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America Beyond Black and White
How Immigrants and Fusions Are Helping Us Overcome the Racial Divide
Ronald Fernandez
University of Michigan Press, 2007

“This book is both powerful and important. Powerful for the testimony it provides from Americans of many different (and even mixed races) about their experiences. And important because there is a racial revolution underway that will upend race as we know it during the twenty-first century.”
—John Kenneth White, Catholic University of America

America Beyond Black and White is a call for a new way of imagining race in America. For the first time in U.S. history, the black-white dichotomy that has historically defined race and ethnicity is being challenged, not by a small minority, but by the fastest-growing and arguably most vocal segment of the increasingly diverse American population—Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Arabs, and many more—who are breaking down and recreating the very definitions of race.

Drawing on interviews with hundreds of Americans who don’t fit conventional black/white categories, the author invites us to empathize with these “doubles” and to understand why they may represent our best chance to throw off the strictures of the black/white dichotomy.

The revolution is already underway, as newcomers and mixed-race “fusions” refuse to engage in the prevailing Anglo- Protestant culture. Americans face two choices: understand why these individuals think as they do, or face a future that continues to define us by what divides us rather than by what unites us.

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Bette Davis Black and White
Julia A. Stern
University of Chicago Press, 2021
Bette Davis’s career becomes a vehicle for a deep examination of American race relations.

Bette Davis was not only one of Hollywood’s brightest stars, but also one of its most outspoken advocates on matters of race. In Bette Davis Black and White, Julia A. Stern explores this largely untold facet of Davis’s brilliant career.

Bette Davis Black and White analyzes four of Davis’s best-known pictures—Jezebel (1938), The Little Foxes (1941), In This Our Life (1942), and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)—against the history of American race relations. Stern also weaves in memories of her own experiences as a young viewer, coming into racial consciousness watching Davis’s films on television in an all-white suburb of Chicago.

Davis’s egalitarian politics and unique collaborations with her Black costars offer Stern a window into midcentury American racial fantasy and the efforts of Black performers to disrupt it. This book incorporates testimony from Davis’s Black contemporaries, including James Baldwin and C. L. R. James, as well as the African American fans who penned letters to Warner Brothers praising Davis’s work. A unique combination of history, star study, and memoir, Bette Davis Black and White allows us to contemplate cross-racial spectatorship in new ways.
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Black and White in Colour
African History on Screen
Vivian Bickford-Smith
Ohio University Press, 2007

Black and White in Colour: African History on Screen considers how the African past has been represented in a wide range of historical films. Written by a team of eminent international scholars, the volume provides extensive coverage of both place and time and deals with major issues in the written history of Africa. Themes include the slave trade, imperialism and colonialism, racism, and anticolonial resistance. Many of the films will be familiar to readers: they include Out of Africa, Hotel Rwanda, Breaker Morant, Cry Freedom, The Battle of Algiers, and Chocolat.

This collection of essays is a highly original and useful contribution to African historiography, as well as a significant addition to the growing body of work within the emerging subdiscipline of “film and history.” It will appeal to those interested in African history and the ways in which films use the past to raise questions about the present.

Contributors: Mahir Saul, Ralph A. Austen, Robert Baum, Robert Harms, Nigel Worden, Carolyn Hamilton and Litheko Modisane, Richard Mendelsohn, Shamil Jeppie, Bill Nasson, Nigel Penn, Ruth Watson, Patrick Harries, David Moore, Teresa Barnes, Vivian Bickford-Smith, Mohamed Adhikari, and David Philips.

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Black Child, White Child
The Developement of Racial Attitudes
Judith Porter
Harvard University Press
Racial attitudes are learned during the preschool years and directly reflect the attitudes and actions of American society. Using the self-portraits, stories, and doll-play of 400 children 3 to 5 years old, Judith Porter investigated the effects of such sociological variables as age, race, skin color, social class, interracial contact, and sex, both alone and in combination with other variables on the children's racial preferences. She is one of the first to relate these attitudes to actual interaction patterns in integrated kindergartens. Her research sheds new light on the ways in which early encounters with racism and prejudice affect the self-esteem, racial self-concept, and personality development of black children. Her study includes new findings on the effect of social class on the formation of racial attitudes. She concludes with a discussion of the implications of the data for theory, for future research, and for public policy, as well as specific recommendations for the creation of high-quality integrated nursery schools.
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Black, White, and Huckleberry Finn
Re-imagining the American Dream
Elaine Mensh
University of Alabama Press, 2001

Takes a hard, systematic look at the depiction of blacks, whites, and race relations in Mark Twain's classic novel, raising questions about its canonical status in American literature

Huckleberry Finn, one of the most widely taught novels in American literature, has long been the subject of ongoing debates over issues ranging from immorality to racism. Here, Elaine Mensh and Harry Mensh enter the debate with a careful and thoughtful examination of racial messages imbedded in the tale of Huck and Jim.

Using as a gauge for analysis the historical record left by both slaves and slaveholders, the Menshes compare Twain's depiction with historical reality, attempting to determine where the book either undermines or upholds traditional racial attitudes. Surveying the opinions of fellow critics, they challenge the current consensus that Huckleberry Finn fosters rapport between blacks and whites, arguing that the book does not subvert ingrained beliefs about race, and demonstrating that the argument over black-white relations in the novel is also an argument over non-fictional racial relations and conflicting perceptions of racial harmony.

Reading the novel in its historical context, the Menshes conclude that Twain, in the character of Huck, never questions the institution of slavery, and even supports it in both thought and action. In response to student and parent challenges to the inclusion of the book in literature classes, they suggest that it should remain in school libraries but not be required reading.

Of importance to scholars of Mark Twain and American literature, African American cultural studies, or anyone interested in issues of literature and race, this book adds a strong voice to the long-ranging debate over Huckleberry Finn.


 
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Black, White, and in Color
Essays on American Literature and Culture
Hortense J. Spillers
University of Chicago Press, 2003
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.
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Blue Notes in Black and White
Photography and Jazz
Benjamin Cawthra
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Miles Davis, supremely cool behind his shades. Billie Holiday, eyes closed and head tilted back in full cry. John Coltrane, one hand behind his neck and a finger held pensively to his lips. These iconic images have captivated jazz fans nearly as much as the music has. Jazz photographs are visual landmarks in American history, acting as both a reflection and a vital part of African American culture in a time of immense upheaval, conflict, and celebration. Charting the development of jazz photography from the swing era of the 1930s to the rise of black nationalism in the ’60s, Blue Notes in Black and White is the first of its kind: a fascinating account of the partnership between two of the twentieth century’s most innovative art forms.
 
Benjamin Cawthra introduces us to the great jazz photographers—including Gjon Mili, William Gottlieb, Herman Leonard, Francis Wolff, Roy DeCarava, and William Claxton—and their struggles, hustles, styles, and creative visions. We also meet their legendary subjects, such as Duke Ellington, sweating through a late-night jam session for the troops during World War II, and Dizzy Gillespie, stylish in beret, glasses, and goatee. Cawthra shows us the connections between the photographers, art directors, editors, and record producers who crafted a look for jazz that would sell magazines and albums. And on the other side of the lens, he explores how the musicians shaped their public images to further their own financial and political goals.
 
This mixture of art, commerce, and racial politics resulted in a rich visual legacy that is vividly on display in Blue Notes in Black and White. Beyond illuminating the aesthetic power of these images, Cawthra ultimately shows how jazz and its imagery served a crucial function in the struggle for civil rights, making African Americans proudly, powerfully visible.
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Blues in Black and White
The Landmark Ann Arbor Blues Festivals
As photographed by Stanley Livingston with Text and a History of the Ann Arbor Blues Festival by Michael Erlewine
University of Michigan Press, 2010

"This was really the first time that blues music, especially Chicago/urban blues, was showcased in this way. Sadly, the festivals were not recorded professionally. So Mr. Livingston's photos are the best record of the festivals."
---Michael Jewett, longtime weekday afternoon host of 89.1 Jazz and host of "Blues & Some Uthuh Stuff"

"The photos are works of art. It is great to see photos of musicians such as Buddy Guy and James Cotton looking so young and vibrant. And it is great to see photos of blues legends such as John Lee Hooker, Roosevelt Sykes, Howlin' Wolf, and Son House, who have long since passed away."
---Peter Madcat Ruth, Grammy-winning blues harmonica player

"If Woodstock was one of the Fifty Moments That Changed Rock 'n' Roll History, as honored in Rolling Stone magazine, then the Ann Arbor Blues Festival was the coronation for the blues roots that sired rock to begin with. . . . finally we have this amazing book of Stanley Livingston's priceless images, along with Michael Erlewine's detailed chronology."
---From the foreword by Jim O'Neal, Cofounder, Living Blues Magazine

In 1969 and 1970, the first Ann Arbor Blues Festivals brought together the greatest-ever selection of blues performers---an enormous blues party that seemed to feature every big name in the world of blues.

The Ann Arbor Blues Festival was just that: a festival and celebration of city blues. It helped to mark the discovery of modern blues music (and the musicians who made that music) by a much larger audience. The festival, however, was something more than just a white audience discovering black music.

Never before had such a far-reaching list of performers been assembled, including the grandfathers of southern country blues and the hottest electric bands from Chicago. These groundbreaking festivals were the seed that grew into the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival, which was continued annually for many years. To name just a few of the dozens of artists who performed at the festival: Luther Allison, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor, Big Mama Thorton, T-Bone Walker, Sippie Wallace, Junior Wells, and Mighty Joe Young.

Stanley Livingston, a professional photographer from Ann Arbor, captured these legendary performances onstage---as well as the goings-on backstage. Livingston's thousands of photographs from these festivals, previously unpublished and known only to a few, are among the finest candid blues shots ever taken. Together with editor and archivist Michael Erlewine's text accompaniments, these photographs, reproduced here as high-quality duotones, comprise a visual history and important keepsake for blues aficionados everywhere.

Stanley Livingston was an award-winning photographer living and working in Ann Arbor until he passed away in 2010, after the book was released.

Michael Erlewine, also from Ann Arbor, is a renowned archivist of popular culture and founder of the All-Music Guide (allmusic.com) and editor of a number of books on blues and jazz.

Cover photo of B.B. King by Stanley Livingston

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Blues Music in the Sixties
A Story in Black and White
Ulrich Adelt
Rutgers University Press, 2010
Can a type of music be "owned"? Examining how music is linked to racial constructs and how African American musicians and audiences reacted to white appropriation, Blues Music in the Sixties shows the stakes when whites claim the right to play and live the blues.

