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Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

By Wills, Shomari

2018-01 - Amistad Press

9780062437594 Check Our Catalog

One of Ebony Magazine's True Read picks of 2018

"By telling the little-known stories of six pioneering African American entrepreneurs, Black Fortunes makes a worthy contribution to black history, to business history, and to American history."--Margot Lee Shetterly, Author of the New York Times Bestseller Hidden Figures

The astonishing untold history of America's first black millionaires--former slaves who endured incredible challenges to amass and maintain their wealth for a century, from the Jacksonian period to the Roaring Twenties--self-made entrepreneurs whose unknown success mirrored that of American business heroes such as Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Thomas Edison.

While Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Beyonc , Michael Jordan, and Will Smith are among the estimated 35,000 black millionaires in the nation today, these famous celebrities were not the first blacks to reach the storied one percent. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.

Black Fortunes is an intriguing look at these remarkable individuals, including Napoleon Bonaparte Drew--author Shomari Wills' great-great-great-grandfather--the first black man in Powhatan County (contemporary Richmond) to own property in post-Civil War Virginia. His achievements were matched by five other unknown black entrepreneurs including:

  • Mary Ellen Pleasant, who used her Gold Rush wealth to further the cause of abolitionist John Brown;
  • Robert Reed Church, who became the largest landowner in Tennessee;
  • Hannah Elias, the mistress of a New York City millionaire, who used the land her lover gave her to build an empire in Harlem;
  • Orphan and self-taught chemist Annie Turnbo-Malone, who developed the first national brand of hair care products;
  • Madam C. J Walker, Turnbo-Malone's employee who would earn the nickname America's "first female black millionaire;"
  • Mississippi school teacher O. W. Gurley, who developed a piece of Tulsa, Oklahoma, into a "town" for wealthy black professionals and craftsmen" that would become known as "the Black Wall Street."

A fresh, little-known chapter in the nation's story--A blend of Hidden Figures, Titan, and The Tycoons--Black Fortunes illuminates the birth of the black business titan and the emergence of the black marketplace in America as never before.

Black Power 50

By Diouf, Sylviane A.

2016-09 - New Press

9781620971482 Check Our Catalog

Black Power burst onto the world scene in 1966 with ideas, politics, and fashion that opened the eyes of millions of people across the globe. In the United States, the movement spread like wildfire: high school and college youth organized black student unions; educators created black studies programs; Black Power conventions gathered thousands of people from all walks of life; and books, journals, bookstores, and publishing companies spread Black Power messages and imagery throughout the country and abroad.

The Black Arts Movement inspired the creation of some eight hundred black theaters and cultural centers, where a generation of writers and artists forged a new and enduring cultural vision.

Black Power 50 includes original interviews with key figures from the movement, essays from today's leading Black Power scholars, and over one hundred stunning images, offering a beautiful and compelling introduction to this pivotal movement.


Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad

By DeRamus, Betty

2005-02 - Atria Books

9780743482639 Check Our Catalog

Gleaned by Pulitzer Prize finalist Betty De Ramus from unpublished memoirs, Civil War records, and from descendants of runaway slave couples, "Forbidden Fruit "is a fascinating collection of true and largely untold stories from the Underground Railroad.

Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks

By Ro, Ronin

2011-10 - St. Martins Press-3pl

9780312383008 Check Our Catalog

In his three decades-long career, Prince has had nearly 30 albums hit the Billboard Top 100. He is the only artist since the Beatles to have a #1 song, movie, and album at the same time. "Prince" is the first book to give full treatment to this artist of epic proportions.

