The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt

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The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt
Title The Black Cabinet: The Untold Story of African Americans and Politics During the Age of Roosevelt
Author
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press
Release DateMay 12, 2020
Category History
Total Pages 804 pages
ISBN B07YBLK993
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 104 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

A magnificently researched, dramatically told work of narrative nonfiction about the history, evolution, impact, and ultimate demise of what was known in the 1930s and 1940s as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Black Cabinet. In the early 20th century, most African Americans still lived in the South, disenfranchised, impoverished, terrorized by white violence, and denied the basic rights of citizenship. As the Democrats swept into the White House on a wave of black defectors from the Party of Lincoln, a group of African American intellectuals—legal minds, social scientists, media folk—sought to get the community’s needs on the table. This would become the Black Cabinet, a group of African American racial affairs experts working throughout the New Deal, forming an unofficial advisory council to lobby the President. But with the white Southern vote so important to the fortunes of the Party, the path would be far from smooth. Most prominent in the Black Cabinet were Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator close to Eleanor Roosevelt, and her “boys”: Robert Weaver, a Harvard-educated economist who pioneered enforcement standards for federal anti-discrimination guidelines (and, years later, the first African American Cabinet secretary); Bill Hastie, a lawyer who would become a federal appellate judge; Al Smith, head of the largest black jobs program in the New Deal at the WPA; and Robert Vann, a newspaper publisher whose unstinting reporting on the administration’s shortcomings would keep his erstwhile colleagues honest. Ralph Bunche, Walter White of the NAACP, A. Philip Randolph, and others are part of the story as well. But the Black Cabinet was never officially recognized by FDR, and with the demise of the New Deal, it disappeared from history. Jill Watts’s The Black Cabinet is a dramatic full-scale examination of a forgotten moment that speaks directly to our own.

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The Black Cabinet by Jill Watts

Title The Black Cabinet
Author Jill Watts
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category History
Total Pages 804
ISBN 9780802146922
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An in-depth history exploring the evolution, impact, and ultimate demise of what was known in the 1930s and ‘40s as FDR’s Black Cabinet. In 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidency with the help of key African American defectors from the Republican Party. At the time, most African Americans lived in poverty, denied citizenship rights and terrorized by white violence. As the New Deal began, a “black Brain Trust” joined the administration and began documenting and addressing the economic hardship and systemic inequalities African Americans faced. They became known as the Black Cabinet, but the environment they faced was reluctant, often hostile, to change. “Will the New Deal be a square deal for the Negro?” The black press wondered. The Black Cabinet set out to devise solutions to the widespread exclusion of black people from its programs, whether by inventing tools to measure discrimination or by calling attention to the administration’s failures. Led by Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, they were instrumental to Roosevelt’s continued success with black voters. Operating mostly behind the scenes, they helped push Roosevelt to sign an executive order that outlawed discrimination in the defense industry. They saw victories?jobs and collective agriculture programs that lifted many from poverty?and defeats?the bulldozing of black neighborhoods to build public housing reserved only for whites; Roosevelt’s refusal to get behind federal anti-lynching legislation. The Black Cabinet never won official recognition from the president, and with his death, it disappeared from view. But it had changed history. Eventually, one of its members would go on to be the first African American Cabinet secretary; another, the first African American federal judge and mentor to Thurgood Marshall. Masterfully researched and dramatically told, The Black Cabinet brings to life a forgotten generation of leaders who fought post-Reconstruction racial apartheid and whose work served as a bridge that Civil Rights activists traveled to achieve the victories of the 1950s and ’60s. Praise for The Black Cabinet “A dramatic piece of nonfiction that recovers the history of a generation of leaders that helped create the environment for the civil rights battles in decades that followed Roosevelt’s death.” —Library Journal “Fascinating . . . revealing the hidden figures of a ‘brain trust’ that lobbied, hectored and strong-armed President Franklin Roosevelt to cut African Americans in on the New Deal. . . . Meticulously researched and elegantly written, The Black Cabinet is sprawling and epic, and Watts deftly re-creates whole scenes from archival material.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

