In this book, art historian Darby English explores the year 1971, when two exhibitions opened that brought modernist painting and sculpture into the burning heart of United States cultural politics: Contemporary Black Artists in America, at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and The DeLuxe Show, a racially integrated abstract art exhibition presented in a renovated movie theater in a Houston ghetto.
1971: A Year in the Life of Color looks at many black artists’ desire to gain freedom from overt racial representation, as well as their efforts—and those of their advocates—to further that aim through public exhibition. Amid calls to define a “black aesthetic,” these experiments with modernist art prioritized cultural interaction and instability. Contemporary Black Artists in America highlighted abstraction as a stance against normative approaches, while The DeLuxe Show positioned abstraction in a center of urban blight. The importance of these experiments, English argues, came partly from color’s special status as a cultural symbol and partly from investigations of color already under way in late modern art and criticism. With their supporters, black modernists—among them Peter Bradley, Frederick Eversley, Alvin Loving, Raymond Saunders, and Alma Thomas—rose above the demand to represent or be represented, compromising nothing in their appeals for interracial collaboration and, above all, responding with optimism rather than cynicism to the surrounding culture’s preoccupation with color.
All about Skin features twenty-seven stories by women writers of color whose short fiction has earned them a range of honors, including John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Flannery O'Connor Award, and inclusion in the Best American Short Stories and O. Henry anthologies. The prose in this multicultural anthology addresses such themes as racial prejudice, media portrayal of beauty, and family relationships and spans genres from the comic and the surreal to startling realism. It demonstrates the power and range of some of the most exciting women writing short fiction today.
The stories are by American writers Aracelis González Asendorf, Jacqueline Bishop, Glendaliz Camacho, Learkana Chong, Jennine Capó Crucet, Ramola D., Patricia Engel, Amina Gautier, Manjula Menon, ZZ Packer, Princess Joy L. Perry, Toni Margarita Plummer, Emily Raboteau, Ivelisse Rodriguez, Metta Sáma, Joshunda Sanders, Renee Simms, Mecca Jamilah Sullivan, Hope Wabuke, and Ashley Young; Nigerian writers Unoma Azuah and Chinelo Okparanta; and Chinese writer Xu Xi.
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association of School Librarians
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the Public Library Reviewers
1992 Myers Center Outstanding Book on Human Rights
Historians have produced scores of studies on white men, extraordinary white women, and even the often anonymous mass of enslaved Black people in the United States. But in this innovative work, Adele Logan Alexander chronicles there heretofore undocumented dilemmas of one of nineteenth-century America’s most marginalized groups—free women of color in the rural South.
Ambiguous Lives focuses on the women of Alexander’s own family as representative of this subcaste of the African-American community. Their forbears, in fact, included Africans, Native Americans, and whites. Neither black nor white, affluent nor impoverished, enslaved nor truly free, these women of color lived and died in a shadowy realm situated somewhere between the legal, social, and economic extremes of empowered whites and subjugated blacks. Yet, as Alexander persuasively argues, these lives are worthy of attention precisely because of these ambiguities—because the intricacies, gradations, and subtleties of their anomalous experience became part of the tangled skein of American history and exemplify our country’s endless diversity, complexity, and self-contradictions.
Written as a “reclamation” of a long-ignored substratum of our society, Ambiguous Lives is more than the story of one family—it is a well-researched and fascinating profile of America, its race and gender relations, and its complex cultural weave.
Every American city had a small, self-aware, and active black elite, who felt it was their duty to set the standard for the less fortunate members of their race and to lead their communities by example. Rank within this black upper class rested on such issues as the status of one’s forebears as either house servants or field hands, the darkness of one’s skin, and the level of one’s manners and education.
Professor Gatewood’s study examines this class of African Americans by looking at the genealogies and occupations of specific families and individuals throughout the United States and their roles in their various communities. The resulting narrative is a full and illuminating account of a most influential segment of the African-American population. It explores fully the distinctive background, prestige, attitudes, behavior, power, and culture of this class. The Black Community Studies series from the University of Arkansas Press, edited by Professor Gatewood, continues to examine many of the same themes first explored in this important study.
How do adult children of interracial parents—where one parent is Jewish and one is Black—think about personal identity? This question is at the heart of Katya Gibel Azoulay’s Black, Jewish, and Interracial. Motivated by her own experience as the child of a Jewish mother and Jamaican father, Gibel Azoulay blends historical, theoretical, and personal perspectives to explore the possibilities and meanings that arise when Black and Jewish identities merge. As she asks what it means to be Black, Jewish, and interracial, Gibel Azoulay challenges deeply ingrained assumptions about identity and moves toward a consideration of complementary racial identities. Beginning with an examination of the concept of identity as it figures in philosophical and political thought, Gibel Azoulay moves on to consider and compare the politics and traditions of the Black and Jewish experience in America. Her inquiry draws together such diverse subjects as Plessy v. Ferguson, the Leo Frank case, "passing," intermarriage, civil rights, and anti-Semitism. The paradoxical presence of being both Black and Jewish, she argues, leads questions of identity, identity politics, and diversity in a new direction as it challenges distinct notions of whiteness and blackness. Rising above familiar notions of identity crisis and cultural confrontation, she offers new insights into the discourse of race and multiculturalism as she suggests that identity can be a more encompassing concept than is usually thought. Gibel Azoulay adds her own personal history and interviews with eight other Black and Jewish individuals to reveal various ways in which interracial identities are being lived, experienced, and understood in contemporary America.
Black, White, and in Color offers a long-awaited collection of major essays by Hortense Spillers, one of the most influential and inspiring black critics of the past twenty years. Spanning her work from the early 1980s, in which she pioneered a broadly poststructuralist approach to African American literature, and extending through her turn to cultural studies in the 1990s, these essays display her passionate commitment to reading as a fundamentally political act-one pivotal to rewriting the humanist project.
Spillers is best known for her race-centered revision of psychoanalytic theory and for her subtle account of the relationships between race and gender. She has also given literary criticism some of its most powerful readings of individual authors, represented here in seminal essays on Ralph Ellison, Gwendolyn Brooks, and William Faulkner. Ultimately, the essays collected in Black, White, and in Color all share Spillers's signature style: heady, eclectic, and astonishingly productive of new ideas. Anyone interested in African American culture and literature will want to read them.
From Egyptian wall paintings to the Venetian Renaissance, impressionism to digital images, Philip Ball tells the fascinating story of how art, chemistry, and technology have interacted throughout the ages to render the gorgeous hues we admire on our walls and in our museums.
Finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award.
