Black Studies

Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique

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The sociology of race relations in America typically describes an intersection of poverty, race, and economic discrimination. But what is missing from the picture--sexual difference--can be as instructive as what is present. In this ambitious work, Roderick A. Ferguson reveals how the discourses of sexuality are used to articulate theories of racial difference in the field of sociology. He shows how canonical sociology--Gunnar Myrdal, Ernest Burgess, Robert Park, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and William Julius Wilson--has measured African Americans' unsuitability for a liberal capitalist order in terms of their adherence to the norms of a heterosexual and patriarchal nuclear family model. In short, to the extent that African Americans' culture and behavior deviated from those norms, they would not achieve economic and racial equality. Aberrations in Black tells the story of canonical sociology's regulation of sexual difference as part of its general regulation of African American culture. Ferguson places this story within other stories--the narrative of capital's emergence and development, the histories of Marxism and revolutionary nationalism, and the novels that depict the gendered and sexual idiosyncrasies of African American culture--works by Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Toni Morrison. In turn, this book tries to present another story--one in which people who presumably manifest the dys-functions of capitalism are reconsidered as indictments of the norms of state, capital, and social science. Ferguson includes the first-ever discussion of a new archival discovery--a never-published chapter of Invisible Man that deals with a gay character in a way thatcomplicates and illuminates Ellison's project. Unique in the way it situates critiques of race, gender, and sexuality within analyses of cultural, economic, and epistemological formations, Ferguson's work introduces a new mode of discourse--which Ferguson calls queer of color analysis--that helps to lay bare the mutual distortions of racial, economic, and sexual portrayals within sociology. A hard-hitting look at the regulation of sexual difference and its role in circumscribing African American culture.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780816641291
Publication Date: 
2003-12-10

Act Like You Know: African-America Autobiography and White Identity

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Black autobiographical discourses, from the earliest slave narratives to the most contemporary urban raps, have each in their own way gauged and confronted the character of white society. For Crispin Sartwell, as philosopher, cultural critic, and white male, these texts, through their exacting insights and external perspective, provide a rare opportunity to glimpse and gain access to the contents and core of white identity. Throughout this provocative work, Sartwell steadfastly recognizes the many ways in which he too is implicated in the formulation and perpetuation of racial attitudes and discourse. In Act Like You Know, he challenges both himself and others to take a long, hard look in the mirror of African-American autobiography, and to find there, in the light of those narratives, the visible features of white identity.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780226735276
Publication Date: 
1998-07-01

African American Christian Worship: 2nd Edition

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$17.00
In this update to her 1993 classic, African American Christian Worship, Melva Wilson Costen, again delights her reader with a lively history and theology of the African American worship experience. Drawing upon careful scholarship and engaging stories, Dr. Costen details the global impact on African American worship by media, technology, and new musical styles. She expands her discussion of ritual practices in African communities and clarifies some of the ritual use of music in worship. In keeping with recent congregational practices, Dr. Costen will also provide general orders of worship suitable for a variety of denominational settings.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780687646227
Publication Date: 
2007-09-01
Publisher: 

African American Islam

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$23.95
Islam is a vital, growing religion in America. Little is known, however, about the religion except through the biased lens of media reports which brand African American Muslims as "Black Muslims" and portray their communities as places of social protest. African American Islam challenges these myths by contextualizing the experience and history of African American Islamic life.
This is the first book to investigate the diverse African American Islamic community on its own terms, in its own language and through its own synthesis of Islamic history and philosophy.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780415907866
Publication Date: 
1995-09-07
Publisher: 

African American Pastoral Care, Revised Edition

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$19.00
In this timely sequel to his "Pastoral care in the Black Church,"Edward P. Wimberly shows pastoral counselors how to care for African Americans through a narrative methodology.

he suggest several narrative counseling techniques and relates these techniques to narrative aspects of preaching and worship in the black church. By linking personal stories and the pastor's stories to the heart language of the Bible stories, counselors can use God's unfolding dramas to bring healing and reconciliation to human lives.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780687649495
Publication Date: 
2008-09-01
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African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction

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$12.00
Since the first African American denomination was established in Philadelphia in 1818, churches have gone beyond their role as spiritual guides in African American communities and have served as civic institutions, spaces for education, and sites for the cultivation of individuality and identities in the face of limited or non-existent freedom.

