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Minority Studies

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  1. 9.0 hrs • 2/16/2016 • Unabridged

    A passionate new voice in American politics, US Senator Cory Booker makes the case that the virtues of empathy, responsibility, and action must guide our nation toward a brighter future. Raised in northern New Jersey, Cory Booker went to Stanford University on a football scholarship, accepted a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, then studied at Yale Law School. Graduating from Yale, his options were limitless. He chose public service. He chose to move to a rough neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, where he worked as a tenants’ rights lawyer before winning a seat on the City Council. In 2006, he was elected mayor, and for more than seven years he was the public face of an American city that had gone decades with too little positive national attention and investment. In 2013, Booker became the first African American elected to represent New Jersey in the US Senate. In United, Cory Booker draws on personal experience to issue a stirring call to reorient our nation and our politics around the principles of compassion and solidarity. He speaks of rising above despair to engage with hope, pursuing our shared mission, and embracing our common destiny. Here is his account of his own political education, the moments—some entertaining, some heartbreaking, all of them enlightening—that have shaped his civic vision. Here are the lessons Booker learned from the remarkable people who inspired him to serve, men and women whose example fueled his desire to create opportunities for others. Here also are his observations on the issues he cares about most deeply, from race and crime and the crisis of mass incarceration to economic and environmental justice. “Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word,” Booker writes in this galvanizing book. In a world where we too easily lose touch with our neighbors, he argues, we must remember that we all rise or fall together—and that we must move beyond mere tolerance for one another toward a deeper connection: love.

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    United

    9.0 hrs • 2/16/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 8.3 hrs • 9/12/2013 • Unabridged

    New York is a city of highs and lows, where wealthy elites share the streets with desperate immigrants and destitute locals. Bridging this economic divide is New York’s underground economy, the invisible network of illicit transactions between rich and poor that secretly weaves together the whole city. Sudhir Venkatesh, acclaimed sociologist at Columbia University and author of Gang Leader for a Day, returns to the streets to connect the dots of New York’s divergent economic worlds and crack the code of the city’s underground economy. Based on Venkatesh’s interviews with prostitutes and socialites, immigrants and academics, high-end drug bosses and street-level dealers, Floating City exposes the underground as the city’s true engine of social transformation and economic prosperity, revealing a wholly unprecedented vision of New York. A memoir of sociological investigation, Floating City draws from Venkatesh’s decade of research within the affluent communities of Upper East Side socialites and Midtown businessmen, the drug gangs of Harlem and the sex workers of Brooklyn, the artists of Tribeca and the escort services of Hell’s Kitchen. Venkatesh arrived in the city after his groundbreaking research in Chicago, where crime remained stubbornly local: gangs stuck to their housing projects and criminals stayed on their corners. But in Floating City, Venkatesh discovers that New York’s underground economy unites instead of divides inhabitants: a vast network of “off the books” transactions linking the high and low worlds of the city. Venkatesh shows how dealing in drugs and sex and undocumented labor bridges the conventional divides between rich and poor, unmasking a city knit together by the invisible threads of the underground economy. Planting himself squarely within this unexplored world, Venkatesh closely follows a dozen New Yorkers locked in the underground economy. Bangledeshi shop clerks like Manjun and Santosh navigate immense networks of illegal goods and services, connecting inquisitive tourists with sex workers and drug dealers. Hispanic prostitutes like Angela and Carla feel secure enough in the new city to leave their old neighborhoods behind in pursuit of bigger money, yet abandon all the safety they had when their clients were known locals. Rich uptown women like Analise and Brittany have the changing city at their beck and call, but both turn to sex work as an easy way to make ends meet without relying on their family fortunes. Venkatesh’s greatest guide is Shine, an African American drug boss based in Harlem who hopes to break into the elusive, upscale cocaine market. Without connections among wealthy whites, Shine undertakes an audacious campaign of self-reinvention, leaving behind the certainties of race and class with all the drive of the greatest entrepreneurs. As Shine explains to Venkatesh, “This is New York! We’re like hummingbirds, man. We go flower to flower…Here you need to float.” Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York’s Underground Economy chronicles Venkatesh’s decade of discovery and loss in the shifting terrain of New York, where research subjects might disappear suddenly and new allies emerge by chance, where close friends might reveal themselves to be criminals of the lowest order. Propelled by Venkatesh’s numerous interviews and firsthand research, Floating City at its heart is a story of one man struggling to understand a complex global city constantly in the throes of becoming.

