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Relevant Books.

Hossein, Caroline Shenaz, ed. The Black Social Economy in the Americas: Exploring Diverse Community-Based Markets. NY: New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp.230, ISBN: 9781137600479.

This book explores the meaning of the term "Black social economy," a self-help sector that remains autonomous from the state and business sectors. In this volume, fourteen scholars explore the concept of the "Black social economy," bringing together innovative research on the lived experience of Afro-descendants in business and society in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and the United States. The case studies in this book feature horrific legacies of enslavement, colonization, and racism, and they recount the myriad ways that persons of African heritage have built humane alternatives to the dominant market economy that excludes them to shed light on how Black people has been overlooked in the social economy literature.

de la Fuente, Alejandro and George Reid Andrews, eds. Afro-Latin American Studies. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp.400, ISBN: 1316630668.

This book is a survey of humanities and social science scholarship in Afro-Latin American Studies organized by topic that synthesize and present the state of knowledge on a broad variety of topics, including Afro-Latin American music, religions, literature, art history, political thought, social movements, legal history, environmental history, and ideologies of racial inclusion. The volume connects the region's long history of slavery to the major political, social, cultural, and economic developments of the last two centuries; written by scholars in each of those topics to provide an introduction to the field of Afro-Latin American Studies.

Rocksborough-Smith, Ian. Black Public History in Chicago: Civil Rights Activism from World War II into the Cold War. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2018, pp.248, ISBN: 025208330X.

This volume argues that in civil-rights-era Chicago, a dedicated group of Black activists, educators, and organizations employed Black public history as more than cultural activism as their work and vision energized a Black public history movement that promoted political progress in the crucial time between World War II and the onset of the Cold War with research and adept storytelling to provide a look at how these committed individuals leveraged Chicago's Black public history. Hence, the author shows how teacher worked to advance curriculum reform in public schools, while well-known activists Margaret and Charles Burroughs pushed for greater recognition of Black history by founding the DuSable Museum of African American History, and organizations like the Afro-American Heritage Association, used Black public history work to connect radical politics and nationalism as these people and their projects advanced important ideas about race, citizenship, education, and intellectual labor that paralleled the shifting terrain of mid-twentieth century civil rights.

Langmia, Kehbuma, ed. Black/Africana Communication Theory. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp.345, ISBN: 3319754467. This volume assembles communicologists who propose uniquely Black-driven theories that stand the test of time in fifteen chapters to explore Afrocentricity, Afro-Cultural Mulatto, Venerative Speech Theory, Africana Symbolic Contextualism Theory, HaramBuntu-Government-Diaspora Communications Theory, Consciencist Communication Theory and Racial Democracy Effect Theory are introduced, and other theories. The editor is Professor/Chair and Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communications at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Causey-Konate, Tammie M. and Margaret Montgomery-Richard, eds. Called to Sankofa: Leading In, Through and Beyond Disaster: A Narrative Account of African Americans Leading Education in Post-Katrina New Orleans. New York, NY: Peter Lang Inc., 2018, pp.126, ISBN: 1433154080.

This work is a collection of Hurricane Katrina survival stories by African American education leaders in New Orleans. It draws upon the West African concept, Sankofa (a concept that serves as a lens for examining leadership in the aftermath of disaster; it serves as an intense magnifier and illuminator of lessons considered relevant and profoundly valuable to guide one's understanding of how to lead in, through and beyond disaster), which loosely translates to "return to the source and fetch." The griots, through their stories, fetch salvageable and knowledge-laden valuables linked to their resilience and rebuilding efforts. Thus, the book rejects the assumption that "all was broken" in education--either before or due to Katrina, and through the storytellers, one is reminded that to rebuild things better than before, one must take stock of, extract meaning from and be guided by what constituted the "before." Hence, the book documents the leaders' acts of resilience, optimism, strength, passion and resolve and details the support structures and sources of inspiration that enabled within them the capacity to adapt to the chaotic and uncertain environments and to be moved to action and leadership.

Molette, Carlton and Barbara. Afrocentric Theatre. Bloomington, Indiana: XLIBRIS, 2013, pp.314, ISBN: 1483637395.

