Tag Archives: Black History Month

New Releases in African American Studies

In honor of Black History Month, we’re featuring our favorite new releases in the fields of Civil Rights history and African American studies. Which ones will you read?


untitledFaith in Black Power: Religion, Race, and Resistance in Cairo, Illinois

In 1969, nineteen-year-old Robert Hunt was found dead in the Cairo, Illinois, police station. The white authorities ruled the death a suicide, but many members of the African American community believed that Hunt had been murdered—a sentiment that sparked rebellions and protests across the city.

In this vital reassessment of the impact of religion on the black power movement, Kerry Pimblott presents a nuanced discussion of the ways in which black churches supported and shaped the United Front. She deftly challenges conventional narratives of the de-Christianization of the movement, revealing that Cairoites embraced both old-time religion and revolutionary thought. Pimblott also investigates the impact of female leaders on the organization and their influence on young activists, offering new perspectives on the hypermasculine image of black power.

Purchase Here


untitledSelma to Saigon: The Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War

The civil rights and anti–Vietnam War movements were the two greatest protests of twentieth-century America. The dramatic escalation of U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1965 took precedence over civil rights legislation, which had dominated White House and congressional attention during the first half of the decade. The two issues became intertwined on January 6, 1966, when the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) became the first civil rights organization to formally oppose the war, protesting the injustice of drafting African Americans to fight for the freedom of the South Vietnamese people when they were still denied basic freedoms at home.

Selma to Saigon explores the impact of the Vietnam War on the national civil rights movement. This powerful narrative illuminates the effects of the Vietnam War on the lives of leaders such as Whitney Young Jr., Stokely Carmichael, Roy Wilkins, Bayard Rustin, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as other activists who faced the threat of the military draft along with race-related discrimination and violence. Providing new insights into the evolution of the civil rights movement, this book fills a significant gap in the literature about one of the most tumultuous periods in American history.

Purchase Here


miller_integrated_final.indd Integrated: The Lincoln Institute, Basketball, and a Vanished Tradition

In Integrated, James W. Miller explores an often-ignored aspect of America’s struggle for racial equality. He relates the story of the Lincoln Institute—an all-black high school in Shelby County, Kentucky, where students prospered both in the classroom and on the court. In 1960, the Lincoln Tigers men’s basketball team defeated three all-white schools to win the regional tournament and advance to one of Kentucky’s most popular events, the state high school basketball tournament. This proud tradition of African American schools—a celebration of their athletic achievements—was ironically destroyed by integration.

This evocative book is enriched by tales of individual courage from men who defied comfort and custom. Featuring accounts from former Lincoln Institute players, students, and teachers, Integrated not only documents the story of a fractured sports tradition but also addresses the far-reaching impact of the civil rights movement in the South.

Purchase Here


9780813169743Alpha Phi Alpha: A Legacy of Greatness, the Demands of Transcendence

On December 4, 1906, on Cornell University’s campus, seven black men founded one of the greatest and most enduring organizations in American history. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. has brought together and shaped such esteemed men as Martin Luther King Jr., Cornel West, Thurgood Marshall, Wes Moore, W. E. B. DuBois, Roland Martin, and Paul Robeson. “Born in the shadow of slavery and on the lap of disenfranchisement,” Alpha Phi Alpha—like other black Greek-letter organizations—was founded to instill a spirit of high academic achievement and intellectualism, foster meaningful and lifelong ties, and racially uplift those brothers who would be initiated into its ranks.

In Alpha Phi Alpha, Gregory S. Parks, Stefan M. Bradley, and other contributing authors analyze the fraternity and its members’ fidelity to the founding precepts set forth in 1906. They discuss the identity established by the fraternity at its inception, the challenges of protecting the image and brand, and how the organization can identify and train future Alpha men to uphold the standards of an outstanding African American fraternity. Drawing on organizational identity theory and a diverse array of methodologies, the authors raise and answer questions that are relevant not only to Alpha Phi Alpha but to all black Greek-letter organizations.

Purchase Here


9780813169750Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-First Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun

For much of the twentieth century, black Greek-letter organizations (BGLOs) united individuals dedicated to excellence, fostering kinship ties, and uplifting African Americans. Despite the profound influence of BGLOs, many now question the continuing relevance of these groups, arguing that their golden age has passed. Partly because of the influence of hip-hop culture, the image of BGLOs has been unfairly reduced to a stereotype—a world of hazing and stepping without any real substance. Not only does the general public know very little about these groups, but often the members themselves do not have a deep understanding of their history and culture or of the issues facing their organizations.

