Video: Komozi Woodard on the Legacy of Amiri Baraka

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Poet, playwright, and political activist Amiri Baraka passed away last Thursday at the age of 79. As one of the most significant black literary voices of his time, Baraka helped shape the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. His book Blues People: Negro Music in White America, is highly remembered as a classic chronicle on the role of jazz and the blues in American culture. Komozi Woodard, author of A Nation within a Nation: Amiri Baraka (LeRoi Jones) and Black Power Politics, spoke on a panel about Amiri Baraka’s legacy on Democracy Now.

Twelve Years a Slave: The Narrative Behind the Film

The film tells the story of Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor), a free man and fiddle-player from New York who was drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery in Louisiana. It explores Northrup’s efforts to retain his dignity in the face of inhumanity as he longs for the family he was taken from and hopes for freedom throughout time in the employ of three different masters, ranging from a kindly preacher (Benedict Cumberbatch) to a cruel plantation owner (Fassbender). Remarkably, and horrifically, the story is a true one.

Tobe: Charles Anderson Farrell Photographs Digitized in New Collection

Even with all the criteria Farrell needed to meet, the final product is wonderfully authentic. Farrell explained, “The children look natural and unposed because I spent far more time on the little game we played than on the photography. The photography was incidental, and I think that only a few times were the children aware of the camera.”

William Ferris: A Little Bit of Story in Everything

My grandfather loved to tell me the long, frightening story of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. When he finished telling the tale, I would ask him, “Grandad, tell it again.” And he would patiently tell me the story again. No memory from my childhood burns brighter than this story and its telling by my grandfather.

Andrew Cayton: History, Romance, and Conversations with Dead People

I like the discipline of history, especially the requirements that I support what I say with evidence and that I not ignore inconvenient evidence. But I wanted to write a book with emotional as well as intellectual depth. And so, borrowing elements of form and tone from fictional personal histories, I attempted a narrative of a love affair informed by the sensibility of a novelist.

Excerpt: Two Captains from Carolina, by Bland Simpson

In an excerpt from Bland Simpson’s nonfiction novel Two Captains from Carolina, we get a glimpse of Moses Grandy’s early career as a boatman—the freedom he felt on the water and the opportunities that lay ahead.

New Omnibus E-Book: Nell Wise Wechter’s Stories of the North Carolina Coast for Kids

Available for the first time as an Omnibus Ebook, this collection brings together two of Nell Wise Wechter’s beloved stories of young people on the North Carolina Coast. These wonderful stories will entertain and enlighten readers of all ages.

Southern Gateways: essential southern reading that makes a great gift

Our Holiday Sale is now underway! If you need some gift ideas for the folks on your list, our Southern Gateways catalog is a great place to start. Southern Gateways is where we collect of all our general interest books about this region we call home.

Fall sale wrap-up: new categories 50% off, sale ends soon!

Announcing our last four sale subjects, all at 50% off, with free shipping for orders over $75 for the next two weeks.

North Carolina Icons: The Brown Mountain Lights

This week we’re featuring number 79 from Our State magazine’s 100 North Carolina Icons list: the Brown Mountain Lights. Unexplained lights often appear at Brown Mountain, hovering in the air when the weather is right. Our State writes, “Your best chance at catching the Brown Mountain Lights is Milepost 310 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at the Brown Mountain Overlook along Highway 181, or from the top of Table Rock.” There have been various explanations for the lights, from scientific to legends and ghost stories. Today we have some suggested books of Carolina ghost stories.

Tobe: Tracking down the storybook family

Where are they now? Historian Benjamin Filene seeks information about the people involved in the 1939 children’s book “Tobe,” about an African American sharecropping family in NC.

UNC Press Fall Sale: New categories

New Fall sale categories: business history and southern history. Throughout the fall, we’re offering 50% off selected titles in the disciplines listed below. Enter 01SALE12 at checkout. Spend $75.00 and the shipping is free.

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