Book cover of Claude McKay: The Making of a Black Bolshevik by Winston James
Biography & Autobiography

Claude McKay: The Making of a Black Bolshevik

One of the foremost Black writers and intellectuals of his era, Claude McKay (1889–1948) was a central figure in Caribbean literature, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Black radical tradition. McKay’s life and writing were defined by his class consciousness and anticolonialism, shaped by his experiences growing up in colonial Jamaica as well as his early career as a writer in Harlem and then London. […Learn More]

Book cover of Just Us: An American Conversation by Claudia Rankine
Politics & Social Science

Just Us: An American Conversation

In Just Us, Claudia Rankine invites us into a necessary conversation about Whiteness in America. What would it take for us to breach the silence, guilt, and violence that arise from addressing Whiteness for what it is? What are the consequences if we keep avoiding this conversation? What might it look like if we step into it? “I learned early that being right pales next to staying in the room,” she writes. […Learn More]

Book cover of How to Make a Slave and Other Essays by Jerald Walker
Biography & Autobiography

How to Make a Slave and Other Essays 

For the black community, Jerald Walker asserts in How to Make a Slave, “anger is often a prelude to a joke, as there is broad understanding that the triumph over this destructive emotion lay in finding its punchline.” It is on the knife’s edge between fury and farce that the essays in this exquisite collection balance. Whether confronting the medical profession’s racial biases, considering the complicated legacy of Michael Jackson, paying homage to his writing mentor James Alan McPherson, or attempting to break free of personal and societal stereotypes, Walker elegantly blends personal revelation and cultural critique. […Learn More]

Book cover of How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: Essays by Kiese Laymon
Politics & Social Science

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: Essays

A revised collection with thirteen essays, including six new to this edition and seven from the original edition, by the “star in the American literary firmament, with a voice that is courageous, honest, loving, and singularly beautiful” (NPR).

Brilliant and uncompromising, piercing and funny, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America is essential reading. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Age of Phillis by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers
Fiction

The Age of Phillis

In 1773, a young, African American woman named Phillis Wheatley published a book of poetry that challenged Western prejudices about African and female intellectual capabilities. Based on fifteen years of archival research,The Age of Phillis, by award-winning writer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, imagines the life and times of Wheatley: her childhood in the Gambia, West Africa, her life with her white American owners, her friendship with Obour Tanner, and her marriage to the enigmatic John Peters. Woven throughout are poems about Wheatley’s “age”―the era that encompassed political, philosophical, and religious upheaval, as well as the transatlantic slave trade. […Learn More]

Book cover of Thick: And Other Essays
Politics & Social Science

Thick: And Other Essays

In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom—award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed—is unapologetically “thick”: deemed “thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,” McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work. Thick “transforms narrative moments into analyses of whiteness, black misogyny, and status-signaling as means of survival for black women” […Learn More]

Book cover of A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib
Entertainment

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance

From breakout writer and peerless new voice Hanif Abdurraqib, the New York Times bestselling author of Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest, comes a personal and introspective examination of black performance in America, in which race, history, culture, and entertainment collide.

They Don’t Dance No Mo’ is an urgent project that unravels all modes and methods of black performance, in this moment when black performers are coming to terms with their value, reception, and immense impact on America. […Learn More]