Author: Barbara Seals Nevergold
Publisher: SUNY Press
Release Date: 2009-01-01
“You are me. When I look at you, I see me. I see the young African American woman who, through good family values, strong roots, hard work, and perseverance, has come into her own … Though your journey may not be easy in the coming days, weeks, months, or years, think of us to ease your burden and pain. Think of those who you inspire. Think of those who you have given hope to. Think of those whom you have filled with pride. Think of your sister … Think of your favorite cousin. Think of your mother. Think of me. We are the same.” “To you Michelle I take off my African woman hat from Cameroon, my motherland. You have given us African women the courage and the hope to move on and up. You keep your head high and hold your husband close to your heart. Keep praying my sister, you are the best. You have lived the dream of every ebony woman. Ride on sister, we are with you.” “You are the song, you are the proverb, and you are the symbol of human dignity.” “When you and your family go to the spot under the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial, where Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, you will take with you our history of dreams deferred; however, you will also take with you our prayers and hopes for an America that is ready to build and dream anew.” “Thank you for your courage to say yes, to step from behind your private veil into the public eye, to step forward with the grace of boldness, to carry a message that ‘Hope is a wise decision’ and also teaching the importance of learning to prepare oneself because with hope, things can change. I sat next to my daughter, praying that all women would tell this message to themselves, their daughters and sisters, nieces and neighbors, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, friends and sisterfriends, strangers and mates. But most of all, I thank you from the bottom of my heart to remind me to keep being hopeful so I can keep flapping my wings and not be afraid to fly.” “What I really want to say is thank you for existing and remaining visually the kind of woman I’ve always wanted to be. I’d given up hope. I’d given up hope that Black men could affectionately and passionately adore a woman publicly the way that your old man adores you. I’d given up hope that I’d get to keep my booty and succeed in the commercial production world of NYC. I honestly didn’t believe I’d be able to be intelligent and sexy at the same time and be taken seriously … You two have revolutionized what I believe to be possible in Black life. Black, young, sexy, beautiful, brilliant, and powerful. How marvelous.” “We are one woman, blessed to be born Black in America … I rejoice for every little girl, every teenager, young adult and yes even every senior, who like me, can look at you and see herself. I rejoice for the mothers who loved their children as much as you and I do, yet could not protect them.” “Thank you for making me reconsider bringing my Black babies into this world.” Passionate, shattering, and tender, this astonishing book gathers together letters to Michelle Obama, written by African American and African women. Shortly after the election, the Uncrowned Queens Institute in Buffalo, New York, sent out a call across the country for African American women to share their hopes, fears, and advice with the new First Lady. Hundreds of letters and poems poured in, signaling both an unprecedented moment in our nation’s history and a remarkable opportunity for African American women to look at the White House and see and speak to one of their own there. These very personal letters and poems, written by African American women from all ages and walks of life, celebrate a newfound hope for our world and children, speak to a strong sisterhood with the First Lady, confess often very private fears and dreams, and acknowledge and remember the generations before who endured so much for so long.
Author: Richard F. Welch
Publisher: Associated University Presse
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
King of the Bowery is the first complete study of Timothy D. "Big Tim" Sullivan, Tammany chieftain and kingmaker. "King of the Lower East Side" to many, and to some "King of the Underworld," Sullivan was a pivotal figure in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century urban politics. A master of the personal, paternalistic, and corrupt no-holds-barred politics of the nineteenth century, he heartily embraced progressive causes in his later years and anticipated many of the policies and initiatives later pursued by Al Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt, early acquaintances and sometimes antagonists. Politics was Sullivan's major occupation and he served as state assemblyman, Congressman, and state senator. He also played a significant role in the bankrolling and promotion of mass entertainment such as vaudeville, sports, and motion pictures, investments that were as lucrative to him as they were enjoyable to his constituents. A significant amount of Sullivan's income derived from his involvement with the underworld, especially gambling, a vice to which he was personally addicted. Throughout his career he also dodged and vehemently denied accusations that he profited from prostitution, which was rife in New York City. His underworld connections led to a swirl of conspiracy theories following his bizarre death in the wake of a sensational gangland shooting in 1913.