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By Remnick, David

2010-04 - Knopf Publishing Group

9781400043606 Check Our Catalog

From New Yorker editor Remnick a world-ranging, eye-opening, comprehensive life to date of the 44th President of the United States

The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Our Own

By Chambers, Veronica

2017-01 - St. Martin's Press

9781250114969 Check Our Catalog

A NEW IN NONFICTION PEOPLE PICK - A TIME TOP 10 NONFICTION BOOK OF 2017 - NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY: The Huffington Post - Glamour - Bustle - RedEye

A Los Angeles Times bestseller

**One of BookRiot's '11 Books to Help Us Make It Through a Trump Presidency'**
**One of The Guardian's Essentials for Black History Month**

"Whenever I think about Michelle Obama, I think, 'When I grow up, I want to be just like her. I want to be that intelligent, confident, and comfortable in my own skin'." --Roxane Gay

"Even after eight years of watching them daily in the press, the fact that the most powerful man in the world is a Black man is still breathtaking to me. The fact that he goes home to a tight-knit, loving family headed by a Black woman is soul-stirring. That woman is Michelle. Michelle. That name now carries a whole world of meaning..." --From the Preface by Ava DuVernay

Michelle Obama is unlike any other First Lady in American History. From her first moments on the public stage, she has challenged traditional American notions about what it means to be beautiful, to be strong, to be fashion-conscious, to be healthy, to be First Mom, to be a caretaker and hostess, and to be partner to the most powerful man in the world. What is remarkable is that, at 52, she is just getting started.

While many books have looked at Michelle Obama from a fashion perspective, no book has fully explored what she means to our culture. The Meaning of Michelle does just that, while offering a parting gift to a landmark moment in American history. In addition to a tribute to Michelle Obama, this book is also a rollicking, lively dinner party conversation about race, class, marriage, creativity, womanhood and what it means to be American today.

Contributors include: Ava DuVernay, Veronica Chambers, Benilde Little, Damon Young, Alicia Hall Moran and Jason Moran, Brittney Cooper, Ylonda Gault Caviness, Chirlane McCray, Cathi Hanauer, Tiffany Dufu, Tanisha Ford, Marcus Samuelsson, Sarah Lewis, Karen Hill Anton, Rebecca Carroll, Phillipa Soo, and Roxane Gay

Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s Through the 1980s

By Hampton, Henry

1991-02 - Bantam

9780553352320 Check Our Catalog

In this monumental volume, Henry Hampton, creator and executive producer of the acclaimed PBS series "Eyes on the Prize, and Steve Fayer, series writer, draw upon nearly one thousand interviews with civil rights activists, politicians, reporters, Justice Department officials, and hundreds of ordinary people who took part in the struggle, weaving a fascinating narrative of the civil rights movement told by the people who lived it.
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.

Oprah: A Biography

By Kelley, Kitty

2010-04 - Crown Archetype

9780307394866 Check Our Catalog

Based on three years of research and reporting as well as 850 interviews with sources, many of whom have never before spoken for publication, Oprahis the first comprehensive biography of one of the most influential, powerful, and admired public figures of our time, by the most widely read biographer of our era. Anyone who is a fan of Oprah Winfrey or who has followed her extraordinary life and career will be fascinated and newly informed by the closely observed, detailed, and well-rounded portrait of her provided by Kitty Kelley's exhaustively researched book. Readers will come away with a greater appreciation of who Oprah really is beyond her

Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

By Arsenault, Raymond

2006-01 - Oxford University Press

9780195136746 Check Our Catalog

The author offers a meticulously researched account of the Freedom Rides, one of the most compelling chapters in the history of civil rights. The book paints a harrowing picture of the outpouring of hatred and violence that greeted the Freedom Riders in Alabama and Mississippi.

Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?

