Race and Ethnicity

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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.
Heir to the Crescent Moon
Abdur-Rahman, Sufiya. Heir to the Crescent Moon. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2021. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"From age five, Sufiya Abdur-Rahman, the daughter of two Black Power-era converts to Islam, feels drawn to the faith even as her father, a devoted Muslim, introduces her to and, at the same time, distances her from it. He and her mother abandoned their Harlem mosque before she was born and divorced when she was twelve. Forced apart from her father--her portal into Islam--she yearns to reconnect with the religion and, through it, him. In Heir to the Crescent Moon, Abdur-Rahman's longing to comprehend her father's complicated relationship with Islam leads her first to recount her own history with it. Later, as she seeks to discover what both pulled her father to and pushed him from the mosque and her mother, Abdur-Rahman delves into the past. She journeys from the Christian righteousness of Adam Clayton Powell Jr.'s 1950s Harlem, through the Malcolm X-inspired college activism of the late 1960s, to the unfulfilled potential of the early-'70s' black American Muslim movement. When a painful reminder of the reason for her father's inconsistent ties to his former mosque appears to threaten his life, Abdur-Rahman's search nearly ends. She's forced to come to terms with her Muslim identity, and learns how events from generations past can reverberate through the present. Told, at times, with lighthearted humor or heartbreaking candor, Abdur-Rahman's story of adolescent Arabic lessons, fasting, and Muslim mosque, funeral, and eid services speaks to the challenges of bridging generational and cultural divides and what it takes to maintain family amidst personal and societal upheaval. Writing with quiet beauty but intellectual force about identity, community, violence, hope, despair, and faith, Abdur-Rahman weaves a vital tale about a family: black, Muslim, and distinctly American"-- Provided by publisher.
The Kindness of Enemies : A Novel
Aboulela, Leila. The Kindness of Enemies : A Novel. New York: Grove Press, 2015. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"It's 2010 and Natasha, a half-Russian, half-Sudanese professor of Islamic studies, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the nineteenth-century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When shy, single Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil's priceless sword, the Imam's story comes vividly to life. As Natasha's relationship with Oz and his alluring actress mother intensifies, Natasha is forced to confront issues she had long tried to avoid--that of her Muslim heritage. When Oz is suddenly arrested at his home one morning, Natasha realizes that everything she values stands in jeopardy. Told with Aboulela's inimitable elegance and narrated from the point of view of both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world." - Publisher description.
The Drone Eats With Me: A Gaza Diary
Abū Sayf, ʻĀṭif. The Drone Eats With Me: A Gaza Diary. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2015. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
An ordinary Gazan's chronicle of the struggle to survive during Israel's 2014 invasion of Gaza The fifty-day Israel-Gaza conflict that began in early July of 2014 left over 2,100 people dead. The overwhelming majority of the dead were Palestinians, including some 500 children. Another 13,000-odd Palestinians were wounded, and 17,200 homes demolished. These statistics are sadly familiar, as is the political rhetoric from Israeli and Palestinian authorities alike. What is less familiar, however, is a sense of the ordinary Gazan society that war lays to waste. One of the few voices to make it out of Gaza was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and teacher from Jabalia refugee camp, whose eyewitness accounts (published in the Guardian, New York Times, and elsewhere) offered a rare window into the conflict for Western readers. Here, Abu Saif's complete diaries of the war allow us to witness the events of 2014 from the perspective of a young father, fearing for his family's safety. In The Drone Eats with Me, Abu Saif brings readers an intimate glimpse of life during wartime, as he, his wife, and his two young children attempt to live their lives with a sense of normalcy, in spite of the ever-present danger and carnage that is swallowing the place they call home.
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
Acho, Emmanuel. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man. New York: Flatiron Books, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
An urgent primer on race and racism, from the host of the viral hit video series "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man." "You cannot fix a problem you do not know you have." So begins Emmanuel Acho in his essential guide to the truths Americans need to know to address the systemic racism that has recently electrified protests in all fifty states. "There is a fix," Acho says. "But in order to access it, we're going to have to have some uncomfortable conversations." In Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man, Acho takes on all the questions, large and small, insensitive and taboo, many white Americans are afraid to ask-yet which all Americans need the answers to, now more than ever. With the same open-hearted generosity that has made his video series a phenomenon, Acho explains the vital core of such fraught concepts as white privilege, cultural appropriation, and "reverse racism." In his own words, he provides a space of compassion and understanding in a discussion that can lack both. He asks only for the reader's curiosity-but along the way, he will galvanize all of us to join the antiracist fight.
Race: The Power of an Illusion
Adelman, Larry. Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel, 2003. Film @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Race: The Power of an Illusion" is a three-part documentary series produced by California Newsreel that investigates the idea of race in society, science and history. The educational documentary originally screened on American public television and was primarily funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Ford Foundation and PBS.
Friday Black
Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame. Friday Black. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