From the time the first tracks were laid in the early nineteenth century, the railroad has occupied a crucial place in America's historical imagination. Now, for the first time, Eric Arnesen gives us an untold piece of that vital American institution--the story of African Americans on the railroad. African Americans have been a part of the railroad from its inception, but today they are largely remembered as Pullman porters and track layers. The real history is far richer, a tale of endless struggle, perseverance, and partial victory. In a sweeping narrative, Arnesen re-creates the heroic efforts by black locomotive firemen, brakemen, porters, dining car waiters, and redcaps to fight a pervasive system of racism and job discrimination fostered by their employers, white co-workers, and the unions that legally represented them even while barring them from membership. Decades before the rise of the modern civil rights movement in the mid-1950s, black railroaders forged their own brand of civil rights activism, organizing their own associations, challenging white trade unions, and pursuing legal redress through state and federal courts. In recapturing black railroaders' voices, aspirations, and challenges, Arnesen helps to recast the history of black protest and American labor in the twentieth century.
Table of Contents:
1. Race in the First Century of American Railroading 2. Promise and Failure in the World War I Era 3. The Black Wedge of Civil Rights Unionism 4. Independent Black Unionism in Depression and War 5. The Rise of the Red Caps 6. The Politics of Fair Employment 7. The Politics of Fair Representation 8. Black Railroaders in the Modern Era
Conclusion Notes Acknowledgments Index
Reviews of this book: In this superbly written monograph, Arnesen...shows how African American railroad workers combined civil rights and labor union activism in their struggles for racial equality in the workplace...Throughout, black locomotive firemen, porters, yardmen, and other railroaders speak eloquently about the work they performed and their confrontations with racist treatment...This history of the 'aristocrats' of the African American working class is highly recommended. --Charles L. Lumpkins, Library Journal
Reviews of this book: Arnesen provides a fascinating look at U.S. labor and commerce in the arena of the railroads, so much a part of romantic notions about the growth of the nation. The focus of the book is the troubled history of the railroads in the exploitation of black workers from slavery until the civil rights movement, with an insightful analysis of the broader racial integration brought about by labor activism. --Vanessa Bush, Booklist
Reviews of this book: [An] exhaustive and illuminating work of scholarship. --Publishers Weekly
Reviews of this book: Arnesen tells a story that should be of interest to a variety of readers, including those who are avid students of this country's railroads. He knows his stuff, and furthermore, reminds us of how dependent American railroads were on the backbreaking labor of racial and ethnic groups whose civil and political status were precarious at best: Irish, Chinese, Mexicans and Italians, as well as African-Americans. But Arnesen's most powerful and provocative argument is that the nature of discrimination not only led black railroad workers to pursue the path of independent unionism, it also propelled them into the larger struggle for civil rights. --Steven Hahn, Chicago Tribune
These days, we take for granted that our computer screens—and even our phones—will show us images in vibrant full color. Digital color is a fundamental part of how we use our devices, but we never give a thought to how it is produced or how it came about.
Chromatic Algorithms reveals the fascinating history behind digital color, tracing it from the work of a few brilliant computer scientists and experimentally minded artists in the late 1960s and early ‘70s through to its appearance in commercial software in the early 1990s. Mixing philosophy of technology, aesthetics, and media analysis, Carolyn Kane shows how revolutionary the earliest computer-generated colors were—built with the massive postwar number-crunching machines, these first examples of “computer art” were so fantastic that artists and computer scientists regarded them as psychedelic, even revolutionary, harbingers of a better future for humans and machines. But, Kane shows, the explosive growth of personal computing and its accompanying need for off-the-shelf software led to standardization and the gradual closing of the experimental field in which computer artists had thrived.
Even so, the gap between the bright, bold presence of color onscreen and the increasing abstraction of its underlying code continues to lure artists and designers from a wide range of fields, and Kane draws on their work to pose fascinating questions about the relationships among art, code, science, and media in the twenty-first century.
The central argument of Chromophobia is that a chromophobic impulse - a fear of corruption or contamination through color - lurks within much Western cultural and intellectual thought. This is apparent in the many and varied attempts to purge color, either by making it the property of some "foreign body" - the oriental, the feminine, the infantile, the vulgar, or the pathological - or by relegating it to the realm of the superficial, the supplementary, the inessential, or the cosmetic.
Chromophobia has been a cultural phenomenon since ancient Greek times; this book is concerned with forms of resistance to it. Writers have tended to look no further than the end of the nineteenth century. David Batchelor seeks to go beyond the limits of earlier studies, analyzing the motivations behind chromophobia and considering the work of writers and artists who have been prepared to look at color as a positive value. Exploring a wide range of imagery including Melville's "great white whale", Huxley's reflections on mescaline, and Le Corbusier's "journey to the East", Batchelor also discusses the use of color in Pop, Minimal, and more recent art.
Color has often been supposed to be a subjective property, a property to be analyzed correctly in terms of the phenomenological aspects of human experience. In contrast with subjectivism, an objectivist analysis of color takes color to be a property objects possess in themselves, independently of the character of human perceptual experience. David Hilbert defends a form of objectivism that identifies color with a physical property of surfaces---their spectral reflectance.
This analysis of color is shown to provide a more adequate account of the features of human color vision than its subjectivist rivals. The author's account of color also recognizeds that the human perceptual system provides a limited and idiosyncratic picture of the world. These limitations are shown to be consistent with a realist account of color and to provide the necessary tools for giving an analysis of common sense knowledge of color phenomena.
The collection of essays brings together texts from two decades, documenting two of the author's ongoing areas of interest: the poetics of colour in film as well as affective viewer responses. Employing a bottom-up approach as a basis for theoretical exploration, each of the essays concentrates on a particular film or a number of related films to come to terms with a set of issues. These include the differences between black-and-white and color works, the emergence of bold chromatic schemes in the 1950s, experimental aesthetics of color negative stock, idiosyncratic uses of colour, idiosyncratic uses of motor mimicry, genre-specific reactions to the documentary, and empathetic reactions to animals and to architecture in film.
Augusto Garau University of Chicago Press, 1993 Library of Congress ND1495.P8G3713 1993 | Dewey Decimal 701.85
Because theories of visual perception have traditionally concentrated on form, artists have generally dealt with the problem of color through their own observation and intuition. In Color Harmonies, Augusto Garau systematically investigates the role of both color and form in visual perception and presents an original theory of the aesthetic relations among colors.
Garau, a painter who teaches the psychology of form, pays particular attention to the way colors behave when organized in patterns. His theory of color combination addresses two principal compositional elements: the relations between figure and ground and the phenomenon of transparency.
Garau meticulously analyzes the use of color in paintings by masters such as Cézanne, Picasso, and Matisse to show how his theory applies to actual works of art. Containing many full-color examples, his introduction to the workings of color relations is of great practical use to art historians and critics, artists, interior decorators, fashion and set designers, and anyone who works with color to display information or convey emotions.