This work argues that Afrocentric theatre is a culturally-based art form wherein culture and values shape perceptions of such phenomena as time, space, heroism, reality, truth, and beauty. And therefore, these culturally variable social constructions determine standards for evaluating and analyzing art and govern the way people perceive theatrical presentations as well as film and video drama. Hence, the book describes the nature of an art form that embraces and disseminates African American culture and values, and suggests a framework for interpreting and evaluating that art form and assesses the endeavors of dramatists who work from an Afrocentric perspective.

Bell, Janet Dewart. Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement. New York, NY: The New Press, 2018, pp.240, ISBN: 1620973359.

This work shines a light on women's all-too-often overlooked achievements in the Movement. Through wide-ranging conversations with nine women, several now in their nineties with decades of untold stories, we hear what ignited and fueled their activism. Hence, the book provides personal and intimate accounts of extraordinary struggles for justice that resulted in profound social change, stories that remain important and relevant today. And retrospectively, the volume argues that during the Civil Rights Movement, African American women were generally not in the headlines; they simply did the work that needed to be done, yet despite their significant contributions at all levels of the movement, they remain mostly invisible to the larger public. The author is a social justice activist with a doctorate in leadership and change from Antioch University; she founded the Derrick Bell Lecture on Race in American Society series at the New York University School of Law.

Afolayan, Adeshina and Toyin Falola, eds. The Palgrave Handbook of African Philosophy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp.867, ISBN: 1137592907.

This handbook investigates the current state and future possibilities of African philosophy as a discipline and as a practice, vis-a-vis the challenge of African development and Africa's place in a globalized, neoliberal capitalist economy. Hence, the volume offers a survey of the philosophical enterprise in Africa, especially with reference to current discourses, arguments and new issues--feminism and gender, terrorism and fundamentalism, sexuality, development, identity, pedagogy and multidisciplinarity, etc.--that are significant for understanding how Africa can resume its arrested march towards decolonization and liberation. The contributors include the editors (Adeshina Afolayan, Toyin Falola), Godfrey Tangwa, Sanya Osha, Teodros Kiros, D. A. Masolo, Gail M. Presbey, Safro Kwame, Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Godfrey Tangwa, Muyiwa Falaiye, Bruce B. Janz, Anke Graness, Teodros Kiros, A.G.A. Bello, and Molefi Kete Asante.

Ngom, Fallou. Muslims Beyond the Arab World: The Odyssey of Ajami and the Muridiyya. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp.336, ISBN: 0190279869..

This book explores the vibrant tradition of writing African languages using the modified Arabic script ('Ajami) alongside the rise of the Muridiyya Sufi order in Senegal. The book demonstrates how the development of the 'Ajami literary tradition is entwined with the flourishing of the Muridiyya into one of Africa south of the Sahara's most powerful and dynamic Sufi organizations. It offers a close reading of the rich hagiographic and didactic written, recited, and chanted 'Ajami texts of the Muridiyya, works largely unknown to scholars. The texts describe the life and Sufi odyssey of the order's founder, Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba Mbakke (1853-1927), his conflicts with local rulers and Muslim clerics and the French colonial administration, and the traditions and teachings he championed that permanently shaped the identity and behaviors of his followers. The author also evaluates prevailing representations of the Muridiyya movement and offers alternative perspectives to demonstrates how the Muridiyya used their written, recited, and chanted 'Ajami materials as an effective mass communication tool in conveying to the masses Bamba's poignant odyssey, doctrine, the virtues he stood for and cultivated among his followers-self-esteem, self-reliance, strong faith, work ethic, pursuit of excellence, determination, nonviolence, and optimism in the face of adversity-without the knowledge of the French colonial administration and many academics. Thus, Muslims beyond the Arab World argues that this is the source of the resilience, appeal, and expansion of Muridiyya, which has fascinated observers since its inception in 1883. The author is director of the African Studies Center and a professor of Anthropology at Boston University.

Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Sabelo J. Epistemic Freedom in Africa: Deprovincialization and Decolonization. New York, NY: Routledge, 2018, pp.282, ISBN: 1138588571. This book is about the struggle for African people to think, theorize, interpret the world and write from where they are located, unencumbered by Eurocentrism. Hence, the author argues for centering Africa as a legitimate historical unit of analysis and epistemic site from which to interpret the world, whilst simultaneously making an equally strong argument for globalizing knowledge from Africa so as to attain ecologies of knowledges. The book also highlights how the mental universe of Africa was invaded and colonized, the long-standing struggles for 'an African university', the trajectories of contemporary de-colonial movements such as Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall in South Africa, and that only once the problem of epistemic freedom has been addressed can Africa achieve political, cultural, economic and other freedoms.

Nielsen, Aldon Lynn and Lauri Ramey, eds. What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America. Tuscaloosa, AL: University Alabama Press, 2015, pp.344, ISBN: 0817358005.

This work is the second book in a landmark two-volume anthology that explodes narrow definitions of African American poetry by examining experimental poems often excluded from previous scholarship. The elder poets in this collection, such as Nathaniel Mackey, C. S. Giscombe, Will Alexander, and Ron Allen, came of age during and were powerfully influenced by the Black Arts Movement, hence, the collection in its Black modernist roots in tracing the fascinating and unexpected paths of experimentation these poets explored, however, the authors reveal the tight delineations of African American poetry that omitted non-canonical forms.

Rutter, Emily Ruth. The Blues Muse: Race, Gender, and Musical Celebrity in American Poetry. Tuscaloosa, AL: University Alabama Press, 2018, pp.248, ISBN: 978-0817319946.

This book focuses on five key blues musicians and singers--Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson, and Lead Belly--and traces the ways in which these artists and their personas have been invoked and developed throughout American poetry. This study spans nearly one hundred years of literary and musical history, from the New Negro Renaissance to the present. Hence, the author structures the study around one pivotal understanding: however marginalized, poetry is a crucial medium for comprehending sociopolitical and cultural developments. Building from this idea, the book traces the evolution of the poetic invocation of blues muses through a succession of cultural eras, political climates, and artistic movements, asking how and why these protean blues figures change shape both within and across generations. Drawing on the work of poets Langston Hughes, Frank O'Hara, Amiri Baraka, Harryette Mullen, Terrance Hayes, and many more, as a guide, the author discusses topics such as the poetic renderings of Black struggle, the constantly evolving notions of authenticity, and the portrayal of blues artists as heroic symbols of African American resistance.

Green, Tara T. Reimagining the Middle Passage: Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2018, pp.220, ISBN: 9780814254714.

This work turns to twentieth- and recent twenty-first-century representations of the Middle Passage created by African-descended artists and writers; examining how writers and performers revised and reimagined the Middle Passage in their work. Hence, the book argues that writers and performers recognized the Middle Passage as a historical and geographical site of trauma as well as a symbol for a place of understanding and change, representing the legacy African captives left for resisting "social death" (the idea that Black life does not matter), and also a place of strong resistance to that social death.

Marlo, David D. Mama's Gun: Black Maternal Figures and the Politics of Transgression. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2016, pp.256, ISBN: 9780814253694.

This book identifies five bold, new archetypes of Black motherhood for the post-civil rights generation in order to imagine new ways of thinking about pervasive maternal stereotypes of Black women. Hence, rather than avoiding "negative" images of Black motherhood, such as welfare queens, teen mothers, and "baby mamas, the work centralizes these dispossessed figures and renames them as the Young Mother, the Blues Mama, the Surrogate, Big Mama, and the Mothership. Taking inspiration from African American fiction, historical accounts of Black life, Afrofuturism, and Black popular culture in music and on screen, the author turns attention to Sapphire's Push, Octavia Butler's Dawn, and Suzan-Lori Parks's Getting Mother's Body as well as the performance art of Erykah Badu and the films of Tyler Perry to draw out the implications of Black maternal figures in these texts who balk at tradition and are far from "ideal", and show how representations of Blackness is deeply embedded in the neoliberal language of contemporary American politics and how Black writers and performers resist such mainstream ideologies with their own transgressive Black maternal figures.

