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August 16, 2006
Destiny 2000: The State of Black Baltimore
Fire at Will (1989)
Woodholme: A Black Man's Story of Growing Up Alone (1995)
DeWayne Wickham was just eight years old when his father murdered his
mother and then killed himself. Woodholme is his poignant
memoir about growing up haunted by this traumatic event and about how
he eventually overcame the reality of his loss. A troublemaker
in school who nearly ended up in jail, DeWayne found a home among the
black caddies at an all-white Jewish country club in suburban Maryland
-- Woodholme -- an oasis from the strife of the
rights era and
his own problem-plagued life. The encounters he had there helped
him to accept responsibility as an unwed seventeen-year old father.
and finally to come to terms with the death of his parents.
Woodholme is an evocative portrait of growing up black in
the 1960s, a sensitive exploration of paternalism and paternity, and a
deeply moving story of self-discovery.
Thinking Black: Some of the Nation's Best Black Columnists Speak Their Mind
Times are changing in America, and nowhere is this more
apparent than in today's racial climate. In the wake of so many
turbulent events--the Million Man March, the Clarence Thomas debacle,
the Colin Ferguson "slaughter," the bestsellerdom of The Bell Curve,
the Marion Barry reelection, the Rodney King "incident," and the O.J.
Simpson decision--the racial fault line is widening. If it really is
time for an honest discussion about race in America, then it will
start with these original essays from the preeminent black columnists
in Thinking Black.
Pulitzer prize-winner Harold Jackson; National Association of Black
Journalists award winners DeWayne Wickham, Dwight Lewis, Dorothy
Gilliam, and Derrick Jackson; along with Wiley Hall, Norman Lockman,
Allegra Bennett, and a host of other notable writers are collectively
the voice of millions of African-Americans.
Reflected in these essays are interests and opinions as diverse as the
numerous hues within the black community. For instance, as Betty Bayé
of the Louisville Courier Journal writes: "White columnists can
criticize bad, ignorant white people all day long because bad white
people, no matter how ignorant or how terrible their crimes, are still
perceived as individuals. However, bad, ignorant black people are not
perceived as individuals, but as representatives of their race. The
irony, of course, is that good black people are generally perceived as
individual exceptions to the race."
Hauntingly introspective and painfully self-revealing work--such as
Lisa Baird's rhythmic essay about her light complexion and straight
hair causing her to ponder what it means to be a black woman; Brenda
Payton's revelatory essay on color discrimination within the black
community; DeWayne Wickham's ruminative essay on the color line; or
Dwight Lewis's plaintive call to the black father--probes the soft
underbelly of black America's internal and external racial conflicts.
Bill Clinton and Black America (2002)
While white Americans were evenly divided about Bill Clinton’s
impeachment ninety percent of African-Americans opposed it. Now from a
founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists comes a
groundbreaking new book that explores the deep and unique connection between
the former president and the black community–in the words of journalists,
celebrities, academics, and other thoughtful Americans.
Going well beyond mere TV punditry, luminaries such as Dr. Mary Frances Berry,
Bill Gray, Kweisi Mfume, and Alice Randall, as well as ordinary citizens,
offer insight into why African-Americans for the first time saw themselves in
the soul of a president–Whether it was the large African-American presence in
his administration, his perceived legal persecutions, his personal style, or
his lasting yet tumultuous marriage–and why that kinship has sweeping cultural
implications. Bill Clinton’s actions, associations, and essence are all
analyzed in light of their effect on and appeal to this crucial constituency.
Much-awaited and long overdue, Bill Clinton and Black America features
fascinating, provocative interpretations of the special relationship between
the black people and this extraordinary man who, when his presidency ended,
moved his office from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue–White America’s most famous
address–to Harlem’s 125th Street–the heart of Black America.
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