Book Giveaway! Black History Month 2020

In celebration of Black History Month, we’re offering you the chance to win a copy of one of the books listed below. Check back throughout the month for excerpts, interviews, and guest post from the books’ authors and editors.

To enter our drawing, complete all required fields in the form at the bottom of this post by midnight on Saturday, February 29.

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To Fulfill These Rights

Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions

Amaka Okechukwu

I learned something new and interesting on nearly every page. This is an excellent empirical engagement with affirmative action. Amaka Okechukwu’s updated racial formation theory is smart, compelling, and engaging.

Ellen Berrey, author of The Enigma of Diversity: The Language of Race and the Limits of Racial Justice

In To Fulfill These Rights, Amaka Okechukwu offers a historically informed sociological account of the struggles over affirmative action and open admissions in higher education. Through case studies of policy retrenchment at public universities, she documents the protracted—but not always successful—rollback of inclusive policies in the context of shifting race and class politics. Okechukwu provides a new analysis of the politics of higher education, centering the changing understandings and practices of race and class in the United States.

A Piece of the Action

Race and Labor in Post–Civil Rights Hollywood

Eithne Quinn

Well-written, meticulously researched, critical, and smart, A Piece of the Action may be the most important book on black American cinema in the last quarter century. Enjoyable and highly informative, this book will quickly emerge as a classic and must-read among those interested in film history, black cinema, race and popular culture, and the sociology of culture.

S. Craig Watkins, author of Don’t Knock the Hustle: Young Creatives, Tech Ingenuity, and the Making of a New Innovation Economy

A rigorous analysis of the deeply rooted patterns of racial exclusion in American cinema, A Piece of the Action sheds light on why conservative and corporate responses to antiracist and labor activism remain pervasive in today’s Hollywood.

A Haven and a Hell

The Ghetto in Black America

Lance Freeman

[An] informative sociohistorical analysis . . . For readers of urban history and black history, this is an excellent look at the ghetto’s multifaceted place in American history.

Publishers Weekly

In A Haven and a Hell, Lance Freeman examines how the ghetto shaped black America and black America shaped the ghetto. Freeman traces the evolving role of predominantly black neighborhoods in northern cities from the late nineteenth century through the present day. Freeman provides a powerful new understanding of urban black communities at a time when the future of many inner-city neighborhoods appears uncertain.

Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal

Shennette Garrett-Scott

Garrett-Scott’s extensively researched and documented study is the first history of U.S. finance that puts African American women at the center. Banking on Freedom makes a tremendously monumental contribution to African American banking history, and it substantially enriches our understanding of U.S. finance and capitalism.

Juliet E. K. Walker, author of The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship

Banking on Freedom offers an unparalleled account of how black women carved out economic, social, and political power in contexts shaped by sexism, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation. The first book to center black women’s engagement with the elite sectors of banking, finance, and insurance, the book reveals the ways gender, race, and class shaped the meanings of wealth and risk in U.S. capitalism and society.

Threatening Property

Race, Class, and Campaigns to Legislate Jim Crow Neighborhoods

Elizabeth A. Herbin-Triant

Herbin-Triant tackles a surprisingly neglected aspect of the Jim Crow era—efforts to impose residential segregation in urban and rural areas. Insightfully integrating considerations of race and class and probing how they intersected with the defense of property rights, she sheds new light on attempts to legally separate blacks and whites. An important contribution to southern and American history.

Eric Foner, Columbia University

In Threatening Property, Elizabeth A. Herbin-Triant investigates early-twentieth-century campaigns for residential segregation laws in North Carolina to show how the version of white supremacy supported by middle-class white people differed from that supported by the elites.

The Dream Revisited

Contemporary Debates About Housing, Segregation, and Opportunity

Edited by Ingrid Gould Ellen and Justin Peter Steil

[The Dream Revisited] is probably the most intelligent and thoughtful read on segregation in recent years. Despite highlighting so many debates and differences, I consider it a hopeful and useful policy tool.

Journal of Urban Affairs

The Dream Revisited brings together a range of expert viewpoints on the causes and consequences of the nation’s separate and unequal living patterns. Essays scrutinize the factors that sustain segregation, including persistent barriers to mobility and complex neighborhood preferences, and its consequences from health to home finance and from policing to politics.

Beef, Brahmins, and Broken Men

An Annotated Critical Selection from The Untouchables

B. R. Ambedkar. Edited and annotated by Alex George and S. Anand. With an introduction by Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd.

The editors’ essay on Broken Men Theory makes for a powerful and compelling argument (through Meillassoux) about Ambedkar’s fundamental critique of the sacredness of historical discourses as such, about Ambedkar’s speculative material method and his academically ‘untouchable’ hypothesis on the emergence of untouchability, about the absolutely contingent eruption of untouchability, the sheer unreason/madness of the untouchability as against the universalizable principle/truth of equality and every occurrence in history is equal and comparable to any other across time and space.

Vaibhav Abnave, Prabuddha Collective

Ambedkar offers a deductive, and at times a speculative, history to propose a genealogy of Untouchability. Heavily annotated with an emphasis on putting Ambedkar and recent scholarship into conversation, Beef, Brahmins, and Broken Men assumes urgency as India witnesses unprecedented violence against Dalits and Muslims in the name of cow protection.

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