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This black history month, UIP is joining the #ReadingBlackout challenge and we want you to too! The Reading Blackout challenge was created by YouTuber Denise D. Cooper and it’s a call to prioritize reading books by African American authors during 2018. To celebrate the #ReadingBlackout challenge we’ll be releasing reading lists all month long and adding the books to our Little Free Library at the Illini Union! This list is just a teaser for the black history books we’re adding to our Little Free Library this week, so make sure to stop by and check out the rest! You can check out past lists here.

 

Here are 5 more books to add to 
your #ReadingBlackout list:

Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought Of Race Women 

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Brittney C. Cooper 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. 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. Cooper’s work, meanwhile, confronts entrenched ideas of how–and who–produced racial knowledge.

 

Colored No More: Reinventing Black Womanhood In Washington, D.C. 

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Treva B. Lindsey presents New Negro womanhood as a multidimensional space that included race women, blues women, mothers, white collar professionals, beauticians, fortune tellers, sex workers, same-gender couples, artists, activists, and innovators. Colored No More traces how African American women of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century made significant strides toward making the nation’s capital a more equal and dynamic urban center.

 

African or American?: Black Identity and Political Activism in New York City, 1784-1861 

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Black leaders advocated racial uplift through a sense of communalism and connection to their African heritage. Yet by the antebellum era, Black activists struggled to reconcile their African identity with a growing desire to gain American citizenship. Leslie M. Alexander documents the creation of mutual relief, religious, and political associations, which Black men and women infused with African cultural traditions and values.

 

 

Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women’s Activism in the Beauty Industry

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African American beauty entrepreneurs built and sustained a vibrant culture of activism in beauty salons and schools. Tiffany M. Gill argues that the beauty industry played a crucial role in the creation of the modern black female identity and that the seemingly frivolous space of a beauty salon actually has stimulated social, political, and economic change.

 

A Noble Fight: African American Freemasonry And The Struggle For Democracy In America

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Corey D. Walker examines the metaphors and meanings behind the African American appropriation of the culture, ritual, and institution of freemasonry in navigating the contested terrain of American democracy. This body of analytical work presents and interrogates the concrete forms of an associational culture, revealing how paradoxical aspects of freemasonry such as secrecy and public association inform the production of particular ideas and expressions of democracy in America.

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