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A vivid history of life in Princeton, New Jersey, told through the voices of its African American residents I Hear My People Singing shines a light on a small but historic black neighborhood at the heart of one of the most elite and world-renowned Ivy-League towns--Princeton, New Jersey. The vivid first-person accounts of more than fifty black residents detail aspects of their lives throughout the twentieth century. Their stories show that the roots of Princeton's African American community are as deeply intertwined with the town and university as they are with the history of the United States, the legacies of slavery, and the nation's current conversations on race. Drawn from an oral history collaboration with residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson neighborhood, Princeton undergraduates, and their professor, Kathryn Watterson, neighbors speak candidly about Jim Crow segregation, the consequences of school integration, World Wars I and II, and the struggles for equal opportunities and civil rights. Despite three centuries of legal and economic obstacles, African American residents have created a flourishing, ethical, and humane neighborhood in which to raise their children, care for the sick and elderly, worship, stand their ground, and celebrate life. Abundantly filled with photographs, I Hear My People Singing personalizes the injustices faced by generations of black Princetonians--including the famed Paul Robeson--and highlights the community's remarkable achievements. The introductions to each chapter provide historical context, as does the book's foreword by noted scholar, theologian, and activist Cornel West. An intimate testament of the black community's resilience and ingenuity, I Hear My People Singing adds a never-before-compiled account of poignant black experience to an American narrative that needs to be heard now more than ever.
""You can't lead the people if you don't love the people. You can't save the people if you don't serve the people."" The "New York Times "bestselling author of "Race Matters "and "Democracy Matters "offers provocative, open-hearted wisdom for our times. In a world that yearns for unarmed truth and unconditional love, in the midst of cold greed and blind hatred, "Hope on a Tightrope "offers a new compass. This courageous collection will challenge all those in search of new perspectives and provides deep wells of inspiration that marry the mind to the heart. Whether writing on race and identity, courage and faith, or music and philosophy, Dr. West reveals himself as a brilliant philosopher who loves us enough to make us think. He challenges us, stimulates us and never, ever stops serving us. As you read the book, allow yourself to contemplate Dr. West's wisdom. Let him become your intellectual and spiritual sparring partner, and stand on his shoulders to gain a new view of the world and your place in it.
Profound meditations on life, death, freedom, family, and faith, written by radical Black journalist, Mumia Abu-Jamal, while he was awaiting his execution. "Uncompromising, disturbing . . . Abu-Jamal's voice has the clarity and candor of a man whose impending death emboldens him to say what is on his mind without fear of consequence."-The Boston Globe "A brilliant, lucid meditation on the moral obligation of political commitment by a deeply ethical-and deeply wronged-human being. Mumia should be freed, now."-Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor & Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University "A brilliant, powerful book by a prophetic writer . . . his language glows with an affirming flame."-Jonathan Kozol, author of Death at an Early Age and Rachel and Her Children Journalist and activist Mumia Abu-Jamal has been imprisoned since 1982 for the killing of a police officer, a crime he steadfastly maintained he did not commit. In 1996, after serving more than a decade on death row, and with the likelihood of execution looming, he began receiving regular visits from members of the Bruderhof spiritual community, a group of refugees from Hitler's Germany. Inspired by these encounters, Mumia began to write a series of personal essays reflecting on his search for spiritual meaning within a society plagued by materialism, hypocrisy, and violence. "Many people say it is insane to resist the system," writes Mumia, "but actually it is insane not to." This expanded edition of Death Blossoms brings a classic, influential work back into print with a new introduction by Mumia, and includes the entire text of a groundbreaking report by Amnesty International detailing the legal improprieties and chronic injustices that marred his trial. Praise for Death Blossoms, Expanded Edition: "For years in my classrooms I have watched Death Blossoms do its luminous work. It has awakened the conscience of so many of my student readers. Once awakened, they begin to shoulder the disciplines of its revolutionary knowing, moral passion, historical precision and clarity of reason. No wonder repressive powers seek death for this prisoner of conscience. Alas for them, Mumia still lives. From streets to classrooms and back, Death Blossoms keeps opening up consciences, hearts, and minds for our revolutionary work."-Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, and author of The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World "Targeted by the FBI's COINTELPRO for his revolutionary politics, imprisoned, and sentenced to death, Mumia found freedom in resistance. His reflections here-on race, spirituality, on struggle, and life-illuminate this path to freedom for us all."-Joshua Bloom, co-author with Waldo E. Martin Jr. of Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party "In this revised edition of his groundbreaking work, Death Blossoms, convicted death row prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal tackles hard and existential questions, searching for God and a greater meaning in a caged life that may be cut short if the state has its way and takes his life. As readers follow Mumia's journey through his poems, short essays, and longer musings, they will learn not only about this singular individual who has retained his humanity despite the ever present threat of execution, but also about themselves and our society: what we are willing to tolerate and who we are willing to cast aside. If there is any justice, Mumia will prevail in his battle for his life and for his freedom."-Lara Bazelon, author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction "Mumia Abu-Jamal has challenged us to see the prison at the center of a long history of US oppression, and he has inspired us to keep faith with ordinary struggles against injustice under the most terrible odds and circumstances. Written more than two decades ago, Death Blossoms helps us to see beyond prison walls; it is as timely and as necessary as the day it was published."-Nikhil Pal Singh, founding faculty director of the NYU Prison Education Program, author of Race and America's Long War "For over three decades, the words of Mumia Abu-Jamal have been tools many young activists have used to connect the dots of empire, racism, and resistance. The welcome reissue of Death Blossoms is a chance to reconnect with Abu-Jamal's prophetic voice, one that needs to be heard now more than ever."-Hilary Moore and James Tracy, co-authors of No Fascist USA!, The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today's Movements
"The Power of Religion in the Public Sphere" represents a rare opportunity to experience a diverse group of preeminent philosophers confronting one pervasive contemporary concern: what role does--or should--religion play in our public lives? Reflecting on her recent work concerning state violence in Israel-Palestine, Judith Butler explores the potential of religious perspectives for renewing cultural and political criticism, while J?rgen Habermas, best known for his seminal conception of the public sphere, thinks through the ambiguous legacy of the concept of "the political" in contemporary theory. Charles Taylor argues for a radical redefinition of secularism, and Cornel West defends civil disobedience and emancipatory theology. Eduardo Mendieta and Jonathan VanAntwerpen detail the immense contribution of these philosophers to contemporary social and political theory, and an afterword by Craig Calhoun places these attempts to reconceive the significance of both religion and the secular in the context of contemporary national and international politics.
"The Black Panther Party" represents Black Panther Party members' coordinated responses over the last four decades to the failure of city, state, and federal bureaucrats to address the basic needs of their respective communities. The Party pioneered free social service programs that are now in the mainstream of American life.
The Party's Sickle Cell Anemia Research Foundation, operated with Oakland's Children's Hospital, was among the nation's first such testing programs. Its Free Breakfast Program served as a model for national programs. Other initiatives included free clinics, grocery giveaways, school and education programs, senior programs, and legal aid programs.
Published here for the first time in book form, "The Black Panther Party" makes the case that the programs' methods are viable models for addressing the persistent, basic social injustices and economic problems of today's American cities and suburbs.
Seen around the world, John Carlos and Tommie Smith's Black Power salute on the 1968 Olympic podium sparked controversy and career fallout. Yet their show of defiance remains one of the most iconic images of Olympic history and the Black power movement. Now John Carlos tells his own version of the story, in conjunction with Dave Zirin, author of the groundbreaking People's History of Sports in the United States (The New Press, 2009, available from Turnaround). Carlos' eye-opening and immensely readable autobiography finally introduces the man behind the salute.