Merrill, Heather. Black Spaces: African Diaspora in Italy. New York, NY: Routledge, 2018, pp.234, ISBN: 1138549371.

This work examines how space and place are radicalized and the impacts on everyday experiences among African Italians, immigrants, and refugees; and explores the deeply intertwined histories of Africa and Europe, and how people of African descent negotiate, contest, and live with anti-blackness in Italy. The vast majority of people crossing the Mediterranean into Europe are from West Africa and the Horn of Africa. Their passage is part of the legacy of Italian and broader European engagement in colonial projects. This largely forgotten history corresponds with an ongoing effort to erase them from the Italian social landscape on arrival, hence, the book examines spaces by blending a critical geographical approach to place and space with Afro-Pessimist and critical race perspectives on the lived experiences of Blackness and anti-blackness in Italy. The author is a professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College.

Baker, Christina N. Contemporary Black Women Filmmakers and the Art of Resistance. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2018, pp.214, ISBN: 9780814254998.

This book provides an analysis of representations of Black femaleness in the feature films of Black women filmmakers that resist dominant ideologies about Black womanhood, deliberately and creatively reconstructing meanings of Blackness that draw from their personal experiences and create new symbolic meaning of Black femaleness within mainstream culture. Addressing social issues such as the exploitation of Black women in the entertainment industry, the impact of mass incarceration on Black women, political activism, and violence, these films also engage with personal issues as complex as love, motherhood, and sexual identity. The author argues that their counter-hegemonic representations have the potential to transform the narratives surrounding Black femaleness. At the intersection of Black feminism and womanism, the book develops a "womanist artistic standpoint" theory, drawing from the work of Alice Walker, Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, and Kimberle Crenshaw. Hence, the work examines the cultural texts of filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, Tanya Hamilton, Kasi Lemmons, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Dee Rees--and including interviews she conducted with three of the filmmakers--the author emphasizes the importance of applying an intersectional perspective that centers on the shared experiences of Black women and the role of film as a form of artistic expression and a tool of social resistance.

Hardwick, Louise. Joseph Zobel: Nigritude and the Novel. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 2018, pp.288, ISBN: 1786940736.

Joseph Zobel (1915-2006) is one of the best-known Francophone Caribbean authors, and is internationally recognized for his novel La Rue Cases-Negres (1950); however, very little is known about his other novels, and most readings of La Rue Cases-Negres consider the text in isolation. Through a series of close readings of the author's six published novels, with supporting references drawn from his published short stories, poetry and diaries, this book generates new insights into Zobel's highly original decision to develop Negritude's project of affirming pride in Black identity through the novel and social realism. Hence, the study establishes how, influenced by the American Harlem Renaissance movement, Zobel expands the scope of Negritude by introducing new themes and stylistic innovations which herald a new kind of social realist French Caribbean literature; discoveries that challenge and alter the current understanding of Francophone Caribbean literature during the Negritude period, in addition to contributing to changes in the current understanding of Caribbean and American literature more broadly understood. The author is a Reader in Francophone Postcolonial Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK), and Associate Fellow of Homerton College, University of Cambridge.

Marriott, David. Whither Fanon?: Studies in the Blackness of Being. Palo Alto, California. Stanford University Press, 2018, pp. 432, ISBN: 1503605728

Investigating and foregrounding the clinical system that Fanon devised in an attempt to intervene against Negrophobia and anti-blackness, this book rereads the clinical and political work of Frantz Fanon, arguing that the two are mutually imbricated. Thus, Fanon's therapeutic innovations are considered along with his more overtly political and cultural writings to ask how the crises of war affected his practice, informed his politics, and shaped his subsequent ideas as the author suggests that the combination of the clinical and political involves a psycho-politics that is by definition, complex, difficult, and perpetually challenging. As a result, the work details this psycho-politics from two points of view, focusing first on Fanon's socio-therapy, its diagnostic methods and concepts, and second, on Fanon's cultural theory more generally.

Finley, Cheryl, Randall R. Griffey, Amelia Peck, and Darryl Pinckney. My Soul Has Grown Deep: Black Art from the American South. New York, NY: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2018, pp.116, ISBN: 1588396096.

