New Books Network

David Kirby, “Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll” (Continuum, 2009)
“A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop, a-lop-bam-boom!”And so rock and roll was born. And so American culture changed forever. So says David Kirby in Little Richard: The Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Continuum, 2009). “Tutti Frutti,” Little Richard’s first hit, recorded by Robert “Bumps” Blackwell at Cosimo Matassa’s J & M Studio in New Orleans... Read More
Peter Hoffer, “Cry Liberty: The Great Stono River Slave Rebellion of 1739” (Oxford, 2010)
In Cry Liberty: The Great Stono River Slave Rebellion of 1739 (Oxford, 2010), Peter C. Hoffer offers a succinct and refreshing new look at the Stono slave rebellion of 1739, an event that has been the subject of much historical scholarship. His main departure from previous interpretations of what actually... Read More
Theresa Runstedtler, “Jack Johnson, Rebel Sojourner: Boxing in the Shadow of the Global Color Line” (University of California Press, 2012)
In the history of American sports, few athletes were as famous and hated in their day as Jack Johnson. The first African American boxing champion, Johnson was an astonishingly brash figure who flouted the prejudices held by white Americans. His 1910 victory over James J. Jeffries, the former champion dubbed... Read More
Reiland Rabaka, “Hip Hop’s Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement” (Lexington Books, 2011)
Cultural movements don’t exist in vacuums. Consciously or not, all movements borrow from, and sometimes reject, those that came before. In Hip Hop’s Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement (Lexington Books, 2011), the first in a trilogy of books that cast a critical eye upon... Read More
Brenda Dixon Gottschild, “Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011)
For the launch of the Dance Channel, I thought long and hard about what the first author interview would be. I felt that it was critically important that this channel begins with a rich conversation between myself and a well respected author whose contributions to dance scholarship were substantial.  It... Read More
Minkah Makalani, “In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939” (UNC Press, 2011)
Minkah Makalani is the author of a new intellectual history on the efforts of early twentieth century black radicals to organize an international movement, one that would address both racial and class oppression around the globe. The book is called In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem... Read More
Charlotte Pierce-Baker, “This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son” (Lawrence Hill Books, 2012)
When a mother listens to the beats of her own heart, where angst, fear and fortitude compete, and then beautifully weaves emotion into a story about her ongoing journey to support a bipolar son, then you know something significant has happened in African American literature. At least I did, when... Read More
Erica R. Edwards, “Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership” (University of Minnesota Press, 2012)
Picture the familiar scene: the visiting pastor thanks the local pastor for granting him the use of his pulpit; he sends out the call (“Can I just speak with you this morning?”) and the congregation responds (“Yessir! Amen!”). The disclaimer follows: he is only the vessel through which the Lord... Read More
Koritha Mitchell, “Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930” (University of Illinois Press, 2012)
Koritha Mitchell‘s Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930 (University of Illinois Press, 2012) is, as described on the publisher’s webpage, “the first full-length critical study of lynching plays in American culture.” Drawing from a diverse array of methods and disciplines including American studies, literary criticism,... Read More