"In an area of the psychology of art where reliable guidance is still so hard to come by, [Garau's] well-supported contributions to the theory of color composition ought to be welcomed by practitioners and scholars alike."—from the Foreword by Rudolf Arnheim
Color attracts attention, evokes emotions, conveys information, carries complex meanings, and makes things beautiful. Color is so meaningful, in fact, that research on the color choices of Ancestral Pueblo people has the potential to deepen our understanding of religious, social, and economic change in the ancient Southwest. This volume explores museum collections and more than a century of archaeological research to create the first systematic understanding of the many ways Ancestral Pueblo people chose specific colors through time and space to add meaning and visual appeal to their lives.
Beginning with the technical and practical concerns of acquiring pigments and using them to create paints, the authors explore how connections to landscapes and sacred places are embodied by many colorful materials. Contributors examine the development of polychromes and their juxtaposition with black-on-white vessels; document how color was used in rock paintings and architecture; and consider the inherent properties of materials, arguing that shell, minerals, and stone were valued not only for color but for other visual properties as well. The book concludes by considering the technological, economic, social, and ideological factors at play and demonstrates the significant role color played in aesthetic choices.
An exciting addition to the ongoing debate about the place of regionalism in American literary history.
American regionalism has become a contested subject in literary studies alongside the ubiquitous triad of race, class, and gender. The Color of Democracy in Women's Regional Writing enters into the heart of an ongoing debate in the field about the significance of regional fiction at the end of the 19th century. Jean Griffith presents the innovative view that regional writing provided Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, and Willa Cather with the means to explore social transformation in a form of fiction already closely associated with women readers and writers.
Griffith provides new readings of texts by these authors; she places them alongside the works of their contemporaries, including William Faulkner and Langston Hughes, to show regionalism's responses to the debate over who was capable of democratic participation and reading regionalism's changing mediations between natives and strangers as reflections of the changing face of democracy.
This insightful work enriches the current debate about whether regionalism critiques hierarchies or participates in nationalist and racist agendas and will be of great interest to those invested in regional writing or the works of these significant authors.
Color Of Law
David Milofsky University Press of Colorado, 2000 Library of Congress PS3563.I444C65 2000 | Dewey Decimal 813.54
This is a rich, absorbing novel about good, evil, and the inability of the legal system to mediate between the two. Two white Milwaukee motorcycle cops pursue and kill a young black man on a bitterly cold winter night in 1959 and with the help of their su
France has long defined itself as a color-blind nation where racial bias has no place. Even today, the French universal curriculum for secondary students makes no mention of race or slavery, and many French scholars still resist addressing racial questions. Yet, as this groundbreaking volume shows, color and other racial markers have been major factors in French national life for more than three hundred years. The sixteen essays in The Color of Liberty offer a wealth of innovative research on the neglected history of race in France, ranging from the early modern period to the present.
The Color of Liberty addresses four major themes: the evolution of race as an idea in France; representations of "the other" in French literature, art, government, and trade; the international dimensions of French racial thinking, particularly in relation to colonialism; and the impact of racial differences on the shaping of the modern French city. The many permutations of race in French history—as assigned identity, consumer product icon, scientific discourse, philosophical problem, by-product of migration, or tool in empire building—here receive nuanced treatments confronting the malleability of ideas about race and the uses to which they have been put.
Contributors. Leora Auslander, Claude Blanckaert, Alice Conklin, Fred Constant, Laurent Dubois, Yaël Simpson Fletcher, Richard Fogarty, John Garrigus, Dana Hale, Thomas C. Holt, Patricia M. E. Lorcin, Dennis McEnnerney, Michael A. Osborne, Lynn Palermo, Sue Peabody, Pierre H. Boulle, Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, Tyler Stovall, Michael G. Vann, Gary Wilder
American students vary in educational achievement, but white students in general typically have better test scores and grades than black students. Why is this the case, and what can school leaders do about it? In The Color of Mind, Derrick Darby and John L. Rury answer these pressing questions and show that we cannot make further progress in closing the achievement gap until we understand its racist origins.
Telling the story of what they call the Color of Mind—the idea that there are racial differences in intelligence, character, and behavior—they show how philosophers, such as David Hume and Immanuel Kant, and American statesman Thomas Jefferson, contributed to the construction of this pernicious idea, how it influenced the nature of schooling and student achievement, and how voices of dissent such as Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and W. E. B. Du Bois debunked the Color of Mind and worked to undo its adverse impacts.
Rejecting the view that racial differences in educational achievement are a product of innate or cultural differences, Darby and Rury uncover the historical interplay between ideas about race and American schooling, to show clearly that the racial achievement gap has been socially and institutionally constructed. School leaders striving to bring justice and dignity to American schools today must work to root out the systemic manifestations of these ideas within schools, while still doing what they can to mitigate the negative effects of poverty, segregation, inequality, and other external factors that adversely affect student achievement. While we cannot expect schools alone to solve these vexing social problems, we must demand that they address the dignitary injustices associated with how we track, discipline, and deal with special education that reinforce long-standing racist ideas. That is the only way to expel the Color of Mind from schools, close the racial achievement gap, and afford all children the dignity they deserve.
In The Color of Modernity, Barbara Weinstein focuses on race, gender, and regionalism in the formation of national identities in Brazil; this focus allows her to explore how uneven patterns of economic development are consolidated and understood. Organized around two principal episodes—the 1932 Constitutionalist Revolution and 1954’s IV Centenário, the quadricentennial of São Paulo’s founding—this book shows how both elites and popular sectors in São Paulo embraced a regional identity that emphasized their European origins and aptitude for modernity and progress, attributes that became—and remain—associated with “whiteness.” This racialized regionalism naturalized and reproduced regional inequalities, as São Paulo became synonymous with prosperity while Brazil’s Northeast, a region plagued by drought and poverty, came to represent backwardness and São Paulo’s racial “Other.” This view of regional difference, Weinstein argues, led to development policies that exacerbated these inequalities and impeded democratization.
In 1863 black communities owned less than 1 percent of total U.S. wealth. Today that number has barely budged. Mehrsa Baradaran pursues this wealth gap by focusing on black banks. She challenges the myth that black banking is the solution to the racial wealth gap and argues that black communities can never accumulate wealth in a segregated economy.
On an unusually cold January night in 1943, Martha James was murdered on a train in rural Oregon, near the Willamette Valley town of Albany. She was White, Southern, and newly-married to a Navy pilot. Despite inconsistent and contradictory eyewitness accounts, a young Black cook by the name of Robert Folkes, a trainman from South Central Los Angeles, was charged with the crime. The ensuing investigation and sensational murder trial captured national attention during a period of intense wartime fervor and extensive Black domestic migration. Folkes’ trial and controversial conviction—resulting in his execution by the state of Oregon—reshaped how Oregonians and others in the West thought about race, class, and privilege.
