Black Hero Nat Turner, His Legacy, and the Memory of Slave History

Nat Turner

More than two centuries ago, black hero Nat Turner was born on this day.  Yet, as Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi note in their groundbreaking new book, Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future that

“Unlike other black enslaved heroes and fighters against slavery, whose monuments can be found all over the other Americas, there is yet to be a statue of Nat Turner to be erected and his memory continues to be deeply antagonistic, while representations of Abraham Lincoln as the Great Emancipator proliferate. However, reinforcing how attitudes about the slave past are indeed changing, Nat Turner’s figure appears to be enjoying what could be seen as a revival of sorts in spite of the lack of a statue of him. A graphic novel, Kyle Baker’s Nat Turner (2008), and two Christian literature novels, Sharon Ewell Foster’s The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part One: The Witnesses (2011) and The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part Two: The Testimony (2012), have been recently published, and there are a number of film projects underway. As filmmaker Kenya Cagle notes in the last chapter, in which he describes his approach to portraying Nat Turner in the screenplay he published in 2013 and his own film project, “in some segments of the black community Nat Turner is equivalent to a rock star” (243). The shift from slavehood as victimhood to slaves as agents in the construction of their lives and countries is indeed fundamental in the pedagogy of new generations, …” (p. 13)

Transatlantic Memories of Slavery also includes an interview with Kenya Cagle who discusses perspectives on Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and the film’s pop vision of the slave past. Cagle also talks about this meetings with Nat Turner’s family, including including his great, great, great grandson Bruce L. Turner (who is a historian).

Cambria Press Publisher book publication author

Cambria Press Publication – Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future

This is an important book for for those interested in African American, American, and Latin American studies and working across literature, cinema, visual arts, and public culture. It will also be useful to public official and civil servants interested in the question of slavery and its present memory.

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#ASALH100: Cambria Author & Slavery Series Editor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) at 2 Sessions

Ana Lucia Araujo Historian History Slave Memory Book #ASALH100 Cambria Press

#ASALH100: Cambria Press Author & Slavery Series Editor Ana Lucia Araujo will be at the session “Slavery, Public Memory, and Reparations” on Friday at 7 p.m. (Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 1, Georgia 10) and at the session “From Slavery to Freedom: Black Women in the Americas” on Saturday at 2 p.m. (Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 2, Savannah 2, Level 2 Lobby).

Cambria Press Author & Slavery Series Editor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) will be at two sessions at the centennial meeting and conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).

Cambria Publications by Dr. Araujo (more reviews at http://www.cambriapress.com):

Public Memory of Slavery: Victims and Perpetrators in the South Atlantic

“An important and provocative work. No other study so thoroughly chronicles the fraught and ambiguous history of memorializing slavery in the South Atlantic. Araujo’s ability to ‘read’ multiple sources – both discursive and non-discursive – makes the book truly interdisciplinary in scope. It will be a crucial starting point for all future studies of slavery and memory in Benin and Brazil.” – James H. Sweet, Journal of African History

Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Interactions, Identities, and Images

“The scholarly quality of the dozen essays included here is uniformly high … The quality and variety of the contributions make this book a desirable purchase for research libraries, and scholars of the history and culture of slavery and the black Atlantic are well advised to direct their attention to the essays which best match their interests and to consult the extensive and up-to-date bibliography of primary and secondary sources with which Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade closes. Araujo and her contributors deserve praise for putting together this exciting collection, as does Cambria Press for producing it as an attractively designed and well-laid-out volume.” – Journal of Latin American Studies

African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World

“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” – Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Books in the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series:

Order by October 30 for a 30% discount on all hardcover titles
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Use coupon code FALL15.
Individuals and libraries can use this code.