In this Very Short Introduction, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. explores the history and circumstances of African American religion through three examples: conjure, African American Christianity, and African American Islam. He argues that the phrase "African American religion" is meaningful only insofar as it describes how through religion, African Americans have responded to oppressive conditions including slavery, Jim Crow apartheid, and the pervasive and institutionalized discrimination that exists today. This bold claim frames his interpretation of the historical record of the wide diversity of religious experiences in the African American community. He rejects the common tendency to racialize African American religious experiences as an inherent proclivity towards religiousness and instead focuses on how religious communities and experiences have developed in the African American community and the context in which these developments took place.

About the Series: Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. EveryVery Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780195182897
Publication Date: 
2014-09-24

African American Religions, 1500-2000: Colonialism, Democracy, and Freedom

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This book provides a narrative historical, postcolonial account of African American religions. It examines the intersection of Black religion and colonialism over several centuries to explain the relationship between empire and democratic freedom. Rather than treating freedom and its others (colonialism, slavery, and racism) as opposites, Sylvester A. Johnson interprets multiple periods of Black religious history to discern how Atlantic empires (particularly that of the United States) simultaneously enabled the emergence of particular forms of religious experience and freedom movements as well as disturbing patterns of violent domination. Johnson explains theories of matter and spirit that shaped early indigenous religious movements in Africa, Black political religion responding to the American racial state, the creation of Liberia, and FBI repression of Black religious movements in the twentieth century. By combining historical methods with theoretical analysis, Johnson explains the seeming contradictions that have shaped Black religions in the modern era.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780521157001
Publication Date: 
2015-08-06

African American Theological Ethics

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$45.00

This volume in the Library of Theological Ethics series draws on writings from the early nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries to explore the intersection of black experience and Christian faith throughout the history of the United States. The first sections follow the many dimensions of the African American struggle with racism in this country: struggles against theories of white supremacy, against chattel slavery, and against racial segregation and discrimination. The latter sections turn to the black Christian vision of human flourishing, drawing on perspectives from the arts, religion, philosophy, ethics, and theology. It introduces students to major voices from African American Christianity, including Frederick Douglass, Richard Allen, W. E. B. DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Bayard Rustin, Barbara Jordan, James H. Cone, and Jacqueline Grant. This is the essential resource for anyone who wishes to understand the role that Christian faith has played in the African American struggle for a more just society.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780664232191
Publication Date: 
2015-12-18

African American Theology

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This book presents a substantial introduction to the major methodologies, figures, and themes within African American theology. Frederick L. Ware explores African American theology from its inception and places it within dual contexts: first, the African American struggle for dignity and full humanity; and second, the broader scope of Christian belief. Readers will appreciate Ware's demonstration of how black theology is expressed in a wide range of sources that includes not only scholarly publications but also African American sermons, music, news and editorials, biography, literature, popular periodicals, folklore, and philosophy. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion and suggested resources for further study. Ware provides a seasoned perspective on where African American theology has been and where it is going, and he demonstrates its creativity within the chorus of Christian theology.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780664239503
Publication Date: 
2016-03-15

African-American Christianity: Essays in History

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Eight leading scholars have joined forces to give us the most comprehensive book to date on the history of African-American religion from the slavery period to the present.