When George Yancy penned a New York Times op-ed entitled "Dear White America" asking white Americans to confront the ways that they benefit from racism, he knew his article would be controversial. But he was unprepared for the flood of vitriol in response. The resulting blowback played out in the national media, with critics attacking Yancy in every form possible-including death threats-and supporters rallying to his side. Despite the rhetoric of a "post-race" America, Yancy quickly discovered that racism is still alive, crude, and vicious in its expression. In Backlash, Yancy expands upon the original article and chronicles the ensuing controversy as he seeks to understand what it was about the op-ed that created so much rage among so many white readers. He challenges white Americans to rise above the vitriol and to develop a new empathy for the African American experience.
The whirlwind of Europe's longest war in half a century has produced this powerful collection of personal narratives - essays, letters, and poems - from refugees fleeing Bosnia and Croatia. Taking us behind the barrage of media coverage, these stories tell of perseverance, brutality, forced departure, exile, and courage. With startling immediacy and in moving detail, speakers tell of stuffing a few belongings - a handful of photographs, a rock from the garden, a change of clothes--into a suitcase and fleeing their homeland. Contributors from all ethnic groups and every region of Bosnia and Croatia describe their sense of lost community, memories of those left behind, recollections of town squares that no longer exist, and homes now occupied by neighbors. The editors of "The Suitcase", themselves representing the diverse people of the region, traveled to camps and temporary homes across the globe to collect these stories. An antidote to apathy, this work moves beyond and outside the vicissitudes of daily politics to portray the human tragedy at the center of present-day Bosnia and Croatia. Probing the intimate losses of countless individuals, it delivers a powerful indictment of injustice, militarism, prejudice, and warfare.
A scathing critique of the Left from an indigenous anti-colonial perspective. Why am I writing this book? Because I share Gramsci's anxiety: "The old are dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." The fascist monster, born in the entrails of Western modernity. Of course, the West is not what it used to be. Hence my question: what can we offer white people in exchange for their decline and for the wars that will ensue? There is only one answer: peace. There is only one way: revolutionary love. -from Whites, Jews, and Us With Whites, Jews, and Us, Houria Bouteldja launches a scathing critique of the European Left from an indigenous anti-colonial perspective, reflecting on Frantz Fanon's political legacy, the republican pact, the Shoah, the creation of Israel, feminism, and the fate of postcolonial immigration in the West in the age of rising anti-immigrant populism. Drawing upon such prominent voices as James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Jean Genet, she issues a polemical call for a militant anti-racism grounded in the concept of revolutionary love. Such love will not come without significant discomfort for whites, and without necessary provocation. Bouteldja challenges widespread assumptions among the Left in the United States and Europe-that anti-Semitism plays any role in Arab-Israeli conflicts, for example, or that philo-Semitism doesn't in itself embody an oppressive position; that feminism or postcolonialist theory is free of colonialism; that integrationalism is a solution rather than a problem; that humanism can be against racism when its very function is to support the political-ideological apparatus that Bouteldja names the "white immune system." At this transitional moment in the history of the West-which is to say, at the moment of its decline-Bouteldja offers a call for political unity that demands the recognition that whiteness is not a genetic question: it is a matter of power, and it is high time to dismantle it. This Semiotext(e)/Intervention series English-language edition includes a foreword by Cornel West.
ONE HUNDRED ORIGINAL PROFILES OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AFRICAN AMERICANS OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
This colorful collection of personalities includes much-loved figures such as scientist George Washington Carver, contemporary favorites such as comedian Richard Pryor and novelist Alice Walker, and even less-well-known people such as aviator Bessie Coleman. Gates and West also recognize the achievements of controversial figures such as Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and rap artist Tupac Shakur. Lively, accessible, and illustrated throughout, The African-American Century is a celebration of black achievement and a tribute to the black struggle for freedom in America that will inspire readers for years to come.
