Black in America – Second Edition
A Broadview Topics Reader
  • Publication Date: March 22, 2024
  • ISBN: 9781554816477 / 1554816475
  • 540 pages; 6" x 9"

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Black in America – Second Edition

A Broadview Topics Reader

  • Publication Date: March 22, 2024
  • ISBN: 9781554816477 / 1554816475
  • 540 pages; 6" x 9"

Black in America samples the breadth of nonfiction writing on African American experiences in the United States from the eighteenth century to the present. The anthology emphasizes twenty-first-century authors such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine, and Roxane Gay, but a substantial selection of important earlier writers—from Phillis Wheatley and Olaudah Equiano, through Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass, to James Baldwin and Audre Lorde—is also included.

The second edition has been updated to feature notable works that have appeared since the first edition was published in 2018, particularly including works addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement; the new edition also includes more selections that emphasize the joy and beauty of being Black in America. Selections are arranged by author in rough chronological order and feature headnotes, explanatory notes, and discussion questions to facilitate student engagement. A companion website contains additional readings; alternative tables of contents listing material by thematic subject and by genre and rhetorical style; an additional set of explanatory notes for the benefit of international students and/or non-native speakers of English; and links to further readings and other resources such as speeches, recitations, TED talks, and music videos.

A percentage of the revenue from this book’s sales will be donated to two organizations: Equal Justice Initiative and Color of Change.

Comments

Black in America was a game-changer for our First-Year Writing program, offering an expertly curated selection of texts that exposed students to the breadth and depth of perspectives on the Black experience in this country. … The second edition looks to keep the conversation going, with updated selections from past greats such as Baldwin, along with pieces dealing with essential issues of the day, such as woke-ness, cancel culture, cultural appropriation, and identity politics. This book touches on themes that affect us all.” — Jeremy Tuman, Xavier University of Louisiana

“What it feels like, looks like, and means to be Black in America is an important topic that has been discussed since 1619. The topic has been reviewed, debated, and performed by multifarious Black people, from numerous perspectives, in multiple genres. The present edition of Black in America captures these diverse Black voices, both in the print anthology and the necessary online companion website. In our technologically influenced society, the companion site illustrates how Black people use technologies to amplify, create, demonstrate, and showcase what Being Black in American means. We must remember that it was a 17-year-old Black girl who used the video feature on her mobile phone to record the killing of Mr. George Floyd. That video made the whole world pause, witness, and ask if such an occurrence is still a part of being Black in America. Knowing that being Black in America is of international interest, this volume importantly draws in readers who may not be Black. There are notes on nomenclature for worldwide readers or newcomers to America. The editors know that Blackness is a universal topic as shown in the first selection—Phillis Wheatley’s 1773 poem ‘On Being Brought from Africa to America.’ The poem’s famous last line is addressed to white Christians: ‘Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain / May be refined and Join th’ angelic train.’ Has that audience progressed in its views of Blackness? The volume presents selections that urge readers to take up the question, including the last piece by linguist John McWhorter on why contemporary discussion of race should focus on progress. All in all, this significant volume provides insight to readers and inspiration to other writers to continue the conversation about Being Black in America.” — Vershawn Young, University of Waterloo

“This new, revised edition of Black in America provides up-to-the moment discourses about Blackness from social, cultural, and political perspectives. Enhanced materials available on a companion website enliven Black knowledge practices through multimedia resources for students and teachers. It will serve as essential reading for anyone interested in historical and contemporary responses to systems of oppression that sustain ideas of difference. Black in America’s emphasis on Black writers’ meaningful engagement with and creative responses to such structures of power marks an important agency in writing and enacting knowledge practices. Necessary reading for any course engaged with Black intersectionality with literature and writing, the arts and advocacy, and Black political and social life inclusive of gender and sexuality.” — Noelle Morrissette, The Univerisity of North Carolina at Greensboro

