African-American Arts & Lit 2013


1. Crusader for Justice: Federal Judge Damon J. Keith. “But the book, like Keith’s life, is about far more than legal accomplishments. It’s about one man’s ability to challenge an unjust system and make it better — not just for himself, but for all Americans.” —Detroit Free Press, Interview 

2. [Nikki Giovanni’s] “Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid,” [is] a remarkable mix of poetry, essays and memoir. Democracy Now

3. One of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century, Miles Davis was a man of many talents. Around 1980, he turned to sketching and painting to, as he explained, keep his “mind occupied with something when [he was] not playing music.”

4. “Soul-blues fans will savor this love letter.”–Kirkus Reviews 

5. Now in paperback, “an unflinching and uncompromising look at a life lived across the tracks from fame . . .” (Detroit Free Press)   Bettye LaVetteA Woman Like Me: A Memoir (paperback)

6. The legendary Negro Leagues are regarded with reverence and awe, and play a vital role in black history. The publication of these cards marked the first time most of these players ever appeared on baseball cards. A great 30 minute DVD is included.  Heroes of the Negro Leagues

7. “Duke Ellington’s America attempts to get under the skin of this apparently most imperturbable of men, and the results, if hardly conclusive, are fascinating. . . . Extremely intelligent and formidably documented book—a welcome change from much that has been published about Ellington.”—Claudia Roth Pierpont, New Yorker  (now in paperback)

8. “To read Harry Belafonte’s new memoir, My Song, is to discover a man who has packed enough life for ten people into eighty-four years.” —NPR/Morning Edition

9. Mike Hamlin was a central figure of the Black Power Movement that manifested in Detroit. He believed Black workers needed to be organized at the point of production for a successful revolution to occur. See more at: Dangerous Ideas. Signed copies available:  A Black Revolutionary’s Life in Labor: Black Workers Power in Detroit 

10. “An impressively researched and documented collection of the finest thought produced by writers throughout the African Diaspora. A magnificent achievement.” –Henry Louis Gates, Jr.  Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations 

11.  “Gates avoids cliché, meticulously illuminating the influence and contributions of Blacks in America: from African conquistadors to the election of President Barack Obama. This ambitious title redefines the relevancy of the past to our lives.” –Uptown Magazine

12. “With the straight-ahead timing and the ethereal blowing of a great jazzman, Crouch delivers a scorching set in this first of two volumes of his biography of Charlie Yardbird Parker, capturing the downbeats and the up-tempo moments of the great saxophonist’s life and music.” –Publisher’s Weekly,  Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker (Hardcover) 

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