In this deeply researched and detailed account, Geier explores how race, gender, and class affected the attitudes of local town-folk, law officers, and courtroom jurors toward Black trainmen on the West Coast, at a time when militarization skewed perceptions of virtue, status, and authority. He delves into the working conditions and experiences of unionized Black trainmen in their “home and away” lives in Los Angeles and Portland, while illuminating the different ways that they, and other residents of Oregon and southern California, responded to news of “Oregon’s murdered war bride.” Reporters, civil rights activists, and curiosity seekers transformed the trial and appeals process into a public melodrama.
The investigation, trial, and conviction of Robert Folkes galvanized civil rights activists, labor organizers, and community leaders into challenging the flawed judicial process and ultimately the death penalty in Oregon, serving as a catalyst for civil rights activism that bridged rural and urban divides. The Color of Night will appeal to “true crime” aficionados, and to anyone interested in the history of race and labor relations, working conditions, community priorities, and attitudes toward the death penalty in the first half of the 20th century.
In The Color of Opportunity, Haya Stier and Marta Tienda ask: How do race and ethnicity limit opportunity in post-civil rights Chicago? In the 1960s, Chicago was a focal point of civil rights activities. But in the 1980s it served as the laboratory for ideas about the emergence and social consequences of concentrated urban poverty; many experts such as William J. Wilson downplayed the significance of race as a cause of concentrated poverty, emphasizing instead structural causes that called for change in employment policy. But in this new study, Stier and Tienda ask about the pervasive poverty, unemployment, and reliance on welfare among blacks and Hispanics in Chicago, wondering if and how the inner city poor differ from the poor in general.
The culmination of a six-year collaboration analyzing the Urban Poverty and Family Life Survey of Chicago, The Color of Opportunity is the first major work to compare Chicago's inner city minorities with national populations of like race and ethnicity from a life course perspective. The authors find that blacks, whites, Mexicans, and Puerto Ricans living in poor neighborhoods differ in their experiences with early material deprivation and the lifetime disadvantages that accumulate—but they do not differ much from the urban poor in their family formation, welfare participation, or labor force attachment. Stier and Tienda find little evidence for ghetto-specific behavior, but they document the myriad ways color still restricts economic opportunity.
The Color of Opportunity stands as a much-needed corrective to increasingly negative views of poor people of color, especially the poor who live in deprived neighborhoods. It makes a key and lasting contribution to ongoing debates about the origins and nature of urban poverty.
This groundbreaking and important book explores how women of different ethnic/racial groups conceive of feminism. Aída Hurtado advances the theory of relational privilege to explain those differing conceptions. Previous theories about feminism have predominantly emphasized the lives and experiences of middle-class white women. Aída Hurtado argues that the different responses to feminism by women of color are not so much the result of personality or cultural differences between white women and women of color, but of their differing relationship to white men.
For Hurtado, subordination and privilege must be conceived as relational in nature, and gender subordination and political solidarity must be examined in the framework of culture and socioeconomic context. Hurtado's analysis of gender oppression is written from an interdisciplinary, multicultural standpoint and is enriched by selections from poems by Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldúa, Lorna Dee Cervantes, and Elba Sanchez, and from plays by El Teatro Campesino, the United Farm Workers theater group.
A final chapter proposes that progressive scholarship, and especially feminist scholarship, must have at its core a reflexive theory of gender oppression that allows writers to simultaneously document oppression while taking into account the writer's own privilege, to analyze the observed as well as the observer.
Aída Hurtado is Associate Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz.
The central domestic issue in the United States over the long history of this nation has been the place of the people of color in American society. One aspect of this debate is how African-Americans are represented in Congress. Kenny J. Whitby examines congressional responsiveness to black interests by focusing on the representational link between African-American constituents and the policymaking behavior of members of the United States House of Representatives. The book uses the topics of voting rights, civil rights, and race- based redistricting to examine how members of Congress respond to the interests of black voters. Whitby's analysis weighs the relative effect of district characteristics such as partisanship, regional location, degree of urbanization and the size of the black constituency on the voting behavior of House members over time. Whitby explores how black interests are represented in formal, descriptive, symbolic, and substantive terms. He shows the political tradeoffs involved in redistricting to increase the number of African-Americans in Congress.
The book is the most comprehensive analysis of black politics in the congressional context ever published. It will appeal to political scientists, sociologists, historians, and psychologists concerned with minority politics, legislative politics, and the psychological, political, and sociological effects of increasing minority membership in Congress on the perception of government held by African Americans.
Kenny J. Whitby is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina.
The Color of Rock: A Novel
Sandra Cavallo Miller University of Nevada Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3613.I55293C65 2019 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
"Part Gray’s Anatomy, part modern western romance, Miller’s enjoyable story marries unexpected diagnoses with the promise of a happily-ever-after and will please fans of Jojo Moyes." —Publishers Weekly
A young physician, Dr. Abby Wilmore, attempts to escape her past by starting over at the Grand Canyon Clinic. Silently battling her own health issues, Abby struggles with adjusting to the demands of this unique rural location. She encounters everything from squirrel bites to suicides to an office plagued by strong personalities. While tending to unprepared tourists, underserved locals, and her own mental trials, Abby finds herself entangled in an unexpected romance and trapped amidst a danger even more treacherous than the foreboding desert landscape.
Sandra Cavallo Miller’s debut novel transports readers to the beautiful depths of Arizona and weaves an adventurous and heartwarming tale of the courage and strength it takes to overcome personal demons and to find love.
In The Color of Sex Mason Stokes offers new ways of thinking about whiteness by exploring its surprisingly ambivalent partnership with heterosexuality. Stokes examines a wide range of white-supremacist American texts written and produced between 1852 and 1915—literary romances, dime novels, religious and scientific tracts, film—and exposes whiteness as a tangled network of racial and sexual desire. Stokes locates these white-supremacist texts amid the anti-racist efforts of African American writers and activists, deepening our understanding of both American and African American literary and cultural history. The Color of Sex reveals what happens when race and sexuality meet, when white desire encounters its own ambivalence. As Stokes argues, whiteness and heterosexuality exist in anxious relation to one another. Mutually invested in “the normal,” they support each other in their desperate insistence on the cultural logic of exclusion. At the same time, however, they threaten one another in their attempt to create and sustain a white future, since reproducing whiteness necessarily involves the risk of contamination Charting the curious movements of this “white heterosexuality,” The Color of Sex inaugurates a new moment in our ongoing attempt to understand the frenzied interplay of race and sexuality in America. As such, it will appeal to scholars interested in race theory, sexuality studies, and American history, culture, and literature.
Nineteenth-century neoclassical sculpture was a highly politicized international movement. Based in Rome, many expatriate American sculptors created works that represented black female subjects in compelling and problematic ways. Rejecting pigment as dangerous and sensual, adherence to white marble abandoned the racialization of the black body by skin color.
