Publications

    Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam
    Chan-Malik, Sylvia. Being Muslim: A Cultural History of Women of Color in American Islam. New York: New York University Press, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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    "For Sylvia Chan-Malik, Muslim womanhood is constructed through everyday and embodied acts of resistance, what she calls affective insurgency. In negotiating the histories of anti-Blackness, U.S. imperialism, and women's rights of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Being Muslim explores how U.S. Muslim women's identities are expressions of Islam as both Black protest religion and universal faith tradition. Through archival images, cultural texts, popular media, and interviews, the author maps how communities of American Islam became sites of safety, support, spirituality, and social activism, and how women of color were central to their formation. By accounting for American Islam's rich histories of mobilization and community, Being Muslim brings insight to the resistance that all Muslim women must engage in the post-9/11 United States. From the stories that she gathers, Chan-Malik demonstrates the diversity and similarities of Black, Arab, South Asian, Latina, and multiracial Muslim women, and how American understandings of Islam have shifted against the evolution of U.S. white nationalism over the past century. In borrowing from the lineages of Black and women-of-color feminism, Chan-Malik offers us a new vocabulary for U.S. Muslim feminism, one that is as conscious of race, gender, sexuality, and nation, as it is region and religion."-- Publisher description.

    In the Country of Women: A Memoir
    Straight, Susan. In the Country of Women: A Memoir. New York: Catapult, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "In inland Southern California, near the desert and the Mexican border, Susan Straight, a self-proclaimed book nerd, and Dwayne Sims, an African American basketball player, started dating in high school. After college, they married and drove to Amherst, Massachusetts, where Straight met her teacher and mentor, James Baldwin, who encouraged her to write. Once back in Riverside, at driveway barbecues and fish fries with the large, close-knit Sims family, Straight--and eventually her three daughters--heard for decades the stories of Dwayne's female ancestors. Some women escaped violence in post-slavery Tennessee, some escaped murder in Jim Crow Mississippi, and some fled abusive men. Straight's mother-in-law, Alberta Sims, is the descendant at the heart of this memoir. Susan's family, too, reflects the hardship and resilience of women pushing onward--from Switzerland, Canada, and the Colorado Rockies to California. A Pakistani word, biraderi, is one Straight uses to define a complex system of kinship and clan--those who become your family. An entire community helped raise her daughters. Of her three girls, now grown and working in museums and the entertainment industry, Straight writes, "The daughters of our ancestors carry in their blood at least three continents. We are not about borders. We are about love and survival." In the Country of Women is a valuable social history and a personal narrative that reads like a love song to America and indomitable women." -- from Jacket.
    Homeland Elegies
    Akhtar, Ayad. Homeland Elegies. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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    "A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one–least of all himself–in the process."–Provided by publisher.

    In the Country: Stories
    Alvar, Mia. In the Country: Stories. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "A powerful, globe-trotting debut short-story collection from an exciting new writer–vivid, character-driven stories about Filipinos from every walk of life. Mia Alvar's stunning debut gives us a vivid, insightful picture of the Filipino diaspora: exiles and emigrants and wanderers uprooting their families to begin new lives in the Middle East and America–and, sometimes, turning back. One man smuggles drugs from his pharmacy in New York to Manila for his ailing father, only to discover an alarming truth about his mother. A woman living in Bahrain faces a challenge that compels her to question her marriage. A college student in Manila struggling to write fiction knows that her brother, who has gone abroad to make money, is the one living a life that stories are made of. The novella-length title story follows the unexpected fates of a journalist and a nurse during the 1970s labor strikes in Manila. Exploring the universal experience of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined, In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home"–Provided by publisher.
    The Undocumented Americans
    Cornejo Villavicencio, Karla. The Undocumented Americans. New York: One World, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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    "Traveling across the country, journalist Karla Cornejo Villavicencio risked arrest at every turn to report the extraordinary stories of her fellow undocumented Americans. Her subjects have every reason to be wary around reporters, but Cornejo Villavicencio has unmatched access to their stories. Her work culminates in a stunning, essential read for our times. Born in Ecuador and brought to the United States when she was five years old, Cornejo Villavicencio has lived the American Dream. Raised on her father's deliveryman income, she later became one of the first undocumented students admitted into Harvard. She is now a doctoral candidate at Yale University and has written for The New York Times. She weaves her own story among those of the eleven million undocumented who have been thrust into the national conversation today as never before. Looking well beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMERS, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented as rarely seen in our daily headlines. In New York, we meet the undocumented workers who were recruited in the federally funded Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11. In Miami we enter the hidden botanicas, which offer witchcraft and homeopathy to those whose status blocks them from any other healthcare options. In Flint, Michigan, we witness how many live in fear as the government issues raids at grocery stores and demands identification before offering life-saving clean water. In her book, Undocumented America, Cornejo Villavicencio powerfully reveals the hidden corners of our nation of immigrants. She brings to light remarkable stories of hope and resilience, and through them we come to understand what it truly means to be American"– provided by publisher.

    Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America
    Lalami, Laila. Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America. First Edition. New York: Pantheon Books, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "The acclaimed, award-winning novelist--author of The Moor's Account and The Other Americans--now gives us a bracingly personal work of nonfiction that is concerned with the experiences of "conditional citizens." What does it mean to be American? In this starkly illuminating and impassioned book, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Laila Lalami recounts her unlikely journey from Moroccan immigrant to U.S. citizen, using it as a starting point for her exploration of the rights, liberties, and protections that are traditionally associated with American citizenship. Tapping into history, politics, and literature, she elucidates how accidents of birth--such as national origin, race, or gender--that once determined the boundaries of Americanness still cast their shadows today. Throughout the book, she poignantly illustrates how white supremacy survives through adaptation and legislation, with the result that a caste system is maintained, keeping the modern equivalent of white male landowners at the top of the social hierarchy. Conditional citizens, she argues, are all the people whom America embraces with one arm, and pushes away with the other. Brilliantly argued and deeply personal, Conditional Citizens weaves together the author's own experiences with explorations of the place of nonwhites in the broader American culture"-- Provided by publisher.
    Gay Bar: Why We Went Out
    Lin, Jeremy Atherton. Gay Bar: Why We Went Out. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Strobing lights and dark rooms, drag queens on counters, first kisses, last call; the gay bar has long been a place of solidarity and sexual expression. Now they are closing, a cultural demolition that has Jeremy Atherton Lin wondering: Could this spell the end of gay identity as we know it? In prose as exuberant as a hit of poppers and dazzling as a disco ball, the author embarks on a transatlantic tour of the hangouts that marked his life, with each club, pub and dive revealing itself to be a palimpsest of queer history. Gay Bar time-travels from Hollywood nights in the 1970s to a warren of cruising tunnels built beneath London in the 1770s; from chichi bars in the wake of AIDS to today's fluid queer spaces; through glory holes, into Crisco-slicked dungeons and down San Francisco alleys. Atherton Lin charts police raids and riots, posing and passing out--and a chance encounter one restless night that would change his life forever. The journey that emerges is an inquiry into the link between place and identity, inviting us to go beyond Stonewall and enter the underground"--adapted from book jacket.
    Letters to My White Male Friends
    Ross, Dax-Devlon. Letters to My White Male Friends. First edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "In A Letter to My White Male Friends, Dax-Devlon Ross speaks directly to the millions of middle-aged white men who are suddenly awakening to race and racism. Finally, white men are realizing that simply not being racist isn't enough to end racism. These men want deeper insight not only into how racism has harmed black people, but, for the first time, into how it has harmed them. They are beginning to see that racism warps us all. A Letter to My White Male Friends promises to help the millions of white men who have said they are committed to change and develop the capacity to see, feel and sustain that commitment so they can help secure racial justice for us all. In part 1, Dax-Devlon Ross helps readers understand what it meant to be America's first generation raised after the civil rights era. He explains how we were all educated with colorblind narratives and symbols that typically, albeit implicitly, privileged whiteness and denigrated blackness. He provides the context and color of his own experiences in white schools so that white men can revisit moments in their lives where racism was in the room even when they didn't see it enter. In part 2, Ross shows how learning to see the harm that racism did to him, and forgiving himself, gave him the empathy to see the harm it does to white people as well. In part 3, he offers white men direction so that they can take just action in their workplace, community, family, and, most importantly, in themselves, especially in the future when race is no longer in the spotlight"-- Provided by publisher.
    How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
    Smith, Clint. How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "'How the Word is Passed' is Clint Smith's revealing, contemporary portrait of America as a slave owning nation. Beginning in his own hometown of New Orleans, Smith leads the reader through an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks - those that are honest about the past and those that are not - that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nations collective history, and ourselves."-- Provided by publisher.
    The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage
    Issenberg, Sasha. The Engagement: America's Quarter-Century Struggle Over Same-Sex Marriage. New York: Pantheon Books, 2021. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
    "On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state bans on gay marriage were unconstitutional, making same-sex unions legal across the United States. But the road to that momentous decision was much longer than many know. In this definitive account, Sasha Issenberg vividly guides us through same-sex marriage's unexpected path from the unimaginable to the inevitable. It is a story that begins in Hawaii in 1990, when a rivalry among local activists triggered a sequence of events that forced the state to justify excluding gay couples from marriage. In the White House, one president signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which elevated the matter to a national issue, and his successor tried to write it into the Constitution. Over twenty-five years, the debate played out across the country, from the first legal same-sex weddings in Massachusetts to the epic face-off over California's Proposition 8 and, finally, to the landmark Supreme Court decisions of United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges. From churches to hedge funds, no corner of American life went untouched.This richly detailed narrative follows the coast-to-coast conflict through courtrooms and war rooms, bedrooms and boardrooms, to shed light on every aspect of a political and legal controversy that divided Americans like no other. Following a cast of characters that includes those who sought their own right to wed, those who fought to protect the traditional definition of marriage, and those who changed their minds about it, The Engagement is certain to become a seminal book on the modern culture wars." - Publisher description.
    A Black Women's History of the United States
    Berry, Daina Ramey, and Kali Nicole Gross. A Black Women's History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2020. eBook @ Harvard Library [Harvard Key required]Abstract
    A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our countryIn centering Black women's stories, two award-winning historians seek both to empower African American women and to show their allies that Black women's unique ability to make their own communities while combatting centuries of oppression is an essential component in our continued resistance to systemic racism and sexism. Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.A Black Women's History of the United States reaches far beyond a single narrative to showcase Black women's lives in all their fraught complexities. Berry and Gross prioritize many voices: enslaved women, freedwomen, religious leaders, artists, queer women, activists, and women who lived outside the law. The result is a starting point for exploring Black women's history and a testament to the beauty, richness, rhythm, tragedy, heartbreak, rage, and enduring love that abounds in the spirit of Black women in communities throughout the nation. (From the publisher.)
    The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America
    Cervini, Eric. The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America. New York: Picador, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "In 1957, Frank Kameny, a rising astronomer working for the U.S. Defense Department in Hawaii, received a summons to report immediately to Washington, D.C. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual, and after a series of humiliating interviews, Kameny, like countless gay men and women before him, was promptly dismissed from his government job. Unlike many others, though, Kameny fought back. Based on firsthand accounts, recently declassified FBI records, and forty thousand personal documents, Eric Cervini's The Deviant's War unfolds over the course of the 1960s, as the Mattachine Society of Washington, the group Kameny founded, became the first organization to protest the systematic persecution of gay federal employees. It traces the forgotten ties that bound gay rights to the Black Freedom Movement, the New Left, lesbian activism, and trans resistance. Above all, it is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and ultimately victory."–Provided by publisher.
    The Face: Cartography of the Void
    Abani, Chris. The Face: Cartography of the Void. Brooklyn, NY: Restless Books, 2016. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
    "...acclaimed Nigerian-born author and poet Chris Abani has given us a profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir that navigates the stories written upon his own face. Beginning with his early childhood immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa, Abani unfurls a lushly poetic, insightful, and funny narrative that investigates the roles that race, culture, and language play in fashioning our sense of self. As Abani so lovingly puts it, he contemplates “all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softened by it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life.” The Face: Cartography of the Void is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers." - Publisher description.

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