The Black Cabinet by Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated

Title The Black Cabinet
Author Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated
Publisher Grove Press
Release Date 2021-02-16
Category
Total Pages 560
ISBN 0802148662
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A magnificently researched, dramatically told work of narrative nonfiction about the history, evolution, impact, and ultimate demise of what was known in the 1930s and 1940s as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Black Cabinet. In 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt won the presidency with the help of key African American defectors from the Republican Party. At the time, most African Americans lived in poverty, denied citizenship rights and terrorized by white violence. As the New Deal began, a "black Brain Trust" joined the administration and began documenting and addressing the economic hardship and systemic inequalities African Americans faced. They became known as the Black Cabinet, but the environment they faced was reluctant, often hostile, to change. "Will the New Deal be a square deal for the Negro?" The black press wondered. The Black Cabinet set out to devise solutions to the widespread exclusion of black people from its programs, whether by inventing tools to measure discrimination or by calling attention to the administration's failures. Led by Mary McLeod Bethune, an educator and friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, they were instrumental to Roosevelt's continued success with black voters. Operating mostly behind the scenes, they helped push Roosevelt to sign an executive order that outlawed discrimination in the defense industry. They saw victories--jobs and collective agriculture programs that lifted many from poverty--and defeats--the bulldozing of black neighborhoods to build public housing reserved only for whites; Roosevelt's refusal to get behind federal anti-lynching legislation. The Black Cabinet never won official recognition from the president, and with his death, it disappeared from view. But it had changed history. Eventually, one of its members would go on to be the first African American Cabinet secretary; another, the first African American federal judge and mentor to Thurgood Marshall. Masterfully researched and dramatically told, The Black Cabinet brings to life a forgotten generation of leaders who fought post-Reconstruction racial apartheid and whose work served as a bridge that Civil Rights activists traveled to achieve the victories of the 1950s and '60s.

The Black Cabinet by Jill Watts

Title The Black Cabinet
Author Jill Watts
Publisher Atlantic Monthly Press
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category History
Total Pages 560
ISBN 0802129102
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

A magnificently researched, dramatically told work of narrative nonfiction about the history, evolution, impact, and ultimate demise of what was known in the 1930s and 1940s as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Black Cabinet.

Mary Mcleod Bethune by Mary McLeod Bethune

Title Mary McLeod Bethune
Author Mary McLeod Bethune
Publisher Indiana University Press
Release Date 2001
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 317
ISBN 025321503X
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A biography in documents of one of America's most influential black women. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.

Knocking Down Barriers by Truman K. Gibson, Jr.

Title Knocking Down Barriers
Author Truman K. Gibson, Jr.
Publisher Northwestern University Press
Release Date 2021-08-16
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 344
ISBN 9780810162396
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Winner, 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Book Award Certificate of Excellence Recipient, 2007 Hyde Park Historical Society Paul Cornell Award Knocking Down Barriers is the memoir of a life spent making a difference. In 1940, when Truman Gibson reported for duty at the War Department, Washington was like a southern city in its seemingly unalterable segregation and oppressive summer heat. Gibson had no illusions about the nation’s racism, but as a Chicagoan who’d enjoyed the best of the vibrant Black culture of prewar America, he was shocked to find the worst of the Jim Crow South in the capital. What Gibson accomplished as an advocate for African American soldiers—first as a lawyer working for the secretary of war, then as a member of Harry S. Truman’s “Black cabinet”—fueled the struggle for civil rights in the American military. A University of Chicago Law School graduate, Gibson took his fight for racial justice to the corridors of power, arguing against restrictive real estate covenants before the US Supreme Court, opposing such iconic military figures as Generals Dwight D. Eisenhower and George C. Marshall to demand the integration of the armed forces, and challenging white control of professional sports by creating a boxing empire that made television history. Filled with firsthand details and little-known stories about key advancements in race relations in the worlds of law, the military, sports, and entertainment, Gibson’s memoir is also an engaging recollection of encounters with the likes of Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Patton, Jackie Robinson, and Joe Louis. Winner of the 2006 Illinois State Historical Society Book Award Certificate of Excellence, Knocking Down Barriers illuminates social milestones that continue to shape race in the United States today.

Title Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women s Political Activism
Author Joyce A. Hanson
Publisher University of Missouri Press
Release Date 2003-03-14
Category Social Science
Total Pages 264
ISBN 0826264042
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Mary McLeod Bethune was a significant figure in American political history. She devoted her life to advancing equal social, economic, and political rights for blacks. She distinguished herself by creating lasting institutions that trained black women for visible and expanding public leadership roles. Few have been as effective in the development of women’s leadership for group advancement. Despite her accomplishments, the means, techniques, and actions Bethune employed in fighting for equality have been widely misinterpreted. Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women’s Political Activism seeks to remedy the misconceptions surrounding this important political figure. Joyce A. Hanson shows that the choices Bethune made often appear contradictory, unless one understands that she was a transitional figure with one foot in the nineteenth century and the other in the twentieth. Bethune, who lived from 1875 to 1955, struggled to reconcile her nineteenth-century notions of women’s moral superiority with the changing political realities of the twentieth century. She used two conceptually distinct levels of activism—one nonconfrontational and designed to slowly undermine systemic racism, the other openly confrontational and designed to challenge the most overt discrimination—in her efforts to achieve equality. Hanson uses a wide range of never- or little-used primary sources and adds a significant dimension to the historical discussion of black women’s organizations by such scholars as Elsa Barkley Brown, Sharon Harley, and Rosalyn Terborg-Penn. The book extends the current debate about black women’s political activism in recent work by Stephanie Shaw, Evelyn Brooks-Higginbotham, and Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore. Examining the historical evolution of African American women’s activism in the critical period between 1920 and 1950, a time previously characterized as “doldrums” for both feminist and civil rights activity, Mary McLeod Bethune and Black Women’s Political Activism is important for understanding the centrality of black women to the political fight for social, economic, and racial justice.

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Publisher JHU Press
Release Date 2021-12-14
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 264
ISBN 9781421442839
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"This book analyzes Franklin D. Roosevelt's construction as a cultural icon in American memory from two perspectives. First, the author examines the historical leader who intentionally shaped his own public image. Second, she looks at portrayals and negotiations of FDR as an icon in cultural memory from the vantage point of the early twenty-first century"--

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ISBN 9781625840844
Language English, Spanish, and French
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The civil rights leader’s life and work in the nation’s capital, and her influence around the world, are celebrated in this biography. Best known as an educator and early civil rights activist, Mary McLeod Bethune was the daughter of formerly enslaved people. After moving to Washington, D.C., in 1936, she founded the National Council of Negro Women, an organization that supported Black women through numerous educational and community-based programs. Bethune also led the charge to change the segregationist policies of local hospitals and concert halls, and she acted as a mentor to countless African American women in the District. In this loving biography, historian Ida E. Jones explores the monumental life of Mary McLeod Bethune as a leader, a crusader, and a Washingtonian.

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ISBN 9781493024193
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Invisibles chronicles the African American presence inside the White House from its beginnings in 1782 until 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that granted slaves their freedom. During these years, slaves were the only African Americans to whom the most powerful men in the United States were exposed on a daily, and familiar, basis. By reading about these often-intimate relationships, readers will better understand some of the views that various presidents held about class and race in American society, and how these slaves contributed not only to the life and comforts of the presidents they served, but to America as a whole.

