Publications

    Pariah
    Rees, Dee. Pariah. Universal City, CA: Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2012. View the FilmAbstract
    Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity–sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward.
    Assata: An Autobiography
    Shakur, Assata, and Angela Davis. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2001. View the eBook-Harvard Key RequiredAbstract
    Longtime activist, author and political figure Angela Davis brings us this expose of the women's movement in the context of the fight for civil rights and working class issues. She uncovers a side of the fight for suffrage many of us have not heard: the intimate tie between the anti-slavery campaign and the struggle for women's suffrage. She shows how the racist and classist bias of some in the women's movement have divided its own membership.
    Half and Half: Writers on Growing up Biracial and Bicultural
    O'Hearn, Claudine C., ed. Half and Half: Writers on Growing up Biracial and Bicultural. 1st ed. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998. View the BookAbstract
    As we approach the twenty-first century, biracialism and biculturalism are becoming increasingly common. Skin color and place of birth are no longer reliable signifiers of one's identity or origin. These eighteen essays, joined by a shared sense of duality, address the difficulties of not fitting into and the benefits of being part of two worlds. Through the lens of personal experience, they offer a broader spectrum of meaning for race and culture. And in the process, they map a new ethnic terrain that transcends racial and cultural division
    Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
    Vance, J. D. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. First edition. New York, NY: Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016. View the BookAbstract
    From a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, a powerful account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. A deeply moving memoir with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
    Outside the Xy: A Bklyn Boihood Anthology
    Willis, Morgan Mann. Outside the Xy: A Bklyn Boihood Anthology. 1st ed. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016. View the BookAbstract
    An anthology of more than 50 stories, memoirs, poems, ideas, essays and letters–all examining what it looks like, feels like, and is like to inhabit masculinity outside of cisgender manhood as people of color in the world.
    Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education
    Pryal, Katie Rose Guest. Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Blue Crow Publishing, 2017. View the BookAbstract
    The essays in this book cover topics such as disclosure of disabilities, accommodations and accessibility, how to be a good abled friend to a disabled person, the trigger warnings debate, and more. Written for a popular audience, for those with disabilities and for those who want to learn more about living a disabled life, Life of the Mind Interrupted aims to make higher education, and the rest of our society, more humane.
    Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance
    Whitaker, Manya Catrice, and Eric Anthony Grollman, ed. Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance. New York: Routledge, 2019. View the eBookAbstract
    This book documents the lived experiences of women of color academics who have leveraged their professional positions to challenge the status quo in their scholarship, teaching, service, activism, and leadership. By presenting reflexive work from various vantage points within and outside of the academy, contributors document the cultivation of mentoring relationships, the use of administrative roles to challenge institutional leadership, and more.
    The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays
    Wang, Esmé Weijun. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2019. View the BookAbstract
    Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esmé Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the 'collected schizophrenias' but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, Wang discusses the medical community's own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that range from using fashion to present as high-functioning to the depths of a rare form of psychosis, and from the failures of the higher education system and the dangers of institutionalization to the complexity of compounding factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease, Wang's analytical eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with personal narrative.
    If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Qurʼan
    Power, Carla. If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Qurʼan. 1st ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2015. View the BookAbstract
    If the Oceans Were Ink is Carla Power's story of how she and her longtime friend Sheikh Mohammad Akram Nadwi found a way to confront ugly stereotypes and persistent misperceptions that were cleaving their communities. Their friendship -- between a secular American and a madrasa-trained sheikh -- had always seemed unlikely, but now they were frustrated and bewildered by the battles being fought in their names. Both knew that a close look at the Quran would reveal a faith that preached peace and not mass murder; respect for women and not oppression. And so they embarked on a yearlong journey through the controversial text. A journalist who grew up in the Midwest and the Middle East, Power offers her unique vantage point on the Quran's most provocative verses as she debates with Akram at cafes, family gatherings, and packed lecture halls, conversations filled with both good humor and powerful insights. Their story takes them to madrasas in India and pilgrimage sites in Mecca, as they encounter politicians and jihadis, feminist activists and conservative scholars.
    I Am Not Your Negro
    Peck, Raoul. I Am Not Your Negro. Magnolia Home Entertainment, 2017. View the FIlm- Harvard KeyAbstract
    Using James Baldwin's unfinished final manuscript, Remember This House, this documentary follows the lives and successive assassinations of three of the author's friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., delving into the legacy of these iconic figures and narrating historic events using Baldwin's original words and a flood of rich archival material. An up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, this film is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.
    An African American and LatinX History of the United States
    Ortiz, Paul. An African American and LatinX History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2018. View the BookAbstract
    Scholar and activist,Paul Ortiz, challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism.
    The Voice at the Back Door
    Spencer, Elizabeth. The Voice at the Back Door. Louisiana State University Press, 1994. View the eBook-Harvard Key RequiredAbstract

