family sagas through U.S. history and back to Africa.
Those whose recovered pasts collectively form an African American “people’s history” of the United States include celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Don Cheadle, Chris Tucker, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner, and Quincy Jones; writers such as Maya Angelou and Bliss Broyard; leading thinkers such as Harvard divinity professor Peter Gomes, the Reverend T. D. Jakes, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot; and famous achievers such as astronaut Mae Jemison, media personality Tom Joyner, decathlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee, and Ebony and Jet publisher Linda Johnson Rice.
More than a work of history, In Search of Our Roots is a book of revelatory importance that, for the first time, brings to light the lives of ordinary men and women who, by courageous example, blazed a path for their famous descendants. For a reader, there is the stirring pleasure of witnessing long-forgotten struggles and triumphs–but there’s an enduring reward as well. In accompanying the nineteen contemporary achievers on their journey into the past and meeting their remarkable forebears, we come to know ourselves.
From the Hardcover edition.
Since 2007, the Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has been helping African Americans find long-buried details about their ancestors by researching their family trees and then, when the paper trail ends, by analyzing their DNA and marrying that information to a wealth of historical data. Now, in Faces of America Gates explores the family trees of twelve of America’s most recognizable and extraordinary citizens, individuals who learn that they are of Asian, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Jamaican, Jewish, Latino, Native American, Swiss, and Syrian ancestry: Inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander, chef Mario Batali, comedian and television personality Stephen Colbert, writer Louise Erdrich, writer Malcolm Gladwell, actress Eva Longoria, cellist Yo Yo Ma, writer and director Mike Nichols, former monarch of Jordan Queen Noor, surgeon and author Dr. Mehmet Oz, actress Meryl Streep, and Olympic gold medalist and figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi.
In addition, each of the subjects in Faces of America underwent dense genotyping to trace their genetic ancestry on their father’s line, their mother’s line, and their percentages of European, Asian, Native American, and African ancestry. Faces of America unfolds as a riveting journey into our country’s complex ancestral past. Readers will share in the surprise and delight, the shock and sadness of these twelve individuals themselves as Gates unveils their rich family stories, traced back to their arrival on America’s shores, and beyond, deep into the history of their ancestors’ countries of origin. America, as Gates shows us, is a nation of many historical threads, interwoven and united in the present moment. In this compelling book, Gates demonstrates that where we come from profoundly and fundamentally informs who we are today.
"Today's most public African American intellectual voices...West and Gates have made a valuable contribution."--Julian Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Brilliant...a social, cultural and political blueprint...that attempts to illumine the future path for blacks and American democracy."--New York Daily News
"Henry Louis Gates., Jr., and Cornel West are among the most renowned American intellectuals of our time."--New York Times Book Review
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Complete with definitive texts, rich historical notes, and an original introduction by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., this book charts the progress of a war within Lincoln himself. We witness his struggles with conflicting aims and ideas--a hatred of slavery and a belief in the political equality of all men, but also anti-black prejudices and a determination to preserve the Union even at the cost of preserving slavery. We also watch the evolution of his racial views, especially in reaction to the heroic fighting of black Union troops.
At turns inspiring and disturbing, Lincoln on Race and Slavery is indispensable for understanding what Lincoln's views meant for his generation--and what they mean for our own.
Throughout Tradition and the Black Atlantic, Gates shows that the culture wars have presented us with a surfeit of either/ors—tradition versus modernity; Eurocentrism versus Afrocentricism. Pointing us away from these facile dichotomies, Gates deftly combines rigorous scholarship with humor, looking back to the roots of cultural studies in order to map out its future course.
The biography also provides insights into Gates's groundbreaking work as a critic, scholar, and author, probing his wide-ranging interests, his many accomplishments, and his invaluable revelations about the contributions of African Americans to the nation's literature and history. Most important, the book provides readers with a fuller understanding of African American history and literature—and of the nature of today's racial politics.
12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World during the Middle Passage. While just over 11.0 million survived the arduous journey, only about 450,000 of them arrived in the United States. The rest—over ten and a half million—were taken to the Caribbean and Latin America. This astonishing fact changes our entire picture of the history of slavery in the Western hemisphere, and of its lasting cultural impact. These millions of Africans created new and vibrant cultures, magnificently compelling syntheses of various African, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish influences.
