Bookshelf – Gaining Knowledge Never Stops



Rosa Parks was often described as a sweet and reticent elderly woman whose tired feet caused her to defy segregation on Montgomery’s city buses, and whose supposedly solitary, spontaneous act sparked the 1955 bus boycott that gave birth to the civil rights movement.

The truth of who Rosa Parks was and what really lay beneath the 1955 boycott is far different from anything previously written.

In this groundbreaking and important book, Danielle McGuire writes about the rape in 1944 of a twenty-four-year-old mother and sharecropper, Recy Taylor, who strolled toward home after an evening of singing and praying at the Rock Hill Holiness Church in Abbeville, Alabama. Seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young woman into their green Chevrolet, raped her, and left her for dead.


While the last five years have seen a huge increase in the number of books or literary pieces on President Obama, David Remnick’s piece provides an excellent snapshot into the life of President Obama. The way he writes about President Obama handling the race issue, as well as people in general intrigued by the notion of the United States of America’s first African-American President, this book offers an interesting perspective that makes it a must for those serious about current affairs, history or topical items.



Perhaps the perrenial book on the rise of Black athletes throughout the United States of America during the turbulent Civil Rights era.  This book is the source for those wanting solid information on why and how the 1968 Olympic boycott was organized and executed.  Dr. Harry Edwards makes no apologies in his candid illustrations of why this moment became etched in history.


While much has been written about the 1963 March on Washington, many have captured the moment when Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream Speech” to sum up the event, when in fact the event was nearly 4 hours long and Dr. King’s speech was under 20 minutes……..more important he was just one of numerous speakers.  Charles Euchner does marvelous work by capturing not only the well known names such as Dr. King, A. Phillip Randolph and other leaders, he provides a glimpse of the numerous unsung heroes who made this event so significant in history, as he places you in the planning meetings, the behind the scene conversations and logistics during the march itself.


Howard Bryant does an impeccable job of capturing Henry Aaron like never showcased before.  “The Hammer” will go down as one of the smoothest players of the game, as he maintained a quiet and efficient demeanor while sneaking past all the sluggers expected to surpass Babe Ruth.  This book is a must read as baseball in particular allows you to get to know people in a different perspective.


Regardless of whether you are a baseball fan or simply a fan of history, this book is highly recommended as once again Ken Burns presents a masterpiece in explaining the role of modern day baseball and how it plays a role in our every day life.


Celebrating Ourselves demonstrates how baseball is intricately woven in the fabric ofAfrican-American family, social and political life. Beyond the significant accomplishments on the diamond, well-recounted here, baseball knitted generations, taught perseverance, demonstrated economic independence and been a forum for civil rights and equality. From Moses FleetwoodWalker in 1884 to the founding of the Negro National League in 1920; from Jackie Robinson in 1947 to today’s Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI); the game is connected with personal achievement, community advancement, economic independence and social equality.

This book discusses baseball from three perspectives; from the player, the fan and the family.Alongside statistics and accomplishments on the field, we read of the perseverance and dedication of the African-American baseball fan.Much has been made of the decline in baseball’s popularity among black Americans. When observers ask, ‘Where is the African- American fan?’ this book boldly responds, ‘Right here!’

In the evolving American political culture, whites and blacks continue to respond very differently to race-based messages and the candidates who use them. Race Appeal examines the use and influence such appeals have on voters in elections for federal office in which one candidate is a member of a minority group. Charlton McIlwain and Stephen Caliendo use various analysis methods to examine candidates who play the race card in political advertisements. They offer a compelling analysis of the construction of verbal and visual racial appeals and how the news media covers campaigns involving candidates of colour. Combining rigorous analyses with in-depth case studiesoincluding an examination of race-based appeals in the historic 2008 presidential electionoRace Appeal is a groundbreaking work that represents the most extensive and thorough treatment of race-based appeals in American political campaigns to date.

The Almighty Black P Stone Nation, one of the most notorious teen gangs in 1960s Chicago, evolved from a youth gang involved in petty crimes into a major operation engaged in drug dealing and defrauding an antipoverty program aimed at youth employment. Journalist Moore and scholar Williams, the son of a former member of a rival gang, draw on interviews, newspaper accounts, and court records to examine the rise and fall of the gang that started as the Blackstone Rangers and later morphed into the El Rukns. The gang, led mostly by Jeff Fort, adapted through the civil rights and black nationalism eras and was later caught up in charges of domestic terrorism for its connections to Libya. Moore and Williams explore the elements that brought the gang to life: the expansion plans of the University of Chicago versus resistance from community groups following the tenets of community organizer Saul Alinsky. Fort led the gang through turf wars and rivalries, political machinations, and changes in the economic and social landscape of Chicago neighborhoods plagued by youth violence, housing segregation, and racial hostility. –Vanessa Bush



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