Binga is the definitive full-length biography of Jesse Binga, the first black banker in Chicago. Born into a large family in Detroit, Binga arrived in Chicago in 1892 in his late twenties with virtually nothing. Through his wits and resourcefulness, he rose to wealth and influence as a real estate broker, and in 1908 he founded the Binga Bank, the first black-owned bank in the city. But his achievements were followed by an equally notable downfall. Binga recounts this gripping story about race, history, politics, and finance. The Black Belt, where Binga's bank was located, was a segregated neighborhood on Chicago's South Side--a burgeoning city within a city--and its growth can be traced through the arc of Binga's career. He preached and embodied an American gospel of self-help and accrued wealth while expanding housing options and business opportunities for blacks. Devout Roman Catholics, he and his wife Eudora supported church activities and various cultural and artistic organizations; their annual Christmas party was the Black Belt's social event of the year. But Binga's success came at the price of a vicious backlash. After he moved his family into a white neighborhood in 1917, their house was bombed multiple times, his offices were attacked twice, and he became a lightning rod for the worst race riots in Chicago history, which took place in 1919. Binga persevered, but, starting with the stock market crash of October 1929, a string of reversals cost him his bank, his property, and his fortune. A quintessentially Chicago story, Binga tells the history of racial change in one of the most segregated cities in America and how an extraordinary man stood as a symbol of hope in a community isolated by racial animosity.
In his 1952 book In Battle for Peace, published when W. E. B. Du Bois was eighty-three years old, the brilliant black scholar announced that he was a "citizen of the world." Citizen of the World chronicles selected chapters of Du Bois's final three decades between the 1930s and 1960s. It maps his extraordinarily active and productive latter years to social, cultural, and political transformations across the globe. From his birth in 1868 until his death in 1963, Du Bois sought the liberation of black people in the United States and across the world through intellectual and political labor. His tireless efforts documented and demonstrated connections between freedom for African-descended people abroad and black freedom at home. In concert with growing scholarship on his twilight years, the essays in this volume assert the fundamental importance of considering Du Bois's later decades not as a life in decline that descended into blind ideological allegiance to socialism and communism but as the life of a productive, generative intellectual who responded rationally, imaginatively, and radically to massive mid-century changes around the world, and who remained committed to freedom's realization until his final hour.
What could be more painful than a missing child? And how might the community better support families--especially young, single mothers and their children? In Comfort Stew, acclaimed Chicago poet and playwright Angela Jackson addresses these questions in what she has called "a meditation on motherhood and what it means to love. It is a call to community to renew its vows to the ancestors and to children so that no child is ever truly lost." Hillary Robinson Clay, a self-reliant schoolteacher, is the first to notice when four-year-old Enjoli is absent from her preschool class. Guided by the memory of her mother and with support from Jake, a tough man who is capable of tenderness, Hillary parents her teenage daughter, Sojourner, who is the same age as Enjoli's mother, Patrice. Jake is a storyteller and a "good cop" who follows Hillary's intuition and goes looking for Enjoli. As their stories weave together, Jackson explores parenting, generational conflict, and tradition in the context of contemporary African American family life. Maternal wisdom is embodied by succeeding generations of black women in the recipe for an African stew, a dish Hillary learns to honor while adding a spice that makes it her own.
Furious Flower: Seeding the Future of African American Poetry by Joanne V. Gabbin and Lauren K. Alleyne, editors
Publication Date: 2019
Anthology of poems by more than one hundred award-winning poets, including Jericho Brown, Justin Philip Reed, and Tracy K. Smith, with themed essays on poetics from celebrated scholars such as Kwame Dawes, Meta DuEwa Jones, and Evie Shockley. The Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation's first academic center for Black poetry. In this eponymous collection, editors Joanne V. Gabbin and Lauren K. Alleyne bring together many of the paramount voices in Black poetry and poetics active today, composing an electrifying mosaic of voices, generations, and aesthetics that reveals the Black narrative in the work of twentieth- and twenty-first-century writers. Intellectually enlightening and powerfully enlivening, Furious Flower explores and celebrates the idea of the Black poetic voice by posing the question, What's next for Black poetic expression?
