Tag Archives: race

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Spiegel & Grau
July 14, 2015
Hardcover

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates‘s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son — and readers — the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Mixed Me! by Taye Diggs and Shane W. Evans

Feiwel & Friends
October 6, 2015
Hardcover

Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light:
“We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right.”

Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them.

Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.

White Girls by Hilton Als


Hardcover
McSweeney’s
November 12, 2013
White Girls, Hilton Als’s first book since The Women fourteen years ago, finds one of The New Yorker‘s boldest cultural critics deftly weaving together his brilliant analyses of literature, art, and music with fearless insights on race, gender, and history. The result is an extraordinary, complex portrait of “white girls,” as Als dubs them—an expansive but precise category that encompasses figures as diverse as Truman Capote and Louise Brooks, Malcolm X and Flannery O’Connor. In pieces that hairpin between critique and meditation, fiction and nonfiction, high culture and low, the theoretical and the deeply personal, Als presents a stunning portrait of a writer by way of his subjects, and an invaluable guide to the culture of our time.

Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches from a Black Journalista by Erin Aubry Kaplan

Los Angeles has had a ringside seat during the long last century of racial struggle in America. The bouts have been over money and jobs and police brutality, over politics and poetry and rap and basketball. Minimizing blackness itself has been touted as the logical and ideal solution to the struggle, but in Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line, Erin Aubry Kaplan begs to differ. With eloquence, wit, and high prose style she crafts a series of compelling arguments against black eclipse.

Here are thirty-three insightful and wide-ranging pieces of literary, cultural, political, and personal reporting on the contemporary black American experience. Drawn from the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Salon.com, and elsewhere, this collection also features major new articles on President Barack Obama, black and Hispanic conflicts, and clinical depression. In each, Kaplan argues with meticulous observation, razor-sharp intelligence, and sparkling prose against the trend of black erasure, and for the expansion of horizons of the black American story.

Nettie Parker’s Backyard

Ask anyone who knows Nettie Parker, and they’ll say that she’s an amazing, mystical woman…what else would you call someone who receives supernatural signs sent just to them? And being able to live longer than anyone else? That alone is pretty amazing! Nettie’s been through many hardships in her life, and she’s learned first-hand that prejudice can be a multi-headed dragon. but her courage and determination show others that differences in skin color or in physical abilities don’t matter. In fact, as Nettie and her fighter-pilot husband both get caught up in World War II, survival becomes what matters most-not just for them, but also for the eight Jewish refugee children she comes to care for. Now Nettie faces her toughest struggle yet: uncovering the mystery of her supernatural signs and the purpose of her unusually long life. Do the strange statues that suddenly appear in her backyard point to any clues? Halley, Nettie’s young friend, plays detective as she re-visits Nettie’s past, a journey that takes the reader from South Carolina to England and back again. Can Halley put all the pieces together and solve the puzzle?

Nettie Parker’s Backyard is the story of a mystical, wonderful African-American Gullah woman and the supernatural signs she receives, which guide her to care for eight Jewish child refugees in WWII London. The special bonds they form are so strong, nothing can break them: neither time nor distance, proving love is the greatest force of all in a surprise twist ending. Important themes of anti-bullying and tolerance toward all, regardless of race, religion or physical challenges are woven into this historical-fiction mystery, and contains something to which every child, ages 9-13, can relate.

Bullying has become a global problem for today’s youth, and hate-crime rates continue to skyrocket. The characters in my book have little in common: they are from various countries, cultures and religious backgrounds…yet it all works! My book inspires the reader to see that what matters is the “core” of each person, and that acceptance of others and their differences truly means enriching themselves.

SELLOUT by James W. Lewis

The Pantheon Collective (TPC)
Available June 7, 2010 in Paperback

People who date interracially are often called traitors to their own kind. Self-haters. Sellouts.

Loan Officer Tammy McDonald has just come out of another failed relationship with a wannabe thug. To break this destructive pattern, she leaves her home city of Dallas for San Diego. As she settles in rainbow California, fantasies of meeting an ebony prince fade, so she eyes Dale Bristol as a potential ivory replacement.

Terrell Jackson is San Diego’s only black optometrist. Women regularly drop in for more than just eye exams, but he stays true to his girl Tasha until a wet dream unleashes a ridiculous outburst. Fed up with her jealous fits, he denounces the common “dedramanators” in his life-black women.

Even though Penelope Miller was raised in the South by a racist father once affiliated with the KKK, she can’t ignore her attraction to black men. But she never expected to fall in love with one…nor did she expect her “interracial felony” to threaten their lives.

SELLOUT follows these three individuals and the consequences of dating outside their race. In the quest to find what they think is missing in their lives, they encounter guilt, fear and mess they never anticipated…including murder