Hot Off The Press: January 2022

We’re publishing some great books this month! Read below to learn more about these exceptional titles.

Don’t forget, our Holiday Sale is going on until January 31st. You can save 40% on ALL UNC Press print books and if your order totals $75 or more, the shipping is FREE! Enter code 01HOLIDAY at checkout to receive the discount.


Published:

PERMANENT MARKERS: RACE, ANCESTRY, AND THE BODY AFTER THE GENOME

BY SARAH ABEL

Over the past twenty years, DNA ancestry testing has morphed from a niche market into a booming international industry that encourages members of the public to answer difficult questions about their identity by looking to the genome. At a time of intensified interest in issues of race and racism, the burgeoning influence of corporations like AncestryDNA and 23andMe has sparked debates about the commodification of identity, the antiracist potential of genetic science, and the promises and pitfalls of using DNA as a source of “objective” knowledge about the past.

This book engages these debates by looking at the ways genomic ancestry testing has been used in Brazil and the United States to address the histories and legacies of slavery, from personal genealogical projects to collective racial politics.

Engaging, intriguing, and beautifully written, this book will be of major interest to specialists and to other readers in the social sciences and humanities. It gives profound and cutting-edge insights into the impact of genomic technologies on people’s ideas about human diversity, identity, and history.

Peter Wade, author of Degrees of Mixture, Degrees of Freedom: Genomics, Multiculturalism, and Race in Latin America

Available for Pre-Order:

TWICE FORGOTTEN: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE KOREAN WAR, AN ORAL HISTORY

BY DAVID P. CLINE

Journalists began to call the Korean War “the Forgotten War” even before it ended. Without a doubt, the most neglected story of this already neglected war is that of African Americans who served just two years after Harry S. Truman ordered the desegregation of the military. Twice Forgotten draws on oral histories of Black Korean War veterans to recover the story of their contributions to the fight, the reality that the military desegregated in fits and starts, and how veterans’ service fits into the long history of the Black freedom struggle. 

This collection of seventy oral histories, drawn from across the country, features interviews conducted by the author and his colleagues for their American Radio Works documentary, Korea: The Unfinished War, which examines the conflict as experienced by the approximately 600,000 Black men and women who served.

In this exceptionally researched volume, Cline shows that the act of desegregating was far more complicated than expected…Readers will appreciate the wide variety of voices represented, including various military branches as well as officers and enlisted men and women from different regions of the United States…This is an essential, insightful read on an often-overlooked subject, for those interested in military history and African American history.

Starred Review, Library Journal

O.N. PRUITT’S POSSUM TOWN: PHOTOGRAPHING TROUBLE AND RESILIENCE IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH

BY BERKLEY HUDSON

Photographer O. N. Pruitt (1891–1967) was for some forty years the de facto documentarian of Lowndes County, Mississippi, and its county seat, Columbus–known to locals as “Possum Town.” His body of work recalls many FSA photographers, but Pruitt was not an outsider with an agenda; he was a community member with intimate knowledge of the town and its residents. He photographed his fellow white citizens and Black ones as well, in circumstances ranging from the mundane to the horrific: family picnics, parades, river baptisms, carnivals, fires, funerals, two of Mississippi’s last public and legal executions by hanging, and a lynching. From formal portraits to candid images of events in the moment, Pruitt’s documentary of a specific yet representative southern town offers viewers today an invitation to meditate on the interrelations of photography, community, race, and historical memory.

Columbus native Berkley Hudson was photographed by Pruitt, and for more than three decades he has considered and curated Pruitt’s expansive archive, both as a scholar of media and visual journalism and as a community member.

A captivating visual narrative blending the use of photography and memory. Through O. N. Pruitt’s archive, Hudson reveals the story of a complicated southern town and creates an insightful vision of the South moving from disenfranchisement to empowerment.

Deborah Willis, author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship