Billie Holiday's life is inseparable from an account of her troubles, her addictions, her arrests, and the scandals that would repeatedly put her name in the tabloid headlines of the 1940s and 1950s. Those who knew her learned never to be surprised by what she might do. Her moods and faces were so various that she could seem to be a different woman from one moment to the next. Volatile, unpredictable, Billie Holiday remained, even to her friends, an elusive and perplexing figure.
In "With Billie, we hear the voices of those people-piano players and dancers, pimps and junkies, lovers and narcs, producers and critics, each recalling intimate stories of the Billie they knew. What emerges is a portrait of a complex, contradictory, enthralling woman, a woman who knew what really mattered to her. Reading "With Billie, one is convinced that she has only just left the room but will return shortly.
Picturing Frederick Douglass is a work that promises to revolutionize our knowledge of race and photography in nineteenth-century America. Teeming with historical detail, it is filled with surprises, chief among them the fact that neither George Custer nor Walt Whitman, and not even Abraham Lincoln, was the most photographed American of that century. In fact, it was Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), the ex-slave turned leading abolitionist, eloquent orator, and seminal writer whose fiery speeches transformed him into one of the most renowned and popular agitators of his age. Now, as a result of the groundbreaking research of John Stauffer, Zoe Trodd, and Celeste-Marie Bernier, Douglass emerges as a leading pioneer in photography, both as a stately subject and as a prescient theorist who believed in the explosive social power of what was then just a nascent art form.
Indeed, Frederick Douglass was in love with photography. During the four years of Civil War, he wrote more extensively on the subject than any other American, even while recognizing that his audiences were "riveted" by the war and wanted a speech only on "this mighty struggle." He frequented photographers' studios regularly and sat for his portrait whenever he could. To Douglass, photography was the great "democratic art" that would finally assert black humanity in place of the slave "thing" and at the same time counter the blackface minstrelsy caricatures that had come to define the public perception of what it meant to be black. As a result, his legacy is inseparable from his portrait gallery, which contains 160 separate photographs.
At last, all of these photographs have been collected into a single volume, giving us an incomparable visual biography of a man whose prophetic vision and creative genius knew no bounds. Chronologically arranged and generously captioned, from the first picture taken in around 1841 to the last in 1895, each of the images--many published here for the first time--emphasizes Douglass's evolution as a man, artist, and leader. Also included are other representations of Douglass during his lifetime and after--such as paintings, statues, and satirical cartoons--as well as Douglass's own writings on visual aesthetics, which have never before been transcribed from his own handwritten drafts.
The comprehensive introduction by the authors, along with headnotes for each section, an essay by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an afterword by Kenneth B. Morris, Jr.--a direct Douglass descendent--provide the definitive examination of Douglass's intellectual, philosophical, and political relationships to aesthetics. Taken together, this landmark work canonizes Frederick Douglass through a form he appreciated the most: photography.
- Contributions from Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Kenneth B. Morris, Jr. (a direct Douglass descendent)
- 160 separate photographs of Douglass--many of which have never been publicly seen and were long lost to history
- A collection of contemporaneous artwork that shows how powerful Douglass's photographic legacy remains today, over a century after his death
- All Douglass's previously unpublished writings and speeches on visual aesthetics
A Song Flung Up to Heaven opens as Maya Angelou returns from Africa to the United States to work with Malcolm X. But first she has to journey to California to be reunited with her mother and brother. No sooner does she arrive there than she learns that Malcolm X has been assassinated.
Devastated, she tries to put her life back together, working on the stage in local theaters and even conducting a door-to-door survey in Watts. Then Watts explodes in violence, a riot she describes firsthand.
Subsequently, on a trip to New York, she meets Martin Luther King, Jr., who asks her to become his coordinator in the North, and she visits black churches all over America to help support King's Poor People's March.
