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A New York Times Bestseller An unflinching account of what it means to be a young black man in America today, and how the existing script for black manhood is being rewritten in one of the most fascinating periods of American history. How do you learn to be a black man in America? For young black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean. In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years, describing his efforts to come into his own in a world that denied his humanity. Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren't considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent--for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting.
An "analysis of deeper meaning behind the string of deaths of unarmed citizens like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Freddie Gray, providing ... [commentary] on the intersection of race and class in America today"--
Brave, clear-eyed, and passionate, Stakes Is High is the book we need to guide us past crisis mode and through an uncertain future. The events of the past decade have forced us to reckon with who we are and who we want to be. We have been invested in a set of beliefs about our American identity: our exceptionalism, the inevitable rightness of our path, the promise that hard work and determination will carry us to freedom. But in Stakes Is High, Mychal Denzel Smith confronts the shortcomings of these stories--and with the American Dream itself--and calls on us to live up to the principles we profess but fail to realize. In a series of incisive essays, Smith exposes the stark contradictions at the heart of American life, holding all of us, individually and as a nation, to account. We've gotten used to looking away, but the fissures and casual violence of institutional oppression are ever-present. There is a future that is not as grim as our past. In this profound work, Smith helps us envision it with care, honesty, and imagination.
BONUS: This edition contains a When Skateboards Will Be Free discussion guide. “The revolution is not only inevitable, it is imminent. It is not only imminent, it is quite imminent. And when the time comes, my father will lead it.” With a profound gift for capturing the absurd in life, and a deadpan wisdom that comes from surviving a surreal childhood in the Socialist Workers Party, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh has crafted an unsentimental, funny, heartbreaking memoir. Saïd’s Iranian-born father and American Jewish mother had one thing in common: their unshakable conviction that the workers’ revolution was coming. Separated since their son was nine months old, they each pursued a dream of the perfect socialist society. Pinballing with his mother between makeshift Pittsburgh apartments, falling asleep at party meetings, longing for the luxuries he’s taught to despise, Said waits for the revolution that never, ever arrives. “Soon,” his mother assures him, while his long-absent father quixotically runs as a socialist candidate for president in an Iran about to fall under the ayatollahs. Then comes the hostage crisis. The uproar that follows is the first time Saïd hears the word “Iran” in school. There he is suddenly forced to confront the combustible stew of his identity: as an American, an Iranian, a Jew, a socialist... and a middle-school kid who loves football and video games. Poised perfectly between tragedy and farce, here is a story by a brilliant young writer struggling to break away from the powerful mythologies of his upbringing and create a life—and a voice—of his own. Saïd Sayrafiezadeh’ s memoir is unforgettable.
A stunningly original and timely collection that makes the case for “socialism, American style” It’s a strange day when a New York Times conservative columnist is forced to admit that the left is winning, but as David Brooks wrote recently, “the American left is on the cusp of a great victory.” Among Americans under thirty, 43 percent had a favorable view of socialism, while only 32 percent had a favorable view of capitalism. Not since the Great Depression have so many Americans questioned the fundamental tenets of capitalism and expressed openness to a socialist alternative. We Own the Future: Democratic Socialism—American Style offers a road map to making this alternative a reality, giving readers a practical vision of a future that is more democratic, egalitarian, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable. The book includes a crash course in the history and practice of democratic socialism, a vivid picture of what democratic socialism in America might look like in practice, and compelling proposals for how to get there from the age of Trump and beyond. With contributions from some of the nation’s leading political activists and analysts, We Own the Future articulates a clear and uncompromising view from the left—a perfectly timed book that will appeal to a wide audience hungry for change. Table of Contents Part I: Is a New America Possible? Introduction Kate Aronoff, Peter Dreier, and Michael Kazin How Socialists Changed America Peter Dreier and Michael Kazin Toward a Third Reconstruction Andrea Flynn, Susan Holmberg, Dorian Warren, and Felicia Wong A Three-Legged Stool for Racial and Economic Justice Darrick Hamilton Democratic Socialism for a Climate-Changed Century Naomi Klein Part II: Expanding Democracy Governing Socialism Bill Fletcher Jr. We the People: Voting Rights, Campaign Finance, and Election Reform J. Mijin Cha Confronting Corporate Power Robert Kuttner Building the People’s Banks David Dayen Democracy, Equality, and the Future of Workers Sarita Gupta, Stephen Lerner, and Joseph A. McCartin Who Gets to Be Safe? Prisons, Police, and Terror Aviva Stahl On Immigration: A Socialist Case for Open Borders Michelle Chen On Foreign Policy: War from Above, Solidarity from Below Tejasvi Nagaraja Part III: The Right to a Good Life Livable Cities Thomas J. Sugrue What Does Health Equity Require? Racism and the Limits of Medicare for All Dorothy Roberts The Family of the Future Sarah Leonard Defending and Improving Public Education Pedro Noguera Reclaiming Competition: Sports and Socialism David Zirin What About a Well-Fed Artist? Imagining Cultural Work in a Democratic Socialist Society Francesca Fiorentini How Socialism Surged, and How It Can Go Further Harold Meyerson Afterword: A Day in the Life of a Socialist Citizen Michael Walzer
LA Times winner for The Christopher Isherwood Prize for Autobiographical Prose A New York Times bestseller A New York Times Editors' Choice A Featured Title in The New York Times Book Review's "Paperback Row" A Bustle "17 Books About Race Every White Person Should Read" "Essential reading."--Junot Diaz "Electric...so well reported, so plainly told and so evidently the work of a man who has not grown a callus on his heart."--Dwight Garner, New York Times, "A Top Ten Book of 2016" "I'd recommend everyone to read this book because it's not just statistics, it's not just the information, but it's the connective tissue that shows the human story behind it." -- Trevor Noah, The Daily Show A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it Conducting hundreds of interviews during the course of over one year reporting on the ground, Washington Post writer Wesley Lowery traveled from Ferguson, Missouri, to Cleveland, Ohio; Charleston, South Carolina; and Baltimore, Maryland; and then back to Ferguson to uncover life inside the most heavily policed, if otherwise neglected, corners of America today. In an effort to grasp the magnitude of the repose to Michael Brown's death and understand the scale of the problem police violence represents, Lowery speaks to Brown's family and the families of other victims other victims' families as well as local activists. By posing the question, "What does the loss of any one life mean to the rest of the nation?" Lowery examines the cumulative effect of decades of racially biased policing in segregated neighborhoods with failing schools, crumbling infrastructure and too few jobs. Studded with moments of joy, and tragedy, They Can't Kill Us All offers a historically informed look at the standoff between the police and those they are sworn to protect, showing that civil unrest is just one tool of resistance in the broader struggle for justice. As Lowery brings vividly to life, the protests against police killings are also about the black community's long history on the receiving end of perceived and actual acts of injustice and discrimination. They Can't Kill Us All grapples with a persistent if also largely unexamined aspect of the otherwise transformative presidency of Barack Obama: the failure to deliver tangible security and opportunity to those Americans most in need of both.