This contribution considers the art-historical significance of contemporary Black artists working throughout the southeastern United States via paintings, drawings, mixed-media compositions, sculptures, and textiles include pieces ranging from the profound assemblages of Thornton Dial to the renowned quilts of Gee's Bend. Nearly 60 remarkable examples are illustrated alongside insightful texts that situate them in the history of modernism and the context of African American experience in the 20th-century South. Hence, this study simultaneously considers these works on their own merits while also making connections to mainstream contemporary art as art historians Cheryl Finley, Randall R. Griffey, and Amelia Peck illuminate shared artistic practices, including the novel use of found or salvaged materials and the artists' interest in improvisational approaches across media, while novelist and essayist Darryl Pinckney provides a thoughtful consideration of the cultural and political history of the American South, during and after the Civil Rights era.

Craven, Alice Mikal. Visible and Invisible Whiteness: American White Supremacy through the Cinematic Lens. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, pp.220, ISBN: 3319767763.

The work examines the complicity between classical Hollywood narratives or genres and representations of white supremacy in the cinema with close readings of D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation by James Agee and James Baldwin explore these authors' perspectives on the American mythologies which ground Griffith's film. The intersectionality of Bordwell's theories on classical Hollywood narrative versus art cinema and Richard Dyer's seminal work on whiteness forms the theoretical base for the book. Featured films are those which have been undervalued or banned due to their hybrid natures with respect to Hollywood and art cinema techniques, such as Samuel Fuller's White Dog and Jean Renoir's The Southerner. The book offers an analysis of American studio-based directors as well as European and European emigres directors. The author is an associate professor of Comparative Literature and Chair of Film Studies at The American University of Paris, France.

Dezafi: Franketienne. Charles, Asselin (translator) with afterword by Jean Jonassaint. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2018, pp.200, ISBN: 9780813941387.

This is no ordinary zombie novel. In the hands of the Haitian author (poet, playwright, painter, musician, activist and intellectual) known simply as Franketienne, zombification takes on a symbolic dimension that stands as a potent commentary on a country haunted by a history of slavery. Now this new translation brings this touchstone in Haitian literature to English-language readers for the first time. Written in a provocative experimental style, with a myriad of voices and combining myth, poetry, allegory, magical realism, and social realism, the novel tells the tale of a plantation that is run and worked by zombies for the financial benefit of the living owner. The owner's daughter falls in love with the zombie overseer and facilitates his transformation back into fully human form, leading to a rebellion that challenges the oppressive imbalance that had robbed the workers of their spirit. With the walking dead and bloody cockfights (the "dezafi" of the title) as cultural metaphors for Haitian existence, Franketienne's novel is ultimately a powerful allegory of political and social liberation. Franketienne, called "the father of Haitian letters" by the New York Times, is the author of numerous novels, plays, and works of poetry. A past Nobel candidate, he is the recipient of France's Order of Arts and Letters and has been named a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Calihman, Matthew and Gerald Early, eds. Approaches to Teaching Baraka's Dutchman. New York, NY: Modern Language Association, 2018, pp. 224, ISBN: 9781603293549.

This volume offers strategies for guiding students through this short but challenging text. The first part provides resources for biographical information, critical and literary backgrounds, and the play's early production history. The essays in part two address viewing and staging Dutchman theatrically in class, hence, they help instructors ground the play artistically in the Black Arts Movement, the beat generation, the theater of the absurd, pop music, and the blues. Background on civil rights, Black power movements, the history of slavery, and Jim Crow laws helps contextualize the play politically and historically. First performed in 1964, Amiri Baraka's play about a charged encounter between a Black man and a White woman still has the power to shock; the play is steeped in the racial issues of its time, yet it continues to speak to racial violence and inequality today.

Belgrave, Faye Z. and Kevin W. Allison. African American Psychology: From Africa to America. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, 2018, pp.640, ISBN: 9781506333403.

