New books that examine the African American experience from Civil War to Civil Rights and beyond.
Scroll down for a giveaway!
The Black Calhouns: From Civil War to Civil Rights with One African American Family
by Gail Lumet Buckley
In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley — daughter of actress Lena Horne — delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights. Beginning with her great-great grandfather Moses Calhoun, a house slave who used the rare advantage of his education to become a successful businessman in post-war Atlanta, Buckley follows her family’s two branches: one that stayed in the South and the other that settled in Brooklyn. Through the lens of her relatives’ momentous lives, Buckley examines major events throughout American history
by Ross Howell Jr.
The debut novel of UVA, Harvard and Iowa Writers Workshop alum Ross Howell, Forsaken features narrator Charles Mears, a white, 18-year-old reporter covering his first murder case. The devout, chain-smoking Mears tries not only to win clemency for Virginia Christian, an uneducated African American girl, but also to protect 13-year-old Harriet, one of the girls orphaned by the murder, who is being sexually abused by the wealthy uncle the court named as her guardian. The lead attorney representing Christian is the extraordinary George Washington Fields, a former slave who escaped to freedom as a boy in 1863. Tragic as the events that unfold in Forsaken may be, the story Charlie Mears tells is one of love, redemption and hope.
Listen to the Lambs
by Daniel Black
Already a pick for Black History Month by Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, Daniel Black once again tackles relevant and heady issues by meeting with the homeless of Atlanta to get firsthand accounts of their struggles on the streets and to capture their voices. Nothing can convince Lazarus Love III to go back to a lifestyle of affluence and social status. Longing for a freedom of the soul that the world of capitalism cannot provide, Lazarus leaves all that he knows — including his wife and children — to achieve the ultimate level of peace living as a possessionless man. When his quest causes him to cross paths with five wanderers who call themselves “the family,” a shocking, brutal act leaves Lazarus in a dire position, and his newfound family must struggle to save him. *Giveaway alert!
The phenomenon of ghost tours is popular, yet troubling, and Tiya Mies set out to explore who these ghosts really are. Frequently promoted and experienced at plantations, urban manor homes and cemeteries throughout the South, ghost tours are a staple at attractions, as guides entertain paying customers by routinely relying on stories of enslaved black specters. Examining popular sites and stories from the tours, Miles shows that haunted tales routinely appropriate and skew African American history to produce representations of slavery for commercial gain. Because the realities of slavery are largely absent from these tours, Miles reveals how they continue to feed problematic “Old South” narratives and erase the hard truths of the Civil War era.
*Giveaway details: We have one copy of Listen to the Lambs up for grabs this month. Comment here and tell us how you plan to observe Black History Month for a chance to win. We’ll choose one winner by February 12. U.S.-only entries please.