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    Floating City

    8.3 hrs • 9/12/13 • Unabridged
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  3. 18.6 hrs • 3/31/2011 • Unabridged

    Upon its first publication, A Different Mirror was hailed by critics and academics everywhere as a dramatic new retelling of our nation’s past. Beginning with the colonization of the New World, it recounts the history of America in the voice of the non-Anglo peoples of the United States—Native Americans, African Americans, Jews, Irish Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and others—groups who helped create this country’s rich mosaic culture. From the role of black soldiers in preserving the Union to the history of Chinese Americans from 1900 to 1941, from an investigation into the issue of “illegal” immigrants from Mexico to a look at the sudden visibility of Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Takaki’s work is a remarkable achievement that grapples with the raw truth of American history and examines the ultimate question of what it means to be an American.

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    A Different Mirror

    18.6 hrs • 3/31/11 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.4 hrs • 11/20/2010 • Unabridged

    The anti-white racism of the political left remains one of the few taboo subjects in America. In this book, David Horowitz, a former confidante of the Black Panthers, lays bare the liberal attack on “whiteness,” the latest battle in the war against American democracy. Horowitz acknowledges that America’s political culture is the creation of white, European, primarily Christian males. But it is these very men and their heirs that have led the world in abolishing slavery, establishing the principles of ethnic and racial inclusion, and creating a society of unparalleled rights and opportunities that people of every race and creed continue to flock to. Horowitz points to the hypocrisy of this and challenges racism in all its forms, especially the hidden ones.

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  5. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    10.9 hrs • 10/6/2010 • Unabridged

    Thomas Sowell is one of America’s leading voices on matters of race and ethnicity. In his book Inside American Education he surveyed the ills of American education from the primary grades to graduate school with “an impressive range of knowledge and acuity of observation,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Now in his book Race and Culture he asks the question: “What is it that allows certain groups to get ahead?” The answer will undoubtedly create debates for years to come. The thesis of Race and Culture is that productive skills are the key to understanding the economic advancement of particular racial or ethnic groups, as well as countries and civilizations—and that the spread of those skills, whether through migration or conquest, explains much of the advancement of the human race. Whether this body of skills, aptitudes, and disciplines is called “culture” or “human capital,” it explains far more than politics, prejudice, or genetics. Rather than draw on the experience of one country or one era of history, Race and Culture encompasses dozens of racial and ethnic groups, living in scores of countries around the world, over a period of centuries. Due to its breadth and scope, this study is able to test alternative theories empirically on a vast canvas in space and time. Its conclusions refute much, if not most, of what is currently believed about race and about cultures.

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    Race and Culture by Thomas Sowell

    Race and Culture

    10.9 hrs • 10/6/10 • Unabridged
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  6. 7.2 hrs • 4/30/2010 • Unabridged

    Writer John Howard Griffin decided to perform an experiment fifty years ago. In order to learn firsthand how one race could withstand the second class citizenship imposed on it by another, he dyed his white skin dark, left his family, and traveled to the South to live as a black man. What began as scientific research ended up changing his life in every way imaginable.  This is an eyewitness account of discrimination and segregation that is terrifying and degrading, and its publication caused a furor. As narrated by Ray Childs, this first-ever recording of Black like Me will leave each listener deeply affected. John Howard Griffin’s groundbreaking and controversial work helped bring the full effect of racism to the forefront of America’s conscience—and it has lessons to be learned over half a century later.

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    Black like Me by John Howard Griffin

    Black like Me

    7.2 hrs • 4/30/10 • Unabridged
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  7. 3.3 hrs • 1/20/2009 • Unabridged

    In this audio are the musings, the revelations, the ruminations, and the reflections of the incomparable Larry Wilmore. Here, collected for the first time, all in one place, are his Black Thoughts. From why black weathermen make him feel happy (or sad) and why brothas don’t see UFOs to his search for Black Jesus or his quest to replace “African-American” with “chocolate,” Wilmore has finally relented, agreeing to share his unique (black) perspective. Soon, you too will have the ability to find racism in everything. Bring back the Shetland Negro and do away with Black History Month! After all, can twenty-eight days of trivia really make up for centuries of oppression In Wilmore’s own words, “I’d rather we got casinos!”

