About Vershawn Young

NBN Episodes hosted by Vershawn:

Kevin Quashie, "The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture" (Rutgers UP, 2012)

February 17, 2014

The Sovereignty of Quiet

Kevin Quashie
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Musician James Brown is famous for his civil rights slogan, "Say it loud; I'm Black and I'm proud," illustrating the argument that Kevin Quashie makes…

Adam Henig, "Alex Haley's Roots: An Author's Odyssey" (2014)

February 5, 2014

Alex Haley's Roots

Adam Henig
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Alex Haley's 1976 book Roots: The Saga of an American Family still stands as a memorable epic journey into the history of African Americans during the…

Cindy Hooper, "Conflict: African American Women and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics" (Praeger Press, 2012)

January 29, 2014


Cindy Hooper
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Cindy Hooper is a veteran of various local, state, and national political campaigns. She is the founder of a national organization for African America…

Matthew W. Hughey, "White Bound: Nationalists, Antiracists, and the Shared Meanings of Race" (Stanford UP, 2012)

August 9, 2013

White Bound

Matthew W. Hughey
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Whiteness studies has confirmed that race is a social construction, even for whites, and that the identity we understand as white is also a social inv…

Carmen Kynard, "Vernacular Insurrections: Race, Black Protest, and the New Century in Composition-Literacies Studies" (SUNY Press, 2013)

July 18, 2013

Vernacular Insurrections

Carmen Kynard
Hosted by Vershawn Young

You know you are not going to get the same old story about progressive literacies and education from Carmen Kynard, who ends the introduction to her b…

Elaine Richardson, "PHD to Ph.D.: How Education Saved My Life" (New City Community Press/Parlor Press, 2013)

July 11, 2013

PHD to Ph.D.

Elaine Richardson
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Elaine Richardson recounts the Jamaican mother wit that her "mama dished out...in artless artful sayings" but that Richardson "tried to desperately di…

H. Paul Thompson Jr., "A Most Stirring and Significant Episode: Religion and the Rise and Fall of Prohibition in Black Atlanta, 1865-1887" (NIU Press, 2012)

July 8, 2013

A Most Stirring and Significant Episode

H. Paul Thompson Jr.
Hosted by Vershawn Young

The American Temperance Movement remains an interesting and important topic. Considering the various attitudes that influenced laws about alcohol sale…

Keith Clark, "The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry" (Louisiana State UP, 2013)

June 23, 2013

The Radical Fiction of Ann Petry

Keith Clark
Hosted by Vershawn Young

What do you do if you accompany a friend on her research trip to Boston University's Gotlieb Archival Research Center and end up finding a treasure tr…

Andre Williams, "Dividing Lines: Social Class Anxiety and Postbellum Black Fiction" (U Michigan Press, 2013)

May 8, 2013

Dividing Lines

Andre Williams
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Andrei Williams' provocative new book on African American class divisions in Post-Reconstruction and Jim Crow America is sure to spark spirited debate…

Richard W. Leeman and Bernard Duffy, "The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches (Southern Illinois UP, 2012)

January 30, 2013

The Will of a People

Richard W. Leeman and Bernard Duffy, eds.
Hosted by Vershawn Young

The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches (Southern Illinois University Press, 2012) is a compendium of 22 oration…

Marcia Alesan Dawkins, "Clearly Invisible: Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity" (Baylor UP, 2012)

January 11, 2013

Clearly Invisible

Marcia Alesan Dawkins
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Performance queen RuPaul once famously quipped that "we're born naked; the rest is drag"--meaning everyone dons identity, performs one's concept of se…

Curtis Crisler, "Pulling Scabs" (Aquarius Press, 2009)

December 20, 2012

Pulling Scabs

Curtis Crisler
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Curtis L. Crisler is a prolific poet, novelist, and mix-genre author who writes about the American experience. In his work, Crisler turns a particular…

Sikivu Hutchinson, "Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars" (Infidel Books, 2011)

December 13, 2012

Moral Combat

Sikivu Hutchinson
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Sikivu Hutchinson's book Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars (Infidel Books, 2011) is a brave examination of African Am…

Minkah Makalani, "In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939" (UNC Press, 2011)

August 15, 2012

In the Cause of Freedom

Minkah Makalani
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Minkah Makalani is the author of a new intellectual history on the efforts of early twentieth century black radicals to organize an international move…

Charlotte Pierce-Baker, "This Fragile Life: A Mother's Story of a Bipolar Son" (Lawrence Hill Books, 2012)

July 30, 2012

This Fragile Life

Charlotte Pierce-Baker
Hosted by Vershawn Young

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 h…

Erica R. Edwards, "Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership" (U Minnesota Press, 2012)

June 29, 2012

Charisma and the Fictions of Black Leadership

Erica Edwards
Hosted by Vershawn Young

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 spe…

Koritha Mitchell, "Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930" (U Illinois Press, 2012)

June 29, 2012

Living with Lynching

Koritha Mitchell
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Koritha Mitchell's Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930 (University of Illinois Press, 2012)…

Erin D. Chapman, "Prove It On Me: New Negroes, Sex, and Popular Culture in the 1920s" (Oxford UP, 2012)

May 29, 2012

Prove It on Me

Erin Chapman
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Whoever states the old adage, "A picture is worth a thousand words" grossly underestimates. So Erin D. Chapman shows in Prove It On Me: New Negroes, S…

Makalani Bandele, "Hellfightin'" (Willow Books, 2012)

March 19, 2012


Makalani Bandele
Hosted by Vershawn Young

There is no better description of poet Makalani Bandele's debut book Hellfightin' (Willow Books, 2012) than the one found on his comprehensive websit…

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson, "Dorothy West's Paradise:  A Biography of Class and Color" (Rutgers UP, 2012)

March 9, 2012

Dorothy West's Paradise

Cherene Sherrard-Johnson
Hosted by Vershawn Young

One lesson that the ever-present trickster figure in African American folklore teaches is how to use signifying to protect one's intimate self. A chal…

Vorris Nunley, "Keepin' It Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric" (Wayne State UP, 2011)

February 16, 2012

Keepin' It Hushed

Vorris Nunley
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Vorris Nunley's Keepin it Hushed: The Barbershop and African American Hush Harbor Rhetoric (Wayne State University Press, 2011), uses the black barber…

Jafari S. Allen, "!Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba" (Duke UP, 2011)

January 24, 2012


Jafari S. Allen,
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Jafari S. Allen's !Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba (Duke University Press, 2011) is a meticulously researched and exquisitely th…

Jerald Walker, "Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption" (Bantam Books, 2010)

November 17, 2011

Street Shadows

Jerald Walker
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Jerald Walker's critical autobiography, Street Shadows: A Memoir of Race, Rebellion, and Redemption (Bantam, 2010), is a sheer pleasure to read. A boo…

Daniel Sharfstein, "The Invisible line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White" (Penguin, 2011)

November 1, 2011

The Invisible Line

Daniel Sharfstein
Hosted by Vershawn Young

Daniel Sharfstein's The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White (Penguin Press, 2011) is the latest and per…