Category: Biography / Autobiography

Reckoning with our past means commemorating violent histories

Reblogged with permission from Washington Post; Blog Post by K. Stephen Prince, author of The Ballad of Robert Charles: Searching For The New Orleans Riot On a gray afternoon in December, a small group gathered in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. They came together to dedicate a historical marker to the events of late July 1900, when a confrontation… Continue Reading Reckoning with our past means commemorating violent histories

Author of “Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell” Alison M. Parker’s Interview with the Biographers International Organization Podcast

Last week Parker hopped on Zoom for a podcast interview with the Biographers International Organization. She discussed her latest book “Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell”, the first ever full-length biography of African American activist Mary Church Terrell. Click here to listen to the podcast interview Alison M. Parker is department chair and Richards Professor of American History… Continue Reading Author of “Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell” Alison M. Parker’s Interview with the Biographers International Organization Podcast

Happy Haitian Heritage Month: A Reading List

A strong “Sak Pase” to all of our Haitian and Haitian-descendant readers! May is Haitian Heritage Month and we wanted to celebrate with a recommended reading list dedicated to the history of the first independent black republic in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti. May was chosen as Haitian Heritage Month because it marks the anniversary of the birth of Toussaint L’Ouverture,… Continue Reading Happy Haitian Heritage Month: A Reading List

Happy National Guitar Month!

A little late to the party, but we would like to wish a happy national guitar month to all of you rockstar readers. We’ve created this reading list of some of our favorite guitar-related titles to hopefully inspire your next riff. STONE FREE: JIMI HENDRIX IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER 1966 – JUNE 1967 BY JAS OBRECHT A compelling portrait of rock’s… Continue Reading Happy National Guitar Month!

Lawrence Reddick and Recent Antiracism Initiatives in the American Historical Profession

Guest post written in conjunction with the start of the Organization of American Historians’s annual conference #OAH21, by David A. Varel, author of The Scholar and the Struggle: Lawrence Reddick’s Crusade for Black History and Black Power Black historian and activist Lawrence Reddick (1910-1995), the subject of my new UNC book, died over a quarter century ago, but his legacy… Continue Reading Lawrence Reddick and Recent Antiracism Initiatives in the American Historical Profession

Author Interview: John D. French on Lula and His Politics of Cunning

In this Q&A, John D. French discusses his new book Lula and His Politics of Cunning: From Metalworker to President of Brazil. Known around the world simply as Lula, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva was born in 1945 to illiterate parents who migrated to industrializing São Paulo. He learned to read at ten years of age, left school at fourteen,… Continue Reading Author Interview: John D. French on Lula and His Politics of Cunning

Troy R. Saxby: What’s in a Name? Pauli Murray’s Many Identities

Today we welcome a guest post from Troy R. Saxby, author of Pauli Murray: A Personal and Political Life, out now from UNC Press. The Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (1910–1985) was a trailblazing social activist, writer, lawyer, civil rights organizer, and campaigner for gender rights. In the 1930s and 1940s, she was active in radical left-wing political groups… Continue Reading Troy R. Saxby: What’s in a Name? Pauli Murray’s Many Identities

Jill D. Snider: A Macro-Micro Approach to Biography

Today we welcome a guest post from Jill D. Snider, author of Lucean Arthur Headen: The Making of a Black Inventor and Entrepreneur, out now from UNC Press. Born in Carthage, North Carolina, Lucean Arthur Headen (1879–1957) grew up amid former slave artisans. Inspired by his grandfather, a wheelwright, and great-uncle, a toolmaker, he dreamed as a child of becoming… Continue Reading Jill D. Snider: A Macro-Micro Approach to Biography

Author Interview: Jill D. Snider on Lucean Arthur Headen

In this Q&A, Jill D. Snider discusses her book Lucean Arthur Headen: The Making of a Black Inventor and Entrepreneur, out now from UNC Press. Born in Carthage, North Carolina, Lucean Arthur Headen (1879–1957) grew up amid former slave artisans. Inspired by his grandfather, a wheelwright, and great-uncle, a toolmaker, he dreamed as a child of becoming an inventor. His… Continue Reading Author Interview: Jill D. Snider on Lucean Arthur Headen

Tiffany A. Sippial: Are U.S. Citizens Still Allowed to Travel to Cuba?

Today we welcome a guest post from Tiffany A. Sippial, author of Celia Sánchez Manduley: The Life and Legacy of a Cuban Revolutionary, out now from UNC Press. Celia Sánchez Manduley (1920–1980) is famous for her role in the Cuban revolution. Clad in her military fatigues, this “first female guerrilla of the Sierra Maestra” is seen in many photographs alongside… Continue Reading Tiffany A. Sippial: Are U.S. Citizens Still Allowed to Travel to Cuba?

