The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America (Rowman and Littlefield, $24.95), by April Ryan, looks at the ways in which race and racial issues play out at the White House, from the Oval Office on down. A veteran White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks and one of the few African-Americans on the presidential beat, Ryan has spent nearly two decades observing and interviewing presidents and policy-makers whose decisions have enormous impact on her largely urban audience (her reports are broadcast on 300 stations nationwide and reach millions of listeners and readers, many of them African-American). Much of the material in her book comes from her tenure covering Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama and is infused with her own thoughtful impressions of the men who occupy the highest office in the land. Few reporters today have done as much as Ryan to ensure that the interests of urban communities are on the president’s radar and that the voices of African Americans are not lost in the static of Washington’s policy debates.

The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America Cover Image
By April Ryan, Elijah Cummings (Foreword by)
$24.95
ISBN: 9781442238411
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Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - February 15th, 2015

The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Four Presidents and Race in America Cover Image
By April Ryan, Hon Elijah Cummings (Foreword by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781538106631
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Published: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers - July 18th, 2017

Negroland (Pantheon, $25) is more of an overlooked boundary line than a place; Margo Jefferson introduces it as “my name for a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of privilege and plenty.” It’s where she grew up, as the daughter of the head of pediatrics at Chicago’s Provident Hospital, and its landmarks were lessons and warnings—don’t show off. Don’t act undignified. Don’t be too white—don’t be too black, but “be the kind of Negroes who can achieve more than most white people.” Even as a four-year-old, Jefferson understood that mistakes “could put you, your parents, and your people at risk.” Later, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, Jefferson still walked a fine line: her profession demanded that she uphold high standards, while her race made her vulnerable to judgments as “envious and petty.” Admitting to the despair caused by this constant, self-conscious, balancing act, Jefferson nonetheless banishes grief from her memoir. And in her powerful, passionate narrative, she makes her personal experience part of a larger, ongoing chronicle that starts with the antebellum denizens of—and outcasts from—Negroland, and includes civil rights and several waves of feminism. But more important than this historical sweep, is Jefferson’s account of how she lived it. Here is her meeting with a relative returned from his “ex-Negro” life, and her first befuddlement at racial slippage; her ambivalence about possible models like Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, and Lena Horne. Here are the unexpected—and revealing—questions from white classmates in the progressive school she attended. Jefferson’s chronicle is deeply compelling—as well as profound, troubling, and timely.

Negroland: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780307378453
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Pantheon - September 8th, 2015

Negroland: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307473431
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - August 23rd, 2016

 

Starting as something of an anomaly, Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High School quickly became a beacon of hope for the African-American community during the Jim Crow era. Founded in 1870, Dunbar stood as a new standard of education, employing a stellar all-black faculty comprising numerous educators with graduate degrees. With many of its alumni going on to become pillars of the community and pilot the advancement of African-Americans, Dunbar’s success seemed boundless. However, in recent years, the institution’s failing test scores and record low numbers in reading comprehension mirror the challenges that plague many urban public schools today. In First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America’s First Black Public High School (Chicago Review, $26.95), Alison Stewart, daughter of Dunbar High School graduates, draws on in-depth interviews with the school’s alumni to tell the extraordinary story of the academically elite public school, its downfall, and its current struggle to regain its excellence.

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School Cover Image
ISBN: 9781613740095
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Chicago Review Press - August 1st, 2013

First Class: The Legacy of Dunbar, America's First Black Public High School Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781613731765
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Lawrence Hill Books - August 1st, 2015

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