Title The Last Negroes at Harvard
Author Kent Garrett
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
Release Date 2020
Category EDUCATION
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781328879974
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The untold story of the Harvard class of '63, whose Black students fought to create their own identities on the cusp between integration and affirmative action. In the fall of 1959, Harvard recruited an unprecedented eighteen "Negro" boys as an early form of affirmative action. Four years later they would graduate as African Americans. Some fifty years later, one of these trailblazing Harvard grads, Kent Garrett, would begin to reconnect with his classmates and explore their vastly different backgrounds, lives, and what their time at Harvard meant. Garrett and his partner Jeanne Ellsworth recount how these eighteen youths broke new ground, with ramifications that extended far past the iconic Yard. By the time they were seniors, they would have demonstrated against national injustice and grappled with the racism of academia, had dinner with Malcolm X and fought alongside their African national classmates for the right to form a Black students' organization. Part memoir, part group portrait, and part narrative history of the intersection between the civil rights movement and higher education, this is the remarkable story of brilliant, singular boys whose identities were changed at and by Harvard, and who, in turn, changed Harvard.

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Author Clarence Lusane
Publisher City Lights Books
Release Date 2013-01-23
Category History
Total Pages 544
ISBN 9780872866119
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Black History of the White House presents the untold history, racial politics, and shifting significance of the White House as experienced by African Americans, from the generations of enslaved people who helped to build it or were forced to work there to its first black First Family, the Obamas. Clarence Lusane juxtaposes significant events in White House history with the ongoing struggle for democratic, civil, and human rights by black Americans and demonstrates that only during crises have presidents used their authority to advance racial justice. He describes how in 1901 the building was officially named the “White House” amidst a furious backlash against President Roosevelt for inviting Booker T. Washington to dinner, and how that same year that saw the consolidation of white power with the departure of the last black Congressmember elected after the Civil War. Lusane explores how, from its construction in 1792 to its becoming the home of the first black president, the White House has been a prism through which to view the progress and struggles of black Americans seeking full citizenship and justice. “Clarence Lusane is one of America’s most thoughtful and critical thinkers on issues of race, class and power.”—Manning Marable "Barack Obama may be the first black president in the White House, but he's far from the first black person to work in it. In this fascinating history of all the enslaved people, workers and entertainers who spent time in the president's official residence over the years, Clarence Lusane restores the White House to its true colors."—Barbara Ehrenreich "Reading The Black History of the White House shows us how much we DON'T know about our history, politics, and culture. In a very accessible and polished style, Clarence Lusane takes us inside the key national events of the American past and present. He reveals new dimensions of the black presence in the US from revolutionary days to the Obama campaign. Yes, 'black hands built the White House'—enslaved black hands—but they also built this country's economy, political system, and culture, in ways Lusane shows us in great detail. A particularly important feature of this book its personal storytelling: we see black political history through the experiences and insights of little-known participants in great American events. The detailed lives of Washington's slaves seeking freedom, or the complexities of Duke Ellington's relationships with the Truman and Eisenhower White House, show us American racism, and also black America's fierce hunger for freedom, in brand new and very exciting ways. This book would be a great addition to many courses in history, sociology, or ethnic studies courses. Highly recommended!"—Howard Winant "The White House was built with slave labor and at least six US presidents owned slaves during their time in office. With these facts, Clarence Lusane, a political science professor at American University, opens The Black History of the White House(City Lights), a fascinating story of race relations that plays out both on the domestic front and the international stage. As Lusane writes, 'The Lincoln White House resolved the issue of slavery, but not that of racism.' Along with the political calculations surrounding who gets invited to the White House are matters of musical tastes and opinionated first ladies, ingredients that make for good storytelling."—Boston Globe Dr. Clarence Lusane has published in The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, Oakland Tribune, Black Scholar, and Race and Class. He often appears on PBS, BET, C-SPAN, and other national media.

