Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock and Roll
Three questions about desegregation for Sarah Garland, author of Divided We Fail

Historical Beacon Buzz: Langston Hughes reviews James Baldwin

Fifty-Five Years Ago Today...

BALDWIN-NotesNativeSonNotes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Yes, this publicity hit is from February 26, 1958, but we didn't have a blog (much less the not-to-be-missed Beacon Buzz report) back then ... The New York Times published this review of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son, written by Langston Hughes.

James Baldwin writes down to nobody, and he is trying very hard to write up to himself. As an essayist he is thought-provoking, tantalizing, irritating, abusing and amusing. And he uses words as the sea uses waves, to flow and beat, advance and retreat, rise and take a bow in disappearing. 

Read Edward P. Jones' introduction to our new edition of Notes of a Native Son on Scribd.

You can get a copy of our new edition of Notes of a Native Son (or any other African American Studies title) for 20% off and free shipping if you order with code FEB2013. Check out the details of our Black History Month Sale at

Recent Notable Mentions

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OnEarth magazine’s profile of Eva Saulitis, titled, “The Woman Who Loves Orcas” made the cover of their Spring 13 issue.

She had heard killer whales before, but this was "something other." Communicating across great distances, they would caterwaul in long, siren-like cries, turned up at the end as if they were questions. "This was a voice at once strident and mournful," she writes in her memoir, "a strange hybrid instrument, part trumpet, part oboe, part elephant, part foghorn. And loud." But when the lone scouts were joined by more members of their group, the calls changed to "upswept squawks punctuated by silence; bangs and cracks, like axe blows against one-by planks, some we could attribute to fluke slaps, and some not. Now and then a syncopated blast of echolocation, like automatic gunfire." [Read More]


Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious by Chris Stedman

Q&A with Chris Stedman on BuzzFeed.


Divided we Fail: The Story of an African American Community that Ended the Era of School Desegregation by Sarah Garland

C-SPAN/Book TV aired their “After Words” episode with Sarah Garland interviewed by Marc Lamont.


Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation Is Shaping Our World by David D. Burstein

Write-up of Burstein’s Politics and Prose event.

“Sick of getting a bum rap? Millenials fight back.” David Burstein on MSNBC’s The Cycle.

Interview on The Diane Rehm Show in a panel discussion titled “What It Means to be a Millennial.”

Excerpt, “Millenials Will Save Us,” on

“A Very Fast Future,” online at Forbes:

“FAST FUTURE is a fantastic read for anyone who is curious about the mindset and perspective that the Millennial generation is bringing to their businesses, their politics, and their personal lives. Millennials will continue to shape that world as their ranks elevate to higher levels in corporations and governments and, if FAST FUTURE is any indication, they’ll not be shy about letting you know that they’ve arrived.” [Read More]


Shout, Sister, Shout!: The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe by Gayle Wald

Watch author Gayle Wald and be amazed by the extraordinary guitar playing of “Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the Godmother of Rock & Roll” on the PBS American Masters website.

Excerpt from Shout, Sister, Shout! featured on Scribd’s homepage in their “Best of the Day” section.

Enter to win a copy of Shout, Sister, Shout! on


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An excerpt, “Racism and the World House” is now online at Yes! Magazine.  


Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War by Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini

Featured in a Chicago Tribune column by Robert Koehler:

This remarkable book, published in 2012, takes a long, hard look at the dehumanizing effects of war, through the experiences of a number of vets from various wars (Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) who share their suffering -- and bare their souls -- to the authors.

"Soul Repair" is an assault on the mythology and public relations of war, on the default setting of nationhood, that: "We sleep comfortably in our beds at night because violent men do violence on our behalf." No matter how many lies are at the foundation of a given war, no matter how disastrously unnecessary and destructive it turns out to be in retrospect -- oops -- the myth of war is ever-unsullied: This time the danger is really there. This time it's crucial that we carpet bomb civilians, then send in our boys and girls to clean out the enemy insurgents. This time it's really for democracy and the American Dream and a good night's sleep.


Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence by Geoffrey Canada

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Coming Soon

Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl

Library Journal review: “This is no Walden: each chapter begins with a meditation on a tool, including an axe, rock bar, chainsaw, and skid steer... Byl’s writing is superb and doesn’t romanticize her dirty work.”


What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine by Danielle Ofri

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