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Ida B. Wells Birthday Tribute: Black Women as Custodians of History

Ida B. Wells

Black Women as Custodians of History: Birthday Tribute to Ida B. Wells

Cambria Press Book Highlight in honor of Ida B. Wells’s Birthday

“Like W. E. B. Du Bois, black activist and journalist Ida B. Wells also chose to become an interpreter of facts in her writings about lynching at the turn of the twentieth century [… and] called African Americans to write and distribute accurate histories that would counteract the false depictions created by white-owned presses, dispersing this message through her work in the antilynching movement.”   – Paula Sanmartín, Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

*This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series headed by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

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#BlackHistoryMonth: In Celebration

#BlackHistoryMonth

Many notable African Americans hailed from Memphis, including Veronica Coleman, Tennessee’s first black U.S. Attorney General. In her book Notable Black Memphians, Miriam DeCosta-Willis (a notable African American herself as the first faculty member of Memphis State University) provides a biographical and historical study which traces the evolution of a major Southern city through the lives of black men and women who overcame social and economic barriers to create artistic works, found institutions, and obtain leadership positions that enabled them to shape their community.

Moving to the East Coast, Building a Healthy Black Harlem has been praised by the journal Afro-Americans in New York: Life and History for being “a valuable contribution to our knowledge of a place and time better known for its famous writers and artists than for the quotidian struggles of its workers facing racism and the structural economic trap of high rents and low wages … Wilson’s book is an impressive achievement that updates social history with fresh material and perspectives and makes important interventions in the literature on African American urbanization.”

Black history also makes it mark in the performing arts. Black Medea is an anthology of six adaptations of the Euripidean tragedy by contemporary American playwrights that present Medea as a black Medea. For example, Jim Magnuson’s African Medea sets the play in Angola in the early nineteenth century with Medea as an African princess and Jason as a Portuguese soldier.  Placing six adaptations side by side and interviewing the playwrights in order to gain their insights into their work allows the reader to see how an ancient Greek tragedy has been used by contemporary American artists to frame and understand African American history. This book is in the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series headed by John Clum (Duke University).

Black history is to be found in literary works as well. Black Women as Custodians of History sheds much light on black history through the examination of texts by African American and Afro-Cuban women from four different literary genres (autobiographical slave narrative, contemporary novel on slavery, testimonial narrative, and poetry). The book shows that in the womens’ revisions of national history, their writings also demonstrate the pervasive role of racial and gender categories in the creation of a discourse of national identity, while promoting a historiography constructed within flexible borders that need to be negotiated constantly. This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present book series headed by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).

Dr. Araujo herself has just published another excellent, essential book for Black History Month. African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World is an unprecedented study that makes a very important contribution to the understanding of the place of African heritage and slavery in the official history and public memory of Brazil and Angola. This new must-have book illuminates the history of African tangible and intangible heritages and its links with the public memory of slavery in Brazil and Angola.

Books like these are critical to black studies. Celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth by spreading the word about these important studies and making sure that these books are available at your library (if they are not, let your librarian know). From now until April 20, 2015, there is a 35% discount on all hardbound books–use coupon code CAMBRIA188.

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#ASA2014 Highlight! Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women's Writing

Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing

This week, we will be featuring books that year’s exemplify the African Studies Association annual meeting theme “Rethinking Violence, Reconstruction and Reconciliation.”

One such book is Black Women as Custodians of History: Unsung Rebel (M)Others in African American and Afro-Cuban Women’s Writing by Paula Sanmartín.

“African American scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. has stated that anyone who analyzes black literature must do so as a comparativist … my project includes works by black women writers from different areas of the African diaspora in order to examine literary representations of the historic roots of black women’s resistance in both the United States and Cuba. … I analyze how, lacking a safe space to write history, they have placed themselves in a position where they can have some influence on the way history is being written. In addition, I emphasize the way these black women authors disassemble racist and sexist stereotypes, (re)constructing black female subjectivity through an image of active resistance against oppression, one that authorizes unconventional definitions of motherhood and/or womanhood. This image, which I have named “the rebel (m)other,” allows the authors to make black women’s presence and participation in history explicit while redefining heroism from a black female perspective. My project argues that these writings also highlight the significance of black women’s specific relationship to historical national tensions in the United States and Cuba. … The chapters in Black Women as Custodians of History showcase the way that drawing on dialogic relationships can open up new lines of inquiry and redress the historical imbalance of Western historiography and literary history by presenting black women’s history and subjectivity as multiple and discontinuous.”

