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Worlds of change: the latest scholarly works for fall and winter release.

"Transformational Publishing" was the theme of this year's meeting of" the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) in New Orleans. "Transformational" describes the challenges and competition facing the men and women whose business is academic publishing and scholarly information dissemination. "Societies, libraries and other scholarly groups are now more likely to undertake publishing ventures themselves," read one proposal, "although they often lack the editing, marketing, and business skills found in abundance in university presses."

Publishing editors, presidents and executives at such groups trade stories and strategies about the challenges of digital technology, which allows entities to publish, but they thumb their noses at the peer review and standards required by an AAUP affiliate. The good news for university press scholarship involving people of color is that more executives are looking to support regional scholarship--a significant portion of which is related to African American, African and Caribbean subjects--because it sells well.

Fall 2006 catalogues reveal such varied regional subjects as a biography of the "steel driving" man John Henry, and a documentary survey titled The Other Black Bostonians, about West Indians in 19th-century Boston.

Penelope Kaiserlian, director of the University of Virginia Press who takes over as AAUP president this year, made it clear in an interview that the idea of transformative publishing applied not just to technology but also to people: "We really are having to transform ourselves. We're in such a world of change, we need constant re-education."

Books on the black experience that are forthcoming from university presses answer Kaiserlian's challenge and not only revolutionize, educate and re-educate but also entertain.


Recent and upcoming offerings from university and small presses of interest to African Americans, by category, include:


The Color of Fascism: Lawrence Dennis, Racial Passing, and the Rise of Right-Wing Extremism in the United States by Gerald Home New York University Press, November 2006 $45, ISBN 0-814-73686-6

Based on extensive archival research, The Color of Fascism fuses biography, social history and critical race theory to bring to life this complicated, mysterious man.

From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice by Thomas F. Jackson University of Pennsylvania, December 2006 $39.95, ISBN 0-812-23969-5

While King is revered as a civil rights hero, his more radical views are often glossed over. In this reinterpretation, Jackson reveals the real King.

Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware: Forty Years of Letters in Black and White Edited by Anne Firor Scott University of North Carolina Press, October 2006, $24.95, ISBN 0-807-83055-0

In 1942, Pauli Murray, a young black woman from North Carolina studying law at Howard University, and Caroline Ware, who was one of the nation's leading historians, struck up a friendship that lasted until Murray's death in 1985. Their letters are an exchange of social and political ideas, particularly regarding civil rights and women's rights.

Steel Drivin' Man: John Henry and the Untold Story of an American Legend by Scott Reynolds Nelson Oxford University Press, October 2006 $25, ISBN 0-195-30010-6

"Part detective story, part marvelous cultural history" is how this account of the life and legacy of John Henry is described. Nelson, who served as a consultant on the upcoming PBS documentary on John Henry, recounts the real story of the man behind the American legend. Nelson reveals how the young Virginian was shipped to the Richmond Penitentiary, was forced to labor on the mile-long Lewis Tunnel for the C&O Railroad and later became the subject of the most recorded folk song in American history.


African Filmmaking: North and South of the Sahara by Roy Armes Indiana University Press, September 2006 $75, ISBN 0-253-34853-6

In this book about the history and future of African filmmaking, Armes examines the effects globalization, national and cultural identity and sociopolitical context have had on African filmmakers and their industry.

AfroAsian Encounters: Culture, History, Politics Edited by Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Shannon Steen, Foreword by Vijay Prashad and Afterword by Gary Okihiro New York University Press, November 2006 $70, ISBN 0-814-77580-2

AfroAsian Encounters is the first anthology to examine the mutual influence of and the relationships between members of the African and Asian Diasporas in the Americas.

Imaging Blackness: Race and Racial Representation in Film Poster Art Edited and curated by Audrey Thomas McCluskey, Foreword by Melvin Van Peebles Indiana University Press, February 2007 $24.95, ISBN 0-253-21779-2

Stunning and colorful posters selected from the more than 1,000 housed at Indiana University's Black Film Center/Archive serve as a time line of race relations in 20th-century America.