In these newly collected essays, interviews, and speeches, world-renowned activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis illuminates the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. Reflecting on the importance of black feminism, intersectionality, and prison abolitionism for today's struggles, Davis discusses the legacies of previous liberation struggles, from the Black Freedom Movement to the South African anti-Apartheid movement. She highlights connections and analyzes today's struggles against state terror, from Ferguson to Palestine. Facing a world of outrageous injustice, Davis challenges us to imagine and build the movement for human liberation. And in doing so, she reminds us that "Freedom is a constant struggle." Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, scholar, author, and speaker. She is an outspoken advocate for the oppressed and exploited, writing on Black liberation, prison abolition, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and international solidarity with Palestine. She is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete? She is the subject of the acclaimed documentary Free Angela and All Political Prisoners and is Distinguished Professor Emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. One of America's most provocative public intellectuals, Dr. Cornel West has been a champion for racial justice since childhood. His writing, speaking, and teaching weave together the traditions of the black Baptist Church, progressive politics, and jazz. The New York Times has praised his "ferocious moral vision." His many books include Race Matters, Democracy Matters, and his autobiography, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. Frank Barat is a human rights activist and author. He was the coordinator of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and is now the president of the Palestine Legal Action Network. His books include Gaza in Crisis and Corporate Complicity in Israel's Occupation.
Wallace 'Gator' Bradley is a living legend. He also is my dear brother whose courage and compassion inspire all of us to grow, develop and become better persons. Brother Gator has lived a rich and blessed life that starts on the streets of the south side of Chicago through the prisons of Illinois to the White House of the USA and back to the schoolrooms and playgrounds to serve young people. Like his favorite piece of biblical scripture - Psalm 140 - God has preserved him from violence, delivered him from wickedness and empowered him to fight for "the cause of the afflicted and the right of the poor." I first met Brother Gator in the context of the gang summits that tried to bring peace and promote justice for our precious young brothers who have been socially neglected, economically abandoned and targeted by police surveillance. I was struck by Brother Gator's acute intelligence, genuine sincerity and soulful smile. It was clear he was my kind of brother - a brother shaped by the inimitable music of Curtis Mayfield, the spiritual struggle of Malcolm X and the visionary leadership of Larry Hoover. Fortitude and forgiveness, bravery and maturation, courage and conversion are shot through the life and times of Brother Gator. His powerful and poignant book is a testament to his strength and determination to be a force for good in the face of overwhelming odds. It charts his fascinating trek from the Racine Courts housing project to the racist courts of law in Chicago to his monumental anti-racist political activism in the historic campaigns of Jerry Butler, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. As one of the few ever pardoned by an Illinois Governor, Brother Gator has been an exemplary citizen in his adult life - with his loving and high-achieving wife and children, the great respect of fellow citizens for him and the high demands for his wisdom and skill from local, national and global leaders. He is an old school freedom fighter and new school urban translator whose actions and words lead us through the complex dynamics of Chicago criminal life, political life, prison life and moral service to poor people. Like Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, Brother Gator is a grand figure in the black freedom struggle who used past prison experiences to deepen love of and service to black people. I thank my dear sister Dr. SaFiya D. Hoskins for helping preserve the prophetic witness of Brother Gator for present and future crusaders for justice -The Foreword by Dr. Cornel West
In this fresh, original analysis of Marxist thought, Cornel West makes a significant contribution to today's debates about the relevance of Marxism by putting the issue of ethics squarely on the Marxist agenda. West, professor of religion and director of the Afro-American studies program at Princeton University, shows that not only was ethics an integral part of the development of Marx's own thinking throughout his career, but that this crucial concern has been obscured by such leading and influential interpreters as Engels, Kautsky, Lukacs, and others who diverted Marx's theory into narrow forms of positivism, economism, and Hegelianism.
A study of American pragmatism, this book looks at all the different stages from the Emersonian roots, through the dilemma of the mid-century pragmatic intellectual up to the decline and resurgence of American pragmatism. It also discusses prophetic pragmatism.