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    I'd Rather We Got Casinos

    3.3 hrs • 1/20/09 • Unabridged
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  8. 12.9 hrs • 10/1/2008 • Unabridged

    Stubborn Twig is the true story of immigrants making their way in a new land, a moving saga about the promise and perils of becoming an American. Masuo Yasui arrived in America in 1903 with big dreams and empty pockets. He worked on the railroads, in a cannery, and as a houseboy before settling in Oregon to open a store, raise a large family, and become one of the area’s most successful orchardists. As Masuo broke the color barrier in the local business community, his American-born children did the same in school, scouts, and sports. But their lives changed forever following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when they were forced from their homes into vast inland camps. Although shamed and broken, the Yasui family would yet endure to claim their place as Americans.

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    Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler

    Stubborn Twig

    12.9 hrs • 10/1/08 • Unabridged
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  9. 0 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5
    2.4 hrs • 2/1/2008 • Unabridged

    At once a powerful evocation of his early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic, James Baldwin galvanized the nation in the early days of the civil rights movement with his eloquent manifesto. The Fire Next Time stands as one of the essential works of our literature.

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    The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

    The Fire Next Time

    2.4 hrs • 2/1/08 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.0 hrs • 3/1/2007 • Unabridged

    The day after the World Trade Center was destroyed, Tamim Ansary sent an anguished e-mail to twenty friends discussing the attack from his perspective as an Afghan American. The message reached millions. Born to an Afghan father and American mother, Ansary grew up in the intimate world of Afghan family life. When he emigrated to San Francisco, he believed he’d left Afghan culture behind forever. But at the height of the Iranian Revolution, he took a harrowing journey through the Islamic world to rediscover his roots. In the years that followed, he struggled to unite his divided self and to find a place in his imagination where his Afghan and American identities might meet. Here in his own words is one man’s personal journey through two cultures in conflict.

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    West of Kabul, East of New York by Tamim Ansary

    West of Kabul, East of New York

    8.0 hrs • 3/1/07 • Unabridged
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  11. 9.5 hrs • 1/17/2006 • Unabridged

    Straight from the front line of urban America, the inspiring story of one fiercely determined teacher and her remarkable students.As an idealistic twenty-three-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust—only to be met by uncomprehending looks. So she and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders.”With funds raised by a “Read-a-thon for Tolerance,” they arranged for Miep Gies, the courageous Dutch woman who sheltered the Frank family, to visit them in California, where she declared that Erin Gruwell’s students were “the real heroes.” Their efforts have paid off spectacularly, both in terms of recognition—appearances on “Prime Time Live” and “All Things Considered,” coverage in People magazine, a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley—and educationally. All 150 Freedom Writers have graduated from high school and are now attending college.With powerful entries from the students’ own diaries and a narrative text by Erin Gruwell, The Freedom Writers Diary is an uplifting, unforgettable example of how hard work, courage, and the spirit of determination changed the lives of a teacher and her students. The authors’ proceeds from this book will be donated to The Tolerance Education Foundation, an organization set up to pay for the Freedom Writers’ college tuition. Erin Gruwell is now a visiting professor at California State University, Long Beach, where some of her students are Freedom Writers.

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    The Freedom Writers Diary

    By Erin Gruwell and the Freedom Writers
    9.5 hrs • 1/17/06 • Unabridged
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  12. 10.1 hrs • 9/27/2005 • Unabridged

    “The nation needs to be confronted with the crime that we’re committing and the promises we are betraying. This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable.” Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly sixty public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the fifteen years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer. Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society. Filled with the passionate voices of children and their teachers and some of the most revered and trusted leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some fifty years ago to all our youngest citizens.

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    The Shame of the Nation

    10.1 hrs • 9/27/05 • Unabridged
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  13. 11.2 hrs • 9/1/2005 • Unabridged

    Black Rednecks and White Liberals is the capstone of decades of outstanding research and writing on racial and cultural issues by Thomas Sowell. This explosive new book challenges many of the long-held assumptions about blacks, Jews, Germans and Nazis, slavery, and education. Through a series of essays, Sowell presents an in-depth look at key beliefs behind many mistaken and dangerous actions, policies, and trends. He presents eye-opening insights into the development of the ghetto culture—a culture cheered on toward self-destruction by white liberals who consider themselves “friends” of blacks—which is today wrongly seen as a unique black identity, and he reexamines the tragic institution of slavery. The reasons for the venomous hatred of Jews, and other groups like them in countries around the world, are also explored, as are misconceptions of Nazi Germany. Plainly written, powerfully reasoned, and backed with a startling array of documented facts, Black Rednecks and White Liberals takes on the trendy intellectuals of our times as well as such historic interpreters of American life as Alexis de Tocqueville and Frederick Law Olmsted.

