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.
After nearly 40 years of mass incarceration, a disproportionate number of African American men in the United States prisons has resulted in countless African American women maintaining fragile families and trying to mend what has become a carceral state of the Black family. While the literature is scant on how African American women are affected by the imprisonment of their partners, the cases studies contained in this volume will broaden the perspectives of helping professionals, criminal justice students, and practitioners with a rare behind the scenes understanding of how these women experience grief, non-death loss, shame, emotional strains, and trauma. These women share their firsthand accounts of vulnerabilities and hardships interwoven with political, cultural, and the economic challenges that coexist with the results of having an incarcerated mated. They describe the raw and traumatizing crisis associated with having their families involuntarily torn apart with no guarantee that life will ever be the same. Their emotional stakes and social strains are high, yet these women strive to maintain their families, hold a job in the workforce under stressful conditions; and often place themselves last on the priority list of well-being as they head their households and become the de facto chief support for their incarcerated mate. However, even the most resilient women can wear down after repeated exposure to grief, trauma, and symbolic imprisonment (serving time on the outside) associated with her imprisoned male partner. This volume contains intervention strategies tailored to uniquely address the needs of this cultural group and attend to and understand what Hart-Johnson introduces and coins as Symbolic Imprisonment, Grief, and Coping Theory.
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.
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.
Author: Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2010-04-06
To protect her daughter from the fast life and bad influences of London, her mother sent her to school in rural Ghana. The move was for the girl’s own good, in her mother’s mind, but for the daughter, the reality of being the new girl, the foreigner-among-your-own-people, was even worse than the idea. During her time at school, she would learn that Ghana was much more complicated than her fellow ex-pats had ever told her, including how much a London-raised child takes something like water for granted. In Ghana, water “became a symbol of who had and who didn’t, who believed in God and who didn’t. If you didn’t have water to bathe, you were poor because no one had sent you some.” After six years in Ghana, her mother summons her home to London to meet the new man in her mother’s life—and his daughter. The reunion is bittersweet and short-lived as her parents decide it’s time that she get to know her father. So once again, she’s sent off, this time to live with her father, his new wife, and their young children in New York—but not before a family trip to Disney World.
An elegant, vibrant, startling coming-of-age novel, for anyone who's ever felt the shame of being alive Kenya Curtis is only eight years old, but she knows that she's different, even if she can't put her finger on how or why. It's not because she's black—most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are too. Maybe it's because she celebrates Kwanzaa, or because she's forbidden from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe it's because she calls her father—a housepainter-slash-philosopher—"Baba" instead of "Daddy," or because her parents' friends gather to pour out libations "from the Creator, for the Martyrs" and discuss "the community." Kenya does know that it's connected to what her Baba calls "the shame of being alive"—a shame that only grows deeper and more complex over the course of Asali Solomon's long-awaited debut novel. Disgruntled, effortlessly funny and achingly poignant, follows Kenya from West Philadelphia to the suburbs, from public school to private, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home. A coming-of-age tale, a portrait of Philadelphia in the late eighties and early nineties, an examination of the impossible double-binds of race, Disgruntled is a novel about the desire to rise above the limitations of the narratives we're given and the painful struggle to craft fresh ones we can call our own.
Author: Kei Miller
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Release Date: 2012-03-07
"Miller is a name to watch."--The Independent "This is magical, lyrical, spellbinding writing."--Granta Adamine Bustamante is born in one of Jamaica's last leper colonies. When Adamine grows up, she discovers she has the gift of "warning": the power to protect, inspire, and terrify. But when she is sent to live in England, her prophecies of impending disaster are met with a different kind of fear--people think she is insane and lock her away in a mental hospital. Now an older woman, the spirited Adamine wants to tell her story. But she must wrestle for the truth with the mysterious "Mr. Writer Man," who has a tale of his own to share, one that will cast Adamine's life in an entirely new light. In a story about magic and migration, stories and storytelling, and the New and Old Worlds, we discover it is never one person who owns a story or has the right to tell it. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1978, Kei Miller is the author of The Same Earth, winner of the Una Marson Prize for Literature; and Fear of Stones, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book. His most recent poetry collection has been shortlisted for the Jonathan Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award. In 2008 he was an International Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. Miller currently divides his time between Jamaica and Scotland.
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.