Despite their great numbers, the cultural and social worlds that they created remain largely unknown to most Americans, except for certain popular, cross-over musical forms. So Henry Louis Gates, Jr. set out on a quest to discover how Latin Americans of African descent live now, and how the countries of their acknowledge—or deny—their African past; how the fact of race and African ancestry play themselves out in the multicultural worlds of the Caribbean and Latin America. Starting with the slave experience and extending to the present, Gates unveils the history of the African presence in six Latin American countries—Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru—through art, music, cuisine, dance, politics, and religion, but also the very palpable presence of anti-black racism that has sometimes sought to keep the black cultural presence from view.
In Brazil, he delves behind the façade of Carnaval to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.
In Cuba, he finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island is inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.
In Haiti, he tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves’s hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.
In Mexico and Peru, he explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people—far greater than the number brought to the United States—brought to these countries as early as the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.
Professor Gates’ journey becomes ours as we are introduced to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans who created these worlds. He shows both the similarities and distinctions between these cultures, and how the New World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents. “Black in Latin America” is the third instalment of Gates’s documentary trilogy on the Black Experience in Africa, the United States, and in Latin America. In America Behind the Color Line, Professor Gates examined the fortunes of the black population of modern-day America. In Wonders of the African World, he embarked upon a series of journeys to reveal the history of African culture. Now, he brings that quest full-circle in an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America, with a rich legacy of thoughtful, articulate subjects whose stories are astonishingly moving and irresistibly compelling.
This book, first published in 1984, is divided into two sections, thus clarifying the nature of black literary theory on the one hand, and the features of black literary practice on the other. Rather than merely applying contemporary Western theory to black literature, these critics instead challenge and redefine the theory in order to make fresh, stimulating comments not only on black criticism and literature but also on the general state of criticism today.
Life Upon These Shores tells the story of the evolution of life for African-American people in America, starting with the first known Africans to land in the New World in 1513 and concluding with the election of President Barack Obama in 2008.
In creating this book Gates and his assistants meticulously combed through over 400 years worth of documents and artifacts. Gates particularly wanted to include as much information as he could about some of the lesser known figures of African American history, in order to tell as accurate and wide-sweeping a story as possible. Life Upon These Shores contains many stories of significant black women and men who worked hard to improve life for themselves and for black people everywhere, but are not necessarily remembered in most history books. The book is also filled with hundreds of pictures of these people, their achievements, and the frequent tragic results of racist antagonism.
MEET THE AUTHOR
Alexandra Townsend is a recent graduate of the University of Vermont. She enjoys learning and writing about feminism, LGBT stuff, comic books, fairy tales, and tons of other things.
EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK
Life Upon These Shores begins by discussing the origins of slavery and the scant accounts we have of the first black people to ever arrive in the Americas. Gates then delves into the evolution of the slave trade, its causes, structure, and alternative labor systems that were first considered. The lives of the occasional free blacks are compared with those of slaves and examples are given from both categories of people who were able to achieve amazing things despite the racism they faced.
Gates explains the important role that African Americans had during the Revolutionary War, as many of them fought on both sides despite still being enslaved. This conflict became part of a larger fight for liberty after the war as African Americans and white abolitionists throughout the country worked tirelessly for nearly a century to try and gain freedom for black people. This fight for justice eventually led to the Civil War. Unfortunately, although the conclusion of the war gave freedom to all African Americans and the right to vote to black men, black people still found that their rights were frequently denied and infringed upon. Lynch mobs became common, particularly in the South and few black people could hope to achieve prosperous lives. This led to a long, hard struggle to fight against the evils of racism and the increasingly common segregation policies that were being established around the country.
Quicklet on Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008
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Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008
In the second season, Gates's investigation takes on the personal and genealogical histories of more than twenty luminaries, including Ken Burns, Stephen King, Derek Jeter, Governor Deval Patrick, Valerie Jarrett, and Sally Field. As Gates interlaces these moving stories of immigration, assimilation, strife, and success, he provides practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own families' roots and details the advances in genetic research now available to the public. The result is an illuminating exploration of who we are, how we lost track of our roots, and how we can find them again.