This fourth volume provides an integration of African and American influences on the psychology of African Americans using a consistent theme throughout the text--the idea that understanding the psychology of African Americans is closely linked to understanding what is happening in the institutional systems in the United States. The edition also reflects on notable advances and important developments in the field over the last several years, and includes evidence-based practices for improving the overall well-being of African American communities. Hence, the book (1) covers current issues affecting African Americans and causing changes in the social-political environment include the Black Lives Matter movement, racial trauma, and more, (2) has content from blogs has been added to chapter-opening cover stories to reflect the more modern ways news and information are obtained, (3) includes more coverage of literature and research on Blacks throughout the diaspora, especially in Africa, provide historical context and documents heterogeneity among African Americans in the United States, and it has expanded coverage of topics as a result of recent research includes LGBTQ individuals, African American fathers, colorism, intersectionality, electronic cigarettes, social media, and more. Each chapter begins with an African proverb that provides a perspective on issues and a departure point for considering the forthcoming material; chapter-opening cover stories illustrate the application of theory and research to everyday life; the research and methodological sections highlight methodological issues relevant to topics discussed in the chapter; the volume has empirically supported practices sections identify and discuss new and potentially more effective programs and interventions for addressing problems and improving the well-being for African Americans; a consistent pedagogical design throughout enhances student learning, and learning objectives to provide students with knowledge of key concepts and an overview of the research and literature on topics covered in the chapter.

Abdill, Aasha M. Fathering from the Margins: An Intimate Examination of Black Fatherhood. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2018, pp.272, ISBN: 0231180020.

This book draws on four years of fieldwork in low-income, predominantly Black Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, to dispel these destructive assumptions. She considers the obstacles faced--and the strategies used--by Black men with children. Hence, the work presents qualitative and quantitative evidence that confirms the increasing presence of Black fathers in their communities, arguing that changing social norms about gender roles in Black families have shifted fathering behaviors. In short, the book shows how supporting Black men in their quest to be--and be seen as--family men is the key to securing not only their children's well-being but also their own.

Hutchinson, Earl Ofari. 50 Years Later: Why the Murder of Dr. King Still Hurts. Los Angeles, CA: Middle Passage Press, 2018, pp.172, ASIN: B079JYS4BT.

This book assesses what would have changed if King had lived; what was the consequence of the changes that occurred in the aftermath of his murder; how did those changes impact and influence the peace movement, the opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the immigration, gay rights and women's movements, and Black Lives Matter; what effect would his presence on the scene have had on the fight for Black political empowerment, criminal justice system reform, the problems of crime, drugs and violence in the nation's inner cities and the ugly racial backlash of the GOP and Trump; and what relationship would he have had, and conflicts with, Presidents Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama? The book also look at King's murder and address why many still believe that his murder was not the work of a racist, lone nut, James Earl Ray, but that it was orchestrated by the FBI and other murky federal government agencies, and argues that fifty years after the murder of King the FBI still has not formally apologized for its two decade long dirty war against him.

Thiong'o, NgugT wa Wrestling with the Devil; A Prison Memoir. New York, NY: The New Press, 2018, pp. 272, ISBN: 9781620973332.

A prison memoir that begins literally half an hour before his release on December 12, 1978; in one extended flashback the author recalls the night, a year earlier, when armed police pulled him from his home and jailed him in Kenya's Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, one of the largest in Africa. There, he lives in a prison block with eighteen other political prisoners, quarantined from the general prison population. In a conscious effort to fight back the humiliation and the intended degradation of the spirit, the author decides to write a novel on toilet paper, the only paper to which he has access, a book that will become his classic, Devil on the Cross. Written in the early 1980s and never before published in America, this is an account of the drama and the challenges of writing fiction under twenty-four-hour surveillance. Hence, the work captures not only the excruciating pain that comes from being cut off from his wife and children, but also the spirit of defiance that defines hope.

Lovesey, Oliver. Approaches to Teaching the Works of Ngugi wa Thiong'o. New York, NY: Modern Language Association, 2012, pp.265, ISBN: 9781603291125.

