Black in America samples the breadth of non-fiction writing on African American experiences in the United States. The emphasis is on twenty-first-century authors such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Claudia Rankine, and Roxane Gay, but a substantial representation of vitally important writing from other eras is also included, from Olaudah Equiano and Sojourner Truth to James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker; in all there are over 50 selections. Selections are arranged by author in rough chronological order; the book also includes alternative tables of contents listing material by thematic subject and by genre and rhetorical style. A headnote, explanatory notes, and discussion questions facilitate student engagement with each piece.
“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