In the 1960s, within the larger context of the civil rights movement and the burgeoning counterculture, the blues changed from black to white in its production and reception, as audiences became increasingly white. Yet, while this was happening, blackness--especially black masculinity--remained a marker of authenticity. Crossing color lines and mixing the beats of B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Janis Joplin; the Newport Folk Festival and the American Folk Blues Festival; and publications such as Living Blues, Ulrich Adelt discusses these developments, including the international aspects of the blues. He highlights the performers and venues that represented changing racial politics and addresses the impact and involvement of audiences and cultural brokers.
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Bookmarks
Reading in Black and White, First Paperback Edition
Karla F. Holloway
Rutgers University Press, 2006

"BookMarks is a moving and revelatory memoir... a work of fiercely intelligent scholarship." - Susan Larson, 

"Erudite and emotional in turns, [BookMarks] is full of truths that appeal to the head and the heart." - Charlotte News Observer"

What are you reading? What books have been important to you? Whether you are interviewing for a job, chatting with a friend or colleague, or making small talk, these questions arise almost unfailingly.  Some of us have stock responses, which may or may not be a fiction of our own making. Others gauge their answers according to who is asking the question. Either way, the replies that we give are thoughtfully crafted to suggest the intelligence, worldliness, political agenda, or good humor that we are hoping to convey.  We form our answers carefully because we know that our responses say a lot.

But what exactly do our answers say? In BookMarks, Karla FC Holloway explores the public side of reading, and specifically how books and booklists form a public image of African Americans. Revealing her own love of books and her quirky passion for their locations in libraries and on bookshelves, Holloway reflects on the ways that her parents guided her reading when she was young and her bittersweet memories of reading to her children. She takes us on a personal and candid journey that considers the histories of reading in children’s rooms, prison libraries, and “Negro” libraries of the early twentieth century, and that finally reveals how her identity as a scholar, a parent, and an African American woman has been subject to judgments that public cultures make about race and our habits of reading.

Holloway is the first to call our attention to a remarkable trend of many prominent African American writers—including Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, Malcolm X, and Zora Neale Hurston. Their autobiographies and memoirs are consistently marked with booklists—records of their own habits of reading. She examines these lists, along with the trends of selection in Oprah Winfrey’s popular book club, raising the questions: What does it mean for prominent African Americans to associate themselves with European learning and culture? How do books by black authors fare in the inevitable hierarchy of a booklist? 

BookMarks provides a unique window into the ways that African Americans negotiate between black and white cultures. This compelling rumination on reading is a book that everyone should add to their personal collections and proudly carry “cover out.”

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Child Care in Black and White
Working Parents and the History of Orphanages
Jessie B. Ramey
University of Illinois Press, 2013
This innovative study examines the development of institutional childcare from 1878 to 1929, based on a comparison of two "sister" orphanages in Pittsburgh: the all-white United Presbyterian Orphan's Home and the all-black Home for Colored Children. Drawing on quantitative analysis of the records of more than 1,500 children living at the two orphanages, as well as census data, city logs, and contemporary social science surveys, this study raises new questions about the role of childcare in constructing and perpetrating social inequality in the United States.
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Color me...Cherry & White
A Temple University Coloring Book
Temple University Press
Temple University Press, 2018

The first ever Temple University adult coloring book, Color Me...Cherry & White contains more than twenty iconic Temple University landmarks. From the magnificent Baptist Temple with its ornate stained glass windows, to Hooter the Owl, the campus food trucks, and the SEPTA rail station, students, parents, and alumni—even future Owls—now have a personal campus canvas to color with markers, pencils or crayons.

The images in Color Me...Cherry & White were created from photographs from the University Photography Department and crafted into pages for amateur artists to beautify. The designs will stoke memories as well as provide stress relief as artists create their own impressions of the campus. Moreover, this keepsake will make the perfect gift and provide memories for the worldwide Temple community.

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Conjoined Twins in Black and White
The Lives of Millie-Christine McKoy and Daisy and Violet Hilton
Edited by Linda Frost
University of Wisconsin Press, 2009
Conjoined twins have long been a subject of fantasy, fascination, and freak shows. In this first collection of its kind, Millie-Christine McKoy, African American twins born in 1851, and Daisy and Violet Hilton, English twins born in 1908, speak for themselves through memoirs that help us understand what it is like to live physically joined to someone else.
    Conjoined Twins in Black and White provides contemporary readers with the twins’ autobiographies, the first two “show histories” to be republished since their original appearance, a previously unpublished novella, and a nineteenth-century medical examination, each of which attempts to define these women and reveal the issues of race, gender, and the body prompted by the twins themselves. The McKoys, born slaves, were kidnapped and taken to Britain, where they worked as entertainers until they were reunited with their mother in an emotional chance encounter. The Hiltons, cast away by their horrified mother at birth, worked the carnival circuit as vaudeville performers until the WWII economy forced them to the burlesque stage. The hardships, along with the triumphs, experienced by these very different sister sets lend insight into our fascination with conjoined twins.

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Darkroom
A Memoir in Black and White
Lila Quintero Weaver
University of Alabama Press, 2012
Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White is an arresting and moving personal story about childhood, race, and identity in the American South, rendered in stunning illustrations by the author, Lila Quintero Weaver.
 