But once again tragedy strikes. King is assassinated, and this time Angelou completely withdraws from the world, unable to deal with this horrible event. Finally, James Baldwin forces her out of isolation and insists that she accompany him to a dinner party--where the idea for writing I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is born. In fact, A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends as Maya Angelou begins to write the first sentences of Caged Bird.
Martin Luther King, Jr. died in one of the most shocking assassinations the world has known, but little is remembered about the life he led in his final year. New York Times bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster Tavis Smiley recounts the final 365 days of King's life, revealing the minister's trials and tribulations -- denunciations by the press, rejection from the president, dismissal by the country's black middle class and militants, assaults on his character, ideology, and political tactics, to name a few -- all of which he had to rise above in order to lead and address the racism, poverty, and militarism that threatened to destroy our democracy.
Smiley's DEATH OF A KING paints a portrait of a leader and visionary in a narrative different from all that have come before. Here is an exceptional glimpse into King's life -- one that adds both nuance and gravitas to his legacy as an American hero.
Join brave and terrified youngsters walking through a jeering mob and up the steps of Central High School in Little Rock.
Share in the pivotal confrontation between the Freedom Riders and Klansmen.
Sit in on the founding of the Black Panther party with Huey Newton and Bobby Seale.
Listen to the vivid voices of the ordinary people who manned the barricades, the laborers, the students, the housewives without whom there would have been no civil rights movements at all.
Read the memorable words of Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Tom Hayden, Walter Mondale, Muhammad Ali, Angela Davis, Jessie Jackson, and many more.
This remarkable oral history brings to life country's great struggle for civil rights as no conventional narrative can. You will hear the voices of those who defied the blackjacks, who went to jail, who witnessed and policed the movement; of those who stood for and against it - voices from the heart of America.
Marches and murders, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, JFK and LBJ--from the bus boycott in Montgomery to busing in Boston, from the marches on Selma to the riots in Miami, Voices of Freedom illuminates the long, impassioned, sometimes painful and sometimes joyful struggle for a truly democratic society thatcontinues today.
In the long-awaited successor to the "Dictionary of American Negro Biography," the authors illuminate history through the immediacy of individual experience, with authoritative biographies of some 600 noteworthy African Americans.
The first comprehensive biography ever published about America's favorite living pop icon, Beyonce, from New York Times bestselling biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli. Beyonce Knowles is a woman who began her career at the age of eight performing in pageant shows and talent contests, honing her craft through her teenage years until, at the age of 16, she had her first number one record with Destiny's Child. That hit-making trio launched Beyonce's successful solo career, catapulting her, as of 2014, to #1 on Forbes annual list of most wealthy celebrities--the same year she made the cover of Time. BECOMING BEYONCE is not only the story of struggle, sacrifice, and what it takes to make it in the cut-throat record industry, it's the story of the great rewards of such success and the devastating toll it often takes on the human spirit.
It is difficult to think of two twentieth century books by one author that have had as much influence on American culture when they were published as Alex Haley's monumental bestsellers, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1965), and Roots (1976). They changed the way white and black America viewed each other and the country's history. This first biography of Haley follows him from his childhood in relative privilege in deeply segregated small town Tennessee to fame and fortune in high powered New York City. It was in the Navy, that Haley discovered himself as a writer, which eventually led his rise as a star journalist in the heyday of magazine personality profiles. At Playboy Magazine, Haley profiled everyone from Martin Luther King and Miles Davis to Johnny Carson and Malcolm X, leading to their collaboration on The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Roots was for Haley a deeper, more personal reach. The subsequent book and miniseries ignited an ongoing craze for family history, and made Haley one of the most famous writers in the country. Roots sold half a million copies in the first two months of publication, and the original television miniseries was viewed by 130 million people.
Haley died in 1992. This deeply researched and compelling book by Robert J. Norrell offers the perfect opportunity to revisit his authorship, his career as one of the first African American star journalists, as well as an especially dramatic time of change in American history.