Beginning with Albert Raboteau's essay on the importance of the story of Exodus among African-American Christians and concluding with Clayborne Carson's work on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s religious development, this volume illuminates the fusion of African and Christian traditions that has so uniquely contributed to American religious development. Several common themes emerge: the critical importance of African roots, the traumatic discontinuities of slavery, the struggle for freedom within slavery and the subsequent experience of discrimination, and the remarkable creativity of African-American religious faith and practice. Together, these essays enrich our understanding of both African-American life and its part in the history of religion in America.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780520075948
Publication Date: 
1994-07-06

African-American Folktales

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$12.95
The range and mastery evidenced in the stories selected by Richard and Judy Dockrey Young--veteran storytellers and teachers in their own right--is due in large part to the fact that they include so many favorite stories of acclaimed African and African-American storytellers. Designed to entice even the most reluctant reader, these stories are not only fun to read, but are bound to be repeated and shared. The seven sections--Young Heros and Heroines, Animal Fables, Trickster Stories, Parables About People, Bigger Than Life, In the Park and in the Dark, and Brother Rabbit Today--are introduced by brief topical essays and include individual story notes to further enhance both the learning and the enjoyment of these stories.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780874833096
Publication Date: 
2006-02-17

All God's Children: A Biblical Critique of Racism

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In this much-needed reminder for those struggling to live faithful lives today, Steven McKenzie insists that the Bible's true message leads Christians away from the evils of racism and narrowness of bigotry to God's vision of humanity and unity.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780664256951
Publication Date: 
1997-03-01

America's Experts: Race and the Fictions of Sociology

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$23.00

During World War II, the rising visibility of anticolonial and antiracist movements exposed contradictions between the U.S. democratic mission in Europe and racist practices against people of color at home. Yet the professional success stories of people of color gave ideological support to the notion that liberal antiracism was spreading within the United States.

Challenging conventional accounts of U.S. ethnic literature rooted in 1960s and 1970s social movements, Cynthia H. Tolentino sees this literary work as emerging from a political climate in which arguments about the integration of racial minorities and the moral legitimacy of U.S. international leadership are intertwined. Probing how sociologists including Robert E. Park, Gunnar Myrdal, and Emory Bogardus situated Asian Americans, Filipinos, and African Americans as model citizens and problems, Tolentino contends that such studies served as a staging ground for writers of color to become narrators of racial identity, citizenship, and U.S. neocolonialism.

Tracing the literary engagements of Richard Wright, Carlos Bulosan, and Jade Snow Wong with the sociology of race, Tolentino assesses their works as critical expressions of class negotiation on the global stage and illuminates the significance of U.S. ethnic literature.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780816651115
Publication Date: 
2009-10-01

American to the Backbone: The Life of James W. C. Pennington, the Fugitive Slave Who Became One of the First Black Abolitionists

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$25.00

At the age of 19, scared and illiterate, James Pennington escaped from slavery in 1827 and soon became one of the leading voices against slavery prior to the Civil War. Just ten years after his escape, Pennington was ordained to the ministry of the Congregational Church after studying at Yale. Moving to Hartford, he became involved with the Amistad captives and founded the first African American mission society.

As he fought for equal rights in America, Pennington's voice was not limited to the preacher's pulpit. He wrote the first-ever "History of the Colored People" as well as a careful study of the moral basis for civil disobedience, which would be echoed decades later by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. More than a century before Rosa Parks took her monumental bus ride, Pennington challenged segregated seating in New York City street cars, for which he was beaten and arrested.

American to the Backbone brings to life this fascinating, forgotten pioneer, who helped lay the foundation for the contemporary civil rights revolution and inspire generations of future leaders.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781605983882
Publication Date: 
2012-12-27
Publisher: 

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: An Autobiography

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$25.00
Abernathy writes provocatively of his childhood as a sharecropper's son, his induction into the Jim Crow Army during World War II, his call to the ministry, and his ongoing mission to speak out for freedom, dignity, and human rights throughout the world. Illustrated.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780060161927
Publication Date: 
1989-12-01

Another Day's Journey: Black Churches Confronting The American Crisis

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$14.00
Franklin's book urges direct engagement by African American and other churches with America's mounting social problems and details programs for children, elders, and economic action.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780800630966
Publication Date: 
1997-09-25

