Author: Margo Jefferson, Genre: Biography & Autobiography, Total Page: 256, Publisher: Vintage, ISBN: 9781101870648

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An extraordinary look at privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America by the renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning cultural critic Jefferson takes us into an insular and discerning society: “I call it Negroland,” she writes, “because I still find ‘Negro’ a word of wonders, glorious and terrible.” Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. Negroland’s pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. It evolved into a world of exclusive sororities, fraternities, networks, and clubs—a world in which skin color and hair texture were relentlessly evaluated alongside scholarly and professional achievements, where the Talented Tenth positioned themselves as a third race between whites and “the masses of Negros,” and where the motto was “Achievement. Invulnerability. Comportment.” Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions, while reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments—the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the falsehood of post-racial America.

Author: Margo Jefferson, Genre: Biography & Autobiography, Total Page: 256, Publisher: Granta Books, ISBN: 9781783783038

The daughter of a successful paediatrician and a fashionable socialite, Margo Jefferson spent her childhood among Chicago's black elite. She calls this society 'Negroland': 'a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty'. With privilege came expectation. Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments - the civil rights movement, the dawn of feminism, the fallacy of post-racial America - Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions.

Author: William Desborough Cooley, Genre: Sudan (Region), Total Page: 172, Publisher: , ISBN: OXFORD:N10565814

Author: Hinton Rowan Helper, Genre: Africa, Total Page: 254, Publisher: , ISBN: BL:A0018540553

Author: William Desborough Cooley, Genre: History, Total Page: 170, Publisher: Routledge, ISBN: 9781136975615

First Published in 1966. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author: Hinton Rowan Helper, Genre: , Total Page: 262, Publisher: , ISBN: 1718861303

The negroes in negroland; the negroes in America; and negroes generally. Also, the several races of white men, considered as the involuntary and predestined supplanters of the black races.

Author: Patricia Hampl, Genre: Biography & Autobiography, Total Page: 240, Publisher: HMH, ISBN: 9780547416465

This New York Times Notable memoir of a middle-class, middle-America family is a “beautiful bouquet of a book” (Entertainment Weekly). They say “a daughter is a daughter all her life,” and no statement could be truer for Patricia Hampl. Born to a Czech father—an artistic florist—and a wary Irish mother, Hampl experienced a childhood in St. Paul, Minnesota, that couldn’t have been more normal, the perfect example of a twentieth century middle-class, middle-American upbringing. But as she faces the death of her mother, Hampl reflects on the struggles her parents went through to provide that normal, boring existence, and her own struggles with fulfilling the role of dutiful daughter as she grew through the postwar years to the turbulent sixties and couldn’t help wanting to rebel against the notion of a “relentlessly modest life.” Named a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year, The Florist’s Daughter is Hampl’s most extraordinary work to date—a “quietly stunning” reminiscence of a Midwestern girlhood, and a reflection on what it means to be a daughter (People).

Author: Margo Jefferson, Genre: Social Science, Total Page: 144, Publisher: Vintage, ISBN: 9780375424250

The renowned Pulitzer Prize–winning cultural critic brilliantly unravels the complexities of one of the most enigmatic figures of our time in this passionate, incisive, and bracing work of cultural analysis. Who is Michael Jackson and what does it mean to call him a “What Is It”? What do P. T. Barnum, Peter Pan, and Edgar Allan Poe have to do with our fascination with Jackson? How did his curious Victorian upbringing and his tenure as a child prodigy on the “chitlin’ circuit” inform his character and multiplicity of selves? How is Michael Jackson’s celebrity related to the outrageous popularity of nineteenth-century minstrelsy? What is the perverse appeal of child stars for grown-ups and what is the price of such stardom for these children and for us? What uncanniness provoked Michael Jackson to become “Alone of All His Race, Alone of All Her Sex,” while establishing himself as an undeniably great performer with neo-Gothic, dandy proclivities and a producer of visionary music videos? What do we find so unnerving about Michael Jackson’s presumed monstrosity? In short, how are we all of us implicated? In this stunning book, Margo Jefferson gives us the incontrovertible lowdown on call-him-what-you-wish; she offers a powerful reckoning with a quintessential, richly allusive signifier of American society and popular culture.

Author: Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, Genre: Social Science, Total Page: 512, Publisher: HarperCollins, ISBN: 9780062346117

In this outstanding cultural biography, the author of the New York Times bestseller A Slave in the White House chronicles a critical yet overlooked chapter in American history: the inspiring rise and calculated fall of the black elite, from Emancipation through Reconstruction to the Jim Crow Era—embodied in the experiences of an influential figure of the time, academic, entrepreneur, and political activist and black history pioneer Daniel Murray. In the wake of the Civil War, Daniel Murray, born free and educated in Baltimore, was in the vanguard of Washington, D.C.’s black upper class. Appointed Assistant Librarian at the Library of Congress—at a time when government appointments were the most prestigious positions available for blacks—Murray became wealthy through his business as a construction contractor and married a college-educated socialite. The Murrays’ social circles included some of the first African-American U.S. Senators and Congressmen, and their children went to the best colleges—Harvard and Cornell. Though Murray and other black elite of his time were primed to assimilate into the cultural fabric as Americans first and people of color second, their prospects were crushed by Jim Crow segregation and the capitulation to white supremacist groups by the government, which turned a blind eye to their unlawful—often murderous—acts. Elizabeth Dowling Taylor traces the rise, fall, and disillusionment of upper-class African Americans, revealing that they were a representation not of hypothetical achievement but what could be realized by African Americans through education and equal opportunities. As she makes clear, these well-educated and wealthy elite were living proof that African Americans did not lack ability to fully participate in the social contract as white supremacists claimed, making their subsequent fall when Reconstruction was prematurely abandoned all the more tragic. Illuminating and powerful, her magnificent work brings to life a dark chapter of American history that too many Americans have yet to recognize.

Author: Thomas Vinciguerra, Genre: Biography & Autobiography, Total Page: 352, Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN: 9780393248746

“Exuberant . . . elegantly conjures an evocative group dynamic.” —Sam Roberts, New York Times From its birth in 1925 to the early days of the Cold War, The New Yorker slowly but surely took hold as the country’s most prestigious, entertaining, and informative general-interest periodical. In Cast of Characters, Thomas Vinciguerra paints a portrait of the magazine’s cadre of charming, wisecracking, driven, troubled, brilliant writers and editors. He introduces us to Wolcott Gibbs, theater critic, all-around wit, and author of an infamous 1936 parody of Time magazine. We meet the demanding and eccentric founding editor Harold Ross, who would routinely tell his underlings, "I'm firing you because you are not a genius," and who once mailed a pair of his underwear to Walter Winchell, who had accused him of preferring to go bare-bottomed under his slacks. Joining the cast are the mercurial, blind James Thurber, a brilliant cartoonist and wildly inventive fabulist, and the enigmatic E. B. White—an incomparable prose stylist and Ross's favorite son—who married The New Yorker's formidable fiction editor, Katharine Angell. Then there is the dashing St. Clair McKelway, who was married five times and claimed to have no fewer than twelve personalities, but was nonetheless a superb reporter and managing editor alike. Many of these characters became legends in their own right, but Vinciguerra also shows how, as a group, The New Yorker’s inner circle brought forth a profound transformation in how life was perceived, interpreted, written about, and published in America. Cast of Characters may be the most revealing—and entertaining—book yet about the unique personalities who built what Ross called not a magazine but a "movement."