The frank and funny story of a church-geek girl who spent twenty years in the ecclesiastical trenches as a Lutheran pastor, preaching weekly words of hope she wasn’t sure she even believed. After a series of childhood misfortunes—her father’s death, her mother’s ill-advised love affair, her disabled sister wrecking the family GTO—self-avowed church-geek Jo Page decided it was her job to figure out how to stay on God’s good side and maybe spare the family any more tragedy. But she was a girl. And a Lutheran. That ruled out the Roman Catholic sisterhood as so quasi-erotically portrayed by Audrey Hepburn in Page’s favorite movie, The Nun’s Story. Though women were ordained in the larger branch of the Lutheran church, when Page’s own pastor handed her a brochure enumerating all the ways in which she, as a female, was to be silent and submissive, she gave up on the church and went off in search of sex and drugs and rock-and-roll like any rejected adolescent Lutheran girl would. Eventually Page found her way back into the church and ultimately into ordained ministry, spending twenty years in the ecclesiastical trenches, presiding over life’s rituals and preaching compulsory weekly words of hope she wasn’t sure she even believed. Comical, provocative, and heartbreaking, Preaching in My Yes Dress tells several stories: of a child’s need to cleave to the very God who instills mortal terror; of the shape-shifting that a public “pastoral identity” entails; of the power of ritual and the weight involved in presiding over it; and of the rise of the religious right and the patriarchy endemic to both scripture and faith traditions. Page also raises the question of whether or not faith can heal the wounds the life of faith has itself inflicted. “Preaching in My Yes Dress lives up to its wonderful title. Jo Page’s memoir is a thoughtful, wide-ranging, and unusually frank chronicle of her spiritual journey. Anyone interested in Christianity, the daily realities of pastoral work, or the challenges of living an ethical life will find this book illuminating and inspiring.” — Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers “In Preaching in My Yes Dress Jo Page tells the remarkable story of her journey in and outside the church over nearly fifty years. The result is all the things you hope a good memoir will be: profound, witty, deeply serious, wonderfully original, and utterly absorbing. Page is a remarkably intimate writer and this book offers the best kind of companionship.” — Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy: A Novel
Written like a detective story, this book explores the spirituality of one of the world’s most beloved artists, Vincent van Gogh, through one of Western art’s most mysterious paintings, The Night Café. Done in almost garish colors, the work depicts a late night in a café serving a poorer element of society, and Van Gogh himself saw both destructive forces and gaiety in the work. With author Cliff Edwards, we follow a trail of clues from a Yale art gallery to a neighborhood in Arles, from a novel by Émile Zola to a largely forgotten image of Jesus that hung in Van Gogh’s bedroom. We enter the imagination of Van Gogh through the books he read, the art he admired, and the people with whom he identified, and arrive at startling conclusions that include a new and deeply spiritual understanding of a café after midnight and the “night prowlers” who inhabit it.
Author: Bruce W. Dearstyne
Publisher: SUNY Press
Release Date: 2015-03-24
Presents New York history in a fresh way through sixteen dramatic events. In this lively and engaging book, Bruce W. Dearstyne presents New York State history by exploring sixteen dramatic events. From the launch of the state government in April 1777 to the tragedy of September 11, 2001, these events altered the course of state and US history. Chapters describe great political changes, historical turning points, and struggles for social, racial, and environmental reform. The book includes daring acts of courage and against-the-odds stories of struggle and triumph. Dearstyne puts the fascinating people who made history at the center of the story, including John Jay, the lead writer of the first state constitution; Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the irrepressible crusader for women’s rights; Glenn Curtiss, New York’s aviation pioneer; and Robert Moses, controversial president of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This book makes history come alive. The momentous events illustrate the “spirit” of New York—the elusive traits that make New York State unique and a leader among the fifty states—and the complexity of its history. “Bruce Dearstyne’s beautifully written and thoroughly researched biography of New York opens new vistas for understanding the enormous impact the state has had on American history writ large. With attention to and sensitivity toward geographical, ethnic, economic, and ecological diversity, the book offers an important new explanation of why New York has been able to meet so many of its challenges with dynamism and creativity. It also shows how ego and self-interest have sometimes gotten in the way, balancing the determined problem solving that is often seen as a hallmark of the state with a true account of rises and falls, booms and busts, and vision and drift that are equally a part of its spirit.” — Louise Mirrer, President and CEO, New-York Historical Society “Bruce Dearstyne brings a fine narrative style and superb storytelling to The Spirit of New York. Readers will learn about New York politics, the state’s role in racial conflict, recasting the role of women in New York, and far more. The book is about the people of New York responding individually and collectively to the opportunities, problems, and tragedies that have punctuated the history of the Empire State from its beginnings to the present.” — Warren Roberts, author of A Place in History: Albany in the Age of Revolution, 1775–1825 “This book offers a fascinating odyssey through New York’s past by using examples of its national leadership, ranging from the state’s early women’s rights movements to Jackie Robinson’s historic integration of major league baseball, and from aviation pioneer Glenn Curtis to the construction of a landmark superhighway, the New York State Thruway. Dearstyne presents fresh insight into several salient events that made New York the Empire State. In doing so, he comes as close to a recent general history of the state as currently exists.” — F. Daniel Larkin, State University of New York at Oneonta