Comments on the first edition of Black in America

“An accessible and lively collection, Black in America is an ethical reader of African American culture, experience, and writing—forming a continuous dialogue about protest, place, and rhetorical frameworks of expression in relation to raced experiences of America. Arranged chronologically for simplicity, the anthology also provides alternative tables of contents to suggest dynamic pairings of texts. From James Baldwin to Teju Cole; Anna Julia Cooper to bell hooks; from anthems to hip hop; Black Power to Black Panther; Malcolm X to #MeToo, historically significant texts are brought into the company of contemporary writers, thinkers, and events in this au courant collection. It will be a highly useful anthology for the twenty-first century classroom.” — Noelle Morrissette, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Black in America is an intellectually exciting anthology of analytical, persuasive and personal essays, biographical excerpts, blogs, film reviews, and other writings on the African American Experience in the United States. It is designed for teaching undergraduate students in Writing and Rhetoric courses and students in Introduction to Black Studies courses. The anthology features contemporary works, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates’s ‘The Case for Reparations’ and Carvell Wallace’s ‘Why Black Panther Is a Defining Moment for Black America,’ as well as canonical old favorites from the Black Intellectual Tradition, such as W.E.B. Du Bois’s critique of Booker T. Washington and Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘How It Feels to Be Colored Me.’ Each selection is preceded by a captivating introduction, and at the end of each selection, there are thought-provoking questions to prompt students to critically engage the ideas in the text as well as to focus students on the text’s rhetorical strategies and stylistics. Given the global diversity of the twenty-first century, some questions—about comparative cultural practices, for instance—are directed to international students. There are brief, succinctly written explanatory footnotes, and there is a companion website with background information about particular phrases and ideas alluded to in a given selection. To accommodate diverse teaching emphases, there are three versions of the anthology’s Table of Contents: one arranged by historical chronology; one by genre and rhetorical category; and the third by subject. Indeed, the editorial team seems to have thought of everything! For teacher-scholars in Composition Studies and African American Studies, Black in America is the text you have been waiting for.” — Geneva Smitherman, Michigan State University

Black in America is an outstanding contribution that takes the reader on a journey from the mid-nineteenth century to present day, through the lives and experiences African Americans in the United States. This critical work is a tribute to those who sacrificed their own welfare and often their lives to resist oppression and promote positive change.”— Sheila T. Gregory, Clark Atlanta University

CONTENTS BY SUBJECT
CONTENTS BY GENRE AND RHETORICAL CATEGORY
SUGGESTED PAIRS AND GROUPS
PREFACE

PHILLIS WHEATLEY

  • On Being Brought from Africa to America

OLAUDAH EQUIANO

  • from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

SOJOURNER TRUTH

  • Speech Delivered at the Akron, Ohio, Convention on Women’s Rights, 1851

FREDERICK DOUGLASS

  • from Fourth of July Oration

HARRIET JACOBS

  • from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Seven Years Concealed

JORDAN ANDERSON

  • Letter from a Freedman to His Old Master

FRANCES ELLEN WATKINS HARPER

  • We Are All Bound Up Together

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON

  • Speech Delivered at the Cotton States and International Exposition, 18 September 1895

JAMES WELDON JOHNSON

  • Lift Every Voice and Sing

IDA B. WELLS

  • from Lynch Law in America
  • from Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases

PAULINE HOPKINS

  • from Hon. Frederick Douglass (online)

W.E.B. DU BOIS

  • Of Our Spiritual Strivings [from The Souls of Black Folk]
  • from Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others [from The Souls of Black Folk]

THE NIAGARA MOVEMENT

  • The Niagara Movement’s Declaration of Principles, 1905 (online)

CLAUDE MCKAY

  • If We Must Die

LANGSTON HUGHES

  • The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

ALICE DUNBAR-NELSON

  • The Negro Woman and the Ballot

ZORA NEALE HURSTON

  • How It Feels to Be Colored Me

JAMES BALDWIN

  • A Talk to Teachers
  • My Dungeon Shook: Letter to My Nephew on the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Emancipation

FRANTZ FANON

  • from The Wretched of the Earth

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

  • Letter from Birmingham Jail

MALCOLM X WITH ALEX HALEY

  • from The Autobiography of Malcolm X

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM

  • Equal Rights for Women

ALICE WALKER

  • In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: The Creativity of Black Women in the South

THE COMBAHEE RIVER COLLECTIVE

  • A Black Feminist Statement

AUDRE LORDE

  • The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action
  • Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism

AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN FOR REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM

  • We Remember: African American Women Are for Reproductive Freedom

BELL HOOKS

  • Coming to Class Consciousness [from Where We Stand]

