Category Archives: New Titles

Celebrating African American Music

The following guest post was written by David Tenenholtz, the 2015-2017 UNC-CH Music Library CALA.

Celebrating African-American Music

June is African American Music Appreciation Month, as officially proclaimed by President Barack Obama. The Stone Center Library and the UNC Music Library are excited to take on President Obama’s described mission to “raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans” during this month. With resources available both at the Stone Center Library and the Music Library (located at Wilson Library’s lowest level, East entrance), you will be able to learn about the varied styles and rich history of African American music. If you visit the Music Library, please take note of the visual display in the front entrance highlighting some hallmarks of this topic. You will notice albums showcasing the legendary pianistic skill of Art Tatum, the artistry of composers like Duke Ellington and T.J. Anderson, the showmanship of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Carmen McRae, and the vocal finesse of opera singer Jessye Norman, to name only a few.


As you can tell from reading this post, this subject may have nearly limitless avenues to explore and research. As an entry-point, please consult with one of the librarians at either the Stone Center Library or the Music Library. To get a quick start, here are introductions to four “firsts” in the history of African American music, and some links to resources that may inspire you to visit us and learn more!

1903: In Dahomey, the first Broadway musical written by African American composers, and starring an entirely African American cast, premieres in New York. You can find the sheet music and biographical information on Will Marion Cook (1869-1944), one of the major African American composers at that time at the Music Library.

1935: Jazz pianist Teddy Wilson (1912-1986) joins the Benny Goodman Trio, earning them the distinction of being the first known interracial jazz group. Wilson, deemed the “Jackie Robinson of Jazz,” would go on to record many hit jazz songs with Goodman, vocalist Billie Holiday, and as a soloist.

1962: Bandleader and composer Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington scored the soundtrack to the film Paris Blues, starring Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, and Louis Armstrong. With this score, Ellington earned the first nomination by an African American composer for an Academy Award for Best Musical Score.

1968: Henry Lewis (1932-1996), a virtuoso on the double-bass who joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic before the age of eighteen, is appointed to lead the New Jersey Symphony, making him the first African American symphony conductor. Within another few years, Lewis went on to be the first African American to conduct the Metropolitan Opera.






New @the SCL, Part 3: religious studies

As we conclude our tripartite series highlighting new arrivals currently up on display at the Stone Center Library, today’s list should especially appeal to religious scholars. Click on the links below for more information on each title, including summaries and current availability, or check out our previous posts in this series here and here.

Happy reading! Our display changes regularly, so be sure to come on by and check out what’s new @the SCL.

New @the SCL, Part 2: issues in education

Last week, we posted a partial listing of new books currently on display here at the Library. Today, we continue with a quick posting on new arrivals covering a wide range of topics in education – in the U.S. and abroad, secondary and post-secondary pedagogy and experiences, and other recent research.

Check out what’s new @the SCL, part 2:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s final installment, featuring new acquisitions on a variety of topics related to religious studies.

New @the SCL, Part 1: genealogy, trans-racial adoption, and more!

Have you seen our latest display?

New books on display at the Stone Center Library

Featuring titles newly available here at the Stone Center Library, current highlights include topics such as religion, genealogy, education, women’s studies and more. We encourage you to come on by and check them out, and will be introducing these titles in a weekly three-part series, starting today with a variety of resources pertaining to family:

Coming up next week: new titles in education studies.

New @the SCL: “Experiences of single African-American Women Professors”

Newly available at the SCL, today’s staff pick is Experiences of single African-American women professors : With this Ph.D., I thee wed, edited by Eletra S. Gilchrist (c2011. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books). A fascinating collection of essays written by “never-before-married and doctorate degree-holding African-American women professors,” titles include:

  • “Black, educated, and female: A perspective on contemporary courtship,” by Celeste Walls, Ph.D.
  • “‘Acting like a lady and doing me’: Rejecting the ‘strong black woman’ stereotype, sexism, and settling,” by Kandace L. Harris, Ph.D.
  • “The myth and mismatch of balance: Black female professors’ construction of balance, integration, and negotiation of work and life,” by Natalie T. J. Tindall, Ph.D. and Markesha S. McWilliams.
  • “‘I’m in the middle of nowhere!’: The dating experiences of black, female doctoral students and faculty at predominantly white environments,” by Mounira Morris, Ed.D.
  • “Neither an ‘old maid’ nor a ‘Miss Independent’: Deflating the negative perceptions of single African-American women professors,” by Eletra S. Gilchrist, Ph.D.

These are but a sample of the thought-provoking issues raised in this volume, in which “The authors and research participants speak candidly about their experiences, exploring a myriad of topics including dating costs and rewards, relationship challenges, work/life balance, multiple intersecting identities, negative perceptions, and identity negotiation.” A complete summary and further information is available here in the UNC library catalog and we highly encourage you to come by the Library and check it out!

For more on this topic, here are a couple of other titles, also available here at the SCL:

Happy reading!




New @the SCL: “Super black : American pop culture and black superheroes”

Are you a fan of superhero movies? Then today’s SCL Pick is for you! One of our latest arrivals is Super black : American pop culture and black superheroes, by Adilifu Nama (University of Texas Press, 2011). Check out an excerpt from the publisher’s review below:

“Nama examines seminal black comic book superheroes such as Black Panther, Black Lightning, Storm, Luke Cage, Blade, the Falcon, Nubia, and others, some of whom also appear on the small and large screens, as well as how the imaginary black superhero has come to life in the image of President Barack Obama. Super Black explores how black superheroes are a powerful source of racial meaning, narrative, and imagination in American society that express a myriad of racial assumptions, political perspectives, and fantastic (re)imaginings of black identity. The book also demonstrates how these figures overtly represent or implicitly signify social discourse and accepted wisdom concerning notions of racial reciprocity, equality, forgiveness, and ultimately, racial justice.” (Source:

Looking for more on the topic? Professor Nama has also written Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film, which is available at Davis Library. If you’re looking to broaden your search, subject headings that may be of use include “African Americans in motion pictures” and “Blacks in motion pictures.” There’s also the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web, which features sections on Films and Documentaries, as well as Film Festivals. And, as always, we’re happy to provide reference assistance – whether it’s in person, via email, or through chat reference (StoneCenterRef) – come on by for a consultation!