Browse Black Women as Custodians of History now. Recommend this book to your library and colleagues.

This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery Series headed by Ana Lucia Araujo, author and editor of the highly acclaimed books on slavery (which will be featured this week as well).

From now until December 15, enjoy a special 35% discount on all hardcover titles. Use web coupon code ASA2014. Libraries can use this too.

#AfricanStudies #ASA2014 #slavery

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Cambria Press Book Review: Building a Healthy Black Harlem praised for being “valuable” and “an impressive achievement”

Cambria Press academic publisher

Cambria Press Book Review: Building a Healthy Black Harlem

Cambria Press congratulates Jamie Wilson on the outstanding review of his book, Building a Healthy Black Harlem, by Afro-Americans in New York: Life and History. The journal praises the book for being “a valuable contribution to our knowledge of a place and time better known for its famous writers and artists than for the quotidian struggles of its workers facing racism and the structural economic trap of high rents and low wages.” It also commends the book for being “an impressive achievement that updates social history with fresh material and perspectives and makes important interventions in the literature on African American urbanization.”

Browse it online now using the Cambria Press Free Preview Tool.

See also Notable Black Memphians by Miriam DeCosta-Willis.

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Cambria Press Must-See Video! Love or Hate Rap? Think gangster rap and hip hop are the same thing? You need to watch this!

Cambria Press is proud to be the first academic publisher to bring out a book on this topic related to rap music. Whether you love or hate rap, the fact is that rap music and its gangster rap variant are now far too important and influential in American life to be ignored by the general public and research communities alike.

The studies conducted thus far are one written from the disciplinary perspectives of communications, music ,and cultural studies, all of which provide an important narrative, but a gap remains–one that leaves the central claims and impacts naddressed.

It is in this context that renowned sociologist Professor Benjamin Bowser began studying hip hop and gangster rap precisely because the influence of this movement and music on African American adolescents HIV infection risk takers. At the same time, the frequent use of the N-word by gangster rappers has become a major unaddressed issue in civil rights that has also not been studied. Furthermore, an important reason to study these unaddressed issues is to not only better understand them but also to offer solutions to the problems they pose and to improve the quality of life of all involved.

Within the rapidly growing literature on hip hop and gangster rap, Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost stands out from the rest because it provides a number of unique contributions. First, based upon a community case study, the author asserts that gangster rap has empowered white racists and, as a consequence, has reduced the quality of life and civil rights of listeners and non-listeners alike.

Second, this book goes to great length to make a serious distinction between gangster rap and hip hop. Disentangling one from the other opens the door to a more focused and critical analysis of gangster rap and provides an outline of the unmet potential of rap in hip hop.

Third, national surveys are used as evidence in the debate about the size and characteristics of the rap and hip hop listener audiences. There are some surprises here that should reframe the controversy on who listens to and buys rap music.

Fourth, there is a first generation of psychological and social scientific research on rap music that is summarized through 2011.

Finally, the problems in gangster rap are not inevitable and we do not have to live with them. They can be effectively addressed without attacking the civil liberties of gangster rappers or their corporate sponsors.

Gangster Rap and Its Social Cost is must reading for young adults, parents, and students in sociology, psychology, ethnic studies, communication, music, community studies and public health.

If you ENJOY rap, you should read this book.

If you DISLIKE rap, you should read this book. 

If you think that all rap is the same and affects only a certain demographic group, then you definitely need to read this book.

Watch the fascinating interview with Professor Bowser and learn about this sociocultural phenomenon!

Recommend this book to your library! Librarians can order the book directly from Cambria Press or they can order through their preferred academic book wholesaler (Cambria Press is on the approval list of premier wholesalers like YBP).

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