Trinidad Carnival: The Cultural Politics of a Transnational Festival Edited by Garth L. Green and Philip W. Scher Indiana University Press, February 2007 $60, ISBN 0-253-34823-4

Trinidad, like many nations in the Caribbean, has watched globalization affect its economy, politics and expressive culture. Even Carnival, the colorful folk celebration that reflects Trinidadian culture, has been transformed into a major transnational festival.

Routes of Passage: Rethinking the African Diaspora

Edited by Ruth Simms Hamilton Michigan State University Press, October 2006, $34.95, ISBN 0-870-13632-1

Routes of Passage addresses issues of geographical mobility and geosocial displacement, changing culture and political and economic relationships between Africa and its Diaspora.

Blacks on the Border: The Black Refugees in British North America, 1815-1860 by Harvey Amani Whitfield University of Vermont Press, November 2006, $24.95, ISBN 1-584-65606-9

Black refugees arrived in Nova Scotia shortly after the War of 1812. The new arrivals had little in common, other than their desire for freedom. By 1860, they had formed families, communities and traditions. This is a foundational work crucial to anyone studying the black Atlantic, particularly those studying the history of African peoples in New England and maritime Canada.


The 1812 Aponte Rebellion in Cuba and the Struggle Against Atlantic Slavery by Matt D. Childs University of North Carolina Press, November 2006, $55, ISBN 0-807-83058-5

This is the first in-depth analysis of insurrections in Cuba in 1812. After striking alliances between free and enslaved people of color--blacks and mulattoes, Africans and Creoles--rebels took action, hoping to overthrow slavery and maybe even end Spanish rule.

Rape and Sexual Power in Early America by Sharon Block University of North Carolina Press, September 2006, $45, ISBN 0-807-83045-3

Historical ties between race and the act of rape extend beyond the slave-labor system of the South. After examining and analyzing hundreds of records on coerced sexual relations, Professor Sharon Block concludes that interracial sexuality has been a hot button since America's colonial period.

The Other Black Bostonians: West Indians in Boston, 1900-1950 by Violet Showers Johnson Indiana University Press, October 2006 $39.95, ISBN 0-253-34752-1

This study of two generations of West Indian immigrants examines the identities, goals and aspirations of blacks from the British-held Caribbean who settled in Boston between 1900 and 1950.

Private Politics and Public Voices Reparations: Pro and Con by Alfred L. Brophy Oxford University Press, September 2006 $29.95, ISBN 0-195-30408-X

Long before the phrase "40 acres and a mule" was coined to describe what free black Americans were owed for years of being enslaved, abolitionists discussed compensating slaves for what had been unjustly taken from them. In this short, definitive work, Brophy, a professor of law at the University of Alabama, regards the debate over reparations from the 1700s to the present, examining failed and successful lawsuits, as well as reparations actions by legislatures, newspapers, schools and businesses.


The Curse of Caste; or, the Slave Bride: A Rediscovered African American Novel by Julia C. Collins Oxford University Press, October 2006 $25, ISBN 0-195-30159-5

This is the first novel ever published by an African American woman. Written by Mrs. Julia C. Collins, a black woman in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, the novel is set in antebellum Louisiana and Connecticut, and tells the story of a mixed-race mother and daughter whose opportunities for love and marriage are threatened by slavery and caste prejudice. The story was first serialized in 1865, in The Christian Recorder, the national newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In their introduction, the editors, William L. Andrews and Mitch Kachun, offer the most complete research on Collins's fife.

Speak Now by Frank Yerby Introduction by Gene Andrew Jarrett University Press of New England, September 2006, $18.95, ISBN 1-555-53668-9

Frank Yerby (1916-1991) was an African American novelist, poet and popular writer who wrote more than 30 novels, which sold more than 55 million copies. Speak Now (Dial Press, 1969), the first of his novels to feature a black protagonist, fell out of print but is now available once again. Set in 1968 Paris, this bittersweet romance between a black ex-pat jazz musician and a privileged white southern girl is both provocative and entertaining.

Sandra L. Jamison is a researcher and writer in New York City.
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Title Annotation:bibliomane: Choice books from university presses and small publishers
Author:Jamison, Sandra L.
Publication:Black Issues Book Review
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2006
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