Reading material for the homies.From cult classics to the words of emergent authors, Noname’s Book Club highlights books that speak on human conditions in critical and original ways.Each month we select two titles to discuss.
Assata by Assata Shakur; Angela Y. Davis (Foreword by); Lennox S. Hinds (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 1999-11-01
On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate, and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years prior to her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portrays the strengths, weaknesses, and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside The Autobiography of Malcolm X and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides.
April 2020 Selections
War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A. Denis
Publication Date: 2016-03-29
The powerful, untold story of the 1950 revolution in Puerto Rico and the long history of U.S. intervention on the island, that the New York Times says "could not be more timely." In 1950, after over fifty years of military occupation and colonial rule, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico staged an unsuccessful armed insurrection against the United States. Violence swept through the island: assassins were sent to kill President Harry Truman, gunfights roared in eight towns, police stations and post offices were burned down. In order to suppress this uprising, the US Army deployed thousands of troops and bombarded two towns, marking the first time in history that the US government bombed its own citizens. Nelson A. Denis tells this powerful story through the controversial life of Pedro Albizu Campos, who served as the president of the Nationalist Party. A lawyer, chemical engineer, and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard Law School, Albizu Campos was imprisoned for twenty-five years and died under mysterious circumstances. By tracing his life and death, Denis shows how the journey of Albizu Campos is part of a larger story of Puerto Rico and US colonialism. Through oral histories, personal interviews, eyewitness accounts, congressional testimony, and recently declassified FBI files, War Against All Puerto Ricans tells the story of a forgotten revolution and its context in Puerto Rico's history, from the US invasion in 1898 to the modern-day struggle for self-determination. Denis provides an unflinching account of the gunfights, prison riots, political intrigue, FBI and CIA covert activity, and mass hysteria that accompanied this tumultuous period in Puerto Rican history.
True crime, memoir, and ghost story,Mean is the bold and hilarious tale of Myriam Gurba's coming of age as a queer, mixed-race Chicana. Blending radical formal fluidity and caustic humor, Gurba takes on sexual violence, small towns, and race, turning what might be tragic into piercing, revealing comedy. This is a confident, intoxicating, brassy book that takes the cost of sexual assault, racism, misogyny, and homophobia deadly seriously. We act mean to defend ourselves from boredom and from those who would cut off our breasts. We act mean to defend our clubs and institutions. We act mean because we like to laugh. Being mean to boys is fun and a second-wave feminist duty. Being mean to men who deserve it is a holy mission. Sisterhood is powerful, but being mean is more exhilarating. Being mean isn't for everybody. Being mean is best practiced by those who understand it as an art form. These virtuosos live closer to the divine than the rest of humanity. They're queers. Myriam Gurbais a queer spoken-word performer, visual artist, and writer from Santa Maria, California. She's the author ofDahlia Season(2007, Manic D) which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award,Wish You Were Me(2011, Future Tense Books), andPainting Their Portraits in Winter(2015, Manic D). She has toured with Sister Spit and her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. She lives in Long Beach, where she teaches social studies to eighth-graders.
March 2020 Selections
As Black As Resistance by William C. Anderson; Mariame Kaba (Foreword by); Zoé Samudzi
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
In the United States, both struggles against oppression and the gains made by various movements for equality have often been led by Black people. Still, though progress has regularly been fueled by radical Black efforts, liberal politics are based on ideas and practices that impede the continued progress of Black America. Building on their original essay "The Anarchism of Blackness," Samudzi and Anderson show the centrality of anti-Blackness to the foundational violence of the United States and to the racial structures upon which it is based as a nation. Racism is not, they say, simply a product of capitalism. Rather, we must understand how anti-Blackness shaped the contours and logics of European colonialism and its many legacies, to the extent that "Blackness" and "citizenship" are exclusive categories. As Black As Resistance makes the case for a new program of self-defense and transformative politics for Black Americans, one rooted in an anarchistic framework that the authors liken to the Black experience itself. This book argues against compromise and negotiation with intolerance. It is a manifesto for everyone who is ready to continue progressing towards liberation. With a Foreword by Mariame Kaba.
Love with Accountability by Aishah Shahidah Simmons (Editor); Darnell L. Moore (Foreword by)
Publication Date: 2019-10-01
Despite the current survivor-affirming awareness around sexual violence, child sexual abuse, most notably when it's a family member or friend, is still a very taboo topic. There are approximately 42 million child sexual abuse survivors in the U.S. and millions of bystanders who look the other way as the abuse occurs and cover for the harm-doers with no accountability. Documentary filmmaker and survivor of child sexual abuse and adult rape, Aishah Shahidah Simmons invites diasporic Blackpeople to join her in transformative storytelling that envisions a world that ends child sexual abuse without relying on the criminal justice system.Love WITH Accountability features compelling writings by child sexual abuse survivors, advocates, and Simmons's mother, who underscores the detrimental impact of parents/caregivers not believing their children when they disclose their sexual abuse. This collection explores disrupting the inhumane epidemic of child sexual abuse, humanely.
