What is it like when an 8-year-old Ethiopian boy finds himself living in one of the largest cities in the United States? How do you adapt to a life in Harlem, and in a school when you can't even speak the language? How do you learn and interact with others, make friends and strive to become a success? In his book, African Booty Scratcher, Michael Asmerom paints a vivid picture of his life as a young immigrant, desperately trying to fit into life in New York City and find his way amidst a confusing clash of cultures. From bullying and name-calling to trying to fit in with peers in a country that had its own views on African people, through to growing up as a child of African parents, becoming Americanized and choosing a career path, Michael tells his story with a mixture of humor and fluent writing. It is a book which carries a heartfelt message, but also something of a cautionary note at the same time. We are who we are because of the upbringing we receive and the effort we put in to succeed.
Aaron Recess is a glazier for Cape Verdean Glass. Until his co-worker introduces him to cocaine, weed is the only drug that Aaron does. He snorts the cocaine in his frontroom while being watched by Danielle, a firebrand woman with frightening normalcy despite her otherworldly evilness. As a result of his descent into the proverbial silent aquamarine depths of a watery world, Aarons nose undergoes a transformation that a lowlife makes after he supplied the fatal drug dose to a woman Aaron has never met. Detailed with a lipsticked harridan, biracial litterbug, hopped-up teetotaler, German spelunker, and more, Villains Always Make Mistakes shadows Aaron in real time during his trailblazing misadventure to find out why Danielle is a wolf in sheeps clothing.
Author: Kevin O. Cokley
Release Date: 2014-11-11
Why do students who belong to racial minority groups—particularly black students—fall short in school performance? This book provides a comprehensive and critical examination of black identity and its implications for black academic achievement and intellectualism. • Uses African American identity as the framework to understand academic achievement and to expose the biases of "deficit thinking" that presumes that under-achievement among black students is related to deficiencies in motivation, intelligence, culture, or socialization • Presents information and viewpoints informed by empirical research in a manner that is accessible to general readers and non-specialists • Uses personal anecdotes and examples from popular culture to connect with readers and better illustrate the validity of the author's strengths-based approach rather than the conventional deficit-based approach • Challenges the idea that black students are inherently anti-intellectual and do not value school as much as their non-black peers
Author: Onoso Imoagene
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2017-02-21
Genre: Social Science
In Beyond Expectations, Onoso Imoagene delves into the multifaceted identities of second-generation Nigerian adults in the United States and Britain. She argues that they conceive of an alternative notion of "black" identity that differs radically from African American and Black Caribbean notions of "black" in the United States and Britain. Instead of considering themselves in terms of their country of destination alone, second-generation Nigerians define themselves in complicated ways that balance racial status, a diasporic Nigerian ethnicity, a pan-African identity, and identification with fellow immigrants. Based on over 150 interviews, Beyond Expectations seeks to understand how race, ethnicity, and class shape identity and how globalization, transnationalism, and national context inform sense of self.
Author: Nancy E. Hill
Release Date: 2011-07-31
How does one go about shifting the psychology of a people whose sense of worth, purpose, and potential have been denigrated and disenfranchised for decades? What specific factors conspire to douse African American children's dreams before they reach adolescence? And what can we learn from African American families determined to help their children beat the odds and succeed? This unique two-volume set examines the forces affecting psychological development and achievement motivation in African American children today. These books address the current political, global, economic, and social contexts as they impact African American families and tackle the tough issues of genes, environment, and race. Experts from leading universities, research institutes, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations discuss factors such as parenting beliefs and practices, peer influences, school and community environments, racial profiling, race and ethnicity, spirituality, and immigrant status.
