Tag Archives: Women’s history

SCL Boredom-Buster #11: “The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter,” by Peggy Vonsherie Allen

This week the SCL Boredom-Busters series continues with summer reading recommendations in non-fiction, as a complement to the fiction and poetry titles we’ve highlighted thus far. Today’s pick is:

The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter, by Peggy Vonsherie Allen.

  • “This is a true story of the struggle, survival, and ultimate success of a large black family in south Alabama who, in the middle decades of the 20th century, lifted themselves out of poverty to achieve the American dream of property ownership. Descended from slaves and sharecroppers in the Black Belt region, this family of hard-working parents and their thirteen children is mentored by its matriarch, Moa, the author’s beloved great grandmother, who passes on to the family, along with other cultural wealth, her recipe for moonshine. . . Told in clean, straightforward prose, the story radiates the suffocating midday heat of summertime cotton fields and the biting winter wind sifting through porous shanty walls. It conveys the implicit shame in “Colored Only” restrooms, drinking fountains, and eating areas; the beaming satisfaction of a job well done recognized by others; the “yessum” manners required of southern society; and the joyful moments, shared memories, and loving bonds that sustain-and even raise-a proud family.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading! 🙂

SCL Picks: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Just in time for Women’s History month, the Stone Center Library recommends:  The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first ‘immortal’ human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons—as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the ‘colored’ ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia—a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo—to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.

Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.”

Excerpt from Random House/Crown Publishing Group

Women’s History Month + new books display, part 3

March is Women’s History Month, and here at the Stone Center Library our new books display has been themed to match.  Take a look at some of our new acquisitions on and by women in literature:

Together with our previous two posts, we hope these new arrivals provide some inspiration – whether you’re contemplating class projects, or merely searching for your next fun read.  If you’re looking for more literary resources, also keep in mind our Guide to the Web’s Literature section of online links.

Women’s History Month + new books display, part 2

On Friday, we started a list of new titles currently on display in honor of Women’s History Month.  Below is part two, which we welcome you to explore further by clicking on the links, or coming by the library to browse in person!

Interested in learning more?  Don’t forget that, from the comfort of your own home, you can also access the Stone Center Library’s Guide to the Web, which has a section of resources on women’s history available here.  Happy reading!

Women’s History Month + new books display, part 1

Last week, we posted a list of new book titles currently on display near the library entrance.  Today and next week, we’ll be highlighting our in-library display, which this month features new arrivals related to women’s history across a variety of genres and topics.

March is Women’s History Month and this year’s theme is “our history is our strength.”  What better way to learn more about women’s history, achievements, and current challenges than turning to some more of the Stone Center Library’s new acquisitions?  Come check us out!

This week at the Stone Center: “To Buy the Sun” (3/22) & African Diaspora Lecture (3/23)

Greetings, faithful readers!  Here are a couple of fabulous opportunities taking place this week at the Stone Center.  Check out the links for more details, or make use of the contact information provided.

Stone Center.  FREE  admission.  Contact: Joscelyne Brazile 843-2669.

Stone Center, Hitchcock Multipurpose Room. Contact: stonecenter@unc.edu, (919) 962-9001.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

New arrivals at the Stone Center Library

To those of you returning to campus from spring break, welcome back!  Here at the Library, it’s the season for new books – lots and lots of recent acquisitions spanning a variety of disciplines and genres.

For instance, if you’ve been to the library recently, you may have noticed our updated display:

picture of library display case

Here’s a closer look at some of our current highlights:

In the shadow of slavery : Africa’s botanical legacy in the Atlantic world (Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff).

  • “In this exciting, original, and groundbreaking book, Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff draw on archaeological records, oral histories, and the accounts of slave ship captains to show how slaves’ food plots-‘botanical gardens of the dispossessed’-became the incubators of African survival in the Americas and Africanized the foodways of plantation societies.”

The other side of paradise : a memoir (Staceyann Chin).

  • “From the iconic and charismatic star of ‘Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam’ comes this brave and fiercely candid memoir about growing up in Jamaica by performer, activist, and writer Chin.”

