January 28, 2011
A History of the First Black Auto Manufacturers
The C. R. Patterson and Sons Company conducted business in Greenfield, Ohio, from 1865-1939. Founded by slave-born Charles Richard (C.R.) Patterson, this company passed through three generations of the Patterson family. Throughout its history the company transitioned from building carriages, automobiles, trucks, and then buses, all in order to keep up with the rapidly changing demands and technology of the transportation industry during that period. When C. R.’s son, Frederick, began producing automobiles in 1915, he became the first and only black ever known to have built an automobile. This company led many pioneering efforts in providing proper vehicles for both horse-drawn and motorized school transportation and was also an industry leader in winter buggy design. The Pattersons always tried to find their niche within the transportation industry where they could remain competitive and achieve continued success. Their influence reached well beyond the transportation industry as they broke several color barriers in education, sports, and politics. The family was highly involved in many areas including Freemasonry, politics, and aiding Booker T. Washington in the founding of the National Negro Business League.
This company and family have a unique history, and a thoroughly detailed account has never been told that fully documents their story of overcoming adversity and surviving for 74 years in the white dominated business world. This book provides as many details as possible about the Patterson family from their arrival in Greenfield during the early 1840s until 1939 when a series of multiple factors, including the Great Depression, caused the family to finally lock the factory doors and close their unique chapter in history.
This 214 page book includes 37 photographs and other illustrations of the Patterson family, factory, and their products. This non-fiction history of the Pattersons is an adaptation of a Master’s thesis and has been peer reviewed for content and accuracy. Initially written for an academic audience, the text is still readily understood by those of high school age and above. This book provides a never before seen glimpse into the lives of the Pattersons through conducting exhaustive research to discover those obscure gems of information that have remained hidden until now, yet adds so much to the overall story of this family and company.
About the author: Christopher Nelson has a background in Archaeology and History. Mr. Nelson holds three degrees in Archaeology and is a Registered Professional Archaeologist. He has a special interest in the history of transportation, particularly during the nineteenth and early twentieth century’s and has worked on multiple projects within this topic during his career.
By Christopher Nelson 2010.
Available on Amazon.com or by contacting publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org
October 11, 2010
From a master historian, the story of Lincoln’s — and the nation’s — transformation through the crucible of slavery and emancipation. In this landmark work of deep scholarship and insight, Eric Foner gives us the definitive history of Lincoln and the end of slavery in America. Foner begins with Lincoln’s youth in Indiana and Illinois and follows the trajectory of his career across an increasingly tense and shifting political terrain from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Although “naturally anti-slavery” for as long as he can remember, Lincoln scrupulously holds to the position that the Constitution protects the institution in the original slave states. But the political landscape is transformed in 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska Act makes the expansion of slavery a national issue.
A man of considered words and deliberate actions, Lincoln navigates the dynamic politics deftly, taking measured steps, often along a path forged by abolitionists and radicals in his party. Lincoln rises to leadership in the new Republican Party by calibrating his politics to the broadest possible antislavery coalition. As president of a divided nation and commander in chief at war, displaying a similar compound of pragmatism and principle, Lincoln finally embraces what he calls the Civil War’s “fundamental and astounding” result: the immediate, uncompensated abolition of slavery and recognition of blacks as American citizens.
Foner’s Lincoln emerges as a leader, one whose greatness lies in his capacity for moral and political growth through real engagement with allies and critics alike. This powerful work will transform our understanding of the nation’s greatest president and the issue that mattered most. 16 pages black-and-white illustrations and 3 maps
W. W. Norton & Company
Available October 4, 2010 in Hardcover
August 19, 2010
The Warmth of Other Suns:
The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson
Available September 7, 2010 in Hardcover
In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.
Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
April 25, 2010
Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin
by Hampton Sides
Available 04/27/10 in Hardcover
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and Blood and Thunder, a taut, intense narrative about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the largest manhunt in American history.
On April 23, 1967, Prisoner #416J, an inmate at the notorious Missouri State Penitentiary, escaped in a breadbox. Fashioning himself Eric Galt, this nondescript thief and con man — whose real name was James Earl Ray — drifted through the South, into Mexico, and then Los Angeles, where he was galvanized by George Wallace’s racist presidential campaign.