Working from years of research and based on his own classes and experiences with law enforcement, the author illuminates the steps needed to embark on the long journey toward racial and legal equality for all Americans.
Beginning with the assassination of Malcolm X in February 1965, And Still I Rise: From Black Power to the White House explores the last half-century of the African American experience. More than fifty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the birth of Black Power, the United States has both a black president and black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies—and a large black underclass beset by persistent poverty, inadequate education, and an epidemic of incarceration. Harvard professor and scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr. raises disturbing and vital questions about this dichotomy. How did the African American community end up encompassing such profound contradictions? And what will “the black community” mean tomorrow?
Gates takes readers through the major historical events and untold stories of the sixty years that have irrevocably shaped both the African American experience and the nation as a whole, from the explosive social and political changes of the 1960s, into the 1970s and 1980s—eras characterized by both prosperity and neglect—through the turn of the century to today, taking measure of such racial flashpoints as the Tawana Brawley case, OJ Simpson’s murder trial, the murders of Amadou Diallo and Trayvon Martin, and debates around the NYPD’s “stop and frisk” policies. Even as it surveys the political and social evolution of black America, And Still I Rise is also a celebration of the accomplishments of black artists, musicians, writers, comedians, and thinkers who have helped to define American popular culture and to change our world.
Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before, The Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. Following in the tradition of such classics as Arthur Huff Fauset’s “Negro Folk Tales from the South” (1927), Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men (1935), and Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly (1985), acclaimed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths, and legends that revitalizes a vibrant African American past to produce the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of African American folktales ever published in American literary history. Arguing for the value of these deceptively simple stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these remarkable stories deserve a place alongside the classic works of African American literature, and American literature more broadly.
Opening with two introductory essays and twenty seminal African tales as historical background, Gates and Tatar present nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” as well as out-of-print tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman. Beginning with the figure of Anansi, the African trickster, master of improvisation—a spider who plots and weaves in scandalous ways—The Annotated African American Folktales then goes on to draw Caribbean and Creole tales into the orbit of the folkloric canon. It retrieves stories not seen since the Harlem Renaissance and brings back archival tales of “Negro folklore” that Booker T. Washington proclaimed had emanated from a “grapevine” that existed even before the American Revolution, stories brought over by slaves who had survived the Middle Passage. Furthermore, Gates and Tatar’s volume not only defines a new canon but reveals how these folktales were hijacked and misappropriated in previous incarnations, egregiously by Joel Chandler Harris, a Southern newspaperman, as well as by Walt Disney, who cannibalized and capitalized on Harris’s volumes by creating cartoon characters drawn from this African American lore.
Presenting these tales with illuminating annotations and hundreds of revelatory illustrations, The Annotated African American Folktales reminds us that stories not only move, entertain, and instruct but, more fundamentally, inspire and keep hope alive.
The Annotated African American Folktales includes:Introductory essays, nearly 150 African American stories, and 20 seminal African tales as historical background The familiar Brer Rabbit classics, as well as news-making vernacular tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman An entire section of Caribbean and Latin American folktales that finally become incorporated into the canon Approximately 200 full-color, museum-quality images
The biography also provides insights into Gates's groundbreaking work as a critic, scholar, and author, probing his wide-ranging interests, his many accomplishments, and his invaluable revelations about the contributions of African Americans to the nation's literature and history. Most important, the book provides readers with a fuller understanding of African American history and literature--and of the nature of today's racial politics.
This anxiety has helped to create the Tea Party movement, with its call to "take our country back." By means of a racialized nostalgia for a mythological past, the Right is enlisting fearful whites into its campaign for reactionary social and economic policies.
In urgent response, Tim Wise has penned his most pointed and provocative work to date. Employing the form of direct personal address, he points a finger at whites' race-based self-delusion, explaining how such an agenda will only do harm to the nation's people, including most whites. In no uncertain terms, he argues that the hope for survival of American democracy lies in the embrace of our multicultural past, present and future.