 "An excitement and a wonder: strange, crazed, urgent and funny...The wildly talented Adjei-Brenyah has made these edgy tales immensely charming, via his resolute, heartful, immensely likeable narrators, capable of seeing the world as blessed and cursed at once." -- George Saunders

"This book is dark and captivating and essential...A call to arms and a condemnation. Adjei-Brenyah offers powerful prose as parable. The writing in this outstanding collection will make you hurt and demand your hope. Read this book." -- Roxane Gay

A piercingly raw debut story collection from a young writer with an explosive voice; a treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America. From the start of this extraordinary debut, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah's writing will grab you, haunt you, enrage and invigorate you. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. These stories tackle urgent instances of racism and cultural unrest, and explore the many ways we fight for humanity in an unforgiving world. In "The Finkelstein Five," Adjei-Brenyah gives us an unforgettable reckoning of the brutal prejudice of our justice system. In "Zimmer Land," we see a far-too-easy-to-believe imagining of racism as sport. And "Friday Black" and "How to Sell a Jacket as Told by Ice King" show the horrors of consumerism and the toll it takes on us all. Entirely fresh in its style and perspective, and sure to appeal to fans of Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, and George Saunders, Friday Black confronts readers with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope.

A treacherously surreal, and, at times, heartbreakingly satirical look at what it's like to be young and black in America. By placing ordinary characters in extraordinary situations, Adjei-Brenyah reveals the violence, injustice, and painful absurdities that black men and women contend with every day in this country. Readers are left with a complicated, insistent, wrenching chorus of emotions, the final note of which, remarkably, is hope." -- adapted from info provided

Bless me, Ultima
Anaya, Rudolfo A. Bless me, Ultima. New York: Warner Books, 1994. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past--a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world... and will nurture the birth of his soul." - Publisher description
Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines
Arnold, Jenna. Raising Our Hands: How White Women Can Stop Avoiding Hard Conversations, Start Accepting Responsibility, and Find Our Place on the New Frontlines. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Jenna Arnold, director of strategic engagement for the historic 2017 Women's March, helps American white women (one of the most powerful demographics in the world-but too often passive) understand how their influence, power, and voice can better serve those most in need, and how you can take an active role in creating a better future"-- Provided by publisher.
If They Come for Us: Poems
Asghar, Fatimah. If They Come for Us: Poems. New York: One World, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"This imaginative, soulful debut poetry collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the man facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people's histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging."
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The Gone Dead
Benz, Chanelle. The Gone Dead. New York: Ecco, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Billie James' inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day, and she hasn't been back to the South since. Thirty years later, Billie returns but her father's home is unnervingly secluded: her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger."--Book cover flap.
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.)
From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas within the Academy
Berry, Theodorea Regina, and Nathalie Mizelle, ed. From Oppression to Grace: Women of Color and Their Dilemmas within the Academy. Herndon: Stylus Publishing, 2011. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"This book gives voice to the experiences of women of color–women of African, Native American, Latina, East Indian, Korean and Japanese descent–as students pursuing terminal degrees and as faculty members navigating the Academy, grappling with the dilemmas encountered by others and themselves as they exist at the intersections of their work and identities. This book uses critical race feminism (CRF) to place women of color in the center, rather than the margins, of the discussion, theorizing, research and praxis of their lives as they co-exist in the dominant culture. The first part of the book addresses the issues faced on the way to achieving a terminal degree: the struggles encountered and the lessons learned along the way. Part Two, "Pride and Prejudice: Finding Your Place After the Degree" describes the complexity of lives of women with multiple identities as scholars with family, friends, and lives at home and at work. The book concludes with the voices of senior faculty sharing their journeys and their paths to growth as scholars and individuals."
100 Days
Bitek, Juliane Okot. 100 Days. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: The University of Alberta Press, 2016. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"For 100 days, Juliane Okot Bitek recorded the lingering nightmare of the Rwandan genocide in a poem–each poem recalling the senseless loss of life and of innocence. Okot Bitek draws on her own family's experience of displacement under the regime of Idi Amin, pulling in fragments of the poetic traditions she encounters along the way: the Ugandan Acholi oral tradition of her father–the poet Okot p'Bitek; Anglican hymns; the rhythms and sounds of slave songs from the Americas; and the beat of spoken word and hip-hop. 100 Days is a collection of poetry that will stop you in your tracks." - Publisher description.
Punch Me Up to the Gods
Broome, Brian. Punch Me Up to the Gods. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"A poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir in essays about blackness, masculinity, and addiction"-- Provided by publisher.

Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences
Brooms, Derrick R. Being Black, Being Male on Campus: Understanding and Confronting Black Male Collegiate Experiences. Albany: SUNY Press, 2017. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"This work marks a radical shift away from the pervasive focus on the challenges that Black male students face and the deficit rhetoric that often limits perspectives about them. Instead, Derrick R. Brooms offers reflective counter-narratives of success. He uses in-depth interviews to investigate the collegiate experiences of Black male students at historically White institutions. Framed through Critical Race Theory and Blackmaleness, the study provides new analysis on the utility and importance of Black Male Initiatives (BMIs). This work explores Black men's perceptions, identity constructions, and ambitions, while it speaks meaningfully to how race and gender intersect as they influence students' experiences." -- Publisher's description.
The Tradition
Brown, Jericho. The Tradition. Port Townsend, Washington: Copper Canyon Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Jericho Brown's daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we've become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex--a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues--testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction"--Goodreads.com.

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
Burke, Tarana. Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement. First edition. New York, NY: Flatiron Books, 2021. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"From the founder and activist behind one of the largest movements of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the "me too" movement, Tarana Burke debuts a powerful memoir about her own journey to saying those two simple yet infinitely powerful words-me too-and how she brought empathy back to an entire generation in one of the largest cultural events in American history. Tarana didn't always have the courage to say "me too." As a child, she reeled from her sexual assault, believing she was responsible. Unable to confess what she thought of as her own sins for fear of shattering her family, her soul split in two. One side was the bright, intellectually curious third generation Bronxite steeped in Black literature and power, and the other was the bad, shame ridden girl who thought of herself as a vile rule breaker, not of a victim. She tucked one away, hidden behind a wall of pain and anger, which seemed to work...until it didn't. Tarana fought to reunite her fractured soul, through organizing, pursuing justice, and finding community. In her debut memoir she shares her extensive work supporting and empowering Black and brown girls, and the devastating realization that to truly help these girls she needed to help that scared, ashamed child still in her soul. She needed to stop running and confront what had happened to her, for Heaven and Diamond and the countless other young Black women for whom she cared. They gave her the courage to embrace her power. A power which in turn she shared with the entire world. Through these young Black and brown women, Tarana found that we can only offer empathy to others if we first offer it to ourselves. Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman's inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying "me too," Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys"-- Provided by publisher.
Parable of the Sower
Butler, Octavia E. Parable of the Sower. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"In 2025 California, an eighteen-year-old African American woman, suffering from a hereditary trait that causes her to feel others' pain as well as her own, flees northward from her small community and its desperate savages." -- (Source of summary not specified)

Lilith's Brood
Butler, Octavia E. Lilith's Brood. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2000. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Lilith Lyapo is in the Andes, mourning the death of her family, when war destroys Earth. Centuries later, she is resurrected, by miraculously powerful unearthly beings, the Oankali. Driven by an irresistible need to heal others, the Oankali are rescuing our dying planet by merging genetically with mankind. But Lilith and all humanity must now share the world with uncanny, unimaginably alien creatures: Their own children. This is their story."

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