The road to someplace better : from the segregated South to Harvard Business School and beyond. (Lillian Lincoln Lambert with Rosemary Brutico).

  • “Inspiring memoir of a groundbreaking business pioneer who broke down racial, gender, and social barriers to achieve unprecedented success. Lillian Lincoln Lambert received Harvard Business School’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2003 and has been featured on Good Morning America and in Time, the Washington Post, and Entrepreneur.”

The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks. (Rebecca Skloot).

  • “Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells-taken without her knowledge-became one of the most important tools in medicine.”

Til death or distance do us part : marriage and the making of African America (Frances Smith Foster).

  • “Conventional wisdom tells us that marriage was illegal for African Americans during the antebellum era, and that if people married at all, their vows were tenuous ones: ‘until death or distance do us part.’ Drawing on a trove of less well-known sources including family histories, folk stories, memoirs, sermons, and especially the fascinating writings from the Afro-Protestant Press, ‘Til Death or Distance Do Us Part offers a radically different perspective on antebellum love and family life.”

Caribbean middlebrow : leisure culture and the middle class (Belinda Edmondson).

  • “Edmondson (English and African American and African studies, Rutgers U.-Newark) tells the story of leisure culture in the Anglophone Caribbean for the past 150 years as a story of the nascent and aspiring black middle class striving to reconcile their origins in black-identified culture, with aspirations for social ascendance and international recognition.”

The literature police : apartheid censorship and its cultural consequences (Peter D. McDonald).

  • “The Literature Police affords a unique perspective on one of the most anachronistic, exploitative, and racist modern states of the post-war era, and on some of the many forms of cultural resistance it inspired. It also raises urgent questions about how we understand the category of the literary in today’s globalized, intercultural world.”

My Times in black and white : race and power at the New York times (Gerald M. Boyd ; afterword by Robin D. Stone).

  • “A rare inside view of power and behind-the-scenes politics at the nation’s premier newspaper, My Times in Black and White is the inspirational tale of a man who rose from urban poverty to the top of his field, struggling against whitedominated media, tearing down racial barriers, and all the while documenting the most extraordinary events of the latter twentieth century.”

Look and leave : photographs and stories from New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward (Jane Fulton Alt ; introduction by Michael A. Weinstein).

  • “As a participant in New Orleans’s “Look and Leave” program, Jane Fulton Alt accompanied Lower Ninth Ward residents back to their homes for the first time since fleeing Hurricane Katrina. It is through Alt’s social worker’s compassion and keen photographer’s eye that we are given a better understanding of what it meant to be a resident of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans immediately following Hurricane Katrina.”

Examining Tuskegee : the infamous syphilis study and its legacy (Susan M. Reverby).

  • “The forty-year “Tuskegee” Syphilis Study has become the American metaphor for medical racism, government malfeasance, and physician arrogance. The subject of histories, films, rumors, and political slogans, it received an official federal apology from President Bill Clinton in a White House ceremony. Susan M. Reverby offers a comprehensive analysis of the notorious study of untreated syphilis, which took place in and around Tuskegee, Alabama, from the 1930s through the 1970s.”

The warmth of other suns : the epic story of America’s great migration (Isabel Wilkerson).

  • “In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.”

Gridiron gauntlet : the story of the men who integrated pro football in their own words (Andy Piascik).

  • “One year before Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, four black players joined the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams to become the first African-American pro football players in the modern era. Players who began their careers from 1946 to 1955 reminisce about the violence they faced on and off the field, the world of segregation and the violence it brought, but also of white players and coaches who assisted and supported their careers.”

Dark days, bright nights : from Black power to Barack Obama (Peniel E. Joseph).

  • “The Civil Rights Movement is now remembered as a long-lost era, which came to an end along with the idealism of the 1960s. In Dark Days, Bright Nights, acclaimed scholar Peniel E. Joseph puts this pat assessment to the test, showing the 60s—particularly the tumultuous period after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act—to be the catalyst of a movement that culminated in the inauguration of Barack Obama.”

Airlift to America : how Barack Obama, Sr., John F. Kennedy, Tom Mboya, and 800 East African students changed their world and ours (Tom Shachtman).