"Sparing neither family nor self…he considers how the deck has always been stacked in his and other white people's favor…His candor is invigorating."—Publishers Weekly
"One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation."—Michael Eric Dyson
"Tim Wise has written another blockbuster! His new book, Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, is a cogent analysis of the problems of race and inequality as well as a plea for those who harbor views about race and racism to modify and indeed eliminate them. While the book's title addresses white people, this is really a book for anyone who is concerned about eliminating the issue of racial disparity in our society. This is must read and a good read."—Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. He is the author of a number of books, including The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America
"Tim Wise is an American hero in the truest sense of the term—he tells the truth, no matter how inconvenient that truth might be. Dear White America is a desperately needed response to the insidious mythology that pretends whites are oppressed and people of color unduly privileged. In the process, it exposes how new forms of racism have been deliberately embedded into our supposedly 'color blind' culture. Read this book—but rest assured, it's not for the faint of heart."—David Sirota, syndicated columnist, radio host, author of Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now
"The foremost white analyst of racism in America never fails to provide fresh takes as he punctures myths and defenses."—World Wide Work
Tim Wise is one of the most prominent antiracist essayists, educators, and activists in the United States. He is regularly interviewed by A-list media, including CNN, C-SPAN, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Michael Eric Dyson's radio program, and many more. His most recent books include Colorblind and Between Barack and a Hard Place.
“Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer. Cate Lineberry has done us all a great service by telling this incredibly moving, thrilling, and important story about an American hero who deserves to be remembered, and admired.” —Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire
Facing death rather than enslavement—a story of one man's triumphant choice and ultimate rise to national hero
It was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old slave named Robert Smalls did the unthinkable and boldly seized a Confederate steamer. With his wife and two young children hidden on board, Smalls and a small crew ran a gauntlet of heavily armed fortifications in Charleston Harbor and delivered the valuable vessel and the massive guns it carried to nearby Union forces. To be unsuccessful was a death sentence for all. Smalls’ courageous and ingenious act freed him and his family from slavery and immediately made him a Union hero while simultaneously challenging much of the country’s view of what African Americans were willing to do to gain their freedom.
After his escape, Smalls served in numerous naval campaigns off Charleston as a civilian boat pilot and eventually became the first black captain of an Army ship. In a particularly poignant moment Smalls even bought the home that he and his mother had once served in as house slaves.
Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls’ amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country's first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.
“The Big Chill? Interview with Dinesh D’Souza” by Robert MacNeil
“On Differences: Modern Language Association Presidential Address 1990” by Catharine R. Stimpson
“The Periphery v. the Center: The MLA in Chicago” by Roger Kimball
“The Storm over the University” by John Searle
“Public Imaged Limited: Political Correctness and the Media’s Big Lie” by Michael Berubé
“The Value of the Canon” by Irving Howe
“The Politics of Knowledge” by Edward W. Said
“Whose Canon Is It, Anyway?” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
“Why Do We Read?” by Katha Pollitt
“’Speech Codes’ on the Campus and Problems of Free Speech” by Nat Hentoff
“Freedom of Hate Speech” by Richard Perry and Patricia Williams
“There’s No Such Thing as Free Speech and It’s a Good Thing, Too” by Stanley Fish
“The Statement of the Black Faculty Caucus” by Ted Gordon and Wahneema Lubiano
“Radical English” by George F. Will
“Critics of Attempts to Democratize the Curriculum Are Waging a Campaign to Misrepresent the Work of Responsible Professors” by Paula Rothenberg
“Multiculturalism: E Pluribus Plures” by Diane Ravitch
“Multiculturalism: An Exchange” by Molefi Kete Asante
“The Prospect Before Us” by Hilton Kramer
“P.C. Rider” by Enrique Fernández
“Diverse New World” by Cornel West
“The Challenge for the Left” by Barbara Ehrenreich
Now in paperback, featuring a new chapter highlighting success stories, with before and after photos, The "I" Diet is the only diet that helps us control the controls. The diet that's easy to follow; the diet that's based on impeccable laboratory research; the diet where the dieter never goes hungry; the diet that is unequivocably healthy, thoroughly grounded in the metabolic, genetic, and psychological workings of the human body. Through its focus on delicious, deeply satisfying dishes like Orange Crumbed French Toast, Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Thai Chicken Salad with Warm Peanut Sauce, and Chocolate Bread Pudding, and proven behavioral modifications (Dr. Roberts is a professor of nutrition and a professor of psychiatry), the diet is a fat-burning marvel. Read it and find out for yourself how the dieters on the cover lost 30 pounds on average in a few short months.