BARACK OBAMA

  • A More Perfect Union (online)

MICHELLE ALEXANDER

  • from The New Jim Crow

ADILIFU NAMA

  • from Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes

ALISHA KNIGHT

  • from “To Aid in Everyway Possible in Uplifting the Colored People of America”: Hopkins’s Revisionary Definition of African American Success (online)

BETTINA LOVE

  • from Hip Hop’s Li’l Sistas Speak: Negotiating Hip Hop Identities and Politics in the New South

DARNELL L. MOORE

  • Black, LGBT, American: A Search for Sanctuaries

TA-NEHISI COATES

  • from The Case for Reparations
  • from The First White President

ROXANE GAY

  • The Politics of Respectability

CLAUDIA RANKINE

  • from Citizen: An American Lyric

BRYAN STEVENSON

  • from Just Mercy

NIKOLE HANNAH-JONES

  • School Segregation: The Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson

DAWN MARIE DOW

  • The Deadly Challenges of Raising African American Boys: Navigating the Controlling Image of the “Thug”

STEVEN W. THRASHER

  • Moonlight Portrays Black Gay Life in Its Joy, Sadness and Complexity

MITCH LANDRIEU

  • Truth: Remarks on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans (online)

CAMERON GLOVER

  • No, Black-Only Safe Spaces Are Not Racist

ZADIE SMITH

  • Getting In and Out: Who Owns Black Pain?

JONATHAN CAPEHART

  • Taking a Knee with Colin Kaepernick and Standing with Stephen Curry against Trump

SHANITA HUBBARD

  • Russell Simmons, R. Kelly, and Why Black Women Can’t Say #MeToo

CARVELL WALLACE

  • Why Black Panther Is a Defining Moment for Black America

LEXI PANDELL

  • How RuPaul’s Drag Race Fueled Pop Culture’s Dominant Slang Engine

ELIJAH C. WATSON

  • The Origin of Woke: How the Death of Woke Led to the Birth of Cancel Culture

JESMYN WARD

  • Witness and Respair

IMANI PERRY

  • Racism Is Terrible. Blackness Is Not.

IBRAM X. KENDI

  • The American Nightmare

NATASHA N. JONES AND MIRIAM F. WILLIAMS

  • The Just Use of Imagination: A Call to Action

BERTRAND COOPER

  • from Who Actually Gets to Create Black Pop Culture?

FARAH JASMINE GRIFFIN

  • from Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature

KEEANGA-YAMAHTTA TAYLOR

  • The Defeat of Identity Politics

LISE FUNDERBURG

  • For These Families, H.B.C.U.s Aren’t Just an Option. They’re a Tradition.

DAMON YOUNG

  • Soup Is So Much More Than Food

OMNIA SAED

  • Black Americans Are Leading a Vegan Movement

JOHN MCWHORTER

  • Why Racial Discussions Should Also Focus on Progress

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES
PERMISSIONS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
INDEX

Jessica Edwards teaches critical race studies and composition studies at the University of Delaware.

  • • A thematic reader of expository prose on African American experiences in the U.S., both historical and contemporary
  • • Second edition has been updated to incorporate selections addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, among other recent developments
  • • Emphasis on themes of joy, beauty, and resilience
  • • Headnotes, explanatory notes, and discussion questions included with each selection
  • • Equitable gender representation, with slightly more selections written by women than by men
  • • Coverage of a wide range of prose genres, including
    • o Academic articles
    • o Journalism
    • o Film reviews
    • o Lyric essays
    • o Memoirs
    • o Speeches
  • • Chronological organization
  • • Includes a color insert featuring a range of historical and contemporary images related to the book’s written selections to facilitate further discussion
  • • Companion website with additional resources, including supplemental explanatory notes, alternative tables of contents, further readings, and links to relevant online media

The companion website offers links to a variety of online content and resources—including speeches, recitations, TED talks, songs, music videos, lyrics, and more—that relate to and expand on the selections in the bound book. Also provided are a second set of explanatory notes, going beyond the footnotes included in the bound book, for the benefit of students who have limited familiarity with American culture and/or have learned English as an additional language; alternative tables of contents by topic and by genre/rhetorical category; and downloadable copies of several readings included in the book’s first edition, featuring the same apparatus as the bound book contents and edited to the same standard.