D.H. Dilbeck: The Night Frederick Douglass Resolved to Learn How to Read

Continuing our celebration of African American History month, today we welcome a guest post from D.H. Dilbeck, author of Frederick Douglass:  America’s Prophet, which has it’s official publication today. From his enslavement to freedom, Frederick Douglass was one of America’s most extraordinary champions of liberty and equality. Throughout his long life, Douglass was also a man of profound religious conviction.… Continue Reading D.H. Dilbeck: The Night Frederick Douglass Resolved to Learn How to Read

Author Interview: Emily Herring Wilson, The Three Graces of Val-Kill

Gina Mahalek talks to Emily Herring Wilson, author of The Three Graces of Val-Kill: Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Dickerman, and Nancy Cook in the Place They Made Their Own. # # # Q: How did you discover this story? A: I wanted to understand Eleanor Roosevelt as a woman making her own private life—after a troubled marriage and children going away to… Continue Reading Author Interview: Emily Herring Wilson, The Three Graces of Val-Kill

Anthony Chaney: The Royal Scam

Today, we welcome a guest post from Anthony Chaney, author of Runaway:  Gregory Bateson, the Double Bind, and the Rise of Ecological Consciousness, on Steely Dan, Columbia House and the negative-option record club. The anthropologist Gregory Bateson has been called a lost giant of twentieth-century thought. In the years following World War II, Bateson was among the group of mathematicians,… Continue Reading Anthony Chaney: The Royal Scam

Emily Herring Wilson: The Three Graces of Val-Kill

The Three Graces of Val-Kill changes the way we think about Eleanor Roosevelt. Emily Wilson examines what she calls the most formative period in Roosevelt’s life, from 1922 to 1936, when she cultivated an intimate friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who helped her build a cottage on the Val-Kill Creek in Hyde Park on the Roosevelt family land. Continue Reading Emily Herring Wilson: The Three Graces of Val-Kill

UNC Press Summer Reading List

Happy Summer! In honor of the summer solstice, we’re posting our suggestions for your summer reading list. If you’re planning a fun tropical vacation or just heading to your neighborhood pool, UNC Press has your perfect summer read. Pick up a fun guidebook or new biography, and don’t forget about our 40% sale! Continue Reading UNC Press Summer Reading List

University Press Week 2016 Blog Tour Day 5: #FF UNC Press Publishing Partners

We have celebrated the theme of Community for the past several days with our sibling publishers in the Association of American University Presses’ #UPweek. Today we invite you into our own virtual rolodex to introduce you to just some of the many partner organizations with whom we have collaborated to make many of your favorite books and journals possible. Continue Reading University Press Week 2016 Blog Tour Day 5: #FF UNC Press Publishing Partners

Matthew Mason: Morality, Politics, and Compromise: The Plight and Prospects of the Moderate, Then and Now

There are a few potential parallels between modern and antebellum religious leaders. Many modern religious leaders seemingly hope to set aside thorny issues such as LGBT rights and immigration so they can refocus on their core religious missions. Continue Reading Matthew Mason: Morality, Politics, and Compromise: The Plight and Prospects of the Moderate, Then and Now

Matthew Mason: Movement within Bounds on the Antislavery Political Spectrum: The Case of Edward Everett

If we can bring ourselves to take seriously their protestations both of love for the Union and distaste for slavery, we should not be surprised to see them move along a spectrum of antislavery belief and action. While that peregrination rarely proceeded in one direction or predictable ways, it did transpire within limits for every antebellum Northern politician. The relative strength of their antislavery principles dictated that there were bounds beyond which their conservatism could not go, but their nationalism and respect for law and order also set boundaries beyond which their antislavery could not go. Continue Reading Matthew Mason: Movement within Bounds on the Antislavery Political Spectrum: The Case of Edward Everett

Laura Visser-Maessen: How Exploring Bob Moses’s 1960s Civil Rights Activism in Mississippi Can Modify America’s Current Terrorism Debate

Paris is only a five hour drive from my home in the Netherlands. I have strolled its streets many times, undoubtedly also those covered in blood after the November 2015 attacks. I have also passed through San Bernardino, California, and have stood regularly at the former World Trade Center site. Yet as I commemorate those victims of religious terrorism, I cannot but remember my meetings with black civil rights activist Bob Moses and his colleagues of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Their haunting tales of life in Mississippi in the 1960s wryly challenge some politicians’ and media pundits’ current claim to exclusivity for the term “terrorism” only in relation to Islam, reminding us that the most bloody and consistent trajectory of terrorism in the United States occurred under the banner of white supremacy. Continue Reading Laura Visser-Maessen: How Exploring Bob Moses’s 1960s Civil Rights Activism in Mississippi Can Modify America’s Current Terrorism Debate

Laura Visser-Maessen: Bob Moses’s Lessons on the Meaning of Citizenship We Need in Today’s Race Debates

After the 2015 riots in Baltimore and elsewhere, I was struck—though not surprised—by many of the media’s depictions of its black inhabitants, as if they were irrational, self-defeating hoodlums, rather than emphasizing stories like that of Wayne, one of several hundred students in Baltimore’s public schools who participate in the Algebra Project (AP). Wayne had been kicked out of several schools until his AP involvement made him realize “what I can do inside of school and how I can help other people.” Continue Reading Laura Visser-Maessen: Bob Moses’s Lessons on the Meaning of Citizenship We Need in Today’s Race Debates