In The Color of Stone, Charmaine A. Nelson brilliantly analyzes a key, but often neglected, aspect of neoclassical sculpture—color. Considering three major works—Hiram Powers’s Greek Slave, William Wetmore Story’s Cleopatra, and Edmonia Lewis’s Death of Cleopatra—she explores the intersection of race, sex, and class to reveal the meanings each work holds in terms of colonial histories of visual representation as well as issues of artistic production, identity, and subjectivity. She also juxtaposes these sculptures with other types of art to scrutinize prevalent racial discourses and to examine how the black female subject was made visible in high art.
By establishing the centrality of race within the discussion of neoclassical sculpture, Nelson provides a model for a black feminist art history that at once questions and destabilizes canonical texts.
Charmaine A. Nelson is assistant professor of art history at McGill University.
Peshkin examines the role played by ethnicity in the daily life of a town he calls "Riverview" and its only high school. Immersing himself in the daily life of halls and classrooms of Riverview's high school and the streets of its neighborhoods, Peshkin coaxes from both young and old their own reflections on the town's early days, on the period of ethnic strife sparked by the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and on the way they see Riverview today.
"Peshkin strikes a hopeful chord, revealing what social encounters among ethnic groups—at their best—can be like in America."—Education Digest
The editors and contributors to Color of Violence ask: What would it take to end violence against women of color? Presenting the fierce and vital writing of organizers, lawyers, scholars, poets, and policy makers, Color of Violence radically repositions the antiviolence movement by putting women of color at its center. The contributors shift the focus from domestic violence and sexual assault and map innovative strategies of movement building and resistance used by women of color around the world. The volume's thirty pieces—which include poems, short essays, position papers, letters, and personal reflections—cover violence against women of color in its myriad forms, manifestations, and settings, while identifying the links between gender, militarism, reproductive and economic violence, prisons and policing, colonialism, and war. At a time of heightened state surveillance and repression of people of color, Color of Violence is an essential intervention.
Contributors. Dena Al-Adeeb, Patricia Allard, Lina Baroudi, Communities Against Rape and Abuse (CARA), Critical Resistance, Sarah Deer, Eman Desouky, Ana Clarissa Rojas Durazo, Dana Erekat, Nirmala Erevelles, Sylvanna Falcón, Rosa Linda Fregoso, Emi Koyama, Elizabeth "Betita" Martínez, maina minahal, Nadine Naber, Stormy Ogden, Julia Chinyere Oparah, Beth Richie, Andrea J. Ritchie, Dorothy Roberts, Loretta J. Ross, s.r., Puneet Kaur Chawla Sahota, Renee Saucedo, Sista II Sista, Aishah Simmons, Andrea Smith, Neferti Tadiar, TransJustice, Haunani-Kay Trask, Traci C. West, Janelle White
Commerce in Color exploresthe juncture of consumer culture and race by examining advertising, literary texts, mass culture, and public events in the United States from 1893 to 1933. James C. Davis takes up a remarkable range of subjects—including the crucial role publishers Boni and Liveright played in the marketing of Harlem Renaissance literature, Henry James’s critique of materialism in The American Scene, and the commodification of racialized popular culture in James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of anEx-Colored Man—as he argues that racial thinking was central to the emergence of U.S. consumerism and, conversely, that an emerging consumer culture was a key element in the development of racial thinking and the consolidation of racial identity in America. By urging a reassessment of the familiar rubrics of the “culture of consumption” and the “culture of segregation,” Dawson poses new and provocative questions about American culture and social history.
Both an influential literary study and an absorbing historical read, Commerce in Color proves that—in America—advertising, publicity, and the development of the modern economy cannot be understood apart from the question of race.
“A welcome addition to existing scholarship, Davis’s study of the intersection of racial thinking and the emergence of consumer culture makes connections very few scholars have considered.”
—James Smethurst, University of Massachusetts
James C. Davis is Assistant Professor of English at Brooklyn College.
Dorothy West is best known as one of the youngest writers involved in the Harlem Renaissance. Subsequently, her work is read as a product of the urban aesthetics of this artistic movement. But West was also intimately rooted in a very different milieu—Oak Bluffs, an exclusive retreat for African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard. She played an integral role in the development and preservation of that community. In the years between publishing her two novels, 1948’s The Living is Easy and the 1995 bestseller The Wedding, she worked as a columnist for the Vineyard Gazette.
Dorothy West’s Paradise captures the scope of the author’s long life and career, reading it alongside the unique cultural geography of Oak Bluffs and its history as an elite African American enclave—a place that West envisioned both as a separatist refuge and as a space for interracial contact. An essential book for both fans of West’s fiction and students of race, class, and American women’s lives, Dorothy West’s Paradise offers an intimate biography of an important author and a privileged glimpse into the society that shaped her work.
In the 1933 publication The Masters and the Slaves, Brazilian scholar and novelist Gilberto Freyre challenged the racist ideas of his day by defending the “African contribution” to Brazil’s culture. In so doing, he proposed that Brazil was relatively free of most forms of racial prejudice and could best be understood as a “racial democracy.” Over time this view has grown into the popular myth that racism in Brazil is very mild or nonexistent.
This myth contrasts starkly with the realities of a pernicious racial inequality that permeates every aspect of Brazilian life. To study the grip of this myth on African Brazilians’ views of themselves and their nation, Robin E. Sheriff spent twenty months in a primarily black shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, studying the inhabitants’s views of race and racism. How, she asks, do poor African Brazilians experience and interpret racism in a country where its very existence tends to be publicly denied? How is racism talked about privately in the family and publicly in the community—or is it talked about at all?
Sheriff’s analysis is particularly important because most Brazilians live in urban settings, and her examination of their views of race and racism sheds light on common but underarticulated racial attitudes. This book is the first to demonstrate that urban African Brazilians do not subscribe to the racial democracy myth and recognize racism as a central factor shaping their lives.
While recruitment efforts toward men of color have increased at many colleges and universities, their retention and graduation rates still lag behind those of their white peers. Men of color, particularly black and Latino men, face a number of unique challenges in their educational careers that often impact their presence on campus and inhibit their collegiate success. Empowering Men of Color on Campus examines how men of color negotiate college through their engagement in Brothers for United Success (B4US), an institutionally-based male-centered program at a Hispanic Serving Institution. Derrick R. Brooms, Jelisa Clark, and Matthew Smith introduce the concept of educational agency, which is harbored in cultural wealth and demonstrates how ongoing B4US engagement empowers the men’s efforts and abilities to persist in college. They found that the cultural wealth(s) of the community enhanced the students’ educational agency, which bolstered their academic aspirations, academic and social engagement, and personal development. The authors demonstrate how educational agency and cultural wealth can be developed and refined given salient and meaningful immersions, experiences, engagements, and communal connections.