Arrested Justice: Black Women, Violence, and America's Prison Nation

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Black women in marginalized communities are uniquely at risk of battering, rape, sexual harassment, stalking and incest. Through the compelling stories of Black women who have been most affected by racism, persistent poverty, class inequality, limited access to support resources or institutions, Beth E. Richie shows that the threat of violence to Black women has never been more serious, demonstrating how conservative legal, social, political and economic policies have impacted activism in the US-based movement to end violence against women. Richie argues that Black women face particular peril because of the ways that race and culture have not figured centrally enough in the analysis of the causes and consequences of gender violence. As a result, the extent of physical, sexual and other forms of violence in the lives of Black women, the various forms it takes, and the contexts within which it occurs are minimized--at best--and frequently ignored. Arrested Justice brings issues of sexuality, class, age, and criminalization into focus right alongside of questions of public policy and gender violence, resulting in a compelling critique, a passionate re-framing of stories, and a call to action for change.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780814776230
Publication Date: 
2012-05-22
Author: 

Autobiography of Malcolm X

$8.00

"It is unfortunate that this country allows people to be born in situations that seem to be hopeless. However, in this beatiful, well-written work, we can read how God is able to use a self-educated minority from the hood, to do great things."

-Mykal Tairu, M.A.R. 2014

Through a life of passion and struggle, Malcolm X became one of the most influential figures of the 20th Century. In this riveting account, he tells of his journey from a prison cell to Mecca, describing his transition from hoodlum to Muslim minister. Here, the man who called himself "the angriest Black man in America" relates how his conversion to true Islam helped him confront his rage and recognize the brotherhood of all mankind.
An established classic of modern America, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" was hailed by the New York Times as "Extraordinary. A brilliant, painful, important book." Still extraordinary, still important, this electrifying story has transformed Malcom X's life into his legacy. The strength of his words, the power of his ideas continue to resonate more than a generation after they first appeared.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780345350688
Publication Date: 
1987-10-12
Author: 
Publisher: 

Bastards of the Reagan Era

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Winner of the PEN New England, poetry

Bastards of the Reagan Era is a challenge, confronting realities that frame an America often made invisible. Within these poems, we see the city as distant lover, we hear "the sound that comes from all / the hurt & want that leads a man to turn his back to the world." We see that and we see each reason why we return to what pains us.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781935536659
Publication Date: 
2015-09-29
Publisher: 

Be Free or Die: The Amazing Story of Robert Smalls' Escape from Slavery to Union Hero

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"A stunning tale of a little-known figure in history. Robert Smalls' astounding heroism during the Civil War helped convince Lincoln and the country that African Americans were extraordinarily capable of fighting for their freedom. Lineberry has produced a triumph in this heroic story that illuminates our country's ongoing struggles with race." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr, Professor in American History Harvard University and Executive Producer of Finding Your Roots

"Be Free or Die makes you want to stand up and cheer. Cate Lineberry has done us all a great service by telling this incredibly moving, thrilling, and important story about an American hero who deserves to be remembered, and admired." --Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire

Facing death rather than enslavement--a story of one man's triumphant choice and ultimate rise to national hero

It was a mild May morning in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1862, the second year of the Civil War, when a twenty-three-year-old slave named Robert Smalls did the unthinkable and boldly seized a Confederate steamer. With his wife and two young children hidden on board, Smalls and a small crew ran a gauntlet of heavily armed fortifications in Charleston Harbor and delivered the valuable vessel and the massive guns it carried to nearby Union forces. To be unsuccessful was a death sentence for all. Smalls' courageous and ingenious act freed him and his family from slavery and immediately made him a Union hero while simultaneously challenging much of the country's view of what African Americans were willing to do to gain their freedom.

After his escape, Smalls served in numerous naval campaigns off Charleston as a civilian boat pilot and eventually became the first black captain of an Army ship. In a particularly poignant moment Smalls even bought the home that he and his mother had once served in as house slaves.