“Gabourey Sidibe’s delightful memoir offers a memorable look into what happens when a black girl’s dreams come true, from the inside out. Sidibe is fearless, incredibly funny, and gorgeously open. What she offers of herself in these pages is a gift.”—Roxane Gay In This Is Just My Face, Gabourey Sidibe—the “gives-zero-effs queen of Hollywood AND perceptive best friend in your head” (Lena Dunham)—paints her unconventional rise to fame with full-throttle honesty. Sidibe tells engrossing, inspiring stories about her Bed-Stuy/Harlem/Senegalese family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway, her first job as a phone sex “talker,” and her Oscar-nominated role in Lee Daniels’s Precious. Sidibe’s memoir hits hard with self-knowing dispatches on friendship, celebrity, weight, haters, fashion, race, and depression (“Sidibe’s heartfelt exploration of insecurity . . . makes us love her” —O Magazine). Irreverent, hilarious, and untraditional, This Is Just My Face will resonate with anyone who has ever felt different, and with anyone who has ever felt inspired to make a dream come true. “This memoir [is] a book you will want to give your daughter.” —New York Times “Sidibe’s hilarious Twitter account is no fluke—the Empire actress’s memoir about growing up in New York City and finding unexpected fame in Hollywood is sharp, witty, and wonderfully substantive.” —Entertainment Weekly
Mariah Stevens doesn't take no for an answer. Her take-charge, tough-as-nails exterior has helped her become Book Review Editor at Spirit Magazine - no small feat considering she's only 29. She lives in a stunning apartment in Manhattan, her clothes are ripped straight from the runways, and her manicured nails are never chipped. Life is good. Her secret weapon? Her long, glorious weave, which she's been wearing since she was 16. It's her power, her strength, and she's completely addicted to it. She can't even remember what her real hair looks like. In a sudden move, Spirit Magazine folds, and for the first time in her life Mariah is left asking, "What's next?" WIth her savings dwindling, she's forced to remove her weave and make the call that she hasn't made in years - the call home. Now Mariah is back home in Houston, living with her bi-racial sister and light-skinned mother, both of whom are blessed with hair long enough to sleep in. Mariah has always stuck out like a sore thumb, and is constantly reminded of such with her dark skin and short, kinky hair. Living in Houston has Mariah facing her old demons, and without the support of her weave she's losing her most important asset: her self-confidence. When she discovers a family secret, it opens doors to her past and threatens to break her already fragile world apart. With her sister by her side, Mariah is determined to learn the truth. Unbeweaveable is about Mariah's quest to confront questions of love, loyalty, and family to find her way back home.
Author: Morowa Yejide
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2014-06-10
A deeply imaginative debut novel about a family in crisis, Time of the Locust “deftly brings together the fantastic and the realistic, and touches on a variety of issues, from politics, race, and murder to disability, domestic tragedy, and myth…[and] spins them with gold and possibility” (The Washington Post). Sephiri is an autistic boy who lives in a world of his own making, where he dwells among imagined sea creatures that help him process information in the “real world” in which he is forced to live. But lately he has been having dreams of a mysterious place, and he starts creating fantastical sketches of this strange, inner world. Brenda, Sephiri’s mother, struggles with raising her challenged child alone. Her only wish is to connect with him—a smile on his face would be a triumph. Sephiri’s father, Horus, is serving a life sentence in prison, making the days even lonelier for Brenda and Sephiri. Yet prison is still not enough to separate father and son. In the seventh year of his imprisonment and at the height of his isolation, Horus develops extraordinary mental abilities that allow him to reach his son. Memory and yearning carry him outside his body, and through the realities of their ordeals and dreamscape, Horus and Sephiri find each other—and find hope in ways never imagined. Deftly portrayed by the remarkably talented Morowa Yejidé, this “unique and astounding debut” (New York Times bestselling author Lalita Tademy) is a harrowing, mystical, and redemptive journey toward the union of a family.