In 1961, when Lila was five, she and her family emigrated from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Marion, Alabama, in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt. As educated, middle-class Latino immigrants in a region that was defined by segregation, the Quinteros occupied a privileged vantage from which to view the racially charged culture they inhabited. Weaver and her family were firsthand witnesses to key moments in the civil rights movement.  But Darkroom is her personal story as well: chronicling what it was like being a Latina girl in the Jim Crow South, struggling to understand both a foreign country and the horrors of our nation’s race relations. Weaver, who was neither black nor white, observed very early on the inequalities in the American culture, with its blonde and blue-eyed feminine ideal. Throughout her life, Lila has struggled to find her place in this society and fought against the discrimination around her.
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Europe in Black and White
Immigration, Race, and Identity in the ‘Old Continent'
Edited by Manuela Ribeiro Sanches, Fernando Clara, João Ferreira Duarte, and Leonor Pires Martins
Intellect Books, 2011

The essays in Europe in Black and White offer new critical perspectives on race, immigration, and identity on the Old Continent. In reconsidering the various forms of encounters with difference, such as multiculturalism and hybridity, the contributors address a number of issues, including the cartography of postcolonial Europe, its relation to the production of "difference" and "race," and national and identity politics and their dependence on linguistic practices inherited from imperial times. Featuring scholars from a wide variety of nationalities and disciplinary areas, this collection will speak to an equally wide readership.

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The Fluency of Light
Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White
Aisha Sabatini Sloan
University of Iowa Press, 2013
In these intertwined essays on art, music, and identity, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, the daughter of African American and Italian American parents, examines the experience of her mixed-race identity. Embracing the far-ranging stimuli of her media-obsessed upbringing, she grasps at news clippings, visual fragments, and lyrics from past and present in order to weave together a world of sense.
Art in all forms guides the author toward understanding concepts like blackness, jazz, mortality, riots, space, time, self, and other without falling prey to the myth that all things must exist within a system of binaries. Recalling her awkward attempts at coolness during her childhood, Sabatini Sloan evokes Thelonious Monk’s stage persona as a metaphor for blackness. Through the conceptual art of Adrian Piper, the author is able to understand what is so quietly menacing about the sharp, clean lines of an art gallery where she works as an assistant. The result is a compelling meditation on identity and representation. 
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Freedom in White and Black
A Lost Story of the Illegal Slave Trade and Its Global Legacy
Emma Christopher
University of Wisconsin Press, 2020
By 1808, both Britain and the United States had passed laws outlawing the transatlantic slave trade. Yet the trade covertly carried on. In the summer of 1813, in what is now Liberia, a compound of slave pens was bursting with sick and anguished captives, guarded by other African slaves. As a British patrol swooped down on the illicit barracoon, the slavers burned the premises to the ground, hoping to destroy evidence.

This story can be told because of an exceptional trove of court documents that provides unparalleled insight into one small link in the great, horrific chain of slavery. Emma Christopher follows a trail of evidence across four continents to examine the lives of this barracoon's owners, their workers, and their tragic human merchandise. She reveals how an American, Charles Mason, escaped justice, while British subjects Robert Bostock and John McQueen were arrested. In court five African men—Tamba, Tom Ball, Yarra, Noah, and Sessay—courageously testified against their former owners/captors. They, and 233 other liberated men, women, and children, were relocated to Freetown, Sierra Leone. There they endured harsh lives of "freedom," while the punishment of Bostock and McQueen was fleeting.

From the fragmented facts of these lives, Christopher sheds fascinating light on the early development of the nations of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Australia (where Bostock and McQueen were banished) and the role of former slaves in combatting the illegal trade.
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From the Steel City to the White City
Western Pennsylvania and the World's Columbian Exposition
Zachary L. Brodt
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2024
How Pittsburgh Positioned Itself as a Center of Culture and Innovation at the Turn of the Century 

In From the Steel City to the White City, Zachary Brodt explores Western Pennsylvania’s representation at Chicago’s Columbian Exposition, the first major step in demonstrating that Pittsburgh was more than simply America’s crucible—it was also a region of developing culture and innovation. The 1893 Columbian Exposition presented a chance for the United States to prove to the world that it was an industrial giant ready to become a global superpower. At the same time, Pittsburgh, a commercial center that formerly served as a starting point for western expansion, found itself serving as a major transportation, and increasingly industrial, hub during this period of extensive growth. Natural resources like petroleum and coal allowed Western Pennsylvania to become one of the largest iron- and steel-producing regions in the world. The Chicago fairgrounds provided a lucrative opportunity for area companies not only to provide construction materials but to display the region’s many products. While Pittsburgh’s most famous contributions to the 1893 World’s Fair—alternating current electricity and the Ferris wheel—had a lasting impact on the United States and the world, other exhibits provided a snapshot of the area’s industries, natural resources, and inventions. The success of these exhibits, Brodt reveals, launched local companies into the twentieth century, ensuring a steady flow of work, money, and prestige
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The Harlem Renaissance in Black and White
George Hutchinson
Harvard University Press, 1995

It wasn’t all black or white. It wasn’t a vogue. It wasn’t a failure. By restoring interracial dimensions left out of accounts of the Harlem Renaissance—or blamed for corrupting it—George Hutchinson transforms our understanding of black (and white) literary modernism, interracial literary relations, and twentieth-century cultural nationalism in the United States.