These 100 words have been put to great effect by some of our most important and beloved speakers and writers. Each sense of a word is shown in a separate quotation. Many quotes are from famous public speeches and award-winning books. A number were used in personal letters, showing that it is just as important to have a vibrant vocabulary in private communication as it is in public.
The people quoted range across the spectrum of human endeavor.
There are famous political leaders from the past (Mohandas K. Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan), contemporary politicians (Benazir Bhutto and Barack Obama), scientists (Rachel Carson, Carl Sagan, Edward O.Wilson), economists (Alan Greenspan, John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith), academics (Henry Louis Gates Jr., Ruth Simmons, Helen Vendler), figures of conscience (James Baldwin, Bono, Eleanor Roosevelt), and even humorists (Garrison Keillor, Groucho Marx, Sarah Vowell). They are all captivating communicators, and they all sound great.
100 Words to Make You Sound Great offers a fascinating way to improve and reinforce a versatile vocabulary. Anyone who is interested in the effective use of words will find it hard to put down.
Picturing Frederick Douglass is a work that promises to revolutionize our knowledge of race and photography in nineteenth-century America. Teeming with historical detail, it is filled with surprises, chief among them the fact that neither George Custer nor Walt Whitman, and not even Abraham Lincoln, was the most photographed American of that century. In fact, it was Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the ex-slave turned leading abolitionist, eloquent orator, and seminal writer whose fiery speeches transformed him into one of the most renowned and popular agitators of his age. Now, as a result of the groundbreaking research of John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd, and Celeste-Marie Bernier, Douglass emerges as a leading pioneer in photography, both as a stately subject and as a prescient theorist who believed in the explosive social power of what was then just a nascent art form.
Indeed, Frederick Douglass was in love with photography. During the four years of Civil War, he wrote more extensively on the subject than any other American, even while recognizing that his audiences were "riveted" by the war and wanted a speech only on "this mighty struggle." He frequented photographers’ studios regularly and sat for his portrait whenever he could. To Douglass, photography was the great "democratic art" that would finally assert black humanity in place of the slave "thing" and at the same time counter the blackface minstrelsy caricatures that had come to define the public perception of what it meant to be black. As a result, his legacy is inseparable from his portrait gallery, which contains 160 separate photographs.
At last, all of these photographs have been collected into a single volume, giving us an incomparable visual biography of a man whose prophetic vision and creative genius knew no bounds. Chronologically arranged and generously captioned, from the first picture taken in around 1841 to the last in 1895, each of the images—many published here for the first time—emphasizes Douglass's evolution as a man, artist, and leader. Also included are other representations of Douglass during his lifetime and after—such as paintings, statues, and satirical cartoons—as well as Douglass’s own writings on visual aesthetics, which have never before been transcribed from his own handwritten drafts.
The comprehensive introduction by the authors, along with headnotes for each section, an essay by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an afterword by Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.—a direct Douglass descendent—provide the definitive examination of Douglass's intellectual, philosophical, and political relationships to aesthetics. Taken together, this landmark work canonizes Frederick Douglass through a form he appreciated the most: photography.
