February is Black History Month, and Penn Press is marking the occasion by offering 40% off all books in our collection of releases in African American history and African American studies from the past five years. In today’s post, we’re sharing a handful of highlights from the collection—browse the list below, and use code BHM2023-FM at checkout to get your discount!
In This Land of Plenty
When Congressman Mickey Leland died in 1989, he was a forty-four-year-old, charismatic, black, radical American. In This Land of Plenty presents Leland as the personification of international radicalism and examines African Americans’ successes and failures in radically influencing U.S. foreign policy toward Global South countries.
African Kings and Black Slaves
Herman L. Bennett
Through an examination of early modern African-European encounters, African Kings and Black Slaves offers a reappraisal of the dominant depiction of these exchanges as simple economic transactions: rather, according to Herman L. Bennett, they involved clashing understandings of diplomacy, sovereignty, and politics.
Scripts of Blackness
Scripts of Blackness shows how the early modern mass media of theatre and performance culture at-large helped turn blackness into a racial category, that is, into a type of difference justifying emerging social hierarchies and power relations in a new world order driven by colonialism and capitalism.
I’ve Been Here All the While
Alaina E. Roberts
Perhaps no other symbol has more resonance in African American history than that of “40 acres and a mule”—the lost promise of Black reparations for slavery after the Civil War. In I’ve Been Here All the While, Alaina E. Roberts draws on archival research and family history to upend the traditional story of Reconstruction.
The Silver Women
The Silver Women argues that Black West Indian women made the construction of the Panama Canal possible by providing the indispensable everyday labor of social reproduction. The book links this labor to the histories of U.S. imperial infrastructure, the global Caribbean diaspora, and women’s own survival.
The Practice of Citizenship
Derrick R. Spires
The Practice of Citizenship traces the parallel development of early black print culture and legal and cultural understandings of U.S. citizenship. Considering a variety of texts by both canonical and lesser-known authors, Derrick R. Spires demonstrates how black writers articulated an expansive, practice-based theory of citizenship.
Brenna Wynn Greer
Focusing on advertising and public relations guru Moss Kendrix, Ebony publisher John H. Johnson, and Life photographer Gordon Parks, Brenna Wynn Greer chronicles how black capitalists made the market work for racial progress on their way to making money.
The Many Resurrections of Henry Box Brown
On March 23, 1849, Henry Brown climbed into a large wooden postal crate and was mailed from slavery in Richmond, Virginia, to freedom in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Martha J. Cutter shows how subversive performances were woven into Brown’s entire life and analyzes contemporary resurrections of Brown’s persona.
The Strangers Book
The Strangers Book explores how a constellation of nineteenth-century African American writers radically reframed the terms of humanism by redefining what it meant to be a stranger.
Set the World on Fire
Keisha N. Blain
Set the World on Fire highlights the black nationalist women who fought for national and transnational black liberation from the early to mid-twentieth century.
The Black Republic
Brandon R. Byrd
The Black Republic explores the critical but overlooked place of Haiti in black thought in the post-Civil War era. Following emancipation, African American leaders considered Haiti a singular example of black self-governance whose fate was inextricably linked to that of African Americans demanding their own right to self-determination.
Force and Freedom
Kellie Carter Jackson
In Force and Freedom, Kellie Carter Jackson provides the first historical analysis exclusively focused on the tactical use of violence among antebellum black activists. Through tactical violence, argues Carter Jackson, abolitionist leaders created the conditions that necessitated the Civil War.
Pulse of the People
Lakeyta M. Bonnette
Examining the history of rap music, particularly the subgenre of political rap, and coupling public opinion research with lyrical analysis, Lakeyta M. Bonnette illustrates the ways rap music serves as a vehicle for the expression and advancement of political thought in urban Black communities.