By Abu-Jamal, Mumia

2017-07 - City Lights Books

9780872867383 Check Our Catalog

"A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th."--Library Journal, Starred review

"I was fortunate to grow up in a community in which it was apparent that our lives mattered. This memory is the antidote to the despair that seizes one of my generation when we hear the words 'Black Lives Matter.' We want to shout: Of course they do To you, especially. In this brilliant, painful, factual and useful book, we see to whom our lives have not mattered: the profit driven Euro-Americans who enslaved and worked our ancestors to death within a few years, then murdered them and bought replacements. Many of these ancestors are buried beneath Wall Street. Mumia Abu-Jamal's painstaking courage, truth-telling, and disinterest in avoiding the reality of American racial life is, as always, honorable."--Alice Walker

"Prophet, critic, historian, witness . . . Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the most insightful and consequential intellectuals of our era. These razor sharp reflections on racialized state violence in America are the fire and the memory our movements need right now."--Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination

"Mumia Abu Jamal's clarion call for justice and defiance of state oppression has never dimmed, despite his decades of being shackled and caged. He is one of our nation's most valiant revolutionaries and courageous intellectuals. "-- Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and author of Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt

"This collection of short meditations, written from a prison cell, captures the past two decades of police violence that gave rise to Black Lives Matter while digging deeply into the history of the United States. This is the book we need right now to find our bearings in the chaos."
--Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

In December 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal was shot and beaten into unconsciousness by Philadelphia police. He awoke to find himself shackled to a hospital bed, accused of killing a cop. He was convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that Amnesty International has denounced as failing to meet the minimum standards of judicial fairness.

In Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?, Mumia gives voice to the many people of color who have fallen to police bullets or racist abuse, and offers the post-Ferguson generation advice on how to address police abuse in the United States. This collection of his radio commentaries on the topic features an in-depth essay written especially for this book to examine the history of policing in America, with its origins in the white slave patrols of the antebellum South and an explicit mission to terrorize the country's black population. Applying a personal, historical, and political lens, Mumia provides a righteously angry and calmly principled radical black perspective on how racist violence is tearing our country apart and what must be done to turn things around.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is author of many books, including Death Blossoms, Live from Death Row, All Things Censored, Writing on the Wall, and Jailhouse Lawyers.

" Mumia's] writings are a wake-up call. He is a voice from our prophetic tradition, speaking to us here, now, lovingly, urgently."--Cornel West

"He allows us to reflect upon the fact that transformational possibilities often emerge where we least expect them."--Angela Y. Davis

"These writings date from the late 1990s and often show prescience on the part of the author, who was writing well before the Black Lives Matter movement that 'when the system kills Blacks, there is no outrage, for it has been normalized by centuries of white enslavement, terrorism, and injustice. Such violence is simply the accepted way of how things are.' Also included is a series of articles on the killing of Trayvon Martin, accurately anticipating the acquittal of the white man who shot him, and another series on Ferguson and its aftermath--how 'Ferguson may prove a wake-up call that Black lives matter. A call for youth to build social, radical, revolutionary movements for change.' The last piece is the longest, a pamphlet on how to build such a movement with a historical perspective on why this is necessary."--Kirkus Reviews

"While the author does reflect on the widely reported cases of police violence against African Americans, as well as on the role of the media in determining what gets attention, the strength of the book rests in the essays that draw attention to lesser-known victims of police violence, particularly women of color whose stories never reached the mainstream media. Over the course of nearly four decades in prison, Abu-Jamal . . . has become an astute student of the justice system as well as a particularly cogent opponent of the death penalty. " --Publishers Weekly

Mine Eyes Have Seen: Bearing Witness to the Struggle for Civil Rights

By Adelman, Bob

2007-11 - Time Home Entertainment

9781603200004 Check Our Catalog

Stirring and triumphant photographs taken by "LIFE" photographer Adelman evoke the heady days of the Civil Rights Movement when America faced its worst nightmare only a generation ago. Concluding on a note of celebration, the photographs reveal ever-increasing signs of racial reconciliation.

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (Barnes & Noble Classics Series): An American Slave

By Douglass, Frederick

2005-08 - Barnes & Noble Classics

9781593080419 Check Our Catalog

No book except perhaps "Uncle Tom's Cabin" had as powerful an impact on the abolitionist movement as "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass," But while Stowe wrote about imaginary characters, Douglass's book is a record of his own remarkable life.
Born a slave in 1818 on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published "Narrative," the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early years-- the daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape.
An astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.