A collection of linked short stories by the author of When Skateboards Will Be Free includes several pieces originally published in The New Yorker and features a sequence of aimless young men who endure morning commutes, complicated affairs and cruel bosses while pursuing better jobs.
This multilayered study of the representation of black masculinity in musical and cultural performance takes aim at the reduction of African American male culture to stereotypes of deviance, misogyny, and excess. Broadening the significance of hip-hop culture by linking it to other expressive forms within popular culture, Miles White examines how these representations have both encouraged the demonization of young black males in the United States and abroad and contributed to the construction of their identities. From Jim Crow to Jay-Z traces black male representations to chattel slavery and American minstrelsy as early examples of fetishization and commodification of black male subjectivity.Continuing with diverse discussions including black action films, heavyweight prizefighting, Elvis Presley's performance of blackness, and white rappers such as Vanilla Ice and Eminem, White establishes a sophisticated framework for interpreting and critiquing black masculinity in hip-hop music and culture. Arguing that black music has undeniably shaped American popular culture and that hip-hop tropes have exerted a defining influence on young male aspirations and behavior, White draws a critical link between the body, musical sound, and the construction of identity.
“Morgan has given an entire generation of black feminists space and language to center their pleasures alongside their politics.” —Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness “All that and then some, Chickenheads informs and educates, confronts and charms, raises the bar high by getting down low, and, to steal my favorite Joan Morgan phrase, bounced me out of the room.” —Marlon James, Man Booker Prize–winning author of A Brief History of Seven Killings Still fresh, funny, and irreverent after eighteen years, When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost gives voice to the most intimate thoughts of the post-Civil Rights, post-feminist, post-soul generation. Joan Morgan offers a provocative and powerful look into the life of the modern black woman: a complex world in which feminists often have not-so-clandestine affairs with the most sexist of men, where women who treasure their independence frequently prefer men who pick up the tab, where the deluge of babymothers and babyfathers reminds black women who long for marriage that traditional nuclear families are a reality for less than forty percent of the population, and where black women are forced to make sense of a world where truth is no longer black and white but subtle, intriguing shades of gray.
Trayvon Martin’s parents take readers beyond the news cycle with an account only they could give: the intimate story of a tragically foreshortened life and the rise of a movement. Now a docuseries on the Paramount Network produced by Shawn Carter On a February evening in 2012, in a small town in central Florida, seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking home with candy and a can of juice in hand and talking on the phone with a friend when a fatal encounter with a gun-wielding neighborhood watchman ended his young life. The watchman was briefly detained by the police and released. Trayvon’s father—a truck driver named Tracy—tried to get answers from the police but was shut down and ignored. Trayvon’s mother, a civil servant for the city of Miami, was paralyzed by the news of her son’s death and lost in mourning, unable to leave her room for days. But in a matter of weeks, their son’s name would be spoken by President Obama, honored by professional athletes, and passionately discussed all over traditional and social media. And at the head of a growing nationwide campaign for justice were Trayvon’s parents, who—driven by their intense love for their lost son—discovered their voices, gathered allies, and launched a movement that would change the country. Five years after his tragic death, Trayvon Martin’s name is still evoked every day. He has become a symbol of social justice activism, as has his hauntingly familiar image: the photo of a child still in the process of becoming a young man, wearing a hoodie and gazing silently at the camera. But who was Trayvon Martin, before he became, in death, an icon? And how did one black child’s death on a dark, rainy street in a small Florida town become the match that lit a civil rights crusade? Rest in Power, told through the compelling alternating narratives of Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, answers, for the first time, those questions from the most intimate of sources. It’s the story of the beautiful and complex child they lost, the cruel unresponsiveness of the police and the hostility of the legal system, and the inspiring journey they took from grief and pain to power, and from tragedy and senselessness to meaning. “A beautiful, searing account.”—The Washington Post “A reminder—not only of Trayvon’s life and death but of the vulnerability of black lives in a country that still needs to be reminded they matter.”—USA Today “A brave, heart-rending narrative from the parents who lost their son far too soon.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)