{2015 New Releases} Week 6: Feb 2-8

The Trouble with Post-Blackness by Houston A. BakerThe Trouble With Post-Blackness by: Houston A. Baker
An America in which the color of one’s skin no longer matters would be unprecedented. With the election of President Barack Obama in 2008, that future suddenly seemed possible. Obama’s rise reflects a nation of fluid populations and fortunes, a society in which a biracial individual could be embraced as a leader by all. Yet complicating this vision are shifting demographics, rapid redefinitions of race, and the instant invention of brands, trends, and identities that determine how we think about ourselves and the place of others.

This collection of original essays confronts the premise, advanced by black intellectuals, that the Obama administration marked the start of a “post-racial” era in the United States. While the “transcendent” and post-racial black elite declare victory over America’s longstanding codes of racial exclusion and racist violence, their evidence relies largely on their own salaries and celebrity. These essays strike at the certainty of those who insist life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now independent of skin color and race in America. They argue, signify, and testify that “post-blackness” is a problematic mythology masquerading as fact–a dangerous new “race science” motivated by black transcendentalist individualism. Through rigorous analysis, these essays expose the idea of a post-racial nation as a pleasurable entitlement for a black elite, enabling them to reject the ethics and urgency of improving the well-being of the black majority.
Release: 2/3/15
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Against All Odds by Mahisha DellingerAgainst All Odds by: Mahisha Dellinger
For Mahisha Dellinger, life in the rough streets of Sacramento, California was paving the way for a lifetime of poverty, despair and dysfunction. But while criminals ran rampant, gangs took over, and her own relatives chose drugs over dreams, Mahisha knew she was destined for something greater. Rewriting her storyDetermined to write a different ending to her story, Mahisha set out to alter her destiny, through college and hard work. But her dreams were bigger than just a 9-5 job and she worked tirelessly to pursue her passion of owning her own hair care business. That dedication and commitment has paid off as Mahisha’s company, CURLS LLC, is one of the leading natural hair care companies in the country. Against All Odds chronicles Mahisha’s journey from the projects to the penthouse, how she overcame an impoverished beginning to lead a life of wealth, privilege and success….doing a job she loves. Complete with success tips to process in your own life, Against All Odds will show you how to turn your tragedy into triumph, no matter what the odds.
Release: 2/3/15
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Gordon Parks by Carole B. WeatherfordGordon Parks by: Carole B. Weatherford
His white teacher tells her all-black class, You’ll all wind up porters and waiters. What did she know? Gordon Parks is most famous for being the first black director in Hollywood. But before he made movies and wrote books, he was a poor African American looking for work. When he bought a camera, his life changed forever. He taught himself how to take pictures and before long, people noticed. His success as a fashion photographer landed him a job working for the government. In Washington DC, Gordon went looking for a subject, but what he found was segregation. He and others were treated differently because of the color of their skin. Gordon wanted to take a stand against the racism he observed. With his camera in hand, he found a way. Told through lyrical verse and atmospheric art, this is the story of how, with a single photograph, a self-taught artist got America to take notice.
Release: 2/1/15
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My Brother's Keeper by Bryan PrinceMy Brother’s Keeper by: Bryan Prince
The story of African Canadians who fled slavery in the United States but returned to enlist in the Union forces during the American Civil War.

On New Year’s Eve in 1862, blacks from across British North America joined in spirit with their American fellows in silent vigils to await the enactment of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The terms declared that slaves who were held in the districts that were in rebellion would be free and that blacks would now be allowed to enlist in the Union Army and participate in the civil war that had then raged for more than a year and a half.

African Canadians who had fled from the United States had not forgotten their past and eagerly sought to do their part in securing rights and liberty for all. Leaving behind their freedom in Canada, many enlisted in the Union cause. Most served as soldiers or sailors while others became recruiters, surgeons, or regimental chaplains. Entire black communities were deeply affected by this war that profoundly and irrevocably changed North American history.
Release: 2/3/15
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Power Forward by Reggie LovePower Forward by: Reggie Love
Every path to adulthood is strewn with missteps, epiphanies, and hard-earned lessons. Only Reggie Love’s, however, went through the White House by way of Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mentored by both Coach Krzyzewski and President Obama, Love shares universal insights learned in unique circumstances, an education in how sports, politics, and life can define who you are, what you believe in, and what it takes to make a difference.

Power Forward tells the story of the five years Love worked as a personal assistant to Senator Obama as a candidate for president, and President Obama, and it is a professional coming of age story like no other. What the public knows was well put by Time magazine in 2008: “[Love’s] official duties don’t come close to capturing Reggie’s close bond with Obama, who plays a role that is part boss and part big brother.” What the public doesn’t know are the innumerable private moments during which that bond was forged and the President mentored a malleable young man. Accountability and serving with pride and honor were learned during unsought moments: from co-coaching grade school girls basketball with the president; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly his own; being tasked with getting the candidate up in the morning on time for long days of campaigning.

From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the president-elect to the White House, to eventually bringing LeBron, Melo, D-Wade, and Kobe to play with the President on his forty-ninth birthday, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to losing (briefly) the President’s briefcase, figuring out how to compete effectively in pick-up games in New Hampshire during the primary to secure support and votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of responsibility.
Release: 2/3/15
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