The lessons of black history are more relevant than ever. The Black Lives Matter campaign and the wider contemporary struggle against structural racism face new challenges, but there is a rich history of black resistance, thought and activism to draw upon. This series takes the lives of inspirational, important and courageous black historical figures and outlines why their lives, actions and ideas matter today. Covering AfricanAmerican, Caribbean, African and other black figures, the series ranges widely historically and geographically. The Black Lives series is essential reading for activists for racial justice, concerned citizens, and students of black history and politics across the world.
Frances E. W. Harper A Call to Conscience UTZ McKNIGHT University of Alabama “Utz McKnight brings to light Frances Ellen Watkins Harper as a visionary. Read this book to discover the incomparable life and penetrating thought of one of the nineteenth century’s most important public intellectuals. Absorb its lessons because, as McKnight so elegantly shows, Harper’s aspirations for our democracy remain necessary and timeless.” Martha S. Jones, Johns Hopkins University “It's rare to read a book that both recovers a brilliant political thinker who has long been neglected, and is filled with luminous insights about contemporary racial politics, but Utz McKnight has achieved just this. This is one of the best books I've read in a long time.” Alex Zamalin, University of Detroit–Mercy Free Black woman, poet, novelist, essayist, speaker, and activist, Frances Watkins Harper was one of the nineteenth century’s most important advocates of Abolitionism and female suffrage, and her pioneering work still has profound lessons for us today. In this new book, Utz McKnight shows how Harper’s life and work inspired her contemporaries to imagine a better America. He seeks to recover her importance by examining not only her vision of the possibilities of Emancipation, but also her subsequent role in challenging Jim Crow. He argues that engaging with her ideas and writings is vital in understanding not only our historical inheritance, but also contemporary issues ranging from racial violence to the role of Christianity. This lucid book is essential reading not only for students of African American history, but also for all progressives interested in issues of race, politics, and society. 210 x 140mm • 320 pages • UK October 2020 US November 2020 HB • 978-1-5095-3553-8 • £55.00 / $69.95 / €67.90 / CND$83.95 PB • 978-1-5095-3554-5 • £16.99 / $24.95 / €21.90 / CND$29.95 ebook available
W.E.B. Du Bois The Lost and the Found ELVIRA BASEVICH University of Massachusetts, Lowell “A valuable and compelling addition to the literature on Du Bois. Both a useful introduction to those unfamiliar with his thought and an innovative interpretation that will hold the interest of experts, Basevich has achieved a remarkable feat—and produced an apt tribute to her subject.” Benjamin McKean, Ohio State University “With the breadth of a biographer, the depth of a philosopher, and the vision of a poet, Elvira Basevich gives us a compelling elucidation of W. E. B. Du Bois’s radical liberalism. This is essential reading for understanding why Du Bois still matters!” Melvin Rogers, Brown University W. E. B. Du Bois spent many decades fighting to ensure that African Americans could claim their place as full citizens and thereby fulfill the deeply compromised ideals of American democracy. Yet he died in Africa, having apparently given up on the United States. In this tour de force, Elvira Basevich examines this paradox by tracing the development of his life and thought and the relevance of his legacy to our troubled age. She adroitly analyzes the main concepts that inform Du Bois’s critique of American democracy, such as the color line and double consciousness, before examining how these concepts might inform our understanding of contemporary struggles from the Black Lives Matter movement to the campaign to remove Confederate monuments. She stresses the continuity in Du Bois’s thought, from his early writings to his later embrace of self-segregation and pan-Africanism, while not shying away from assessing the challenging implications of his later work. 210 x 140mm • 304 pages • UK October 2020 US November 2020 HB • 978-1-5095-3573-6 • £55.00 / $69.95 / €67.90 / CND$83.95 PB • 978-1-5095-3574-3 • £16.99 / $24.95 / €21.90 / CND$29.95 ebook available
Cedric Robinson The Time of the Black Radical Tradition JOSHUA MYERS Howard University “Cedric J. Robinson finally has found a worthy biographer in Joshua Myers. In clear and concise prose, Myers brilliantly situates Robinson’s intellectual development in the context of his early life, family history, political activism, travel, and his deep study of political theory, radicalism, Marxism, nationalism, religion, race, Black movements, and popular culture, while adroitly breaking down his most complex ideas with ease. Reading this book will remind you why we must urgently read and re-read Robinson’s work. A tour de force.” Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination Cedric Robinson – political theorist, historian and activist – was one of the greatest black radical thinkers of the twentieth century, whose work resonates deeply with contemporary movements such as Black Lives Matter. In this powerful work, the first major book to tell the story of Cedric Robinson, Joshua Myers shows how Robinson's work interrogated the foundations of Western political thought, modern capitalism, and the changing meanings of race. Tracing the course of Robinson's journey from his early days as an agitator in the 60s against the US's reactionary foreign policy to his publication of such seminal works within Black Studies as Black Marxism, Myers frames Robinson's mission as one that aimed to understand and practise resistance to "the terms of order." In so doing, Robinson excavated the Black radical tradition as a form of resistance that imagined that life on wholly different terms was possible. As the USA enters the 20s, the need to continue that resistance is as clear as ever, and Robinson's contribution only gains in importance. This book is essential reading for anyone wanting to learn more about it. 210 x 140mm • 308 pages • UK September 2021 US October 2021 HB • 978-1-5095-3791-4 • £55.00 / $69.95 / €67.90 / CND$83.95 PB • 978-1-5095-3792-1 • £17.99 / $26.95 / €21.90 / CND$31.95 ebook available