The "blk alter" of Avery R. Young's poetic vision makes its stunning debut in a multidisciplinary arsenal entitled, neckbone: visual verses. Young's years of supernatural fieldwork within the black experience and the gospel of his transitions between poetry, art and music, become the stitch, paint brush, metaphor, and narrative of arresting visual metaphors of childhood teachings and traumas, identity, and the personal reverence of pop culture's beauty and beast. A mastermind in a new language of poetry, that engages and challenges readers to see beyond the traditional spaces poems are shaped and exist, Young's neckbone extends tentacles in literature, art, and activism--redefining the collective and the sermon of the "blk" experience.
Sacred Ground by Timuel D. Black; Bart Schultz (Editor)
Publication Date: 2019
Timuel Black is an acclaimed historian, activist, and storyteller. Sacred Ground: The Chicago Streets of Timuel Black chronicles the life and times of this Chicago legend. Sacred Ground opens in 1919, during the summer of the Chicago race riot, when infant Black and his family arrive in Chicago from Birmingham, Alabama, as part of the first Great Migration. He recounts in vivid detail his childhood and education in the Black Metropolis of Bronzeville and South Side neighborhoods that make up his "sacred ground." Revealing a priceless trove of experiences, memories, ideas, and opinions, Black describes how it felt to belong to this place, even when stationed in Europe during World War II. He relates how African American soldiers experienced challenges and conflicts during the war, illuminating how these struggles foreshadowed the civil rights movement. A labor organizer, educator, and activist, Black captures fascinating anecdotes and vignettes of meeting with famous figures of the times, such as Duke Ellington and Martin Luther King Jr., but also with unheralded people whose lives convey lessons about striving, uplift, and personal integrity. Rounding out this memoir, Black reflects on the legacy of his friend and mentee, Barack Obama, as well as on his public works and enduring relationships with students, community workers, and some very influential figures in Chicago and the world.
The first book devoted to the South Side's rich and unfairly ignored architectural heritage. With lively, insightful text and gallery-quality color photographs by noted Chicago architecture expert Lee Bey, Southern Exposure documents the remarkable and largely unsung architecture of the South Side. The book features an array of landmarks--from a Space Age dry cleaner to a nineteenth-century lagoon that meanders down the middle of a working-class neighborhood street--that are largely absent from arts discourse, in no small part because they sit in a predominantly African American and Latino section of town better known as a place of disinvestment, abandonment, and violence. Inspired by Bey's 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial exhibition, Southern Exposure visits sixty sites, including lesser-known but important work by luminaries such as Jeanne Gang, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Eero Saarinen, as well as buildings by pioneering black architects such as Walter T. Bailey, John Moutoussamy, and Roger Margerum. Pushing against the popular narrative that depicts Chicago's South Side as an architectural wasteland, Bey shows beautiful and intact buildings and neighborhoods that reflect the value--and potential--of the area. Southern Exposure offers much to delight architecture aficionados and writers, native Chicagoans and guests to the city alike.
Chicago is home to more intact African American street murals from the 1970s and '80s than any other U.S. city. Among Chicago's greatest muralists is the legendary William "Bill" Walker (1927-2011), compared by art historians to Diego Rivera and called the most accomplished contemporary practitioner of the classical mural tradition. Though his art could not have been more public, Walker maintained a low profile during his working life and virtually withdrew from the public eye after his retirement in 1989. Author Jeff W. Huebner met Walker in 1990 and embarked on a series of insightful interviews that stretched over the next two decades. Those meetings and years of research form the basis of Walls of Prophecy and Protest, the story of Walker's remarkable life and the movement that he inspired. Featuring forty-three color images of Walker's work, most long since destroyed or painted over, this handsome edition reveals the artist who was the primary figure behind Chicago's famed Wall of Respect and who created numerous murals that depicted African American historical figures, protested social injustice, and promoted love, respect, racial unity, and community change.
