Hubert Harrison was an immensely skilled writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist who, more than any other political leader of his era, combined class consciousness and anti-white-supremacist race consciousness into a coherent political radicalism. Harrison's ideas profoundly influenced "New Negro" militants, including A. Philip Randolph and Marcus Garvey, and his synthesis of class and race issues is a key unifying link between the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement: the labor- and civil-rights-based work of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race and nationalist platform associated with Malcolm X.
The figure of the violent man in the African American imagination has a long history. He can be found in 19th-century bad man ballads like 'Stagolee' and 'John Hardy, ' as well as in the black convict recitations that influenced 'gansta' rap. Born in a Mighty Bad Land connects this figure with similar characters in African American fiction.
As the story of the United States was recorded in pages written by white historians, early-19th-century African American writers faced the task of piecing together a counterhistory. Here, John Ernest demonstrates that African Americans created a body of writing in which the spiritual, the historical and the political are inextricably connected.
An exploration of the early lives and careers of economist Abram Harris Jr., sociologist E. Franklin Frazier, and political scientist Ralph Bunche - three black scholars who taught at Howard University during the New Deal and, together, formed the leading edge of US social science radicalism.
The first interdisciplinary examination to incorporate a full glossary of Hoodoo culture, Mojo Workin': The Old African American Hoodoo System lays out the movement of Hoodoo against a series of watershed changes in the American cultural landscape. Throughout, Hazzard-Donald distinguishes between "Old tradition Black Belt Hoodoo" and commercially marketed forms that have been controlled, modified, and often fabricated by outsiders; this study focuses on the hidden system operating almost exclusively among African Americans in the Black spiritual underground.
This interesting academic biography portrays Rayford W. Logan (1897-1982) as a scholar and "diligent second-tier leader" in the civil rights struggle. Janken, who teaches African American studies at the University of North Carolina, traces his subject's background as a member of Washington, D.C.'s so-called light-skinned black elite, and his embrace of Pan-Africanism after his service in WW II brought him wider experience of racism. Logan worked early for voter registration and for a stronger relationship between organized labor and civil rights groups and he also edited What the Negro Wants (1944), a collection of essays by prominent African Americans. But he was also a history professor, teaching at Howard University from 1938 to 1968, and hence equally involved in academic projects: he briefly edited the Journal of Negro History and wrote The Negro in American Life and Thought: The Nadir, 1877-1901 . Unfortunately, Logan's earlier achievements were to be overshadowed by his vituperative campaign of his later years criticizing African Americans for identifying themselves as "black," a term he considered separatist.
Ellison's relevance as a political novelist, essayist, and commentator did not end with the publication of Invisible Man or as the civil rights movement waned. This collection of essays demonstrates that Invisible Man deserves its place in the pantheon of great American novels and that Ellison should be regarded as an essential framer of recent American political thought. His conception of America's basic democratic project - strangers, bound together by common citizenship, crafting a vision for America's future and forging consensus on the path toward that goal - is especially valid in the new century as the nation struggles with divisions and contradictions unimagined during Ellison's lifetime. The essays in Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope probe the political lessons of the landmark novel Invisible Man, in which Ellision reflects on the sacred ideals that set the American republic into motion.
Using an anti-deficit approach, Black Men in the Academy explores narratives of resiliency, success, and achievement for black men in the academy. This book is an important text for scholars interested in promoting success in education for underrepresented minorities.
Reclaiming traditions based on plants and herbs has never been more important than it is today. Widespread use of chemicals, hormones, and additives introduce unknown substances into our bodies. On a larger scale, our future on the planet depends on our ability and willingness to incorporate earth-friendly practices into daily life. Where better to look for natural remedies and soothing rituals than Africa? It is, after all, the Mother Continent, allegedly the birthplace of the entire human race, and the keeper of ancient earth knowledge.
In this wide-ranging analysis, W. Lawrence Hogue argues that African American life and history is more diverse than even African American critics generally acknowledge. Focusing on literary representations of African American males in particular, Hogue examines works by James Weldon Johnson, William Melvin Kelley, Charles Wright, Nathan Heard, Clarence Major, James Earl Hardy, and Don Belton to see how they portray middle-class, Christian, subaltern, voodoo, urban, jazz/blues, postmodern, and gay African American cultures. Hogue shows that this polycentric perspective can move beyond a "racial uplift" approach to African American literature and history and help paint a clearer picture of the rich diversity of African American life and culture.
In this strong argument for taking America's African heritage seriously, historian Piersen has followed his award-winning Black Yankees ( LJ 2/1/88) with a remarkable study of how a coherent African cosmology has shaped and shared U.S. culture from earliest times. Ranging from subjects as diverse as moral truth to holistic medicine and cooking, he shows African hands fashioning the American soul, mind, and body. From architectural styles to habits of work, modes of speech, musical traditions, and celebrations, African peoples have configured American culture. Piersen's deeply instructive analysis supplements Melville Herskovits's classic The Myth of the Negro Past (1941) and joins recent works such as Leland Ferguson's Uncommon Ground ( LJ 1/91) and William L. Van Deburg's New Day in Babylon ( LJ 8/92) in weaving the intricate African American elements into the fabric of U.S. culture.