What has been missing from literary histories of the time is a broader sense of the intellectual context of the Harlem Renaissance, and Hutchinson supplies that here: Boas’s anthropology, Park’s sociology, various strands of pragmatism and cultural nationalism—ideas that shaped the New Negro movement and the literary field, where the movement flourished. Hutchinson tracks the resulting transformation of literary institutions and organizations in the 1920s, offering a detailed account of the journals and presses, black and white, that published the work of the “New Negroes.” This cultural excavation discredits bedrock assumptions about the motives of white interest in the renaissance, and about black relationships to white intellectuals of the period. It also allows a more careful investigation than ever before of the tensions among black intellectuals of the 1920s. Hutchinson’s analysis shows that the general expansion of literature and the vogue of writing cannot be divorced from the explosion of black literature often attributed to the vogue of the New Negro—any more than the growing sense of “Negro” national consciousness can be divorced from expanding articulations and permutations of American nationality. The book concludes with the first full-scale interpretation of the landmark anthology The New Negro.

A courageous work that exposes the oversimplifications and misrepresentations of popular readings of the Harlem Renaissance, this book reveals the truly composite nature of American literary culture.

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Hattiesburg
An American City in Black and White
William Sturkey
Harvard University Press, 2019

Winner of the Zócalo Public Square Book Prize
Benjamin L. Hooks Award Finalist


“An insightful, powerful, and moving book.”
—Kevin Boyle, author of Arc of Justice

“Sturkey’s clear-eyed and meticulous book pulls off a delicate balancing act. While depicting the terrors of Jim Crow, he also shows how Hattiesburg’s black residents, forced to forge their own communal institutions, laid the organizational groundwork for the civil rights movement.”
New York Times

If you really want to understand Jim Crow—what it was and how African Americans rose up to defeat it—you should start by visiting Mobile Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the heart of the historic black downtown. There you can still see remnants of the shops and churches where, amid the violence and humiliation of segregation, men and women gathered to build a remarkable community. Hattiesburg takes us into the heart of this divided town and deep into the lives of families on both sides of the racial divide to show how the fabric of their existence was shaped by the changing fortunes of the Jim Crow South.

“Sturkey’s magnificent portrait reminds us that Mississippi is no anachronism. It is the dark heart of American modernity.”
—Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Thelonious Monk

“When they are at their best, historians craft powerful, compelling, often genre-changing pieces of history…William Sturkey is one of those historians…A brilliant, poignant work.”
—Charles W. McKinney, Jr., Journal of African American History

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A History of Fort Worth in Black & White
165 Years of African-American Life
Richard F. Selcer
University of North Texas Press, 2015

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Justice Rising
Robert Kennedy’s America in Black and White
Patricia Sullivan
Harvard University Press, 2021

“In most accounts of the tumultuous 1960s, Robert Kennedy plays a supporting role…Sullivan corrects this and puts RFK near the center of the nation’s struggle for racial justice.”
—Richard Thompson Ford, Washington Post

“A profound and uplifting account of Robert F. Kennedy’s brave crusade for racial equality. This is narrative history at its absolute finest.”
—Douglas Brinkley, author of Rosa Parks

“A sobering analysis of the forces arrayed against advocates of racial justice. Desegregation suits took years to move through the courts. Ballot access was controlled by local officials…Justice Rising reminds us that although he was assassinated over 50 years ago, Kennedy remains relevant.”
—Glenn C. Altschuler, Florida Courier

“A groundbreaking book that reorients our understanding of a surprisingly underexplored aspect of Robert Kennedy’s life and career—race and civil rights—and sheds new light on race relations during a pivotal era of American history.”
—Kenneth Mack, author of Representing the Race

“Brilliant and beautifully written…could hardly be more timely.”
—Daniel Geary, Irish Times

Race and politics converged in the 1960s in ways that indelibly changed America. This landmark reconsideration of Robert Kennedy’s life and legacy reveals how, as the nation confronted escalating demands for racial justice, RFK grasped the moment to emerge as a transformational leader.

Intertwining Kennedy’s story with the Black freedom struggles of the 1960s, Justice Rising provides a fresh account of the changing political alignments that marked the decade. As Attorney General, Kennedy personally interceded to enforce desegregation rulings and challenge voter restrictions in the South. Morally committed to change, he was instrumental in creating the bipartisan coalition essential to passing the 1964 Civil Rights Act. After his brother’s assassination, his commitment took on a new urgency when cities emerged as the major front in the long fight for racial justice. On the night of Martin Luther King’s assassination, two months before he would himself be killed, his anguished appeal captured the hopes of a turbulent decade: “In this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of nation we are and what direction we want to move in.” It is a question that remains urgent and unanswered.

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Language Variety in the South
Perspectives in Black and White
Michael B Montgomery
University of Alabama Press, 1986
This volume evolved from a research conference on the English Language in the Southern United States sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and held at Columbia, South Carolina.
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Look, A White!
Philosophical Essays on Whiteness
George Yancy
Temple University Press, 2012

Look, a White! returns the problem of whiteness to white people. Prompted by Eric Holder's charge, that as Americans, we are cowards when it comes to discussing the issue of race, noted philosopher George Yancy's essays map out a structure of whiteness.

He considers whiteness within the context of racial embodiment, film, pedagogy, colonialism, its "danger," and its position within the work of specific writers. Identifying the embedded and opaque ways white power and privilege operate, Yancy argues that the Black countergaze can function as a "gift" to whites in terms of seeing their own whiteness more effectively.

Throughout Look, a White! Yancy pays special attention to the impact of whiteness on individuals, as well as on how the structures of whiteness limit the capacity of social actors to completely untangle the way whiteness operates, thus preventing the erasure of racism in social life.