    In the mid-1950s, the town of Lacey in the Mississippi hill country is a place where the lives of blacks and whites, though seemingly separate, are in fact historically and inevitably intertwined. When Lacey's fair-haired boy, Duncan Harper, is appointed interim sheriff, he makes public his private convictions about the equality of blacks before the law, and the combined threat and promise he represents to the understood order of things in Lacey affects almost every member of the community. In the end, Harper succeeds in pointing the way for individuals, both black and white, to find a more harmonious coexistence, but at a sacrifice all must come to regret.

    In The Voice at the Back Door, Mississippi native Elizabeth Spencer gives form to the many voices that shaped her view of race relations while growing up, and at the same time discovers her own voice -- one of hope. Employing her extraordinary literary powers -- finely honed narrative techniques, insight into a rich, diverse cast of characters, and an unerring ear for dialect -- Spencer makes palpable the psychological milieu of a small southern town hobbled by tradition but lurching toward the dawn of the civil rights movement. First published in 1956, The Voice at the Back Door is Spencer's most highly praised novel yet, and her last to treat small-town life in Mississippi.

    There There
    Orange, Tommy. There There. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018. View the BookAbstract
    The book opens with an essay by Orange as a prologue, and then proceeds to follow a large cast of Native Americans living in the area of Oakland, CA, as they struggle with a wide array of challenges ranging from depression, alchoholism, unemployment, and the challenges of living with an ethnic identity of being ambiguously nonwhite. All coalesce at a community pow wow in Oakland.
    A Little Life
    Yanagihara, Hanya. A Little Life. First Anchor Books Edition. New York: Anchor Books, 2016. View the BookAbstract
    A Little Life follows four college classmates-broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara's stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.
    Good Kings Bad Kings: A Novel
    Nussbaum, Susan. Good Kings Bad Kings: A Novel. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2013. View the BookAbstract
    The residents at a facility for disabled young people in Chicago build trust and make friends in an effort to fight against their living conditions and mistreatment.
    Washuta, Elissa. White magic: essays. Portland, Oregon: Tin House, 2021.Abstract
    "Throughout her life, Elissa Washuta has been surrounded by cheap facsimiles of Native spiritual tools and occult trends, "starter witch kits" of sage, rose quartz, and tarot cards packaged together in paper and plastic. Following a decade of abuse, addiction, PTSD, and heavy-duty drug treatment for a misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, she felt drawn to the real spirits and powers her dispossessed and discarded ancestors knew, while she undertook necessary work to find love and meaning. In this collection of intertwined essays, she writes about land, heartbreak, and colonization, about life without the escape hatch of intoxication, and about how she became a powerful witch. She interlaces stories from her forebears with cultural artifacts from her own life-Twin Peaks, the Oregon Trail II video game, a Claymation Satan, a YouTube video of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham-to explore questions of cultural inheritance and the particular danger, as a Native woman, of relaxing into romantic love under colonial rule"–

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