SCL Pick for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month 2012: “Interracial Encounters”

Did you know that May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month? This celebration was established in 1978, and recognizes the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. “The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.” (Source:

With this in mind, today’s SCL Pick is the newly-acquired Interracial Encounters : Reciprocal Representations in African American and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937. Written by Julia H. Lee (2011, New York University Press), this book “explores the diverse ways in which Asian American and African American texts represented racial relations and racial others in an era dominated by a national racial philosophy that presumed, as W.E.B. Du Bois put it, the ‘high civilization of the whites, the lack of culture among the blacks, the apparent incapacity for self-rule in many non-Europeans, and the stagnation of Asia’” (Source: Syndetic Solutions).

Interested in this area of study? Come by the SCL! Today’s pick is but one of several volumes on Afro-Asian topics available here at the Library. For instance, check out last year’s selections here and here. And stay tuned for more SCL Picks this week and next, as we highlight some fabulous new titles that have recently been added to the collection. Happy reading!

New @the SCL in POETRY

Happy National Poetry Month, y’all! Here are three poetry picks new to the SCL collection:

Coval K, Coval K. 2011. L-vis lives! : Racemusic poems. Chicago, Ill.: Haymarket Books. xvi, 103 ; p.
“From the poet the Chicago Tribune calls the new voice of Chicago, comes L-vis Lives!, a bold new collection of poetry and prose exploring the collision of race, art, and appropriation in American culture. L-vis is an imagined persona, a representation of artists who have used and misused Black music. Like so many others who gained fame and fortune from their sampling, L-vis is as much a sincere artist as he is a thief. In Kevin Coval’s poems, L-vis’ story is equal parts forgotten history, autobiography, and re-imaginings.” (Source: UNC catalog)

Griffiths R Eliza. 2011. Mule & Pear. Kalamazoo, MI: The College of Arts and Sciences Western Michigan Univerisity. 97 p.
“These poems speak to us with voices borrowed from the pages of novels of Alice Walker, Jean Toomer, and Toni Morrison — voices that still have more to say, things to discuss. Each struggles beneath a yoke of dreaming, loving, and suffering. These characters converse not just with the reader but also with each other, talking amongst themselves, offering up their secrets and hard-won words of wisdom, an everlasting conversation through which these poems voice a shared human experience.” (Source: Amazon)

Harriell D. c2010. Cotton : Poems. Detroit, Michigan: Willow Books. 77 ; p.
“In his remarkable debut collection, COTTON, Derrick Harriell has created a mural in poems. The characters that inhabit this vivid tableau step into an active third dimension and allow us to witness the vicissitudes of their daily struggles, triumphs large and small, private desires. The community here is anchored by a specific Midwestern, African-American family which, in spite of both external and internal challenges, maintains its unity, however precarious at times. Death, passion, humor, mother wit, history, place, these are the colors that Harriell mixes and applies with such artistry that readers may not be so sure if they are watching a particular world or if that world is watching them. Harriell is among America’s most exciting new voices in poetry.”–Maurice Kilwein Guevara (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Looking for more poetry resources? In addition to searching the UNC catalog, don’t forget the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web has an extensive literature section, including several poetry-related sites. Happy reading!

New @the SCL: Head off & split (winner of the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry)

Is it us, or has April just flown by? As National Poetry Month winds down, we thought we’d highlight some recent acquisitions here at the SCL, starting today with a spotlight on Nikky Finney‘s National Book Award-winning anthology Head off & split : poems.

Widely praised, this collection artfully engages with a variety of timely topics. In the words of one reviewer:

“The poems in Nikky Finney’s breathtaking new collection Head Off & Split sustain a sensitive and intense dialogue with emblematic figures and events in African-American life: from Civil Rights matriarch Rosa Parks, to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, from a brazen girl strung out on lightning, to a terrified woman abandoned on a rooftop during Hurricane Katrina. Her poet’s voice is defined by an intimacy, which holds a soft yet exacting-eye on the erotic, on uncanny political and family events, like her mother’s wedding waltz with S.C. Senator Strom Thurmond, and then again on the heart-breaking hilarity of an American President’s final state of the Union address. Artful and intense, Finney’s poems ask us to be mindful of what we fraction, fragment, cut off, dice, dishonor, or throw away, powerfully evoking both the lawless and the sublime.” (Source:


Interested in seeing what all the buzz is about? Be sure to come by the Stone Center Library and check out this book! More information about Head off & split and Nikky Finney herself may also be found on her website, and her acceptance speech for the 2011 National Book Award in Poetry is available on Vimeo.

New @the SCL: Military History

Over the course of Black History Month 2012, we’ve posted SCL Picks and new titles on a variety of topics: literature, fine arts, religion, gender, film studies, love, and even the first published novel by an African American woman. As February comes to a close, we thought we would round things out with four  recent titles in the area of military history.

As always, we also encourage you to make use of the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web, which includes a section of online resources covering African American military history. Plus, did you know the itself Guide is searchable? In addition to perusing the Guide by topic, the “Search the Guide” bar allows for keyword searching to pull sites listed in the guide from across sections. For example, searching for “Tuskegee” yields this list of websites contained within the Guide: Happy searching!