Black Cream is a straightforward, honest, and relentless memoir chronicling the life and times of Kareem Parker, a.k.a. Black Cream. For all his childhood and early adulthood, Cream battled self-esteem issues, bouts with anxiety, mother-son battles with his mother and her various boyfriends, skin complexion complexities, and ongoing battles with wanting/needing a true father figure; this battle coexists with his mothers battle to find true love from a man. Throughout his early years of two years old up until sixteen to seventeen, he not only battled his problems and shortcomings but became a battering ram and sometimes an unwanted distraction to his mothers various boyfriends/paramours that misled and abused him and his mother. Later in his midteens, he finally found peace and love within but only for it to be shattered again by an ugly truth held by his mother, which leaves his newfound peace not only broken but spiraling out of control. Its never easy when the most precious thing you are attempting to help/protect is hurting you. Black Cream stirs the pots of humanity and injustices many young black boys cope with without a father or without a positive father figure in their lives. Black Cream stirs the pot of hopelessness and abandonment and pain when they are left alone and must fend for themselves, being given the awkward task of defending themselves even when their mom is present. And Black Cream stirs the pot of molestation, systematic dependency, ongoing broken relationships, drug dependency, and self-hate. Black Cream explores how cycles of the broken-boy syndrome begin and how it can continue to plague into manhood due to failed ingredients. Written with a poetic pen, conscience mind, and honest heart, Black Cream in various ways tells the story of many other creams that experience the same pain and torment without ever having light or confetti thrown over their stories. It is penned with an honest flair with bright drips of imagination and honest art. Then without further ado, I present to you Black Cream. May peace, happiness, and LUV reign on you, confetti style. This is your moment, but share it with those that need it most.
Here in lies the trials and tribulations of a tortured soul; the ups and downs and resiliency through it all. Every poem holds truth and its dynamic complexity in a simple way for the simple minded to understand. Love and hate are both present but the former is painfully prevalent throughout these works. This artistic journey will take you through the innocence of youth and spiritual growth to erotic emotions and radical views. Some lines are vulgar and others virtuous, still sincere no less.
In a powerful coming-of-age tale that also doubles as a portrait of Philadelphia in the late 80s and early 90s, Kenya Curtis, who knows that she is different, but can't put her finger on why, grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place, thing or person that feels like home.
Author: Imani Perry
Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
Release Date: 2004
At once the most lucrative, popular, and culturally oppositional musical force in the United States, hip hop demands the kind of interpretation Imani Perry provides here: criticism engaged with this vibrant musical form on its own terms. A scholar and a fan, Perry considers the art, politics, and culture of hip hop through an analysis of song lyrics, the words of the prophets of the hood. Recognizing prevailing characterizations of hip hop as a transnational musical form, Perry advances a powerful argument that hip hop is first and foremost black American music. At the same time, she contends that many studies have shortchanged the aesthetic value of rap by attributing its form and content primarily to socioeconomic factors. Her innovative analysis revels in the artistry of hip hop, revealing it as an art of innovation, not deprivation.Perry offers detailed readings of the lyrics of many hip hop artists, including Ice Cube, Public Enemy, De La Soul, krs-One, OutKast, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Tupac Shakur, Lilrs" Kim, Biggie Smalls, Nas, Method Man, and Lauryn Hill. She focuses on the cultural foundations of the music and on the form and narrative features of the songs-the call and response, the reliance on the break, the use of metaphor, and the recurring figures of the trickster and the outlaw. Perry also provides complex considerations of hip hoprs"s association with crime, violence, and misogyny. She shows that while its message may be disconcerting, rap often expresses brilliant insights about existence in a society mired in difficult racial and gender politics. Hip hop, she suggests, airs a much wider, more troubling range of black experience than was projected during the civil rights era. It provides a unique public space where the sacred and the profane impulses within African American culture unite.
Author: Philippe E. Wamba
Release Date: 2000-08-24
Genre: Social Science
A unique memoir chronicles the fortunes of a family led by an African-American mother and a Congolese father, living both in Boston and in Tanzania, discussing the misunderstandings that divide Africans from African-Americans and extolling the traditions of both cultures. Reprint.