No Woman No Cry: My Life with Bob Marley

By Marley, Rita

2008-03 - Hachette Books

9780786868674 Check Our Catalog

In "No Woman No Cry," readers learn the never-before-told details of Bob Marley's life, as related by his wife, Rita. 16-page photo insert.

1001 Things Everyone Should Know about African American

By Stewart, Jeffrey C.

1996-04 - Doubleday Books

9780385473095 Check Our Catalog

In 1001 short, eminently readable essays, Jeffrey C. Stewart, Associate Professor of History at George Mason University, takes us on a journey through five hundred years of African American history. Every important aspect is covered, from the possible discovery of America by Africans to the recent Million Man March. 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History is for anyone who wants to learn more about the significant but often overlooked role that African Americans have played in American history. Within six broad sections (Great Migrations; Civil Rights and Politics; African Americans in the Military; Culture and Religion; Invention, Science, and Medicine; and Sports), Dr. Stewart describes both the well known and the obscure, from landmark Supreme Court decisions and the importance of African American midwives to Marcus Garvey's Black Star Line, and why Granville T. Woods is known as the black Edison. Accompanied by over 150 photos, drawings, posters, etchings, and other visual matter, the book conveys the drama and scope that make African American history such an inspiring subject.

A Black Way of Seeing: From "Liberty" to Freedom

By Robeson, Paul, Jr.

2006-05 - Seven Stories Press

9781583227251 Check Our Catalog

In this powerful and forward-looking indictment of contemporary American politics, Robeson melds history and analysis in a sweeping panoramic discussion of why black empowerment has failed, what it will take for Black Americans to finally cross over to the status of fully empowered citizens, and what the ramifications of this change can be for the country as a whole.

Children of Fire: A History of African Americans

By Holt, Thomas C.

2010-10 - Hill & Wang

9780809067138 Check Our Catalog

In this groundbreaking new book, renowned historian Holt tells the story of how generations of African Americans fashioned a culture and identity amid the turmoil of four centuries of American history.

Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African American History, 1513-2008

By Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.

2011-11 - Knopf Publishing Group

9780307593429 Check Our Catalog

The author delivers a landmark book tracing African-American history from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama. Informed by the latest--sometimes provocative--scholarship and including more than 800 images, "Life Upon These Shores" focuses on defining events, debates, and controversies, as well as achievements. 496 pp.

100 Amazing Facts about the Negro

By Gates, Henry Louis, Jr.

2017-10 - Pantheon Books

9780307908711 Check Our Catalog

The first edition of Joel Augustus Rogers's now legendary 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro with Complete Proof, published in 1934, was billed as "A Negro 'Believe It or Not.'" Rogers's little book was priceless because he was delivering enlightenment and pride, steeped in historical research, to a people too long starved on the lie that they were worth nothing. For African Americans of the Jim Crow era, Rogers's was their first black history teacher. But Rogers was not always shy about embellishing the "facts" and minimizing ambiguity; neither was he above shock journalism now and then.

With lan and erudition--and with winning enthusiasm--Henry Louis Gates, Jr. gives us a corrective yet loving homage to Roger's work. Relying on the latest scholarship, Gates leads us on a romp through African, diasporic, and African-American history in question-and-answer format. Among the one hundred questions: Who were Africa's first ambassadors to Europe? Who was the first black president in North America? Did Lincoln really free the slaves? Who was history's wealthiest person? What percentage of white Americans have recent African ancestry? Why did free black people living in the South before the end of the Civil War stay there? Who was the first black head of state in modern Western history? Where was the first Underground Railroad? Who was the first black American woman to be a self-made millionaire? Which black man made many of our favorite household products better?

Here is a surprising, inspiring, sometimes boldly mischievous--all the while highly instructive and entertaining--compendium of historical curiosities intended to illuminate the sheer complexity and diversity of being "Negro" in the world.

(With full-color illustrations throughout.)