Publications

    What We Are: A Novel
    Malae, Peter Nathaniel. What We Are: A Novel. New York: Grove/Atlantic, 2011. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
    "This novel of a young Samoan-American’s search for authenticity is “a rollercoaster ride inside the haunted house of American multi-cultural sin and shame” (Sherman Alexie). The twenty-eight-year-old mixed-race son of a Samoan immigrant, Paul Tusifale is desperate to find his place in an American culture that barely acknowledges his existence. Within the Silicon Valley landscape of grass-roots activists and dotcom headquarters, where the plight of migrant workers is ever-present, Paul drifts on and off the radar. An unemployed drifter who defiantly—even violently—defends those in need, Paul soon discovers that life as an urban Robin Hood will never provide the answers he seeks. So he decides to try the straight-and-narrow: getting a job, obeying the law, and reconnecting with his family. Along the way, Paul moves through the lives of sinister old friends, suburban cranksters, and septuagenarian swingers. A dynamic addition to America’s diverse literature of the outsider, What We Are brings to life the pull of a departed father’s homeland, the anger of class divisions, the noise of the evening news, and the pathos of the disengaged."
    The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
    Nelson, Stanley. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution. PBS Distribution, 2016. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Elaine Brown, Emory Douglas, Jamal Joseph, and many others, its an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America."–Container.
    The Chosen
    Kagan, Jeremy Paul. The Chosen. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2003. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Two teenagers at the time of the Normandy invasion in 1944 are friends but they are divided by the same thing that unites them–their faith. Though both are devout Jews, there's a subtle difference. Danny is an Hasidic Jew, brought up to accept faith blindly by his father–an ultra-orthodox rabbi who rejects the 20th century for the special joys of centuries-old tradition. Reuven, on the other hand, has been brought up by his father who is a secular scholar, to question everything around him."
    If Beale Street Could Talk
    Jenkins, Barry. If Beale Street Could Talk. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2019. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "A timeless love story set in early 1970s Harlem involving newly engaged nineteen-year- old Tish and her fiance Fonny who have a beautiful future ahead. But their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Now the pair and their families must fight for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream."
    The Kids Are All Right
    Cholodenko, Lisa. The Kids Are All Right. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2010. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Nic (Benning) and Jules (Moore) are your average suburban couple raising their two teens, Joni (Maria Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). But when the kids secretly track down their "donor dad," Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an unexpected new chapter begins for everyone as family ties are defined and re-defined" – Container.
    On the Basis of Sex
    Leder, Mimi. On the Basis of Sex. Universal Studios Home Entertainment, 2019. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "The film tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the US Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The feature will premiere in 2018 in line with Justice Ginsburg's 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court."
    Pride
    Warchus, Matthew. Pride. United Kingdom: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2014. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    U.K. gay activists work to assist miners during their extended strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.
    Raising Bertie
    Byrne, Margaret. Raising Bertie. Cinema Guild, 2016. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Recorded over six years, Raising Bertie delivers an authentic and tender portrait of the lives of three young boys as they face a precarious coming of age within Bertie County, a rural African-American community in North Carolina. The film shows the process of growing up in a place afflicted by generations of economic and educational segregation. Growing up in a neighborhood of Bertie David "Bud" Perry calls "the 'hood," Bud has developed a tough exterior, leading to repeated suspensions for fighting and altercations with authority that threaten to derail his dreams of stability and success as an adult. Reginald "Junior" Askew lives in a small home, wedged between fields of corn, with his sister, and their mother – left to care for her children when their father was incarcerated for murder when Junior was three. For Davonte "Dada" Harrell, the youngest of the three, family is everything and the recent separation of his parents weighs heavily on his heart. All three boys attend The Hive, an alternative school for at-risk boys. But, when budget shortfalls lead the Board of Education to close The Hive, Junior, Bud, and Dada must return to Bertie High School and a system that once failed them. This documentary weaves the young men's stories together as the boys navigate school, unemployment, violence, first love, fatherhood, and estrangement from family members and mentors, all while trying to define their identities. Intimate access allows an honest portrayal of the boys' perspectives and an in-depth look at issues facing rural America's youth and what happens in the everyday lives of young people caught in the complex interplay of generational poverty, economic isolation, and educational inequity."–Container.
    Rent
    Columbus, Chris. Rent. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "Focuses on the year in the life of a group of friends in New York's East Village. The "bohemians" live carefree lives of art, music, sex, and drugs. It is carefree until Mark, an aspiring filmmaker, and Roger, an aspiring songwriter, find out they owe a year's rent to Benny. Benny is a former friend who had promised them free rent when he married the landlord's daughter. Roger has also attracted the attention of his downstairs neighbor, Mimi. Mark's former girlfriend, Maureen, has found a new romance in a lawyer named Joanne. Philosophy professor Tom finds his soul mate in drag queen Angel. With this being the late 1980s, the threat of AIDS is always present."
    Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness & Liberation
    Clare, Eli. Exile & Pride: Disability, Queerness & Liberation. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2009. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required] - 2015 edition

    "Offers an intersectional framework for understanding how our bodies actually experience the politics of oppression, power, and resistance. At the heart of this exploration of environmental destruction, white working-class identity, queer community, disabled sexuality, childhood sexual abuse, coalition politics, and gender transition is a call for social justice movements that are truly accessible for everyone." --Publisher description.

    Between the World and Me
    Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation's history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of "race," a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men–bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates's attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son–and readers–the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children's lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward."–Publisher's description.

    Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir
    Galloway, Terry. Mean Little Deaf Queer: A Memoir. Boston: Beacon Press, 2009. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "In 1959, the year Terry Galloway turned nine, the voices of everyone she loved began to disappear. No one yet knew that an experimental antibiotic given to her mother had wreaked havoc on her fetal nervous system, eventually causing her to go deaf. Galloway has used theater, whether onstage or off, to defy and transcend her reality. With disarming candor, she writes about her mental breakdowns, her queer identity, and living in a silent, quirky world populated by unforgettable characters. What could have been a bitter litany of complaint is instead an unexpectedly hilarious and affecting take on life."

    After I Was Raped: The Untold Lives of Five Survivors
    Bhattacheryya, Urmi. After I Was Raped: The Untold Lives of Five Survivors. Pan Macmillan Publishing India, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "What happens after rape?

    In After I Was Raped, we meet five individuals: a four-year-old girl, two Dalit women, an eight-month-old infant and a young professional. Through extensive interviews with them and their families and communities at large, Urmi Bhattacheryya reveals the stories of these survivors of sexual violence, as they recount how their lives and relationships have changed in the aftermath of assault. Shamed, ostracized and weighed down by guilt and depression, they continue to brave the most challenging realities.

    At a time when only high-profile, sensationalized cases of sexual violence provoke a public reaction and many stories go unheard, Bhattacheryya’s sensitive portrayal of the lives of these little-known survivors raises difficult but important questions about our convenient collective amnesia." - provided by publisher.

    Citizen: An American Lyric
    Rankine, Claudia. Citizen: An American Lyric. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf Press, 2014. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
    "You take in things you don't want all the time. The second you hear or see some ordinary movement, all its intended targets, all the meanings behind the retreating sounds, as far as you are able to see, come into focus. Hold up, did you just hear, did you just say, did you just see, did you just do that? Then the voice in your head silently tells you to take your foot off your throat because just getting along shouldn't be an ambition. --from back cover

    "Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting racial aggressions in ongoing encounters in twenty-first-century daily life and in the media. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV -- everywhere, all the time. The accumulative stresses come to bear on a person's ability to speak, perform, and stay alive. Our addressability is tied to the state of our belonging, Rankine argues, as are our assumptions and expectations of citizenship. In essay, image, and poetry, Citizen is a powerful testament to the individual and collective effects of racism in our contemporary, often named 'post-race' society." -- from publisher's description.
    The Other Americans
    Lalami, Laila. The Other Americans. New York: Pantheon Books, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor's Account–a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture. Nora Guerraoui, a jazz composer, returns home to a small town in the Mojave after hearing that her father, owner of a popular restaurant there, has been killed in a suspicious hit-and-run car accident. Told by multiple narrators–Nora herself, Jeremy (the Iraq war veteran with whom she develops an intimacy), widow Maryam, Efrain (an immigrant witness to the accident who refuses to get involved for fear of deportation), Coleman (the police investigator), and Driss (the dead man himself), The Other Americans deftly explores one family's secrets and hypocrisies even as it offers a portrait of Americans riven by race, class, and religion, living side by side, yet ignorant of the vicissitudes that each tribe, as it were, faces" – provided by publisher.

    Breathe: A Letter to My Sons
    Perry, Imani. Breathe: A Letter to My Sons. Boston: Beacon Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "Explores the terror, grace, and beauty of coming of age as a Black person in contemporary America and what it means to parent our children in a persistently unjust world. Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, Imani Perry issues an unflinching challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She admits fear and frustration for her African American sons in a society that is increasingly racist and at times seems irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love--finding beauty and possibility in life--and she exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find steady footing and inspiration in Black tradition. Perry draws upon the ideas of figures such as James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Ida B. Wells. She shares vulnerabilities and insight from her own life and from encounters in places as varied as the West Side of Chicago; Birmingham, Alabama; and New England prep schools. Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience"-- Provided by publisher.

     

    Assata: An Autobiography
    Shakur, Assata. Assata: An Autobiography. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2001. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur, aka JoAnne Chesimard, lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infilitrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. ... Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides." From the bookjacket.

    What Is an American Muslim? Embracing Faith and Citizenship
    Naʻīm, ʻAbd Allāh Aḥmad. What Is an American Muslim? Embracing Faith and Citizenship. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

    View eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]

    "Since 2001, there has been a tremendous backlash against the very idea that it is possible to be both American and Muslim –the controversy over the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" and the attempts to ban shari'a law are examples. Even within the Muslim community many leaders urge believers to integrate more fully into the mainstream of American life. Is it possible to be both fully American and devoutly Muslim? An American citizen born and raised in the Sudan, an internationally recognized scholar of Islam, and a human rights activist, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im brings a unique perspective to this crucial question. By demanding that Muslims assimilate, he argues, allies and critics alike assume that American Muslims are a monolithic bloc, a permanent minority set apart from that which is truly "American." An-Na'im wholeheartedly rejects this notion and urges Muslims to embrace their faith without fear. Islam, he argues, is one of many dimensions of identity-Muslims are also members of different ethnic groups, political parties, and social circles, not to mention husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, baseball fans and movie buffs. In short, Muslims share a vast array of identities with other Americans, but the most important identity they all share is as citizens. Muslims, An-Na'im argues, must embrace the full range of rights and responsibilities that come with American citizenship, and participate fully in civic life, while at the same time asserting their right to define their faith for themselves. They must view themselves, simply, as American citizens who happen to be Muslims. What Is an American Muslim? is a bold and provocative take on the future of Islam in America"–

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