This book provides the first in-depth examination of the experiences of a large sampling of faculty members of color in nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry schools across the United States. Anchoring her study in grounded theory, Dena Hassouneh draws on extraordinary interviews with one hundred diverse faculty members—together with rich contextual data—to illuminate the deeply entrenched cultural and institutional challenges to equity that they confront. She also presents practical strategies to overcome those challenges. The book documents the ways in which faculty members of color are excluded from full participation in their laboratory or department; yet Hassouneh’s research shows that faculty of color can survive and even thrive. The interviews and data clearly reveal both the social, educational, and departmental contexts that determine satisfaction and success in recruitment and advancement and the impact that faculty of color have had on their students, peers, patients, schools, and communities.
In the silent era, American cinema was defined by two separate and parallel industries, with white and black companies producing films for their respective, segregated audiences. Jane Gaines's highly anticipated new book reconsiders the race films of this era with an ambitious historical and theoretical agenda.
Fire and Desire offers a penetrating look at the black independent film movement during the silent period. Gaines traces the profound influence that D. W. Griffith's racist epic The Birth of a Nation exerted on black filmmakers such as Oscar Micheaux, the director of the newly recovered Within Our Gates. Beginning with What Happened in the Tunnel, a movie that played with race and sex taboos by featuring the first interracial kiss in film, Gaines also explores the cinematic constitution of self and other through surprise encounters: James Baldwin sees himself in the face of Bette Davis, family resemblance is read in Richard S. Robert's portrait of an interracial family, and black film pioneer George P. Johnson looks back on Micheaux.
Given the impossibility of purity and the co-implication of white and black, Fire and Desire ultimately questions the category of "race movies" itself.
Heaven’s Soldiers chronicles the history of a community of free people of African descent who lived and thrived, while resisting the constraints of legal bondage, in East Florida in the four decades leading up to the Civil War.
Historians have long attributed the relatively flexible system of race relations in pre–Civil War East Florida to the area’s Spanish heritage. While acknowledging the importance of that heritage, this book gives more than the usual emphasis to the role of African American agency in exploiting the limited opportunities that such a heritage permitted.
Spanish rule presented institutions and customs that talented, ambitious, and fortunate individuals might, and did, exploit. Although racial prejudice was never absent, persons of color aspired to lives of dignity, security, and prosperity. Frank Marotti’s subjects are the free people of African descent in the broad sense of the term “free,” that is, not just those who were legally free, but all those who resisted the constraints of legal bondage and otherwise asserted varying degrees of control over themselves and their circumstances. Collectively, this population was indispensable to the evolution of the existing social order.
In Heaven’s Soldiers, Marotti studies four pillars of black liberty that emerged during Spain’s rule and continued through the United States’ acquisition of Florida in 1821: family ties to the white community, manumission, military service, and land ownership. The slaveowning culture of the United States eroded a number of these pillars, though black freedom and agency abided in ways unparalleled anywhere else in the pre–Civil War United States. Indeed, a strong black martial tradition arguably helped to topple Florida’s slave-holding regime, leading up to the start of the Civil War.
Marotti surveys black opportunities and liabilities under the Spaniards; successful defenses of black rights in the 1820s as well as chilling statutory assaults on those rights; the black community’s complex involvement in the Patriot War and the Second Seminole War; black migration in the two decades leading up to the US Civil War; and African American efforts to preserve marriage and emancipation customs, and black land ownership.
Using black feminist theory and African American studies to read Victorian culture, Impossible Purities looks at the construction of “Englishness” as white, masculine, and pure and “Americanness” as black, feminine, and impure. Brody’s readings of Victorian novels, plays, paintings, and science fiction reveal the impossibility of purity and the inevitability of hybridity in representations of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and race. She amasses a considerable amount of evidence to show that Victorian culture was bound inextricably to various forms and figures of blackness. Opening with a reading of Daniel Defoe’s “A True-Born Englishman,” which posits the mixed origins of English identity, Brody goes on to analyze mulattas typified by Rhoda Swartz in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, whose mixed-race status reveals the “unseemly origins of English imperial power.” Examining Victorian stage productions from blackface minstrel shows to performances of The Octoroon and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she explains how such productions depended upon feminized, “black” figures in order to reproduce Englishmen as masculine white subjects. She also discusses H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau in the context of debates about the “new woman,” slavery, and fears of the monstrous degeneration of English gentleman. Impossible Purities concludes with a discussion of Bram Stoker’s novella, “The Lair of the White Worm,” which brings together the book’s concerns with changing racial representations on both sides of the Atlantic. This book will be of interest to scholars in Victorian studies, literary theory, African American studies, and cultural criticism.
From Shakespeare’s “green-eyed monster” to the “green thought in a green shade” in Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden,” the color green was curiously prominent and resonant in English culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Among other things, green was the most common color of household goods, the recommended wall color against which to view paintings, the hue that was supposed to appear in alchemical processes at the moment base metal turned to gold, and the color most frequently associated with human passions of all sorts. A unique cultural history, The Key of Green considers the significance of the color in the literature, visual arts, and popular culture of early modern England.
Contending that color is a matter of both sensation and emotion, Bruce R. Smith examines Renaissance material culture—including tapestries, clothing, and stonework, among others—as well as music, theater, philosophy, and nature through the lens of sense perception and aesthetic pleasure. At the same time, Smith offers a highly sophisticated meditation on the nature of consciousness, perception, and emotion that will resonate with students and scholars of the early modern period and beyond. Like the key to a map, The Key of Green provides a guide for looking, listening, reading, and thinking that restores the aesthetic considerations to criticism that have been missing for too long.
Though he didn’t realize it at the time, David Lee began this book twenty-five years ago as he was hiking in the mountains outside Kuala Lumpur. Surrounded by the wonders of the jungle, Lee found his attention drawn to one plant in particular, a species of fern whose electric blue leaves shimmered amidst the surrounding green. The evolutionary wonder of the fern’s extravagant beauty filled Lee with awe—and set him on a career-long journey to understand everything about plant colors.
Nature’s Palette is the fully ripened fruit of that journey—a highly illustrated, immensely entertaining exploration of the science of plant color. Beginning with potent reminders of how deeply interwoven plant colors are with human life and culture—from the shifting hues that told early humans when fruits and vegetables were edible to the indigo dyes that signified royalty for later generations—Lee moves easily through details of pigments, the evolution of color perception, the nature of light, and dozens of other topics. Through a narrative peppered with anecdotes of a life spent pursuing botanical knowledge around the world, he reveals the profound ways that efforts to understand and exploit plant color have influenced every sphere of human life, from organic chemistry to Renaissance painting to the highly lucrative orchid trade.