Be Free or Die is a compelling narrative that illuminates Robert Smalls' amazing journey from slave to Union hero and ultimately United States Congressman. This captivating tale of a valuable figure in American history gives fascinating insight into the country's first efforts to help newly freed slaves while also illustrating the many struggles and achievements of African Americans during the Civil War.

ISBN/SKU: 
9781250101860
Publication Date: 
2017-06-20
Author: 
Publisher: 

Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

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$20.00

Winner of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for Biography and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, this is the most comprehensive book ever written about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Based on more than seven hundred interviews with all of King's surviving associates, as well as with those who opposed him, and enhanced by the author's access to King's personal papers and tens of thousands of pages of FBI documents, this is a towering portrait of a man's metamorphosis into a legend.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780060566920
Publication Date: 
2004-01-06
Author: 

Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith

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To be a black woman of faith in the American South is to understand and experience spirituality in a particular way. How this understanding expresses itself in everyday practices of faith is the subject of Between Sundays, an innovative work that takes readers beyond common misconceptions and narrow assumptions about black religion and into the actual complexities of African American women's spiritual lives.

Gracefully combining narrative, interviews, and analysis, this book explores the personal, political, and spiritual commitments of a group of Baptist women whose experiences have been informed by the realities of life in a rural, southern community. In these lives, "spirituality" emerges as a space for creative agency, of vital importance to the ways in which these women interpret, inform, and reshape their social conditions--conditions often characterized by limited access to job opportunities, health care, and equitable schooling. In the words of these women, and in Marla F. Frederick's deft analysis, we see how spirituality--expressed as gratitude, empathy, or righteous discontent--operates as a transformative power in women's interactions with others, and in their own more intimate renegotiations of self.

ISBN/SKU: 
9780520233942
Publication Date: 
2003-11-20

Between the World and Me

$24.00
Hailed by Toni Morrison as "required reading," a bold and personal literary exploration of America's racial history by "the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States" (The New York Observer)

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER - NAACP IMAGE AWARD WINNER - PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST - NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review - O: The Oprah Magazine - The Washington Post - People - Entertainment Weekly - Vogue - Los Angeles Times - San Francisco Chronicle - Chicago Tribune - New York - Newsday - Library Journal - Publishers Weekly


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.

Praise for Between the World and Me

"Powerful . . . a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Eloquent . . . in the tradition of James Baldwin with echoes of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man . . . an autobiography of the black body in America."--The Boston Globe

"Brilliant . . . [Coates] is firing on all cylinders."--The Washington Post

"Urgent, lyrical, and devastating . . . a new classic of our time."--Vogue

"A crucial book during this moment of generational awakening."--The New Yorker

"Titanic and timely . . . essential reading."--Entertainment Weekly

ISBN/SKU: 
9780812993547
Publication Date: 
2015-07-14
Author: 
Publisher: 

Beyond Black and White: Rethinking Race in American Politics and Society

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$24.95
The scourge of racism haunts the United States as persistently as it ever did. Life expectancy for black men is now below retirement age. Average black income is only 56 per cent of that earned by whites. In Washington DC, no less than 43 per cent of black men have been in prison or on parole, and this state of affairs is getting worse, not better. Black admissions to college education are falling, whilst admissions to prisons rise - blacks compise two-thirds of the US prison population while making up only 13 per cent of the entire population.
ISBN/SKU: 
9781859849248
Publication Date: 
1995-10-17
Author: 
Publisher: 

Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women

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Beyond Respectability charts the development of African American women as public intellectuals and the evolution of their thought from the end of the 1800s through the Black Power era of the 1970s. Eschewing the Great Race Man paradigm so prominent in contemporary discourse, Brittney C. Cooper looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray, and Toni Cade Bambara. Cooper delves into the processes that transformed these women and others into racial leadership figures, including long-overdue discussions of their theoretical output and personal experiences. As Cooper shows, their body of work critically reshaped our understandings of race and gender discourse. It also confronted entrenched ideas of how--and who--produced racial knowledge.
ISBN/SKU: 
9780252082481
Publication Date: 
2017-05-03
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