On February 1, 1968, two Memphis garbage men were crushed to death in their hydraulic truck, provoking the exclusively African American workforce to go on strike. Hoping to resuscitate his faltering crusade, King joined the sanitation workers’ cause, but their march down Beale Street, the historic avenue of the blues, turned violent. Humiliated, King fatefully vowed to return to Memphis in April.
With relentless storytelling drive, Sides follows Galt and King as they crisscross the country, one stalking the other, until the crushing moment at the Lorraine Motel when the drifter catches up with his prey. Against the backdrop of the resulting nationwide riots and the pathos of King’s funeral, Sides gives us a riveting cross-cut narrative of the assassin’s flight and the sixty-five-day search that led investigators to Canada, Portugal, and England — a massive manhunt ironically led by Hoover’s FBI. Magnificent in scope, drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material, this nonfiction thriller illuminates one of the darkest hours in American life — an example of how history is so often a matter of the petty bringing down the great.
April 25, 2010
Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940
(New Directions in Southern Studies)
by Amy Louise Wood
The University of North Carolina Press
Available 05/01/09 in Hardcover
Lynch mobs in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America often exacted horrifying public torture and mutilation on their victims. In Lynching and Spectacle, Amy Wood explains what it meant for white Americans to perform and witness these sadistic spectacles and what they derived from them.
Lynching, Wood argues, overlapped with a wide range of cultural practices and performances, both traditional and modern, including public executions, religious rituals, photography, and cinema. The connections between lynching and these practices encouraged the horrific violence committed and gave it social acceptability. Wood expounds on the critical role lynching spectacles played in establishing and affirming white supremacy at the turn of the century, particularly in towns and cities experiencing great social instability and change. She also shows how the national dissemination of lynching images fueled the momentum of the antilynching movement and ultimately led to the decline of lynching. By examining lynching spectacles alongside both traditional and modern practices and within both local and national contexts, Wood reconfigures our understanding of lynching’s relationship to modern life.
November 16, 2009
Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. As a U.S. Marshal – and former slave who escaped to freedom in the Indian Territories – Bass was cunning and fearless. When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn’t like the notion of a black lawman. For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty. Bad News for Outlaws reveals the story of a remarkable African American hero of the Old West.
February 19, 2009
Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans
by by Roland Laird (Author), Taneshia Nash Laird (Author), Charles Johnson (Foreword), Elihu “Adofo” Bey (Illustrator)
Still I Rise is a critically acclaimed work with an impressive scope: the entire history of Black America, told in an accessible graphic-novel form. Updated from its original version – which ended with the Million Man March – it now extends from the early days of colonial slavery right through to Barack Obama’s groundbreaking presidential campaign. Compared by many to Art Spiegelman’s Maus, Still I Rise is a breathtaking achievement that celebrates the collective African-American memory, imagination, and spirit.
January 2, 2009
The Ties That Bind: A Memoir of Race, Memory and Redemption
by Bertice Berry
When novelist Bertice Berry set out to write a history of her family, she initially believed she would uncover a story of slavery and black pain, but the deeper she dug, the more surprises she found. There was heartache, yes, but also something unexpected: hope. Peeling away the layers, Berry came to learn that the history of slavery cannot be quantified in simple, black-and-white terms of “good” and “evil” but is rather a complex tapestry of roles and relations, of choices and individual responsibility.
In this poignant, reflective memoir, Berry skillfully relays the evolution of relations between the races, from slavery to Reconstruction, from the struggles of the Civil Rights movement and the Black Power 1970s, and on to the present day. In doing so, she sheds light on a picture of the past that not only liberates but also unites and evokes the need to forgive and be forgiven.
November 6, 2008
Race Course Against White Supremacy
by William C. Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn
Available June 2009
White supremacy and its troubling endurance in American life is debated in these personal essays by two veteran political activists. Arguing that white supremacy has been the dominant political system in the United States since its earliest days — and that it is still very much with us — the discussion points to unexamined bigotry in the criminal justice system, election processes, war policy, and education. The book draws upon the authors’ own confrontations with authorities during the Vietnam era, reasserts their belief that racism and war are interwoven issues, and offers personal stories about their lives today as parents, teachers, and reformers.