Featuring:Contributions from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (a direct Douglass descendent) 160 separate photographs of Douglass—many of which have never been publicly seen and were long lost to history A collection of contemporaneous artwork that shows how powerful Douglass’s photographic legacy remains today, over a century after his death All Douglass’s previously unpublished writings and speeches on visual aesthetics
This compact volume offers a full course on the remarkable, diverse career of Frederick Douglass, letting us hear once more a necessary historical figure whose guiding voice is needed now as urgently as ever. Edited by renowned scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Pulitzer Prize–nominated historian John Stauffer, The Portable Frederick Douglass includes the full range of Douglass’s works: the complete Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, as well as extracts from My Bondage and My Freedom and Life and Times of Frederick Douglass; The Heroic Slave, one of the first works of African American fiction; the brilliant speeches that launched his political career and that constitute the greatest oratory of the Civil War era; and his journalism, which ranges from cultural and political critique (including his early support for women’s equality) to law, history, philosophy, literature, art, and international affairs, including a never-before-published essay on Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture.
The Portable Frederick Douglass is the latest addition in a series of African American classics curated by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. First published in 2008, the series reflects a selection of great works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by African and African American authors introduced and annotated by leading scholars and acclaimed writers in new or updated editions for Penguin Classics. In his series essay, “What Is an African American Classic?” Gates provides a broader view of the canon of classics of African American literature available from Penguin Classics and beyond. Gates writes, “These texts reveal the human universal through the African American particular: all true art, all classics do this; this is what ‘art’ is, a revelation of that which makes each of us sublimely human, rendered in the minute details of the actions and thoughts and feelings of a compelling character embedded in a time and place.”
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"In this new edition of his classic text . . . Marable can challenge a new generation to find solutions to the problems that constrain the present but not our potential to seek and define a better future."—Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
"[A] prescient analysis."—Michael Eric Dyson
How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America is a classic study of the intersection of racism and class in the United States. It has become a standard text for courses in American politics and history, and has been central to the education of thousands of political activists since the 1980s. This edition is prsented with a new foreword by Leith Mullings.
Bipolar Faith is both a spiritual autobiography and a memoir of mental illness. In this powerful book, Monica Coleman shares her life-long dance with trauma, depression, and the threat of death. Citing serendipitous encounters with black intellectuals like Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Angela Davis, and Renita Weems, Coleman offers a rare account of how the modulated highs of bipolar II can lead to professional success, while hiding a depression that even her doctors rarely believed. Only as she was able to face her illness was she able to live faithfully with bipolar. And in the process, she discovered a new and liberating vision of God.
In Twelve Angry Men, a dozen eloquent authors tell their own personal versions of this story. From a Harvard law school student tackled by security guard on the streets of Manhattan, a federal prosecutor detained while walking in his own neighborhood in Washington, DC, and a high school student in Colorado arrested for “loitering” in the subway station as he waits for the train home, to a bike rider in Austin, Texas, a professor at a big ten university in Iowa, and the head of the ACLU’s racial profiling initiative (who was pursued by national guardsmen after arriving on the red-eye in Boston’s Logan airport), here are true stories of law-abiding Americans who happen also to be black men.
Cumulatively, the effect is staggering, and will open the eyes of anyone who thinks we live in a “post-racial” or “color-blind” America.
Acclaimed by Dr. Cornel West as "one of the great creative acts in the struggle for black freedom," the story of Brown's daring escape continues to resonate as a reflection of the ongoing struggles of oppressed people around the world. Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., declared this narrative "just as relevant now as it was 150 years ago," and modern readers will find it an unforgettable source of inspiration.
Edited by influential literary critic Sandra M. Gilbert and award-winning restaurant critic and professor of English Roger Porter, Eating Words gathers food writing of literary distinction and vast historical sweep into one groundbreaking volume. Beginning with the taboos of the Old Testament and the tastes of ancient Rome, and including travel essays, polemics, memoirs, and poems, the book is divided into sections such as “Food Writing Through History,” “At the Family Hearth,” “Hunger Games: The Delight and Dread of Eating,” “Kitchen Practices,” and “Food Politics.”
Selections from writings by Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain, Bill Buford, Michael Pollan, Molly O’Neill, Calvin Trillin, and Adam Gopnik, along with works by authors not usually associated with gastronomy—Maxine Hong Kingston, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Hemingway, Chekhov, and David Foster Wallace—enliven and enrich this comprehensive anthology. “We are living in the golden age of food writing,” proclaims Ruth Reichl in her preface to this savory banquet of literature, a must-have for any food lover. Eating Words shows how right she is.