Black Studies

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 15, 2007
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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Since 1986 Martin Luther King day has been celebrated as a federal holiday in honor of one of the most influential and effective leaders of the American civil rights movement. And what better way to spend your day off than taking a little time to reflect on the long story of America’s struggle toward equality, past and present. The Press has published a comprehensive list of books on civil rights in America, covering everything from the life of Martin Luther King’s mentor Bayard Rustin, to more contemporary views on African-American citizenship. To find more books on the American civil rights movement and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. see our related complete catalog categories in Black Studies, Politics, and Sociology. Happy MLK day! . . .

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John Hope Franklin receives the John W. Kluge Prize

November 15, 2006
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John Hope Franklin receives the John W. Kluge Prize

An article in today’s New York Times reports that historian John Hope Franklin has been awarded the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. The Times calls the million dollar award “the prize that Alfred Nobel forgot … specifically intended for areas that the Nobel Prizes do not cover like history, political science, sociology, and philosophy.” Franklin, currently emeritus professor of history at Duke University, will split the prize with Yu Ying-shih, a professor of Chinese history at Princeton. The New York Times writes that “Franklin is widely regarded as among the first scholars to explore fully the role of African Americans in the nation’s history.” Some of that scholarship was published by the University of Chicago Press. We published Racial Equality in America (1976), George Washington Williams: A Biography (1985), and Reconstruction after the Civil War, now in a third edition. This is the third year that the Kluge Prize has been awarded by the Library of Congress. Franklin is the fourth UCP author to receive the prize; previous winners include Jaroslav Pelikan, Paul Ricoeur, and Leszek Kolakowski. . . .

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Review: Allen, Talking to Strangers

April 25, 2006
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Review: Allen, Talking to Strangers

The Boston Review recently reviewed Danielle Allen’s Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education. From the review by Nick Bromell: "Allen understands that democracy originates in the subjective dimension of everyday life, and she focuses on what she calls our ‘habit of citizenship’—the ways we often unconsciously regard and interact with fellow citizens…. focus on race is entirely appropriate." "Don’t talk to strangers" is the advice long given to children by parents of all classes and races. Today it has blossomed into a fundamental precept of civic education, reflecting interracial distrust, personal and political alienation, and a profound suspicion of others. In Talking to Strangers, a powerful and eloquent essay, Danielle Allen, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow, takes this maxim back to Little Rock, rooting out the seeds of distrust to replace them with "a citizenship of political friendship." Read an excerpt and interview with the author. . . .

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"Acting white"

February 21, 2006
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"Acting white"

"Go into any inner-city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white." —Barack Obama, Keynote Address, Democratic National Convention, 2004 Ron Netsky, a writer for City (Rochester, NY), observed that the term "acting white" has been appearing in the media a lot lately (most recently in The Philadelphia Inquirer and the New York Times) . Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu popularized the term in a study published in Urban Review in 1986. Fordham is also the author of Blacked Out: Dilemmas of Race, Identity, and Success at Capital High, a book which explores academic achievement within the Black community and the price students pay for attaining it. Earlier this month, Netsky interviewed Fordham about Black education issues and what it means to "act white." City: In Blacked Out, you write that one of the things that seems to make the education process difficult is generational. Fordham: After the Brown decision and the Civil Rights act—in the 1960s . . .

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Author Event: Ronne Hartfield

February 17, 2006
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Author Event: Ronne Hartfield

On February 21, Ronne Hartfield will discuss and sign Another Way Home: The Tangled Roots of Race in One Chicago Family as part of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Black History Month celebrations. The event is free and open to the public. Spanning most of the twentieth century, Another Way Home celebrates the special circumstance of being born and reared in a household where being a woman of mixed race could be a fundamental source of strength, vitality, and courage. Read an excerpt from the book. Visit our black studies catalog. . . .

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