Selected Books in African American Studies, 2010-
Anagnorisis by Kyle DarganIn Anagnorisis: Poems, the award-winning poet Kyle Dargan ignites a reckoning. From the depths of his rapidly changing home of Washington, D.C., the poet is both enthralled and provoked, having witnessed-on a digital loop running in the background of Barack Obama's unlikely presidency--the rampant state-sanctioned murder of fellow African Americans. He is pushed toward the same recognition articulated by James Baldwin decades earlier: that an African American may never be considered an equal in citizenship or humanity. This recognition--the moment at which a tragic hero realizes the true nature of his own character, condition, or relationship with an antagonistic entity--is what Aristotle called anagnorisis. Not concerned with placatory gratitude nor with coddling the sensibilities of the country's racial majority, Dargan challenges America: "You, friends- / you peckish for a peek / at my cloistered, incandescent / revelry-were you as earnest / about my frostbite, my burns, / I would have opened / these hands, sated you all." At a time when U.S. politics are heavily invested in the purported vulnerability of working-class and rural white Americans, these poems allow readers to examine themselves and the nation through the eyes of those who have been burned for centuries.
Call Number: PS3604.A74 A6 2018
Publication Date: 2018
Bearden's Odyssey by Kwame Dawes (Editor); Matthew Shenoda (Editor); Derek Walcott (Foreword by); Chris Abani (Contribution by); Rita Dove (Contribution by); Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon (Contribution by)
In Search of Our Warrior Mothers by La Donna ForsgrenThe Black Arts Movement (1965-76) consisted of artists across the United States deeply concerned with the relationship between politics and the black aesthetic. In Search of Our Warrior Mothers examines the ways in which black women playwrights in the movement advanced feminist and womanist perspectives from within black nationalist discourses. La Donna L. Forsgren recuperates the careers, artistic theories, and dramatic contributions of four leading playwrights: Martie Evans-Charles, J.e. Franklin, Sonia Sanchez, and Barbara Ann Teer. Using original interviews, production recordings, playbills, and unpublished manuscripts, she investigates how these women, despite operating within a context that equated the collective well-being of black people with black male agency, created works that validated black women's aspirations for autonomy and explored women's roles in the struggle for black liberation. In Search of Our Warrior Mothers demonstrates the powerful contributions of women to the creation, interpretation, and dissemination of black aesthetic theory, thus opening an interdisciplinary conversation at the intersections of theater, performance, feminist, and African American studies and identifying and critiquing the gaps and silences within these fields.
Rice: Poems by Nikky Finney (Foreword byKwame Dawes)
Call Number: copy In Process as of 07/03/2013
Publication Date: 2013
Rushing Waters, Rising Dreams by Denise M. Sandoval (Editor); Luis J. Rodriguez-Rigau
Publication Date: 2012
Seduction by Quincy TroupeThe world is made of seductions. In Quincy Troupe's Seduction, the "I" becomes the "Eye," serving as metaphor and witness in a narrative compilation from a master of poetic music. Elegies and dramatic odes look at the seduction of all things loved or hated, especially the man made of color. How did the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon Martin seduce the public's eye and catch the fire of racism? How did Aretha Franklin seduce us with voice and twang? How does the art of Romare Bearden or Jack Whitten still tell our truths, fantasies, and oppressions? time is a bald eagle, a killer soaring high in the blue, / music to men dodging bullets in speeding cars, / knew death, hoped it'd never come . . . In this collection we are seduced by Troupe's opus. This is the poet's art laid bare. He is our "Eye." Visions of the transatlantic slave trade, portraits of American violence, pop culture, and historical voices are the lyrical relics in Troupe's masterful verse. One of American literature's most important rhythmical artists, Troupe has created a chronicle reaching through history for the collective "I/Eye" that is all of us.
Winner, 2011 National Book Award for Poetry Winner, 2012 GLCS Award for Poetry Winner, 2012 SIBA Book Award for Poetry Nominee, 2012 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry The poems in Nikky Finney's breathtaking new collection Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African American life: from civil rights matriarch Rosa Parks to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Finney's poetic voice is defined by an intimacy that holds a soft yet exacting eye on the erotic, on uncanny political and family events, like her mother's wedding waltz with South Carolina senator Strom Thurmond, and then again on the heartbreaking hilarity of an American president's final State of the Union address. Artful and intense, Finney's poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.