African American History

Pink and Say

Pink and Say

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When Sheldon Russell Curtis told this story to his daughter, Rosa, she kept every word in her heart and was to retell it many times.
I will tell it in Sheldon's own words as nearly as I can.

He was wounded in a fierce battle and left for dead in a pasture somewhere in Georgia when Pinkus found him. Pinkus' skin was the color of polished mahogany, and he was flying Union colors like the wounded boy, and he picked him up out of the field and brought him to where the black soldier's mother, Moe Moe Bay, lived. She had soft, gentle hands and cared for him and her Pink.

But the two boys were putting her in danger, two Union soldiers in Confederate territory! They had to get back to their outfits. Scared and uncertain, the boys were faced with a hard decision, and then marauding Confederate troops rode in.

In this Civil War story passed from great-grandfather to grandmother, to son, and finally to the author-artist herself, Patricia Polacco once again celebrates the shared humanity of the peoples of this world.

Niagara Movement Postcard

POSTCARD Niagara Movement

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Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

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The poems in this volume were chosen by Hughes himself shortly before his death in 1967 and encompass work from his entire career. His poetry launched a revolution among black writers in America.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

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Illus. in full color. As a seamstress in the Big House, Clara dreams of a
reunion with her Momma, who lives on another plantation--and even of running
away to freedom. Then she overhears two slaves talking about the Underground
Railroad. In a flash of inspiration, Clara sees how she can use the cloth in
her scrap bag to make a map of the land--a freedom quilt--that no master will
ever suspect. "A particularly effective way to introduce the subject to younger
children, adding a trenchant immediacy to their understanding of a difficult
but important chapter in the country's past."--(starred) "Horn Book."
"This first-rate book is a triumph of the heart."--(starred) "Publishers
Weekly.
"
Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown

Terrible Swift Sword: The Legacy of John Brown

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More than two centuries after his birth and almost a century and a half after his death, the legendary life and legacy of John Brown go marching on. Variously deemed martyr, madman, monster, terrorist, and saint, he remains one of the most controversial figures in America's history. Brown's actions in Kansas and Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, provided major catalysts for the American Civil War, actions that continue today to evoke commendation or provoke condemnation.

Through the prisms of history, literature, psychology, criminal justice, oral history, African American studies, political science, film studies, and anthropology, Terrible Swift Sword offers insights not only into John Brown's controversial character and motives, but also into the nature of a troubled society before, during, and after the Civil War. The discussions include reasons why Brown's contemporaries supported him, attempts to define Brown using different criteria, analyses of Brown's behavior, his depiction in literature, and examinations of the iconography surrounding him.

The interdisciplinary focus marshalled by editor Peggy A. Russo makes Terrible Swift Sword unique, and this, together with the popular mythology surrounding the legend of John Brown, will appeal to a broad audience of readers interested in this turbulent moment in American history.Paul Finkelman is Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law. He is the author of many articles and books, including His Soul Goes Marching On: Responses to John Brown and the Harpers Ferry Raid and the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference Peggy Russo is an assistant professor of English at the Mont Alto Campus of Pennsylvania State University. She has published in Shakespeare Bulletin, The Southern Literary Journal, Journal of American Culture, Shakespeare and the Classroom, and Civil War Book Review.
The Family Tree of R&B

The Family Tree of R&B

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The Family Tree of R&B documents how America's pools of regional music overflowed in the mid-20th century to merge into rhythm and blues. Within the span of a lifetime, R&B sprouted from its ethnic roots to become the predominant popular music of the entire world.
Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio

Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio

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A remarkable visual record of Cleveland's African American community spanning five decades

During the Great Depression, photographer Allen Eugene Cole posted a sign in front of his studio in Cleveland's Central neighborhood: somebody, somewhere, wants your photograph. An entrepreneurial businessman with a keen ability to market his images of Cleveland's black experience, Cole was deeply immersed in civic life. A founder and treasurer of the Progressive Business League, Cole was an officer of the Dunbar Life Insurance Co., a member of St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, and active in the Elks and Masons. For years he was the only black member of the Cleveland Society of Professional Photographers. Well into the 1960s his photographs appeared regularly in the Call & Post, Cleveland's African American weekly newspaper.

