January 2017

Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond
By Marc Lamont Hill

Unarmed citizens shot by police. Drinking water turned to poison. Mass incarcerations. We’ve heard the stories. Now public intellectual and acclaimed journalist Marc Lamont Hill offers a powerful, paradigm-shifting analysis of race and class in America, and what it means to be “Nobody.”

Through on-the-ground reporting and careful research, Hill shows how some American citizens are made vulnerable, exploitable, and disposable through the machinery of unregulated capitalism, public policy, and social practice. This Nobody class, Hill argues, has emerged over time, and forces in America have worked to preserve and exploit it in ways that are both humiliating and harmful. He carefully reconsiders the details of tragic events like the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, and Freddie Gray, and the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, and delves deeply into a host of alarming trends including mass incarceration, overly aggressive policing, broken court systems, shrinking job markets, and the privatization of public resources, showing time and again the ways the current system is designed to worsen the plight of the vulnerable.

November 2016

An Indigenous Peoples' History
By Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

The first history of the United States told from the perspective of indigenous peoples

Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land. The centuries-long genocidal program of the US settler-colonial regimen has largely been omitted from history. Now, for the first time, acclaimed historian and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.

With growing support for movements such as the campaign to abolish Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Peoples’ Day and the Dakota Access Pipeline protest led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States is an essential resource providing historical threads that are crucial for understanding the present. In An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, Dunbar-Ortiz adroitly challenges the founding myth of the United States and shows how policy against the Indigenous peoples was colonialist and designed to seize the territories of the original inhabitants, displacing or eliminating them. And as Dunbar-Ortiz reveals, this policy was praised in popular culture, through writers like James Fenimore Cooper and Walt Whitman, and in the highest offices of government and the military. Shockingly, as the genocidal policy reached its zenith under President Andrew Jackson, its ruthlessness was best articulated by US Army general Thomas S. Jesup, who, in 1836, wrote of the Seminoles: “The country can be rid of them only by exterminating them.”
 

October 2016

Art and Social Movements: Cultural Politics in Mexico and Aztlán
by Edward J. McCaughan
Art and Social Movements offers a comparative, cross-border analysis of the role of visual artists in three social movements from the late 1960s through the early 1990s: the 1968 student movement and related activist art collectives in Mexico City, a Zapotec indigenous struggle in Oaxaca, and the Chicano movement in California. Based on extensive archival research and interviews, Edward J. McCaughan explores how artists helped to shape the identities and visions of a generation of Mexican and Chicano activists by creating new visual discourses.
McCaughan argues that the social power of activist artists emanates from their ability to provoke people to see, think, and act in innovative ways. Artists, he claims, help to create visual languages and spaces through which activists can imagine and perform new collective identities and forms of meaningful citizenship. The artists' work that he discusses remains vital today—in movements demanding fuller democratic rights and social justice for working people, women, ethnic communities, immigrants, and sexual minorities throughout Mexico and the United States. Integrating insights from scholarship on the cultural politics of representation with structural analyses of specific historical contexts, McCaughan expands our understanding of social movements.

 

September 2016

Everyday Antiracism: Getting Real About Race in School
by Mica Pollock
Which acts by educators are "racist" and which are "antiracist"? How can an educator constructively discuss complex issues of race with students and colleagues? In Everyday Antiracism, leading educators deal with the most challenging questions about race in school, offering invaluable and effective advice.
Contributors including Beverly Daniel Tatum, Sonia Nieto, and Pedro Noguera describe concrete ways to analyze classroom interactions that may or may not be "racial," deal with racial inequality and "diversity," and teach to high standards across racial lines. Topics range from using racial incidents as teachable moments and responding to the "n-word" to valuing students' home worlds, dealing daily with achievement gaps, and helping parents fight ethnic and racial misconceptions about their children. Questions following each essay prompt readers to examine and discuss everyday issues of race and opportunity in their own classrooms and schools.
For educators and parents determined to move beyond frustrations about race, Everyday Antiracism is an essential tool.

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