Magical Negro is an archive of black everydayness, a catalog of contemporary folk heroes, an ethnography of ancestral grief, and an inventory of figureheads, idioms, and customs. These American poems are both elegy and jive, joke and declaration, songs of congregation and self-conception. They connect themes of loneliness, displacement, grief, ancestral trauma, and objectification, while exploring and troubling tropes and stereotypes of Black Americans. Focused primarily on depictions of black womanhood alongside personal narratives, the collection tackles interior and exterior politics--of both the body and society, of both the individual and the collective experience. In Magical Negro, Parker creates a space of witness, of airing grievances, of pointing out patterns. In these poems are living documents, pleas, latent traumas, inside jokes, and unspoken anxieties situated as firmly in the past as in the present--timeless black melancholies and triumphs.
Presenting the essential writings of black lesbian poet and feminist writer Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider celebrates an influential voice in twentieth-century literature. In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope. This commemorative edition includes a new foreword by Lorde-scholar and poet Cheryl Clarke, who celebrates the ways in which Lorde's philosophies resonate more than twenty years after they were first published. These landmark writings are, in Lorde's own words, a call to "never close our eyes to the terror, to the chaos which is Black which is creative which is female which is dark which is rejected which is messy which is..." "[Lorde's] works will be important to those truly interested in growing up sensitive, intelligent, and aware." --New York Times
More than any other black leader, H. Rap Brown, chairman of the radical Black Power organization Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), came to symbolize the ideology of black revolution. This autobiography--which was first published in 1969, went through seven printings and has long been unavailable--chronicles the making of a revolutionary. It is much more than a personal history, however; it is a call to arms, an urgent message to the black community to be the vanguard force in the struggle of oppressed people. Forthright, sardonic, and shocking, this book is not only illuminating and dynamic but also a vitally important document that is essential to understanding the upheavals of the late 1960s. University of Massachusetts professor Ekwueme Michael Thelwell has updated this edition, covering Brown's decades of harassment by law enforcement agencies, his extraordinary transformation into an important Muslim leader, and his sensational trial.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection--a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. "Here are stories that blaze like wildfires, with characters who made me laugh and broke my heart."--Sandra Cisneros NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Public Library * Kirkus Reviews * Library Journal Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado--a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite--these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force. In "Sugar Babies," ancestry and heritage are hidden inside the earth but tend to rise during land disputes. "Any Further West" follows a sex worker and her daughter as they leave their ancestral home in southern Colorado only to find a foreign and hostile land in California. In "Tomi," a woman leaves prison and finds herself in a gentrified city that is a shadow of the one she remembers from her childhood. And in the title story, "Sabrina & Corina," a Denver family falls into a cycle of violence against women, coming together only through ritual. Sabrina & Corina is a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home. LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE FOR DEBUT SHORT STORY COLLECTION "Sabrina & Corina isn't just good, it's masterful storytelling. Fajardo-Anstine is a fearless writer: her women are strong and scarred witnesses of the violations of their homelands, their culture, their bodies; her plots turn and surprise, unerring and organic in their comprehensiveness; her characters break your heart, but you keep on going because you know you are in the hands of a master. Her stories move through the heart of darkness and illuminate it with the soul of truth."--Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents "[A] powerhouse debut . . . stylistically superb, with crisp dialogue and unforgettable characters, Sabrina & Corina introduces an impressive new talent to American letters."--Rigoberto González, NBC News
Originally published to wide critical acclaim in France, where it elicited comparisons to Art Spiegelman's Maus, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran: of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life and of the enormous toll repressive regimes exact on the individual spirit. Marjane’s child's-eye-view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a stunning reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, through laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.
Frantz Fanon was one of the twentieth century’s most important theorists of revolution, colonialism, and racial difference, and this, his masterwork, is a classic alongside Orientalism and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. The Wretched of the Earth is a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation. Bearing singular insight into the rage of colonized peoples and the role of violence in historical change, the book also incisively attacks postindependence disenfranchisement of the masses by the elite on one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders of emerging nations, The Wretched of the Earth has had a major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black-consciousness movements around the world. This new translation updates its language for a new generation of readers and its lessons are more vital now than ever.
