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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: The Fire this Time

The Fire this Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race, edited by Jesmyn Ward

The Fire this Time

"National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward takes James Baldwin’s 1963 examination of race in America, The Fire Next Time, as a jumping off point for this groundbreaking collection of essays and poems about race from the most important voices of her generation and our time.
In light of recent tragedies and widespread protests across the nation, The Progressive magazine republished one of its most famous pieces: James Baldwin’s 1962 "Letter to My Nephew," which was later published in his landmark book, The Fire Next Time. Addressing his fifteen-year-old namesake on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Baldwin wrote: "You know and I know, that the country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon."
Award-winning author Jesmyn Ward knows that Baldwin’s words ring as true as ever today. In response, she has gathered short essays, memoir, and a few essential poems to engage the question of race in the United States. And she has turned to some of her generation’s most original thinkers and writers to give voice to their concerns.
The Fire This Time is divided into three parts that shine a light on the darkest corners of our history, wrestle with our current predicament, and envision a better future. Of the eighteen pieces, ten were written specifically for this volume.
In the fifty-odd years since Baldwin’s essay was published, entire generations have dared everything and made significant progress. But the idea that we are living in the post-Civil Rights era, that we are a "post-racial" society is an inaccurate and harmful reflection of a truth the country must confront. Baldwin’s "fire next time" is now upon us, and it needs to be talked about."

- From the book jacket

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: Solid Foundation

Solid Foundation: an Oral History of Reggae, by David Katz

Solid Foundation

Solid Foundation is the definitive history of reggae, from the earliest Jamaican innovators of the 1940s to the new stars of the 21st century. Drawing on more than 300 firsthand interviews, this landmark book tells the fascinating story of some of the most compelling characters in popular music. It features a diverse range of pioneers, such as The Skatalites, The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, and Lee 'Scratch' Perry, dub legends such as Augustus Pablo, Prince Jammy, and Scientist, as well as dancehall giants like Elephant Man, Beenie Man, and Buju Banton. It details the entire evolution of Jamaican popular music, including ska, rock steady, roots reggae, dub, dancehall, ragga, and more.
First published in 2003, Solid Foundation was widely praised as "a cracking read" and "a necessary work". This fully revised and updated edition brings the story into the 21st century with new chapters on the key performers of recent times and extensive additions throughout.

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: The Lives of Frederick Douglass

The Lives of Frederick Douglass, by Robert S. Levine

The Lives of Frederick Douglass

"A compelling scholarly study of the evolution of Frederick Douglass' thinking. Over the course of his life (1818-1895), Douglass published three autobiographies, continually revising and restructuring his life story as an ex-slave. Yet he is read and celebrated mostly for his first, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, published in 1845 under the aegis of William Lloyd Garrison's Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.
In this finely delineated look at Douglass' writing, Levine (English/Univ. of Maryland; Dislocating Race and Nation: Episodes in Nineteenth-Century American Literary Nationalism, 2008, etc.) urges new readings of his subject's other autobiographical works, as well as his 1853 novella, The Heroic Slave, in order to grasp a fuller understanding of how Douglass came into his own and began to move away from Garrison's "moral suasion" to an advocacy of black militancy and beyond."

- "THE LIVES OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS." Kirkus Reviews, vol. LXXXIII, no. 22, 2015. Education Database, https://rpa.laguardia.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1732577779?accountid=11946.

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LaGuardia Library Book of the Week: From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation

From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

From BlackLivesMatter to Black liberation

"The eruption of mass protests in the wake of the police murders of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York City have challenged the impunity with which officers of the law carry out violence against Black people and punctured the illusion of a postracial America. The Black Lives Matter movement has awakened a new generation of activists.
In this stirring and insightful analysis, activist and scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor surveys the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and persistence of structural inequality such as mass incarceration and Black unemployment. In this context, she argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation."

- From the book jacket

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