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    Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell

    Black Rednecks and White Liberals

    11.2 hrs • 9/1/05 • Unabridged
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  14. 5.9 hrs • 5/18/2004 • Abridged

    “Daddy and Roger and ‘em shot ‘em a nigger.” Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: “They shot him like you or I would kill a snake.” Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed “a military operation.” While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed “a Perry Mason kind of thing,” the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson’s father, the pastor of Oxford’s all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. “That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law,” Teel explained. The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. “It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people,” one of them explained. “We knew if we cost ‘em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things.” In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson’s riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family’s struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America's enduring chasm of race.

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    Blood Done Sign My Name

    5.9 hrs • 5/18/04 • Abridged
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  15. 11.9 hrs • 2/9/2004 • Unabridged

    “Daddy and Roger and ‘em shot ‘em a nigger.” Those words, whispered to ten-year-old Tim Tyson by one of his playmates in the late spring of 1970, heralded a firestorm that would forever transform the small tobacco market town of Oxford, North Carolina. On May 11, 1970, Henry Marrow, a 23-year-old black veteran, walked into a crossroads store owned by Robert Teel, a rough man with a criminal record and ties to the Ku Klux Klan, and came out running. Teel and two of his sons chased Marrow, beat him unmercifully, and killed him in public as he pleaded for his life. In the words of a local prosecutor: “They shot him like you or I would kill a snake.” Like many small Southern towns, Oxford had barely been touched by the civil rights movement. But in the wake of the killing, young African Americans took to the streets, led by 22-year-old Ben Chavis, a future president of the NAACP. As mass protests crowded the town square, a cluster of returning Vietnam veterans organized what one termed “a military operation.” While lawyers battled in the courthouse that summer in a drama that one termed “a Perry Mason kind of thing,” the Ku Klux Klan raged in the shadows and black veterans torched the town's tobacco warehouses. With large sections of the town in flames, Tyson’s father, the pastor of Oxford’s all-white Methodist church, pressed his congregation to widen their vision of humanity and pushed the town to come to terms with its bloody racial history. In the end, however, the Tyson family was forced to move away. Years later, historian Tim Tyson returned to Oxford to ask Robert Teel why he and his sons had killed Henry Marrow. “That nigger committed suicide, coming in here wanting to four-letter-word my daughter-in-law,” Teel explained. The black radicals who burned much of Oxford also told Tim their stories. “It was like we had a cash register up there at the pool hall, just ringing up how much money we done cost these white people,” one of them explained. “We knew if we cost ‘em enough goddamn money they was gonna start changing some things.” In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, Blood Done Sign My Name is a classic work of conscience, a defining portrait of a time and place that we will never forget. Tim Tyson’s riveting narrative of that fiery summer and one family’s struggle to build bridges in a time of destruction brings gritty blues truth, soaring gospel vision, and down-home humor to our complex history, where violence and faith, courage and evil, despair and hope all mingle to illuminate America's enduring chasm of race.

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    Blood Done Sign My Name

    11.9 hrs • 2/9/04 • Unabridged
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  16. 8.1 hrs • 11/1/2001 • Unabridged

    In Double Victory, a broad spectrum of American voices emerges to illustrate the country’s multicultural struggles and victories during World War II. We hear from a Japanese-American at an internment camp; a Native American code breaker using the Navajo language for the first time; a Mexican-American woman, “Rosarita, the riveter,” who was able to work a job during wartime other than as a housecleaner or a maid. Takaki also considers the racial biases that influenced important American government actions during the war, like the bombing of Hiroshima and the refusal to admit Jews into the US. Double Victory clearly demonstrates that World War II helped to transform American society and advance the cause of multiculturalism throughout the country.

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    Double Victory by Ronald Takaki

    Double Victory

    8.1 hrs • 11/1/01 • Unabridged
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