After her neighborhood is overrun by a pyromaniac cult, adolescent Lauren Olamina gains followers on her way toward refuge in California. Awards: SLJ Best Book; YALSA Best Book for Young Adults.
How to Cure a Ghost by Fariha Róisín; Monica Ramos (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2019-09-24
A poetry compilation recounting a woman's journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance, confusion to clarity, and bitterness to forgiveness Following in the footsteps of such category killers as Milk and Honey and Whiskey Words & a Shovel I, Fariha Róisín's poetry book is a collection of her thoughts as a young, queer, Muslim femme navigating the difficulties of her intersectionality. Simultaneously, this compilation unpacks the contentious relationship that exists between Róisín and her mother, her platonic and romantic heartbreaks, and the cognitive dissonance felt as a result of being so divided among her broad spectrum of identities.
"A book as fascinating as the history it relates . . . Galeano is a satirist, realist, and historian." --Los Angeles Times For centuries, Europe's imperial powers brutally exploited the peoples and resources of the New World. While soldiers of fortune marched across continents in search of El Dorado, white settlers established plantations and trading posts along the coasts, altering the land and bringing disease and slavery with them. In the midst of a bloody collision of civilizations, the West has birthed new societies out of the old. In the second book of his Memory of Fire trilogy, Eduardo Galeano forges a new understanding of the Americas, history retold from a diverse collection of viewpoints. Spanning the end of empire and the age of revolutions,nbsp;Faces and Masksnbsp;brilliantly collects the strands of the past into an iridescent work of literature.
Electric Literature 25 Best Novels of 2014 Largehearted Boy Favorite Novels of 2014 "An extraordinary new literary talent."--The Daily Telegraph "In part a portrait of the artist as a young woman, this deceptively modest-seeming, astonishingly inventive novel creates an extraordinary intimacy, a sensibility so alive it quietly takes over all your senses, quivering through your nerve endings, opening your eyes and heart. Youth, from unruly student years to early motherhood and a loving marriage--and then, in the book's second half, wilder and something else altogether, the fearless, half-mad imagination of youth, I might as well call it--has rarely been so freshly, charmingly, and unforgettably portrayed. Valeria Luiselli is a masterful, entirely original writer."--Francisco Goldman In Mexico City, a young mother is writing a novel of her days as a translator living in New York. In Harlem, a translator is desperate to publish the works of Gilberto Owen, an obscure Mexican poet. And in Philadelphia, Gilberto Owen recalls his friendship with Lorca, and the young woman he saw in the windows of passing trains. Valeria Luiselli's debut signals the arrival of a major international writer and an unexpected and necessary voice in contemporary fiction. "Luiselli's haunting debut novel, about a young mother living in Mexico City who writes a novel looking back on her time spent working as a translator of obscure works at a small independent press in Harlem, erodes the concrete borders of everyday life with a beautiful, melancholy contemplation of disappearance. . . . Luiselli plays with the idea of time and identity with grace and intuition." --Publishers Weekly
Finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry Winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection "[Smith's] poems are enriched to the point of volatility, but they pay out, often, in sudden joy."--The New Yorker Award-winning poet Danez Smith is a groundbreaking force, celebrated for deft lyrics, urgent subjects, and performative power.Don't Call Us Dead opens with a heartrending sequence that imagines an afterlife for black men shot by police, a place where suspicion, violence, and grief are forgotten and replaced with the safety, love, and longevity they deserved here on earth. Smith turns then to desire, mortality--the dangers experienced in skin and body and blood--and a diagnosis of HIV positive. "Some of us are killed / in pieces," Smith writes, "some of us all at once."Don't Call Us Dead is an astonishing and ambitious collection, one that confronts, praises, and rebukes America--"Dear White America"--where every day is too often a funeral and not often enough a miracle.
2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year | 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner inWriting | Nominee for the 2018 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction | #75 on The Root100 2018 A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry--both black and white--through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom. Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who "owns" it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine. From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors' survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia. As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep--the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together. Illustrations by Stephen Crotts
First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm. With a substantive new introduction on Freire's life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come.
A New York Times Bestseller This essay collection from the "bitches gotta eat" blogger, writer on Hulu's Shrill, and "one of our country's most fierce and foulmouthed authors" (Amber Tamblyn, Vulture) is sure to make you alternately cackle with glee and cry real tears. Whether Samantha Irby is talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making "adult" budgets; explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette (she's "35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something"); detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father's ashes; sharing awkward sexual encounters; or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms (hang in there for the Costco loot!); she's as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.