Gregory S. Parks has assembled an impressive group of contributors to show that the BGLOs’ most important work lies ahead. Black Greek-letter Organizations in the Twenty-first Century: Our Fight Has Just Begun provides historical context for the development of BGLOs and explores their service activities as well as their relationships with other prominent African American institutions. The book examines BGLOs’ responses to a number of contemporary issues, including non-black membership, homosexuality within membership, and the perception of BGLOs as educated gangs, in order to demonstrate that these organizations can create a positive and enduring future.

Purchase Here


Visit our website to explore more titles in our series, Civil Rights and the Struggle for Black Equality in the Twentieth Century.

Advertisements
The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia

The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville

The editors of The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia will participate in a panel discussion this Wednesday, August 19 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville at 6:00 pm. Sponsored by the Filson Historical Society, editors Gerald L. Smith, John Hardin, and Karen Cotton McDaniel will present individuals, events, places, organizations, movements and institutions that have shaped Kentucky’s history. Admission to the event is FREE. For more information on the event, visit FilsonHistorical.org. For more information on The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia, or to purchase the book, visit KentuckyPress.com.

from WHAS 11 Great Day Live (click for video)

WHAS Mack McCormick University Press of Kentucky Kentucky African American Encyclopedia

The Olympics and Civil Rights, and the History of Discrimination in Sports

The continuing LGBT controversy and protests at the Winter Olympics in Sochi bring to mind other discrimination protests in Olympics past. In his book Sidelined: How American Sports Challenged the Black Freedom StruggleSimon Henderson discusses black Olympians’ Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics against racial discrimination. After receiving their medals, Smith and Carlos raised their black-gloved fists in a protest that led to this iconic image.


As Henderson writes, the Olympics has long been a platform for protest and “political symbolism.” This tradition continues today at the Sochi Olympics. For further reading, check out this article from playthegame.org that discusses the presence of athlete activists in Sochi and in Olympics past. Pick up a copy of Sidelined from the University Press of Kentucky as a celebration of both the Olympics and Black History Month!

A Closer Look at “Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP”

Dr. Yvonne Ryan sits down with KTNF’s Jack Rice to discuss her new book, Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP. Focusing on the Civil Rights activist, they consider Wilkin’s role with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in changing the culture of American and what his legacy is. Click the image below to check out the interview!

In Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP, Yvonne Ryan offers the first biography of this influential activist, as well as an analysis of his significant contributions to civil rights in America. Wilkins spent forty-six years of his life serving the NAACP and was the organization’s leader for more than twenty years. Under his leadership, the NAACP spearheaded efforts that contributed to landmark civil rights legislation, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. The quiet revolutionary, who spent his life navigating the Washington political system, affirmed the extraordinary and courageous efforts of the many men and women who braved the dangers of the southern streets and challenged injustice to achieve equal rights for all Americans.

A Look Inside “Appalachian Elegy”

To promote this week’s giveaway, we’re featuring poems from Appalachian Elegy by author, activist, and educator bell hooks. One of our favorites speaks of freeing oneself and enjoying life in the Kentucky hills:

landingpg_mountains4[1]23.

bring Buddha
to rest home
in Kentucky hills
that outside each window
a light may shine
not a guilt teaching tradition
be balanced
know loving kindness
end suffering
rejoice in the oneness of life
then let go
carry nothing on your back
travel empty
as you climb steep mountain paths

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway by 1 pm tomorrow (Friday, February 8) for a chance to win Appalachian Elegy!

An Inspired Giveaway: Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks

bell hooksThis week, we’re giving away a copy of Appalachian Elegy by bell hooks. Respond by Friday, February 8 at 1:00 pm for your chance to win!

Author, activist, feminist, teacher, and artist bell hooks is celebrated as one of the nation’s leading intellectuals. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, hooks drew her unique pseudonym from the name of her grandmother, an intelligent and strong-willed African American woman who inspired her to stand up against a dominating Appalachian Elegyand repressive society.

Gloria Steinem has said of Appalachian Elegy: “Readers who know and love bell hooks will discover the source of her strength. New readers will find a unique voice and the universal strength of our natural world. All of us will find the wild within ourselves.”

This week, we’re featuring this notable book on our blog and will give away a copy to a lucky winner. To enter our giveaway, fill in the required fields below with your name and contact information. We will randomly select one winner on Friday, February 8 at 1:00 pm.

Good luck, and spread the word!

[googleapps domain=”docs” dir=”spreadsheet/embeddedform” query=”formkey=dHE4Y2JCcnptMkM1MzR4ZVdaY0VscEE6MA” width=”760″ height=”1832″ /]