Part one of this volume provides resources and background for the teaching of Ngugi's novels, plays, memoirs, and criticism. The essays of part two consider the influence of Frantz Fanon, Karl Marx, and Joseph Conrad on Ngugi; how the role of women in his fiction is inflected by feminism; his interpretation and political use of African history; his experimentation with orality and allegory in narrative; and the different challenges of teaching NgugT in classrooms in the United States, Europe, and Africa. NgugT wa Thiong'o is one of the most important and celebrated authors of post-independence Africa as well as a groundbreaking postcolonial theorist. His work, written first in English, then in Gikuyu, engages with the transformations of his native Kenya after what is often termed the Mau Mau rebellion. It also gives voice to the struggles of all African people against economic injustice and political oppression. His writing and activism have continued despite imprisonment, the threat of assassination, and exile.

Florvil. Tiffany N. and Vanessa D. Plumly. Eds. Rethinking Black German Studies: Approaches, Interventions and Histories. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, 2018, ISBN: 9783034322256.

This volume assesses where the field is now by exploring the nuances of how the past--colonial, Weimar, National Socialist, post-1945, and post-Wende--informs the present and future of Black German Studies; how present generations of Black Germans look to those of the past for direction and empowerment; how discourses shift due to the diversification of power structures and the questioning of identity-based categories; and how Black Germans affirm their agency and cultural identity through cultural productions that engender both counter-discourses and counter-narratives. Black German Studies is an interdisciplinary field that has experienced significant growth over the past three decades, integrating subjects such as gender studies, diaspora studies, history, and media and performance studies. The field's contextual roots as well as historical backdrop, nevertheless, span centuries.

Waters, Rob. Thinking Black: Britain, 1964-1985. Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2018, pp. 304, ISBN: 9780520293854.

This work reveals Black radical Britain's wide cultural-political formation, tracing it across new institutions of Black civil society and connecting it to decolonization and Black liberation across the Atlantic world to shows how, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, Black radicalism defined what it meant to be Black and what it meant to be radical in Britain. Retrospectively, it was a common charge among Black radicals in the 1960s that Britons needed to start "Thinking Black." As state and society consolidated around a revived politics of whiteness, "Thinking Black," they felt, was necessary for all who sought to build a liberated future out of Britain's imperial past.

Lovesey, Oliver. The Postcolonial Intellectual: Ngugi wa Thiong'o in Context. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016, pp.244, ISBN: 1409409007.

Addressing a neglected dimension in postcolonial scholarship, the author examines the figure of the postcolonial intellectual as repeatedly evoked by the fabled troika of Said, Spivak, and Bhabha and by members of the pan-African diaspora such as Cabral, Fanon, and James. Hence, the primary focus is on wa Thiong'o, considered by many as one of the greatest writers of post-independence Africa. The author's study concentrates on wa Thiong'o's non-fictional prose writings, including his largely overlooked early journalism and his most recent autobiographical and theoretical work with a postcolonial critique that acknowledges wa Thiong'o's complex position as a virtual spokesperson for the oppressed and global conscience who now speaks from a location of privilege. The author argues that wa Thiong'o's view of the intellectual has shifted from an alienated, nearly neocolonial stance to a position that allows him to celebrate intellectual activism and a return to the model of the oral vernacular intellectual even as he challenges other global intellectuals. Tracing the development of this notion of the postcolonial intellectual, the author argues for wa Thiong'o's rightful position as a major postcolonial theorist who helped establish postcolonial studies. The author is an associate professor of English at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, Canada.

Iheka, Cajetan. Naturalizing Africa: Ecological Violence, Agency, and Postcolonial Resistance in African Literature. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp.220, ISBN: 1107199174

In this book, the author analyses how African literary texts have engaged with pressing ecological problems in Africa, including the Niger Delta oil pollution in Nigeria, ecologies of war in Somalia, and animal abuses. Analyzing narratives by important African writers such as Amos Tutuola, Wangari Maathai, J. M. Coetzee, Bessie Head, and Ben Okri, the author challenges the tendency to focus primarily on humans in the conceptualization of environmental problems, and instead focuses on how African literature demonstrates the interconnection and 'proximity' of human and nonhuman beings. Through this, the author ultimately proposes a revision of the idea of agency based on human intentionality in African literary studies and post-colonialism.
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Publication:Journal of Pan African Studies
Article Type:Recommended readings
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2018
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