Book cover of May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem by Imani Perry
Entertainment

May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem

The twin acts of singing and fighting for freedom have been inseparable in African American history. May We Forever Stand tells an essential part of that story. With lyrics penned by James Weldon Johnson and music composed by his brother Rosamond, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was embraced almost immediately as an anthem that captured the story and the aspirations of black Americans. Since the song’s creation, it has been adopted by the NAACP and performed by countless artists in times of both crisis and celebration, cementing its place in African American life up through the present day. […Learn More]

Book cover of Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing by Wil Haygood
History

Tigerland: 1968-1969: A City Divided, a Nation Torn Apart, and a Magical Season of Healing

Against the backdrop of one of the most tumultuous periods in recent American history, as riots and demonstrations spread across the nation, the Tigers of poor, segregated East High School in Columbus, Ohio did something no team from one school had ever done before: they won the state basketball and baseball championships in the same year. They defeated bigger, richer, whiter teams across the state and along the way brought blacks and whites together, eased a painful racial divide throughout the state, and overcame extraordinary obstacles on their road to success. […Learn More]

Book cover of Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America by Kali Nicole Gross
Biography & Autobiography

Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America

Shortly after a dismembered torso was discovered by a pond outside Philadelphia in 1887, investigators homed in on two suspects: Hannah Mary Tabbs, a married, working-class, black woman, and George Wilson, a former neighbor whom Tabbs implicated after her arrest.

As details surrounding the shocking case emerged, both the crime and ensuing trial–which spanned several months–were featured in the national press. The trial brought otherwise taboo subjects such as illicit sex, adultery, and domestic violence in the black community to public attention. […Learn More]

Book Cover of The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits by Tiya Miles
History

The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits

The prizewinning, nationally celebrated account of the slave origins of a major northern city

A brilliant paradigm-shifting book that “transports the reader back to the eighteenth century and brings to life a multiracial community that began in slavery” (The New York Times), The Dawn of Detroitreveals for the first time that slavery was at the heart of the Midwest’s iconic city. Hailed by Publishers Weekly in a starred review as “a necessary work of powerful, probing scholarship,” The Dawn of Detroitmeticulously uncovers the experience of the unfree—both native and African American—in a place wildly remote yet at the center of national and international conflict. […Learn More]

Politics & Social Science

Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, an  “illuminating” (New York Times Book Review) history of white male identity.

What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual accomplishments? […Learn More]

Computers & Technology

The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another

In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. Finalist for the 41st Los Angeles Times Book Award in Science and Technology and selected as one of the Best Summer Science Books Of 2020 by Science Friday.  […Learn More]

History

Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America

Just as The Color of Law provided a vital understanding of redlining and racial segregation, Marcia Chatelain’s Franchise investigates the complex interrelationship between black communities and America’s largest, most popular fast food chain. Taking us from the first McDonald’s drive-in in San Bernardino to the franchise on Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri, in the summer of 2014, Chatelain shows how fast food is a source of both power―economic and political―and despair for African Americans. As she contends, fast food is, more than ever before, a key battlefield in the fight for racial justice.  […Learn More]

Book cover of Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir by Natasha Trethewey
Biography & Autobiography

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir

A chillingly personal and exquisitely wrought memoir of a daughter reckoning with the brutal murder of her mother at the hands of her former stepfather, and the moving, intimate story of a poet coming into her own in the wake of a tragedy.

At age 19, Natasha Trethewey had her world turned upside down when her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. […Learn More]