In his major bestseller, Race Matters, philosopher Cornel West burst onto the national scene with his searing analysis of the scars of racism in American democracy. Race Matters has become a contemporary classic, still in print after ten years, having sold more than four hundred thousand copies. A mesmerizing speaker with a host of fervidly devoted fans, West gives as many as one hundred public lectures a year and appears regularly on radio and television. Praised by The New York Times for his "ferocious moral vision" and hailed by Newsweek as "an elegant prophet with attitude," he bridges the gap between black and white opinion about the country's problems.
In Democracy Matters, West returns to the analysis of the arrested development of democracy-both in America and in the crisis-ridden Middle East. In a strikingly original diagnosis, he argues that if America is to become a better steward of democratization around the world, we must first wake up to the long history of imperialist corruption that has plagued our own democracy. Both our failure to foster peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the crisis of Islamist anti-Americanism stem largely from hypocrisies in our dealings with the world. Racism and imperial expansionism have gone hand in hand in our country's inexorable drive toward hegemony, and our current militarism is only the latest expression of that drive. Even as we are shocked by Islamic fundamentalism, our own brand of fundamentalism, which West dubs Constantinian Christianity, has joined forces with imperialist corporate and political elites in an unholy alliance, and four decades after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., insidious racism still inflicts debilitating psychic pain on so many of our citizens.
But there is a deep democratic tradition in America of impassioned commitment to the fight against imperialist corruptions-the last great expression of which was the civil rights movement led by Dr. King-and West brings forth the powerful voices of that great democratizing tradition in a brilliant and deeply moving call for the revival of our better democratic nature. His impassioned and provocative argument for the revitalization of America's democracy will reshape the terms of the raging national debate about America's role in today's troubled world.
Like Race Matters and Playing in the Dark, The House That Race Built is a cutting-edge work that confronts, honestly and passionately, the most critical issues facing American culture today along the fissure of race. In these essays, brought together by the scholar Wahneema Lubiano, some of today's most respected intellectuals share their ideas on race, power, gender, and society.
The authors, including Cornel West, Angela Y. Davis, and Toni Morrison, argue that we have reached a crisis of democracy represented by an ominous shift toward a renewed white nationalism in which racism is operating in coded, quasi-respectable new forms. They urge us to recognize this fact and to work toward destroying the old, destructive patterns of racial dominion forever.
Believing that African American religious studies has reached a crossroads, Cornel West and Eddie Glaude seek, in this landmark anthology, to steer the discipline into the future. Arguing that the complexity of beliefs, choices, and actions of African Americans need not be reduced to expressions of black religion, West and Glaude call for more careful reflection on the complex relationships of African American religious studies to conceptions of class, gender, sexual orientation, race, empire, and other values that continue to challenge our democratic ideals.
In this, his premiere work, Cornel West provides readers with a new understanding of the African American experience based largely on his own political and cultural perspectives borne out of his own life's experiences. He challenges African Americans to consider the incorporation of Marxism into their theological perspectives, thereby adopting the mindset that it is class more so than race that renders one powerless in America. Armed with a new introduction by the author, this Twentieth Anniversary Edition of "Prophesy Deliverance " is a must have.
In this unique collaboration, the most prized and esteemed scholars
in theology, religious history, and sociology offer a new
understanding of American spiritual life by placing
African-American religious experience at its center. Moving from
specific cases in African-American history and theology to
discussions of how African-American experiences can and should
inform all studies of American life, they uncover the spiritual
human soul that unites all of us. The editors call this project a
"testament of hope," and it is a powerful tribute to the late James
M. Washington, whose works were an inspirational search for
In a series of interviews, nine American artists, scholars and public figures discuss with the author their political awareness, art and politics, and the possibility of hope among African-Americans today. Interviewees include Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Bill Bradley and Wynton Marsalis.
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