 

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Loving before Loving
A Marriage in Black and White
Joan Steinau Lester
University of Wisconsin Press, 2021
Committed to the struggle for civil rights, in the late 1950s Joan Steinau marched and protested as a white ally and young woman coming to terms with her own racism. She fell in love and married a fellow activist, the Black writer Julius Lester, establishing a partnership that was long and multifaceted but not free of the politics of race and gender. As the women’s movement dawned, feminism helped Lester find her voice, her pansexuality, and the courage to be herself.
 
Braiding intellectual, personal, and political history, Lester tells the story of a writer and activist fighting for love and justice before, during, and after the Supreme Court’s 1967 decision striking down bans on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia. She describes her own shifts in consciousness, from an activist climbing police barricades by day and reading and writing late into the night to a woman navigating the coming-out process in midlife, before finding the publishing success she had dreamed of. Speaking candidly about every facet of her life, Lester illuminates her journey to fulfillment and healing.
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"Negro and White, Unite and Fight!"
A Social History of Industrial Unionism in Meatpacking, 1930-90
Roger Horowitz
University of Illinois Press, 1997

This pathbreaking study traces the rise--and subsequent fall--of the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA). Roger Horowitz looks at local leaders and meatpacking workers in Chicago, Kansas City, Sioux City, and Austin, Minnesota, closely examining the unionizing of the workplace and the prominent role of black workers and women in UPWA. 

Horowitz shows how three major firms in U.S. meat production and distribution became dominant by virtually eliminating union power. The union's decline, he argues, reflected massive pressure by capital for lower labor costs and greater control over the work process. In the end, the victorious firms were those that had been most successful at increasing the rate of exploitation of their workers, who now labor in conditions as bad as those of a century ago.

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Not Just Black and White
Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immgiration, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States
Nancy Foner
Russell Sage Foundation, 2004
Immigration is one of the driving forces behind social change in the United States, continually reshaping the way Americans think about race and ethnicity. How have various racial and ethnic groups—including immigrants from around the globe, indigenous racial minorities, and African Americans—related to each other both historically and today? How have these groups been formed and transformed in the context of the continuous influx of new arrivals to this country? In Not Just Black and White, editors Nancy Foner and George M. Fredrickson bring together a distinguished group of social scientists and historians to consider the relationship between immigration and the ways in which concepts of race and ethnicity have evolved in the United States from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. Not Just Black and White opens with an examination of historical and theoretical perspectives on race and ethnicity. The late John Higham, in the last scholarly contribution of his distinguished career, defines ethnicity broadly as a sense of community based on shared historical memories, using this concept to shed new light on the main contours of American history. The volume also considers the shifting role of state policy with regard to the construction of race and ethnicity. Former U.S. census director Kenneth Prewitt provides a definitive account of how racial and ethnic classifications in the census developed over time and how they operate today. Other contributors address the concept of panethnicity in relation to whites, Latinos, and Asian Americans, and explore socioeconomic trends that have affected, and continue to affect, the development of ethno-racial identities and relations. Joel Perlmann and Mary Waters offer a revealing comparison of patterns of intermarriage among ethnic groups in the early twentieth century and those today. The book concludes with a look at the nature of intergroup relations, both past and present, with special emphasis on how America's principal non-immigrant minority—African Americans—fits into this mosaic. With its attention to contemporary and historical scholarship, Not Just Black and White provides a wealth of new insights about immigration, race, and ethnicity that are fundamental to our understanding of how American society has developed thus far, and what it may look like in the future.
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Red, White & Black
Cinema and the Structure of U.S. Antagonisms
Frank B. Wilderson III
Duke University Press, 2010
Red, White & Black is a provocative critique of socially engaged films and related critical discourse. Offering an unflinching account of race and representation, Frank B. Wilderson III asks whether such films accurately represent the structure of U.S. racial antagonisms. That structure, he argues, is based on three essential subject positions: that of the White (the “settler,” “master,” and “human”), the Red (the “savage” and “half-human”), and the Black (the “slave” and “non-human”). Wilderson contends that for Blacks, slavery is ontological, an inseparable element of their being. From the beginning of the European slave trade until now, Blacks have had symbolic value as fungible flesh, as the non-human (or anti-human) against which Whites have defined themselves as human. Just as slavery is the existential basis of the Black subject position, genocide is essential to the ontology of the Indian. Both positions are foundational to the existence of (White) humanity.

Wilderson provides detailed readings of two films by Black directors, Antwone Fisher (Denzel Washington) and Bush Mama (Haile Gerima); one by an Indian director, Skins (Chris Eyre); and one by a White director, Monster’s Ball (Marc Foster). These films present Red and Black people beleaguered by problems such as homelessness and the repercussions of incarceration. They portray social turmoil in terms of conflict, as problems that can be solved (at least theoretically, if not in the given narratives). Wilderson maintains that at the narrative level, they fail to recognize that the turmoil is based not in conflict, but in fundamentally irreconcilable racial antagonisms. Yet, as he explains, those antagonisms are unintentionally disclosed in the films’ non-narrative strategies, in decisions regarding matters such as lighting, camera angles, and sound.

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Red, White, and Blues
Poets on the Promise of America
Virgil & Ryan G. Suarez & Van Cleave
University of Iowa Press, 2004

 Red, White, and Blues, a new anthology from the award-winning editors of Like Thunder: Poets Respond to Violence in America and Vespers: Contemporary American Poems of Religion and Spirituality, offers a chorus of contemporary American poets on the idea of liberty, democracy, patriotism, and the American Dream;a twenty-first-century "Song of Myself” for the entire country.