A migrant to Cleveland in 1917, Allen Cole developed an interest in photography while employed as a waiter at the Cleveland Athletic Club. By 1922 he had opened his first studio at home, enlarging it over the years. It was in this studio that he photographed Perry B. Jackson, Ohio's first African American judge.

The images of Jackson and the hundreds of other African Americans included in this volume were chosen from the thousands of photographs in the Allen Cole Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society. They illustrate the diverse experiences among Cleveland's vibrant African American community. Social organizations, women's and men's clubs, civic and church groups, schoolchildren and teachers, businessmen, and politicians are all included in this charming and unique collection. In the accompanying text authors Samuel Black and Regennia Williams place Cole and his comprehensive visual catalog in the context of African American history and the Great Migration.

Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole mines Cole's exceptional midtwentieth-century photographic chronicle of African American life and will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in American history, as well as specialists in African studies, history, sociology, urban affairs, and the photographic arts.

Tie that Bound Us The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism

Tie that Bound Us The Women of John Brown's Family and the Legacy of Radical Abolitionism

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John Brown was fiercely committed to the militant abolitionist cause, a crusade that culminated in Brown's raid on the Federal armory at Harpers Ferry in 1859 and his subsequent execution. Less well known is his devotion to his family, and they to him. Two of Brown's sons were killed at Harpers Ferry, but the commitment of his wife and daughters often goes unacknowledged. In The Tie That Bound Us, Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz reveals for the first time the depth of the Brown women's involvement in his cause and their crucial roles in preserving and transforming his legacy after his death.As detailed by Laughlin-Schultz, Brown's second wife Mary Ann Day Brown and his daughters Ruth Brown Thompson, Annie Brown Adams, Sarah Brown, and Ellen Brown Fablinger were in many ways the most ordinary of women, contending with chronic poverty and lives that were quite typical for poor, rural nineteenth-century women. However, they also lived extraordinary lives, crossing paths with such figures as Frederick Douglass and Lydia Maria Child and embracing an abolitionist moral code that sanctioned antislavery violence in place of the more typical female world of petitioning and pamphleteering.In the aftermath of John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry, the women of his family experienced a particular kind of celebrity among abolitionists and the American public. In their roles as what daughter Annie called relics of Brown's raid, they tested the limits of American memory of the Civil War, especially the war's most radical aim: securing racial equality. Because of their longevity (Annie, the last of Brown's daughters, died in 1926) and their position as symbols of the most radical form of abolitionist agitation, the story of the Brown women illuminates the changing nature of how Americans remembered Brown's raid, radical antislavery, and the causes and consequences of the Civil War.
Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell

Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell

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Born into slavery during the Civil War, Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) would become one of the most prominent activists of her time, with a career bridging the late nineteenth century to the civil rights movement of the 1950s. The first president of the National Association of Colored Women and a founding member of the NAACP, Terrell collaborated closely with the likes of Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, and W. E. B. Du Bois. Unceasing Militant is the first full-length biography of Terrell, bringing her vibrant voice and personality to life. Though most accounts of Terrell focus almost exclusively on her public activism, Alison M. Parker also looks at the often turbulent, unexplored moments in her life to provide a more complete account of a woman dedicated to changing the culture and institutions that perpetuated inequality throughout the United States.

Drawing on newly discovered letters and diaries, Parker weaves together the joys and struggles of Terrell's personal, private life with the challenges and achievements of her public, political career, producing a stunning portrait of an often-under recognized political leader.



Under the Freedom Tree

Under the Freedom Tree

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Taut free verse tells the little-known story of the first contraband camp of the Civil War--seen by some historians as the "beginning of the end of slavery in America." One night in 1861, three escaped slaves made their way from the Confederate line to a Union-held fort. The runaways were declared "contraband of war" and granted protection. As word spread, thousands of runaway slaves poured into the fort, seeking their freedom. These "contrabands" made a home for themselves, building the first African American community in the country. In 1863, they bore witness to one of the first readings of the Emancipation Proclamation in the South--beneath the sheltering branches of the tree now known as Emancipation Oak.