The Plague Year by Lawrence Wright

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Author Lawrence Wright
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2021
Category Medical
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780593320723
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Beginning with the absolutely critical first moments of the outbreak in China, and ending with an epilogue on the vaccine rollout and the unprecedented events between the election of Joseph Biden and his inauguration, Lawrence Wright's The Plague Year surges forward with essential information--and fascinating historical parallels--examining the medical, economic, political, and social ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Title Five for Freedom
Author Eugene L. Meyer
Publisher Chicago Review Press
Release Date 2018-06-01
Category History
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9781613735749
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

On October 16, 1859, John Brown and his band of eighteen raiders descended on Harpers Ferry in an ill-fated attempt to incite a slave insurrection. The raiders were routed, and several were captured. Soon after, they were tried, convicted, and hanged. Among Brown's fighters were five African American men—John Copeland, Shields Green, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, and Osborne Perry Anderson—whose lives and deaths have long been overshadowed by their martyred leader. Only Anderson survived, later publishing the lone insider account of the event. Five for Freedom is the story of these five brave men, the circumstances in which they were born and raised, how they came together at this fateful time and place, and the legacies they left behind. It is an American story that continues to resonate in the present.

Staking A Claim by Jonathan D. Greenberg

Title Staking a Claim
Author Jonathan D. Greenberg
Publisher Scribner Book Company
Release Date 1990
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 311
ISBN UOM:39015015511762
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Traces the life and career of the successful Black oil man, discusses his role as an intermediary in Africa, and describes his work on behalf of civil rights

The Second Reconstruction by Gary Donaldson

Title The Second Reconstruction
Author Gary Donaldson
Publisher Krieger Publishing Company
Release Date 2000
Category Political Science
Total Pages 153
ISBN UOM:49015002543008
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

This text traces the history of the civil rights movement in the years following World War II, to the present day. Issues discussed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights of 1965, and the Northern Ireland ghetto's.

Title When the Saints Go Hobbling In
Author Maceo C. Dailey
Publisher Sweet Earth Flying PressLlc
Release Date 2013-04-01
Category History
Total Pages 191
ISBN 0988333112
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Challenging several of the commonly held views about Booker T. Washington and his followers, this collection of essays offers a new estimation of their accomplishments and successes as having been greater than previously recognized by historians. Criticized for his gradual approach and often called an accommodationist in his own time, Booker T. Washington’s influence on civil rights was nonetheless significant and his writing continues to educate on the efforts of post-Emancipation America. The book explores his connections with presidents, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge, and examines the issues of black entrepreneurship in both in the United States and Africa—providing guidance for today's African American community to seek a way and means to deal with economic dislocation and despair. It also presents a thorough study of Washington’s secretary, Emmett Jay Scott, whose own influence as a leader continued well into the modern era through his familial connections to the Black Panther Party. This important collection will round out scholarly studies of Booker T. Washington and the movement he created with the fresh perspective it presents.

Title Women s International Thought A New History
Author Patricia Owens
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Release Date 2021-01-07
Category History
Total Pages 360
ISBN 9781108494694
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The first cross-disciplinary history of women's international thought, analysing leading international thinkers of the twentieth century.

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Title Once Upon a Time in New York
Author Herbert Mitgang
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date 2003-01-01
Category History
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9780815412632
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Veteran journalist Mitgang has written a flavorful account of New York City politics during the 1920s Jazz Age centering around the intersecting careers of the city's popular mayor, Jimmy Walker, and the state's patrician governor, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Hattie Mcdaniel by Jill Watts

Title Hattie McDaniel
Author Jill Watts
Publisher Harper Collins
Release Date 2007-02-06
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780060514914
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Hattie McDaniel is best known for her performance as Mammy, the sassy foil to Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind. Though the role called for yet another wide–grinned, subservient black domestic, McDaniel transformed her character into one who was loyal yet subversive, devoted yet bossy. Her powerful performance would win her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress and catapult the hopes of Black Hollywood that the entertainment industry ––after decades of stereotypical characters–– was finally ready to write more multidimensional, fully realized roles for blacks. But racism was so entrenched in Hollywood that despite pleas by organizations such as the NAACP and SAG ––and the very examples that Black service men were setting as they fought against Hitler in WWII–– roles for blacks continued to denigrate the African American experience. So rather than see her stature increase in Hollywood, as did other Oscar–winning actresses, Hattie McDaniel, continued to play servants. And rather than see her popularity increase, her audience turned against her as an increasingly politicized black community criticized her and her peers for accepting degrading roles. "I'd rather play a maid then be a maid," Hattie McDaniel answered her critics but her flip response belied a woman who was herself emotionally conflicted about the roles she accepted but who tried to imbue each Mammy character with dignity and nuance.