The poems in Red, White, and Blues reflect our collective memory—from icons of pop culture to national disasters and times of unrest. Yet they are not simply reflections of the headline news or political diatribes of the day; instead, they provide roadmaps of American history—roadmaps of where we’ve been, who we are, and where we’re going as a nation.

Poets as diverse as Martín Espada and Paisley Rekdal, J. P. Dancing Bear and Vivian Shipley seek to answer questions that resonate within the heart of our national identity—what does it mean to be an American? What is the American Dream? How does one define patriotism? Regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class, each poet’s answer to such questions proves that our experiences unite us more than they divide us.

Red, White, and Blues is an ambitious collection of the finest contemporary poetry on the subject of America and the indefatigable spirit of its citizens. Its poems don’t pull punches, nor do they celebrate without cause. They show spirit and excitement, outrage and joy, solemnity and ambiguity—all reflections of our wonderfully diverse nation.

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Richard Segalman Black & White
Muses, Magic & Monotypes
Susan Forrest Castle
The Artist Book Foundation, 2015
For many, the name Richard Segalman conjures up a vision of light-infused paintings of women gathered on a beach, gazing out the window of a New York City brownstone, or dressed in costumes from another era. But just as Edgar Degas, approaching his 60th year, surprised gallery goers with an exhibition not of ballerinas or race horses, but of highly atmospheric monotype landscapes, so too does Segalman surprise us with this exceptional collection of monotypes he began to produce in 1993, at nearly 60. “I reached a sort of a plateau and needed a new direction,” says the artist. “I came across a monotype… took a course… made one and I was hooked.” The significance of Segalman’s shift into this medium is most powerfully conveyed through his arresting black-and-white prints that range from anonymous crowds on Coney Island beaches or New York City streets to a solitary figure in private contemplation. This monochromatic focus makes perfect sense: Segalman’s first gallery appearance in New York—a sold-out show that gave him the courage to embrace the life of an artist—consisted entirely of black-and-white charcoal drawings, several stunning examples of which open this book. Currently, Segalman’s work can be found in many public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; and the Fogg Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Author Susan F. Castle’s essay about the artist and his muses—the people, places, and things for which Richard Segalman has an abiding love—illuminates the exceptional work collected for this monograph. She combines excerpts from interviews with the artist and the three master printmakers with whom he has worked in Woodstock and Brooklyn, New York, and in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition, Anthony Kirk’s insightful introduction provides an essential historical perspective on the artist and his printmaking process.
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Shades of White
White Kids and Racial Identities in High School
Pamela Perry
Duke University Press, 2002
What does it mean to be young, American, and white at the dawn of the twenty-first century? By exploring this question and revealing the everyday social processes by which high schoolers define white identities, Pamela Perry offers much-needed insights into the social construction of race and whiteness among youth.
Through ethnographic research and in-depth interviews of students in two demographically distinct U.S. high schools—one suburban and predominantly white; the other urban, multiracial, and minority white—Perry shares students’ candor about race and self-identification. By examining the meanings students attached (or didn’t attach) to their social lives and everyday cultural practices, including their taste in music and clothes, she shows that the ways white students defined white identity were not only markedly different between the two schools but were considerably diverse and ambiguous within them as well. Challenging reductionist notions of whiteness and white racism, this study suggests how we might go “beyond whiteness” to new directions in antiracist activism and school reform.
Shades of White is emblematic of an emerging second wave of whiteness studies that focuses on the racial identity of whites. It will appeal to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies, as well as to those involved with high school education and antiracist activities.
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Teaching in Black and White
The Sisters of St. Joseph in the American South
Barbara E. Mattick
Catholic University of America Press, 2022
Teaching in Black and White: The Sisters of St. Joseph in the American South discusses the work of the Sisters of St. Joseph of (the city of) St. Augustine, who came to Florida from France in 1866 to teach newly freed blacks after the Civil War, and remain to this day. It also tells the story of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Georgia, who sprang from the motherhouse in St. Augustine. A significant part of the book is a comparison of the Sisters of St. Josephs’ work against that of their major rivals, missionaries from the Protestant American Missionary Association. Using letters the Sisters wrote back to their motherhouse in France, the book provides rare glimpses into the personal and professional (pun intended) lives of these women religious in St. Augustine and other parts of Florida and Georgia, from the mid-nineteenth century through the era of anti-Catholicism in the early twentieth century South. It carries the story through 1922, the end of the pioneer years of the Sisters of St. Josephs’ work in Florida, and the end of Sisters of St. Joseph of Georgia’s existence as a distinct order. Through the lenses of Catholicism, Florida and Southern history, gender, and race, the book addresses the Protestant concept of domesticity and how it was reinforced in Catholic terms by women who seemingly defied the ideal. It also relates the Sisters’ contributions in shaping life in the South during Reconstruction as they established elite academies and free schools, created orphanages, ministered to all during severe yellow fever epidemics, and fought the specter of anti-Catholicism as it crept across the rural regions of the country. To date, little has been written about Catholics in the South, much less the women religious who served there. This book helps to fill that gap. Teaching in Black and White provides rare glimpses into the personal and professional lives of women religious in Florida and Georgia, from the mid-nineteenth to early twentieth-century.
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Tracing Southern Storytelling in Black and White
Sarah Gilbreath Ford
University of Alabama Press, 2014
Explores how both black and white southern writers such as Joel Chandler Harris, Charles Chesnutt, Zora Neale Hurston, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Ralph Ellison, Ellen Douglas, and Ernest Gaines have employed oral storytelling in literature

Tracing Southern Storytelling in Black and White is a study of the historical use of oral storytelling by southern writers in written works. In each chapter, Sarah Gilbreath Ford pairs a white and an African American writer to highlight points of confluence in black and white southern oral traditions. She argues that the connections between white and African American southern writers run deeper than critics have yet explored, and she uses textual comparisons to examine the racial mixing of oral culture.