  • “This long-hidden saga reveals how a handful of Americans and Kenyans fought the British colonial government, the U.S. State Department, and segregation to send nearly 800 young East African men and women to U.S. universities–many of whom would go on to change the world.”

 

Interested in any of these titles?  Click on the links above to check their availability online or come by the Stone Center Library, where you can also peruse our additional display of new books (in the back, by the periodicals).  Happy reading!

Lecture TOMORROW (2/15): “Representing Race: the Queen of Sheba’s fate in the Middle Ages”

Check out the event announcement below for details on an interesting guest lecture taking place TOMORROW evening:

 

Dr. Lynn Ramey, Associate Professor of French at Vanderbilt University, will present a lecture entitled “Representing Race: the Queen of Sheba’s fate in the Middle Ages.” Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages, The Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, the African Studies Center, and the Center for Global Initiatives.

When Feb 15, 2011
from 05:00 pm to 07:00 pm
Where Toy Lounge, Dey Hall
Contact Name Sahar Amer
Contact Phone 962-0112

In her lecture, Dr. Ramey will reflect upon the ways in which color difference was understood, questioned, manipulated, and/or erased in medieval French literature. She will discuss the medieval association of race with skin color and the ways in which the Queen of Sheba was represented in both literature and art as black because of her association with the East. As she presents and analyzes different portraits of Sheba, both verbal and pictorial, Dr. Ramey will offer some conclusions about the ways in which a black woman was perceived in the medieval West.

Dr. Ramey is a well-established scholar who works on cross-cultural (Muslims and Christians) encounters in the Middle Ages, on questions of hybridity, race, and miscegenation in medieval French literature and film. She has published Christian, Saracen and Genre in Medieval French Literature (New York: Routledge, 2001) and co-edited several volumes and collections of essays, including Race, Class, and Gender in “Medieval” Cinema (New York: Palgrave, 2007). She is currently completing a book entitled “Race” and the European Middle Ages (under contract, University of Florida Press).

 

Opening this FRIDAY: “To Buy The Sun: The Challenge of Pauli Murray”

This Friday, the Pauli Murray Project’s Centennial Celebration continues, with the inauguration of “To Buy The Sun: The Challenge of Pauli Murray,” a play about the life and legacy of this trailblazing Durham native.  The play is written by Lynden Harris, directed by Kathryn Hunter-Williams and features Chaunesti Webb Lyon and Brie Nash.

“Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to stand, Pauli Murray refused to sit in the back of the bus; 20 years before the Greensboro sit-ins, she organized restaurant sit-downs in the nation’s capital.  Durham native Pauli Murray not only lived on the edge of history, she seemingly “pulled it along with her.”  One hundred twenty-three years after her enslaved grandmother was baptized at Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill, Pauli Murray returned as America’s first female African-American Episcopal priest to celebrate her groundbreaking Eucharist there.  A lifelong champion for human rights, Pauli Murray’s struggles and insights resonate powerfully in our times.  Celebrate her history; create our future.”

PERFORMANCE DATES:

  • January 28-30, 2011 (DURHAM)
  • February 4-5, 2011 (CARRBORO)
  • February 13, 2011 (CHAPEL HILL)
  • February 18, 2011 (HILLSBOROUGH)

Tickets are $10 and information on purchasing for each venue is available here.  For Performance Sponsorships and Group Tickets, contact: Barbara Lau at 919/613-6167 or  balau@duke.edu

This project is supported by grants from the Paul Green Foundation and a mini grant from Imagine Durham: Durham’s Results Based Accountability Initiative (www.durhamnc.gov/rba).

Know your civil rights history: resources at the Stone Center Library

Today marks the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat to a white passenger.  Her eventual arrest set in motion the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and her lifetime of social activism marks her as a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement.  For more insight into this important and complex period of U.S. history, we encourage our readers to come by the Stone Center Library and take advantage of our holdings as UNC’s Library for Black Culture & History. Here are a few titles to get things started:

And don’t forget, we’re always happy to provide reference help in person, or online via email or chat (our buddy name is: stonecenterref).  Best of luck!