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A Little MLK Day Reading


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! The library has recently added some great materials to our collection in support of diversity curricula here at Sonoma State University. Check out some of these great new books and DVDs: 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This widely acclaimed book is a poweful and personal exploration of race in American, written as a letter from Coates to his son. It's been called "brilliant," "profoundly moving," and "revelatory." 

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist (ebook). In this book Baptist explores how slavery operated as a foundation of capitalism and the industrial growth of the United States. Peniel Joseph, Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, and author of Stokely: A Life, says "The Half Has Never Been Told is a true marvel. Groundbreaking, thoroughly researched, expansive, and provocative it will force scholars of slavery and its aftermath to reconsider long held assumptions about the 'peculiar institution's' relationship to American capitalism and contemporary issues of race and democracy. Engagingly written and bursting with fresh, powerful, and provocative insights, this book deserves to be widely read, discussed, and debated."

Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors by Carolyn Finney (ebook). From the publisher: "In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans."

Toni Morrison and the Queer Pleasure of Ghosts by Juda Bennett. Bennett closely examines many of Morrison's novels and poses new ideas about the representation of ghosts as "a provocation and challenge to heteronormativity." 

Selected Letters of Langston Hughes edited by Arnold Rampersad and David Roessel. From the publisher: "This is the first comprehensive selection from the correspondence of the iconic and beloved Langston Hughes. It offers a life in letters that showcases his many struggles as well as his memorable achievements. Arranged by decade and linked by expert commentary, the volume guides us through Hughes's journey in all its aspects: personal, political, practical, and--above all--literary." 

A Litany for Survival: The Life and Word of Audre Lorde, a film by Ada Gay Griffin and Michelle Parkerson. "Audre Lorde, poet and lesbian-feminist talks about being lesbian and black in New York in the 1950s and her social/political activity. Includes conversations and readings by Lorde and comments by other writers and family members."