Lavishly illustrated and packed with remarkable details sure to delight gardeners and naturalists alike, Nature’s Palette will enchant anyone who’s ever wondered about red roses and blue violets—or green thumbs.
“The longer you work, the more the mystery deepens of what appearance is, or how what is called appearance can be made in another medium."—Francis Bacon, painter
This, in a nutshell, is the central problem in the theory of art. It has fascinated philosophers from Plato to Wittgenstein. And it fascinates artists and art historians, who have always drawn extensively on philosophical ideas about language and representation, and on ideas about vision and the visible world that have deep philosophical roots.
John Hyman’s The Objective Eye is a radical treatment of this problem, deeply informed by the history of philosophy and science, but entirely fresh. The questions tackled here are fundamental ones: Is our experience of color an illusion? How does the metaphysical status of colors differ from that of shapes? What is the difference between a picture and a written text? Why are some pictures said to be more realistic than others? Is it because they are especially truthful or, on the contrary, because they deceive the eye?
The Objective Eye explores the fundamental concepts we use constantly in our most innocent thoughts and conversations about art, as well as in the most sophisticated art theory. The book progresses from pure philosophy to applied philosophy and ranges from the metaphysics of color to Renaissance perspective, from anatomy in ancient Greece to impressionism in nineteenth-century France. Philosophers, art historians, and students of the arts will find The Objective Eye challenging and absorbing.
What happens when people in societies stratified by race refuse to accept the privileges inherent in whiteness? What difference does it make when whites act in a manner that contradicts their designated racial identity? Out of Whiteness considers these questions and argues passionately for an imaginative and radical politics against all forms of racism.
Vron Ware and Les Back look at key points in recent American and British culture where the "color line" has been blurred. Through probing accounts of racial masquerades in popular literature, the growth of the white power music scene on the Internet, the meteoric rise of big band jazz during the Second World War, and the pivotal role of white session players in crafting rhythm and blues classics by black artists, Ware and Back upset the idea of race as a symbol of inherent human attributes. Their book gives us a timely reckoning of the forces that continue to make people "white," and reveals to us the polyglot potential of identities and cultures.
The Paper Bag Principle: Class, Colorism, and Rumor in the Case of Black Washington, D.C. considers the function of oral history in shaping community dynamics among African American residents of the nation’s capitol. The only attempt to document rumor and legends relating to complexion in black communities,The Paper Bag Principle looks at the divide that has existed between the black elite and the black “folk.” While a few studies have dealt with complexion consciousness in black communities, there has, to date, been no study that has catalogued how the belief systems of members of a black community have influenced the shaping of its institutions, organizations, and neighborhoods. Audrey Kerr examines how these folk beliefs—exemplified by the infamous “paper bag tests”—inform color discrimination intraracially. Kerr argues that proximity to whiteness (in hue) and wealth have helped create two black Washingtons and that the black community, at various times in history, replicated “Jim Crowism” internally to create some standard of exceptionalism in education and social organization. Kerr further contends that within the nomenclature of African Americans, folklore represents a complex negotiation of racism written in ritual, legend, myth, folk poetry, and folk song that captures “boundary building” within African American communities. The Paper Bag Principle focuses on three objectives: to record lore related to the “paper bag principle” (the set of attitudes that granted blacks with light skin higher status in black communities); to investigate the impact that this “principle” has had on the development of black community consciousness; and to link this material to power that results from proximity to whiteness. The Paper Bag Principle is sure to appeal to scholars and historians interested in African American studies, cultural studies, oral history, folklore, and ethnic and urban studies.
The Republic of Color delves deep into the history of color science in the United States to unearth its origins and examine the scope of its influence on the industrial transformation of turn-of-the-century America.
For a nation in the grip of profound economic, cultural, and demographic crises, the standardization of color became a means of social reform—a way of sculpting the American population into one more amenable to the needs of the emerging industrial order. Delineating color was also a way to characterize the vagaries of human nature, and to create ideal structures through which those humans would act in a newly modern American republic. Michael Rossi’s compelling history goes far beyond the culture of the visual to show readers how the control and regulation of color shaped the social contours of modern America—and redefined the way we see the world.
Originally published in 2003 in Portuguese, The Sorcery of Color argues that there are longstanding and deeply-rooted relationships between racial and gender inequalities in Brazil. In this pioneering book, Elisa Larkin Nascimento examines the social and cultural movements that have attempted, since the early twentieth century, to challenge and eradicate these conjoined inequalities.
The book's title describes the social sleight-of-hand that disguises the realities of Brazilian racial inequity. According to Nascimento, anyone who speaks of racism—or merely refers to another person as black—traditionally is seen as racist. The only acceptably non-racist attitude is silence. At the same time, Afro-Brazilian culture and history have been so overshadowed by the idea of a general "Brazilian identity" that to call attention to them is also to risk being labeled racist.
Incorporating leading international scholarship on Pan Africanism and Afrocentric philosophy with the writing of Brazilian scholars, Nascimento presents a compelling feminist argument against the prevailing policy that denies the importance of race in favor of a purposefully vague concept of ethnicity confused with color.
One of the most obvious stylistic features of Athenian black-figure vase painting is the use of color to differentiate women from men. By comparing ancient art in Egypt and Greece, Tan Men/Pale Women uncovers the complex history behind the use of color to distinguish between genders, without focusing on race. Author Mary Ann Eaverly considers the significance of this overlooked aspect of ancient art as an indicator of underlying societal ideals about the role and status of women. Such a commonplace method of gender differentiation proved to be a complex and multivalent method for expressing ideas about the relationship between men and women, a method flexible enough to encompass differing worldviews of Pharaonic Egypt and Archaic Greece. Does the standard indoor/outdoor explanation—women are light because they stay indoors—hold true everywhere, or even, in fact, in Greece? How “natural” is color-based gender differentiation, and, more critically, what relationship does color-based gender differentiation have to views about women and the construction of gender identity in the ancient societies that use it?
The depiction of dark men and light women can, as in Egypt, symbolize reconcilable opposites and, as in Greece, seemingly irreconcilable opposites where women are regarded as a distinct species from men. Eaverly challenges traditional ideas about color and gender in ancient Greek painting, reveals an important strategy used by Egyptian artists to support pharaonic ideology and the role of women as complementary opposites to men, and demonstrates that rather than representing an actual difference, skin color marks a society’s ideological view of the varied roles of male and female.
Eric Mantle presents the basics of classical theory in a clear and concise manner for all beginning drawing and painting students. His book features diagrams that illustrate every concept. Students will see the complexities of color theory and understand how to create the illusion of volume and depth on a 2-dimensional surface. “As an art student,” Professor Mantle recalls, “I was frequently frustrated by instructional books that gave lengthy verbal descriptions of visual concepts and then showed small and/or unclear diagrams of those concepts. As an art teacher, I found that my students would gain a clearer understanding of a visual concept if my verbal explanation was combined with a diagram of that concept.”
A Visual Guide to Classical Art Theory is great for both traditional and non-traditional media. Each page, theory and diagram represents a different tool for the artist to use. Through their use, the artist will find an infinite number of solutions. Artists also may use the book to create a trompe-l’oeil effect in graffiti art or the illusion of volume and depth on the computer. A Visual Guide to Art Theory is presented in a unique, non-verbal format that clearly illustrates the effect of perspective on color, light and shade.
"Congratulations to Drs. Nembhard and Chiteji and the authors included in this much needed volume of work! Their book offers the perspective and insight of scholars of color that are too often missing from information produced by the asset building field (people and organizations seeking to help low-income people develop assets). Communities served by the asset building field are disproportionately made up of people of color. This book captures work produced by scholars representing these communities and offers innovative and thought provoking analyses of wealth inequality. Decision-making on research, policy, and practice that fails to incorporate the knowledge of these and other asset accumulation experts of color runs the risk of being fatally flawed and irrelevant to the communities the asset building field intends to serve."
--Kilolo Kijakazi, Ph.D., The Ford Foundation
"An important contribution to the economics literature on wealth and to our understanding of racial and ethnic inequality. This book adds to our knowledge and understanding of the wealth positions of Latinos, Asian Americans, Hawaiians, and Native Americans and places this information in the context of black-white wealth inequality."
--Cecilia A. Conrad, Department of Economics, Pomona College
"This book does an outstanding job of introducing readers to a host of interesting questions related to racial and ethnic minority status and wealth composition and accumulation. The chapters on wealth accumulation among Native Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans offer one of the few places where this information is readily available. The recent disaster in New Orleans has shown the nation that there is a strong interaction between wealth, race, and social outcomes. This book not only fills a void in understanding the black-white wealth inequality that was apparent after Hurricane Katrina, but it also provides great insight into the wealth status of other racial and ethnic minorities."
--Patrick L. Mason, Department of Economics, Florida State University
"This edited volume takes up an important, indeed, fundamental, topic, bringing together leading scholars to assess wealth accumulation among people of color. No other book or research report covers as many groups of color as appear in this volume, devoting chapters to African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Hawaiians. The result is a noteworthy achievement." --Michael Sherraden, Benjamin E. Youngdahl Professor of Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis
Jessica Gordon Nembhard is Assistant Professor and Economist, African American Studies Department, and co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her work on the history of black cooperatives is well known in progressive circles.
Ngina Chiteji is Associate Professor of Economics, Skidmore College. She was a Visiting Assistant Research Scholar at The Democracy Collaborative, University of Maryland, College Park.
What Color Is the Sacred?
Michael Taussig University of Chicago Press, 2009 Library of Congress QC495.3.T398 2009 | Dewey Decimal 390
Over the past thirty years, visionary anthropologist Michael Taussig has crafted a highly distinctive body of work. Playful, enthralling, and whip-smart, his writing makes ingenious connections between ideas, thinkers, and things. An extended meditation on the mysteries of color and the fascination they provoke, What Color Is the Sacred? is the next step on Taussig’s remarkable intellectual path.
Following his interest in magic and surrealism, his earlier work on mimesis, and his recent discussion of heat, gold, and cocaine in My Cocaine Museum,this book uses color to explore further dimensions of what Taussig calls “the bodily unconscious” in an age of global warming. Drawing on classic ethnography as well as the work of Benjamin, Burroughs, and Proust, he takes up the notion that color invites the viewer into images and into the world. Yet, as Taussig makes clear, color has a history—a manifestly colonial history rooted in the West’s discomfort with color, especially bright color, and its associations with the so-called primitive. He begins by noting Goethe’s belief that Europeans are physically averse to vivid color while the uncivilized revel in it, which prompts Taussig to reconsider colonialism as a tension between chromophobes and chromophiliacs. And he ends with the strange story of coal, which, he argues, displaced colonial color by giving birth to synthetic colors, organic chemistry, and IG Farben, the giant chemical corporation behind the Third Reich.
Nietzsche once wrote, “So far, all that has given colour to existence still lacks a history.” With What Color Is the Sacred? Taussig has taken up that challenge with all the radiant intelligence and inspiration we’ve come to expect from him.
Women of Color in U.S. Society
edited by Maxine Baca Zinn and Bonnie Thornton Dill Temple University Press, 1993 Library of Congress HQ1421.W655 1994 | Dewey Decimal 305.489693
The theme of race, class, and gender as interlocking systems of oppression unites these original essays about the experience of women of color—African Americans, Latinas, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. The contributing scholars discuss the social conditions that simultaneously oppress women of color and provide sites for opposition.
Though diverse in their focus, the essays uncover similar experiences in the classroom, workplace, family, prison, and other settings. Working-class women, poor women, and professional women alike experience subordination, restricted participation in social institutions, and structural placement in roles with limited opportunities.
How do women survive, resist, and cope with these oppressive structures? Many articles tell how women of color draw upon resources from their culture, family, kin, and community. Others document defenses against cultural assaults by the dominant society—Native American mothers instilling tribal heritage in their children; African American women engaging in community work; and Asian American women opposing the patriarchy of their own communities and the stereotypes imposed by society at large.
These essays challenge some of our basic assumptions about society, revealing that experiences of inequality are not only diverse but relational.
Tim Caro University of Chicago Press, 2016 Library of Congress QL737.U62C38 2016 | Dewey Decimal 599.66571472
From eminent biologists like Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin to famous authors such as Rudyard Kipling in his Just So Stories, many people have asked, “Why do zebras have stripes?” There are many explanations, but until now hardly any have been seriously addressed or even tested. In Zebra Stripes, Tim Caro takes readers through a decade of painstaking fieldwork examining the significance of black-and-white striping and, after systematically dismissing every hypothesis for these markings with new data, he arrives at a surprising conclusion: zebra markings are nature’s defense against biting fly annoyance.
Popular explanations for stripes range from camouflage to confusion of predators, social facilitation, and even temperature regulation. It is a serious challenge to test these proposals on large animals living in the wild, but using a combination of careful observations, simple field experiments, comparative information, and logic, Caro is able to weigh up the pros and cons of each idea. Eventually—driven by experiments showing that biting flies avoid landing on striped surfaces, observations that striping is most intense where biting flies are abundant, and knowledge of zebras’ susceptibility to biting flies and vulnerability to the diseases that flies carry—Caro concludes that black-and-white stripes are an adaptation to thwart biting fly attack. Not just a tale of one scientist’s quest to solve a classic mystery of biology, Zebra Stripes is also a testament to the tremendous value of longitudinal research in behavioral ecology, demonstrating how observation, experiment, and comparative research can together reshape our understanding of the natural world.