On porches, in kitchens, and on the pages of their work, black and white southerners exchanged not just stories but strategies for telling stories. As a boy, Joel Chandler Harris listened to the stories of African American slaves, and he devised a framework to turn the oral stories into written ones. Harris’s use of the frame structure influenced how Charles Chesnutt recorded oral stories, but it led Alice Walker to complain that her heritage had been stolen. Mark Twain listened to African American storytellers as a child. His use of oral dialects then impacts how Ralph Ellison and William Faulkner employ oral storytelling and how Toni Morrison later writes in response to Faulkner. The interactions are not linear, not a chain of influence, but a network of interactions, borrowings, and revisions.

Ford’s pairings lead to new readings that reveal how the writers employ similar strategies in their narratives, due in part to shared historical context. While Zora Neale Hurston and William Faulkner, for example, use oral storytelling in the 1930s to examine the fear of racial mixing, Ellen Douglas and Ernest Gaines use it in the 1970s to build bridges between the races. Exploring the cultural crossing that occurs in the use of oral storytelling, Ford offers a different view of this common strategy in southern narrative and a new perspective on how culture is shared.
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Work in Black and White
Striving for the American Dream
Enobong Hannah Branch
Russell Sage Foundation, 2022

The ability to achieve economic security through hard work is a central tenet of the American Dream, but significant shifts in today’s economy have fractured this connection. While economic insecurity has always been a reality for some Americans, Black Americans have historically long experienced worse economic outcomes than Whites. In Work in Black and White, sociologists Enobong Hannah Branch and Caroline Hanley draw on interviews with 80 middle-aged Black and White Americans to explore how their attitudes and perceptions of success are influenced by the stories American culture has told about the American Dream – and about who should have access to it and who should not.

Branch and Hanley find that Black and White workers draw on racially distinct histories to make sense of today’s rising economic insecurity. White Americans have grown increasingly pessimistic and feel that the American Dream is now out of reach, mourning the loss of a sense of economic security which they took for granted. But Black Americans tend to negotiate their present insecurity with more optimism, since they cannot mourn something they never had. All educated workers bemoaned the fact that their credentials no longer guarantee job security, but Black workers lamented the reality that even with an education, racial inequality continues to block access to good jobs for many.

The authors interject a provocative observation into the ongoing debate over opportunity, security, and the American Dream: Among policymakers and the public alike, Americans talk too much about education. The ways people navigate insecurity, inequality, and uncertainty rests on more than educational attainment. The authors call for a public policy that ensures dignity in working conditions and pay while accounting for the legacies of historical inequality.

Americans want the game of life to be fair. While the survey respondents expressed common ground on the ideal of meritocracy, opinions about to achieve economic security for all diverge along racial lines, with the recognition – or not – of differences in current and past access to opportunity in America.

Work in Black and White is a call to action for meaningful policies to make the premise of the American Dream a reality.

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A Year in White
Cultural Newcomers to Lukumi and Santería in the United States
Carr, C. Lynn
Rutgers University Press, 2016
In the Afro-Cuban Lukumi religious tradition—more commonly known in the United States as Santería—entrants into the priesthood undergo an extraordinary fifty-three-week initiation period. During this time, these novices—called iyawo—endure a host of prohibitions, including most notably wearing exclusively white clothing. In A Year in White, sociologist C. Lynn Carr, who underwent this initiation herself, opens a window on this remarkable year-long religious transformation.
 
In her intimate investigation of the “year in white,” Carr draws on fifty-two in-depth interviews with other participants, an online survey of nearly two hundred others, and almost a decade of her own ethnographic fieldwork, gathering stories that allow us to see how cultural newcomers and natives thought, felt, and acted with regard to their initiation. She documents how, during the iyawo year, the ritual slowly transforms the initiate’s identity. For the first three months, for instance, the iyawo may not use a mirror, even to shave, and must eat all meals while seated on a mat on the floor using only a spoon and their own set of dishes. During the entire year, the iyawo loses their name and is simply addressed as “iyawo” by family and friends.
 
Carr also shows that this year-long religious ritual—which is carried out even as the iyawo goes about daily life—offers new insight into religion in general, suggesting that the sacred is not separable from the profane and indeed that religion shares an ongoing dynamic relationship with the realities of everyday life. Religious expression happens at home, on the streets, at work and school.
 
Offering insight not only into Santería but also into religion more generally, A Year in White makes an important contribution to our understanding of complex, dynamic religious landscapes in multicultural, pluralist societies and how they inhabit our daily lives.
 
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Young, White, and Miserable
Growing Up Female in the Fifties
Wini Breines
University of Chicago Press, 2001
Young, White, and Miserable is a critically acclaimed study that compellingly shows how the feminist movement of the 1960s found momentum in the seemingly peaceable time of the 1950s. Wini Breines explores white middle class America and argues that mixed messages given to girls during this decade lent fuel to the fire that would later become known as feminism. Concluding with a look at the life and suicide of social scientist Anne Parsons, this book is a poignant and important look into conditions that led to the women's movement.
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