Mae West by Jill Watts

Title Mae West
Author Jill Watts
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2003-04-17
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 400
ISBN 9780190289713
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Why don't you come up and see me sometime?" Mae West invited and promptly captured the imagination of generations. Even today, years after her death, the actress and author is still regarded as the pop archetype of sexual wantonness and ribald humor. But who was this saucy starlet, a woman who was controversial enough to be jailed, pursued by film censors and banned from the airwaves for the revolutionary content of her work, and yet would ascend to the status of film legend? Sifting through previously untapped sources, author Jill Watts unravels the enigmatic life of Mae West, tracing her early years spent in the Brooklyn subculture of boxers and underworld figures, and follows her journey through burlesque, vaudeville, Broadway and, finally, Hollywood, where she quickly became one of the big screen's most popular--and colorful--stars. Exploring West's penchant for contradiction and her carefully perpetuated paradoxes, Watts convincingly argues that Mae West borrowed heavily from African American culture, music, dance and humor, creating a subversive voice for herself by which she artfully challenged society and its assumptions regarding race, class and gender. Viewing West as a trickster, Watts demonstrates that by appropriating for her character the black tradition of double-speak and "signifying," West also may have hinted at her own African-American ancestry and the phenomenon of a black woman passing for white. This absolutely fascinating study is the first comprehensive, interpretive account of Mae West's life and work. It reveals a beloved icon as a radically subversive artist consciously creating her own complex image.

Until I Am Free by Keisha N. Blain

Title Until I Am Free
Author Keisha N. Blain
Publisher Beacon Press
Release Date 2021-10-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 200
ISBN 9780807061503
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“[A] riveting and timely exploration of Hamer’s life. . . . Brilliantly constructed to be both forward and backward looking, Blain’s book functions simultaneously as a much needed history lesson and an indispensable guide for modern activists.”—New York Times Book Review Ms. Magazine “Most Anticipated Reads for the Rest of Us – 2021” · KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW · BOOKLIST STARRED REVIEW · Publishers Weekly Big Indie Books of Fall 2021 Explores the Black activist’s ideas and political strategies, highlighting their relevance for tackling modern social issues including voter suppression, police violence, and economic inequality. “We have a long fight and this fight is not mine alone, but you are not free whether you are white or black, until I am free.” —Fannie Lou Hamer A blend of social commentary, biography, and intellectual history, Until I Am Free is a manifesto for anyone committed to social justice. The book challenges us to listen to a working-poor and disabled Black woman activist and intellectual of the civil rights movement as we grapple with contemporary concerns around race, inequality, and social justice. Award-winning historian and New York Times best-selling author Keisha N. Blain situates Fannie Lou Hamer as a key political thinker alongside leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks and demonstrates how her ideas remain salient for a new generation of activists committed to dismantling systems of oppression in the United States and across the globe. Despite her limited material resources and the myriad challenges she endured as a Black woman living in poverty in Mississippi, Hamer committed herself to making a difference in the lives of others. She refused to be sidelined in the movement and refused to be intimidated by those of higher social status and with better jobs and education. In these pages, Hamer’s words and ideas take center stage, allowing us all to hear the activist’s voice and deeply engage her words, as though we had the privilege to sit right beside her. More than 40 years since Hamer’s death in 1977, her words still speak truth to power, laying bare the faults in American society and offering valuable insights on how we might yet continue the fight to help the nation live up to its core ideals of “equality and justice for all.” Includes a photo insert featuring Hamer at civil rights marches, participating in the Democratic National Convention, testifying before Congress, and more.

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